How to Choose the Destination of a Trip

Who I am
Alejandra Rangel
@alejandrarangel
SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

One of the most important steps in organizing a trip is definitely the choice of destination, find the perfect destination to go on vacation.

With the many possibilities that exist, it is not at all easy to decide and sometimes rash choices are made influenced by friends and acquaintances and you do not choose by carefully evaluating every aspect and taking into account your needs.

There is no better destination than another, but there are trips that are perfect for us, it all comes down to understanding what we are looking for.



Obviously there are those who prefer to be inspired by intuition and do not want to do too much research. I think that choosing the ideal trip is a moment that requires time and planning, especially if you have the possibility to leave a few times during the year.

In the previous article on how to organize a travel do it yourself, we have seen that to choose the ideal destination for a trip there are 4 main aspects to consider:

  • Duration of the Trip;
  • Budget;
  • Period;
  • Preferences.

Taking these four variables into consideration, the various options are already starting to greatly reduce.

In this guide we will see in detail and in more depth these and other aspects that will help you choose where to go on vacation. But we will also see in practice how you can find inspiration for your next destination.

Choosing the destination of a trip is still a fun phase, so let's see how to do it.

Time available

A first evaluation that can immediately clarify your ideas is the duration of the trip. You will already discard some countries. Clearly, the shorter the stay, the closer the destination should be.



For example, for intercontinental travel it is usually preferable to leave for a minimum of 10/15 days. For stays shorter than this period it is recommended to choose destinations not too far away, reachable with about 4 hours of flight.

At this stage it is also important to consider the time zone, therefore also think about jet lag and the time it takes to get used to the new schedule.

Going to Thailand (6-hour time zone) for a week is not the right choice, the time you get used to and you already have to leave. In Malaysia, I remember that the first few days I could not fall asleep before 4 am and consequently I had a hard time waking up in the morning! In Mexico I collapsed at 8 in the evening and at 5 in the morning I was already up!

Budget

Unfortunately, one aspect that can influence the choice of destination is the budget. Even if today thanks to the internet it is possible to organize a DIY trip, saving a lot of pennies, there are still some places that remain prohibitive if you do not have a substantial budget.

So, before choosing faraway and heavenly destinations you will have to do the math and evaluate if the budget is really sufficient.

You will have to study every aspect: flight, accommodation, food, transport, insurance, visa, any excursions, etc. In this way you will have a rough idea of ​​the expense and you will evaluate if your budget allows you to embark on the journey, without too many sacrifices.


Although I understand that it is not easy to have to abandon the idea of ​​leaving for the destination of your dreams, you have to be realistic and choose the destination in line with your budget. Otherwise you risk not enjoying your holiday due to lack of funds.


Also calculate any unexpected events and try not to be too tight with money.

Many are convinced that the more distant the destination, the more expensive the trip will be. It is true up to a point. Surely the price of the air ticket will have high fares, but the cost of living must also be considered. Furthermore, there are more and more low-cost airlines that allow you to reach distant destinations without spending exaggerated amounts.

In any case, I always recommend that you organize yourself with some time in advance, in this way you will be able to optimize costs.

Obviously if the budget is not an issue, you will be spoiled for choice.

Choose the Right Period

Another fundamental parameter for choosing your future destination is the time of year in which you will leave.

First you need to check the climatic conditions e evaluate if the weather will allow you to experience the trip in the best way. For example, if you plan to take a purely seaside holiday, it would be better to discard all the countries that are in the rainy season.

Some areas at certain times are absolutely to be avoided, there are places that are not even reachable due to the monsoons.


It is also true that there are some destinations that deserve a visit even in the low season, maybe you might find some more rain, but you will have the advantage of saving money and spending a quiet holiday without too many tourists.

The important thing is to understand what the climatic conditions are and if they are not so bad as to ruin your holiday.

In addition to the climatic factor, it is also important to evaluate holidays or particular events.

Think for example of the famous Lantern Festival in Thailand, if you really don't want to miss it you will have to check the exact date on which it will take place.


Evaluating the time of year is also crucial if you want to witness naturalistic phenomena, such as the birth of turtles, the passage of whales or the migration of animals to Africa.

In any case, before booking your flight, do all your research and check if the chosen period is in line with your needs and with the activities you want to do during the trip.

Preferences: Type Of Vacation

This is precisely the focal point of the choice. What are you looking for? What are your preferences?

Do you start from the basics, do you prefer the sea, the mountains or the city? This is a good starting point for deciding your next destination.

But the most important thing is to understand what you expect from the trip. What experiences you absolutely do not want to miss.

It all depends on you and on what you are looking for in that period, maybe you come from a moment of strong stress and you want a holiday of pure relaxation; or you are looking for an itinerant trip to discover the history and culture of the country; you may also want to live experiences in contact with nature; or you are a lover of extreme sports.

In short, there is something for all tastes, the possibilities are many, the important thing is to choose the one that's right for you.

Obviously it can also be a mix of the various activities. For example, your passion is animals and nature, but you also want to relax on postcard beaches, then Zanzibar is the one for you; in addition to the white beaches bathed by wonderful waters you can venture on a safari in Tanzania, among the best in all of Africa.

The important thing is carefully study the destination, read up on travel blogs, forums, social networks,  find out what it offers, what are the characteristics and understand if it is the most suitable destination for you.

I think for example of Costa Rica which for me is a fabulous country, with an infinity of natural parks where you can live incredible experiences: see whales 4 meters from your boat or live the incredible experience of watching turtles lay their eggs.

Still, I've heard people complaining about the beaches, which I think are beautiful. But let's talk about the Ocean, so it is often rough and perfect for surfers. Maybe for those looking for a calm sea and ideal for a relaxing bath, better opt for destinations such as Mexico or the Dominican Republic.

If you have a clear idea of ​​what you expect from the trip and do a lot of research, I'm sure you will find the right place to live the experience you dream of.

Safety

Security also wants its part; why risk ruining a vacation or even putting yourself in dangerous situations?

It is advisable to read up and check the current situation of the country where you would like to go. Make sure there are no events that could somehow endanger you.

Obviously it is not possible to predict what may happen but if a country is involved in civil wars, protests, epidemics or if there have been frequent attacks on tourists, it would be better to opt for another place.

Check on the site travel safe where all the information for each country is reported and the areas at risk are highlighted.

In any case, you can also compare yourself with other travelers who may have recently been in that particular country, so you will be more aware of what the real situation is.

You can also register on the site Where we are in the world, which allows anyone traveling abroad to report the length of stay and the destination. This allows the Farnesina to find you more quickly in case of emergency situations.

Furthermore, it is always good to take out travel insurance to have greater protection in case of unforeseen events.

Fashion of the moment

Travel can also be subject to fashions. There was a time when you couldn't not go to the Caribbean or the Maldives, then it was the time of Sharm El Sheikh and now the Canary Islands.

However, following trends could be a serious mistake. As I told you the important thing is to know what you want and read up on what the destination offers.

Maybe a friend of yours has told you a lot about Africa and its natural parks. But if you are not interested in wandering around in search of the Lion King on an off-road vehicle and instead want to laze on a beach in the sun and with a nice mojito, perhaps it would be better to consider Cuba.

So, I repeat that the destination should be chosen considering your needs and not just because there is a lot of talk about it or because everyone recommends it to you.

Adaptability

There are countries where it is much easier to organize a trip and others that require a certain sense of adaptation. Obviously it all depends on you, on how much experience you have, but above all on how much you are willing to adapt to certain lifestyles. There are those who prefer an adventure trip and those who are unable to give up a comfortable and relaxing experience.

In any case, you could always evaluate whether to do a do-it-yourself trip or orient yourself on organized or group trips.

However, I recommend that you choose the experience that suits you best, without risking to experience unpleasant and traumatic moments.

The journey must be an experience that will stay with you forever, there is no need to overdo it, if you are not ready for an adventure trip, focus on something easier and within your reach.

Choosing a country like India as your first intercontinental DIY trip may not be the right choice. Start with something more accessible, for example Sri Lanka.

Given the possible language barriers, knowing how to communicate while traveling is essential. Not knowing languages ​​can be a limit, perhaps if you are a beginner and traveling alone, you may prefer those countries where you have more ease in communicating.

Even in the organization of the trip it is essential to be aware and know one's limits and abilities.

Documents, visas and vaccines

Make sure you have all the necessary documents and any vaccinations to reach your chosen destination. If not, do them as soon as possible or if times are tight and you may not make it in time, change your destination.

So you will not risk being blocked at the airport or being denied access to the country. So before buying your flight and accommodation, make sure you have everything you need to leave.

Also remember that if you want to go to the Caribbean, but you don't have a passport, there are places overseas that can be reached with the only valid identity card for expatriation: the Guadeloupe or Martinique, two Caribbean islands belonging to the French territory.

Who are you

Are you traveling as a couple, family or with friends? This also affects which destination to choose. In fact, there are places more suitable for a romantic holiday, where on the contrary a group of friends would be bored to death. There are family-friendly destinations, perfect for those traveling with family and small children.

So in addition to the experience you are looking for it is also determining how and with whom you travel. It is also true that there are destinations that lend themselves well to all needs. For example Ibiza, certainly known for its nightclubs and social life, but perhaps not everyone knows that it offers beautiful beaches with transparent waters.

Or Tanzania might seem like a demanding destination with children, but by choosing the right period, the local baby friendly agency and the medium-high level facilities, you can live this incredible experience even with your little ones, who will have fun observing the A lot of animals.

How to Find Inspiration

We have seen in detail all the parameters to be evaluated in order to choose the right destination. Let's see now how to find the best destination and inspiration:

  1. Travel stories, photos or videos: internet is one of the main sources of inspiration, reading travel diaries, observing photos or admiring the places directly on youtube you could discover unknown destinations or countries where to live the experience of life.
  2. Films and documentaries: television can also be a source of inspiration. Maybe you are watching a movie and discover your dream destination.
  3. Books: sometimes reading travel novels one is catapulted into wonderful places and almost seems to be with the author. I don't know about you, but to me, once the book is finished, there remains an incredible desire to leave and visit the places described in the book.
  4. Visit the tourism fairs: they can be a good starting point to find inspiration, dealing directly with local agencies and tour operators.
  5. Get inspired by the price: ior when I don't really have clear ideas, I enjoy researching destinations using the main price comparators for flights. For example with Skyscanner, thanks to the “everywhere” function it is possible to have a list of destinations from the cheapest to the most expensive. Sometimes you can also find flights for 10 €.

Conclusions and Advice

We are at the end of this article, I hope you have found some interesting ideas to help you choose the destination for your next trip.

I suggest you make a list with all the places that come to mind. Also look for feedback on the chosen destinations, read the reviews and maybe contact the users of the various forums to ask for advice and suggestions, then you just have to leave.

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