Wondering where to travel next and how to choose a travel destination? In this article, I’ll show you a thorough process for choosing your next destination.
This article includes all the steps that I take into consideration when deciding where to go on my next holiday.
I hope these tips for choosing your next vacation destination will help you plan amazing journeys.
These recommendations are also useful if you are a traveller deciding where to go next.
There are so many earth attractions to be discovered, amazing cities, countries, and continents to be visited, and cultures to be immersed in! Don’t forget to check out our selection of the insider travel guides better plan your trips.
Let’s see what to consider before choosing your next destination.
How to decide where to travel next: Tips for choosing your next destination
We all have our preferences. Some enjoy cruises, others want to discover wine regions, some like the ocean or the sea, while others like the mountains.
Some people want to travel locally – others prefer to discover new countries (check out these amazing places to visit in India or these free attractions in Dubai) and even continents.
Or maybe, you prefer a road trip, as you’d like to travel by car? You could visit 15 places in Crete by car or one of the road trips in the Grand Canyon State.
Do you want to go to a big city or a small town or village?
Being aware of your preferences will help you make travel plans that you’ll enjoy and that will offer you the experiences you need and desire.
Type of activities
Related in a way to the preferences, the activities that you want to enjoy on your next trip will actually influence where you spend your next vacation.
Do you want to enjoy some adrenaline rush activities or do you want to sit cocktails while sunbathing on a beach?
Do you want to take hikes or go skiing? Do you want to have many museums to visit? Do you want to do a lot of walking in parks?
So the first thing to do is to decide what you would like for your next trip: where you’d want to go and what type of activities you’d like to enjoy on your trip.
In what season do you want to take your next trip?
This is a crucial factor when deciding where to travel next. It’s obvious that the summer destinations will be slightly different than the winter ones.
While some cities and countries can be visited year-long (check out this guide for Whistler with summer and winter activities, as an example) and you still have many things to see and do regardless of when you weren’t there, there are however some travel destinations that are more suitable for summer activities or winter fun.
There are also no specific things to do in different areas depending on the season.
So knowing when you want to go on your next trip will help you narrow down the list of potential travel destinations for your next holiday.
How long will your trip be?
Will you be taking a city break? Will you be going on a month-long journey?
Will you take a one-week trip? Or maybe you can take a 3 months vacation?
The duration of your trip will also influence where you’ll travel next.
It would be pointless to have a weekend for a trip and to spend 2 days switching airplanes and trains and buses.
You’ll most likely choose what travel destination where you can get pretty fast if you only have 2 or 3 days to spare.
That’s because, in this way, you’ll make the most of your travel time. Moreover, you’ll be able to see as much as possible of the place you are visiting or just to relax more if that’s what you wanted for your next trip.
Now this is a special thing to take into consideration when choosing your next travel destination.
Because there are different destinations for different occasions.
Are you going on a trip to mark 10 years or 30 years since you got married?
Then maybe you’ll choose a romantic destination – check out these romantic destinations, and these romantic things to do in Milwaukee and these in Phoenix. Or maybe, you’ll go where you got engaged or spent your honeymoon.
Or maybe you’ll choose a destination you both wanted to visit for a long time and you kept it for a special occasion.
In my family, we have a special tradition: each year, we’ll take a trip to a new place on our son’s birthday.
I plan ahead and choose something unique for him – sometimes a premiere for all of us. We have fun, create special memories, and travel!
But you may travel for a number of occasions! Maybe it’s to celebrate Christmas and the new year in a new place; maybe it is a special festival that you would like to experience – Oktoberfest in Europe.
Maybe it’s an interesting holiday that you would like to see up close in its country of origin – Halloween, Dia de Los Muertos -, etc.
No matter what occasion it is, it will most likely influence your travel destination.
What do you need right now
It may sound like a strange criteria, but frankly, this is one of the most important things to consider when choosing where to travel next.
We all need different things at different times.
Sometimes, all we need is to take a break and do nothing. We perhaps just want to be pampered and spoilt, and to relax as much as possible.
On other occasions, we need to spend more time outdoors.
Sometimes we just miss the beach, while in a different moment we want to go to the mountains.
Maybe you’re looking for cultural immersion. It’s always great to keep an open mind and to discover new cultures. One of the best ways to do this is to visit a city or country where that culture that you want to explore is present.
Or perhaps a little bit of adventure is what you need right now. Maybe a new experience to try, a new fear to conquer or limit to test?
Or maybe you’re interested in doing something new, something that maybe you will never thought possible.
Trying some interesting dishes or taking a cool course about a local tradition or occupation or activity? Or how about skydiving or a hot air balloon ride? Or a cruise?
Or maybe it’s time to go to that special place you always dreamt of visiting, but he never got around to do this?
How about a girls’ getaway?
You see, there are so many different occasions and things that you may need right now that will influence your next travel destination.
Of course, the budget is a big factor to consider when deciding when and where to travel next.
I remember a few years ago, I was planning a trip to Salzburg Austria. I had planned everything out.
But when I looked at the budget, I saw that I needed 2500 euros. At that time, my budget was 2500 RON (Romanian currency).
So we ended up going to the Apuseni Mountains in Romania. It was an amazing trip, but it was a local one that fit our budget.
So if you are on a budget, maybe you could look for affordable places to visit on the continent you want to go to or affordable destinations in general and pick one from there.
If money is not an issue, then I’m very happy for you as this means that you will be able to go wherever you want and only some of the other elements presented above will factor in on your decision on where to spend your next holiday.
Your itinerary may influence your travel plans. If you’re going to a new country and you only have one week, but you discovered that the things you’d like to see and do there would take you 2 or 3 weeks, then it’s likely to go now to a different place and keep the other travel destination in mind for a future longer trip.
By the way, here’s an intinerary template for you – you can use it for all of your trips!
The itinerary is one of the factors that influence travel plans. So don’t forget to decide on what you want to see and do on your trip (even if you don’t map out every hour of every day) so that you see if you have time for everything or if you need to choose a different destination now.
How likely it is is for you to go back there
It may be easy for you to get to a nearby city or beach or mountains, but how likely is it for you to go to Paris or London or Bali?
And if now you have the chance to go to your dream destination, how likely is it that you’ll have the same chance 6 months from now? Or a year from now? Or 2 years?
Connected to the budget, deals can influence where you’ll go next. If you get a super great price for a flight and accommodation in a city in the spring or autumn, maybe that’ll be your next vacation, as you’d be able to take a longer trip that will fit your available budget.
I know many people who first check out the deals available and, oftentimes, don’t need more. They choose something that appeals to them from those offers and that’s it. Their next travel destination is chosen.
So these are the steps to take when choosing your next travel destination.
Consider all of these factors that influence your travel plans and decide where you’ll spend your next vacation.
To make sure you will have a great trip, I would recommend you to choose 2-3 (maybe up to 5) potential destinations in the beginning, after you decide what you want out of your next vacation.
This way, if you find great deals or create itineraries or think of special occasions or activities to enjoy, you can see which of your top choices is more suitable to be your next travel destination.
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