So many places to visit and not enough vacation time! What a first world problem to have though #ChampagneProblems. Nevertheless, when the world is your oyster, the possibilities for exploration are endless. There are so many nooks and crannies; corners of the universe, tucked away just waiting for you to discover.
Sometimes the idea that we have unlimited options can be intimidating though. Where do you start when your bucket list of must-see destinations is miles long?
This is probably the hardest part of the travel process for me: deciding where to go and therefore where I won’t be going as a result. Do I want to camp under the stars in the Saharan Desert or bike through tulip fields in Amsterdam or jump off a sail boat in Greece?
That’s like asking me whether I want pasta or some thing covered in cheese.
Both. All of it. EVERYTHING!
But unless you’ve figured out how to clone yourself and be in several places at once, you’re going to have to put your big kid pants on and make a “tough” choice. While it’s really a low stakes, win-win decision, it’s still a difficult decision so here are some things to consider that’ll help you whittle down the list of destination contenders.
1/ GATHER YOUR INSPO
I am a hoarder of travel porn. Every time I see a beautiful landscape like a sunset over the Amalfi coast, or an experience I want to collect like a hot air balloon ride over the fairy chimneys in Turkey, my pinning finger clicks away, saving it to my account. When I start thinking about my next trip, I refer back to my board for inspiration and a jumping off point.
2/ FEEL THE VIBE
Pay attention to how you’re feeling and your trip choice may be able to remedy it. If you’re having a really stressful time at work and just want to relax, maybe a tropical retreat is a better choice. On the opposite end of the spectrum, you may be feeling restless which could point you in the direction of an adrenaline-pumping adventure, paragliding in Brazil or machete-slashing your way through the jungle in Peru.
3/ IN GOOD COMPANY
Do you have a partner-in-crime lined up for your next trip? If so, who you go with will definitely affect your decision. If you’re going with your partner, you may want to go to more romantic locations like Hawaii or Paris. If you’re female and your travel buddy is also female, you may want to avoid visiting countries that are not as woman-friendly outside of a group tour. Rolling solo? No worries, there are a plethora of places you can explore safely with potential to pick up travel buddies along the way like Ireland, Costa Rica or Thailand.
4/ THE PRICE IS RIGHT
I’m pathological when it comes to finding a good deal on flights and it can be a swaying factor in where I jet off to next. Somewhere like Thailand can easily cost over a grand on any given day, but if you are vigilant, you could catch a break. Check sites like YYZ Deals or Daily Trip Hack for current deals or even try Google Flights on ideal days when flights will be cheapest (Sunday through Tuesday in an incognito window).
5/ PRICE CHECK
What does your travel budget look like? The farther you go, the higher the price tag of the flight. Your may have to redirect your sights to closer to home or places that are not fancy tourist hotspots like Japan or Hawaii that will set you back a pretty penny. However, while flights to exotic destinations like the far-flung Thailand may cost more initially, once you get there you can easily live like royalty on $10 a day.
6/ THE HIGHS AND LOWS
Always check when the high and low seasons of a country! You don’t want to go to Morocco and find out it’s as hot as Satan’s skillet; too hot to venture out into the desert. Likewise, you don’t want to visit Nicaragua in the off season when it rains more than it shines. I try to visit a place during their shoulder season which is the sweet spot at the beginning or the end of the high season when it’ll be the most affordable and not overflowing with tourists.
7/ GOOD TIMING
Say you’ve always dreamed of seeing the cherry blossoms in Japan or of shaking a tail feather at Carnival in Trinidad. Events that occur at specific times of the year could dictate where you decide to go. So if your travel plans are flexible, you may want to coordinate your schedule with the special occasions you want to go to like, for example, Thailand in the late fall for the Festival of Lights.