Deciding where to travel can be tricky but we have some advice and tips to help you out. Follow our steps below to easily choose your travel destination.

How to decide where to travel

This is the first big but exciting choice of many smaller ones to come. You need to work out where in the world you would like to travel so you can start planning in more detail.

If you already know exactly where you want to travel we suggest having a read through anyway as there are some useful tips for everyone here.

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A quick exercise to spark your curiosity

Let’s start with some simple questions to help decide where to tarvel:

What interest you the most?
What inspires you?
What gets you excited?

Is it beaches, history, sun, snow, extreme travel, temples, desserts, castles, mountains, ruins, adventure sports, nature, food, nightlife, hiking, wildlife or something else?

As a starting point pick the top 3 things that excite you. Which ones match the areas of the world below:

Central America & Caribbean
Food, nightlife, nature, ruins, sun, beaches

South America
Wildlife, mountains, nature, sun, snow, beaches, food.

North America
Hiking, nature, snow, mountains.

Europe
Castles, history, food, nightlife, hiking.

Africa
Beaches, history, desserts, extreme travel.

Middle East
History, temples, ruins, mountains, deserts, food.

Northern Asia
Extreme travel, mountains, deserts, nature, history.

Central Asia
Desserts, history, extreme travel, ruins.

South East Asia
Beaches, nightlife, ruins and temples, sun, food.

Oceania
Beaches, adventure sports, nature, nightlife.

Polar
Snow, nature, extreme travel, cuddly bears?!


Obviously there’s a lot of overlap here but it’s just a little exercise to get you thinking about where you can travel. Don’t worry if there’s more than one that stands out, personally we would like to take the lot.

Start your research, dig a little deeper

Now focus in on those areas you chimed with from the list above to help you decide where to travel to.

Start by searching around online for more info on regions and the countries within them. This site is a good place to start and we are adding more places all the time in our Travel Destinations guide.

If possible head to your nearest travel bookstore. When we lived in London we often visited the superb Stanfords map and travel bookstore for inspiration.

Buy a guidebook either in-store or online and get reading to help you decide where to travel. Our favourite travel guidebooks are from Lonely Planet as they are easy to use and give a great overview of countries and regions. Use this link to get a special 3 for 2 deal on us!

Failing the above destination picking tips, let fate decide…

Get yourself a globe, spin it and go wherever your finger lands. Charlie used this technique to select Central America as a destination back in 2004 and it turned into an amazing 8 week trip.

North Korea here you come!

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Start thinking in terms of your budget

In a previous post we had a look at how much you could save for travelling.

It’s time to start thinking where and how far your travel fund can realistically take you.

A great website to use is budgetyourtrip.com which lists average prices for the basics in pretty much every country in the world. From this you can get a rough cost about travelling in the places you’re interested in going.

What’s your travel style?

It’s also good to know how you like to travel, what’s your travel style?

Initially we considered ourselves budget backpackers but quickly realised we don’t do dorm rooms and even prefer the occasional fancy hotel to relax in.

We are somewhere between budget and mid-range travellers depending on our location and mood. So have a think about how you would like to travel as it can really influence your costs.

Important:  Try and stick to your travel-by date and resist the temptation to push this back unless it is essential. As mentioned we started to push ours back and it only made us grumpy when it felt our travels were disappearing over the horizon. Sob.

Other stuff to consider for destinations

Climate and Weather – some parts of the world are best visited at certain times of the year. For details on climate and seasons take a look at the comprehensive bbc.com weather page.

Languages –  it’s always easy to learn a few words in the local lingo anywhere so don’t fret over not speaking Swahili, you’ll get by just fine most of the time.

Safety – the world is an amazingly safe place despite what the media tells you. However there are a few places you might want to avoid or need special permission to visit. Check your government’s foreign advice website for any specific details. 

Take-aways

  • Think about what excites you when deciding where to travel
  • Match your interests to regions of the world or countries
  • Start looking into specifics in those areas
  • Get yourself a guidebook, get excited!
  • Start thinking in terms of your ‘travel fund’
  • What’s your personal travel style?
  • Consider how will that affect your costs

If you’d like a step by step guide to help you plan your ideal trip, check out our comprehensive ebook.
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How to Decide Where to Travel