It’s the ultimate traveler’s conundrum: where should I go on vacation? And if this question isn’t challenging enough, throw a pandemic into the mix, and you’ve got something pretty difficult to think about.
But the research is clear: Vacations lead to lower stress, improved productivity, and better overall mental health. So rather than watching your hard-earned paid-time-off hours go down the drain, pick a place on the map, pack your bags, and head out for your next adventure.
How To Choose A Vacation Destination
Do you want to travel but don’t exactly know where you should go? Are you looking for a little bit of inspiration and clarity to get your trip planning started? Well, you’re in the right place! This article has the questions you should ask yourself and a few tips on where you can go to find and choose your vacation destination.
You want your trip to be a success, and that starts with a right-fit destination. But, with all the great choices, picking your vacation destination can feel overwhelming. No worries! This can happen whether you are planning your very first trip or if you’re a seasoned traveler. Break the process down into smaller bits and pieces to sort out what’s practical—and not—and awaken your travel inspiration!
How Much Time Do You Have?
Are you thinking about a 2-week trip, a long weekend getaway, an extended journey, or something in between? Depending on where you live and the amount of time you have to travel, certain vacation destinations will make more sense than others. But regardless of whether you want to relax or have an active adventure, traveling too far or trying to cram too much can make for a rushed and even stressful trip.
Who Are You Traveling With
Are you traveling with your SO, with kids, for your bestie’s bachelorette, or are you taking a solo adventure? The people you travel with (or the lack thereof) might make specific places and experiences more practical than others. You have to ask yourself what kind of vacation spot would be enjoyable for everyone.
If you happen to be traveling solo, is it your first time, or have you been on your own before? Are you looking for a new experience outside of your comfort zone? Or would you prefer to keep things simple for yourself by taking a guided tour? There is no wrong or right answer. Just follow what makes sense and feels right for your unique situation.
What Type of Weather Suits Your Travel Style?
Next on the list is the weather! Do you want to sightsee when it’s warm or work on your sunkissed tan? Or maybe you prefer cooler temps and are hoping to see a picture-perfect winter white landscape?
Obviously, your weather preferences can greatly help to narrow down possibly vacation spots based on when you intend to travel. Keep in mind that traveling during peak seasons, though, does tend to come with higher prices.
Would you be okay traveling during a shoulder season in order to save a little bit of money? In many cases, the weather is nice, but may not be what you imagine when you think of enjoying a particular destination spot. On the upside, fewer tourists visit during the shoulder season, which means you and your pals will be less affected by crowds.
What Is Your Budget?
You definitely don’t need to be wealthy to travel, but you also want to feel comfortable with the vacation spot you choose, the seat class you fly in, and where you are staying without burning a huge hole in your pocket.
Ask yourself the following:
- Are you a luxury traveler or a budget traveler?
- Will you fly first class or business or only coach?
- Will you stay in an Airbnb? Or do you prefer boutique hotels?
- Will your vacation spot require specific travel gear that you will need to factor into the overall costs?
- Do you know which countries are more affordable with a good exchange rate?
A traveler who is financially savvy knows the answers to these questions and plans accordingly. With the above questions asked and answered, you’ve finished the first practical steps to choosing your next vacation spot.
Now, let’s put your brain to work and start envisioning the vacation that matches the experience for which you’re aiming for.
What Kind of Adventure Do You Want?
You will most certainly need to decide if you prefer beaches or mountains, city sightseeing or an outdoor adventure, a historical visit to famous cultural sights or a foodie holiday. Beyond this, though, travel planning is all about crafting a journey or an experience for you and your travel companions.
Ask yourself the following:
- What do you hope to gain from your adventure? What will your traveling buddies gain from the trip?
- What experiences do you want to have with your friends—or if taking the vacation solo—on your own?
- How do you want to remember this vacation? Is there a lasting impact that you are hoping for?
If your answer is having a little relaxation and some quality time, maybe a relaxing beachside or mountain retreat is the right fit. Maybe you’re traveling with the kiddos and want the vacation to be educational in some way. Consider, then, age-appropriate museums, cultural experiences, and even sightseeing.
If you are shooting for a vacation as a couple, it might be the right time to finally make that epic hike you’ve been dying to do or learn a new skill like scuba diving.
Understanding the type of adventure or experience you want is the essence of choosing the right vacation and making your trip nothing short of a success. Too often, vacationers are heard saying,“I need a vacation FROM my vacation,”and it doesn’t have to be this way.
Vacations can be incredibly fulfilling if you actually take the time to plan a meaningful getaway that meets the hopes, needs, and wants of you and your squad of traveling companions.
Tools To Find And Choose Your Next Vacation Spot
“A picture speaks a thousand words” is a bit cliche but also resonates with a lot of truth. We are visual creatures by habit. Our brains are hardwired to process visuals quickly, which impacts what we think, how we feel, and even what we do.
That’s why millions of people are obsessed with platforms like Pinterest, using it for everything from home decor and recipes to travel planning. We’ve all seen photos of places that have grabbed us, causing an emotional, visceral reaction. These feelings can be a massive help with choosing your next vacation spot.
If you’ve never used Pinterest, think of it not as a social platform but as a search engine that delivers results in photos. Type in popular vacation spots, and you’ll see everything from people sunbathing on their favorite FUNBOY inflatables to skiing down the slopes on a mountainside. With Pinterest, you are sure to get a lot of inspiration to help pick your next adventure.
Follow Inspiring Instagram Accounts
Instagram is the place to share videos and photos, whether you are a seasoned photographer or just sharing a photo of your new FUNBOY Beach Tote. There are over 60 million new photos uploaded to Instagram every day, so luckily, there is never any shortage of photos highlighting travel and amazing vacation spots around the globe.
Read Travel Blogs
There are hundreds of travel blogs out there with a lot of inspiring content. Find someone you like on social media and take a little bit of time exploring their blog. The hidden gem content is often discovered by those who take a couple of minutes and dig beyond just the most recent posts. Keep that in mind, when searching for blog posts about hot travel spots.
A Final Word
Vacations are important. They give us time to decompress and are really good for our overall health. But in many cases, choosing the right spot can be extremely stressful. Thankfully, we’ve put together a few tips listed above to help you pick your next vacation. Whether you’re looking to relax in luxury on FUNBOY float or ski the slopes, your next adventure is right around the corner. You just need to start planning!