Where to next is my biggest travel dilemma. Like many others I have an expanding bucket list of places I want to visit or revisit, however, my love of travel and seeing the world makes it difficult to limit myself to this list. So many people contact me to ask for help to decide where they should travel to. However, picking a destination is a bit like a trash and treasure market, “one person’s trash is another’s treasure. I see from the comments from shared posts in the A Not So Young Woman Abroad Community on social media that what is a great destination for one person can be a major disappointment to someone else.
From my own experience, I had always wanted to visit Rome from when I was just a young girl studying it’s history. Although I was marvelled by the ancient architecture I found Rome to be an aggressive city, overly expensive and through my personal lens, a place that reminded me of how awful humanity can be. Not my favourite place, but others love it. So my answer to those who ask me where they should go is to share how I, myself solve the biggest travel dilemma of where to next then? Here’s a few things I do:
Set a Budget
I’m not a wealthy woman. so budget is my first consideration in determining my travel destinations. I work hard and save my money to travel, just like everyone else. It’s amazing the places you can see and the experiences you can have, that you might have overlooked otherwise, if you have a tight budget to adhere to. Ask yourself how much you can afford to spend and check out places to go within your set budget.
Keep an eye out on flight specials and think off peak season
Air transport is a highly competitive business and today it’s so much easier to find fantastic flight specials. The rapid growth in the number of websites and Apps that can help you get cheap flights makes finding great deals easy. My favourite thing to do is keep an eye out for special deals that give extra points from my preferred airline. I will often book flights when their is a double or triple point deal and end up with two trips for the price of one. Travelling off season, is not only a great way to avoid throngs of tourists (another of my favourite things to do), it’s also a great way to get a good deal.
By keeping your eye out for special deals, you often come up with destinations that you may not have thought about before. Travelling to places you haven’t thought about before can be wonderful. A number of years ago I took my first trip to the USA, a destination I had never before had any desire to travel to. I loved it and have returned many times.
Use frequent flyers as a guide
Frequent flyer programs often have special deals on specific destinations to use your points. Keep an eye out for these and you might find that place you have never thought about going to. Some frequent flyer programs also allow you to search different places based on the number of points you have accumulated.
Pick a theme
Yes this one comes up again. Picking a travel theme that reflects your own interests is a great way to decide where to go. I like to travel to experience the day to day culture of a place. I also like art, architecture and humanity, making it easy for me to pick destinations.
Check out social media sites and travel blogs
I’m constantly scanning social media for great articles and inspiration for the A Not So Young Woman Abroad Community on FaceBook, Twitter and Instagram. This helps to inspire me too. Although, I do like to do a bit of research outside of this also, as pictures posted on social media can be a little misleading. A great place to start though. Check out this directory of travel blogs to find some inspiration: Travel and Destinations
Watch documentaries and foreign movies
I get so much inspiration from watching documentaries and foreign movies. This is a great way to find destinations that are off the beaten track. Watching foreign movies often provides me with a look at things I might like to do at my destination of choice too, they also feed the beast that is the wanderlust bug in me. Watching foreign films also helps me when I’m learning the language of my destination.
Visit a museum or art gallery
Getting caught up in the stories of history and culture that museums or art galleries provide, gives me inspiration for my own travel destinations. Thinking about cultures that are very different from my own, allows me wonderful inspiration and ideas.
Think about the cultural history of those who live around you
We live in a very diverse world today. We are surrounded by people from a variety of different cultures in our everyday. I often get inspiration for travel, from the people I live and work around. Visiting a local festival that celebrates the different cultures and ethnic backgrounds of the people who live around you can also be very inspiring.
So there it is a few ways I help myself to solve the travel destination dilemma for myself. I hope it provides you with some ideas of your own. The wonderful world awaits you!