When you finally decide that the time is right to embark on a trip, it is often very difficult to decide where to go. Most of us have bucket lists of the places we want to go and the things we really want to see. If you are anything like me that list will be very long.
Given that everyone is different, I’m not going to attempt to tell you where you should go, I will give you some things to think about though that might help you make that difficult decision.
How much time do you have?
The amount of time you have is one of the key factors in determining where you want to go. When you live in Australia and decide that you want to see the rest of the world, often there is a long haul flight in your future. The cost of the flight and the time it takes, can be quite daunting, so there is a tendency to want to make it worth your while. So if you have 2 weeks, look for somewhere like New Zealand, Bali, Thailand or even take the time to explore your own backyard. There is plenty to see and do within Australia if you haven’t seen it already.
If you have 4 to 6 weeks though there is plenty of time to plan a trip anywhere in the world.
What is your budget?
Budget is very important. If your planning on flying, the cost of flights can be prohibitive. The exchange rate can also be a killer on the budget so don’t forget to allow for it when deciding on an Overseas vs Australian holiday.
If you have been saving for awhile, or had some luck and you feel that your budget is comfortable, there is certainly ways that we can help you to stretch it even further.
Bucket list items
When choosing where to go, think about the places you have seen on TV or at the movies, or places that your friends have talked about, places that you learned about during your studies and the cultures you are keen to experience. I’m sure there are many of them, now think about the ones that made you smile when you thought about them.
Some of us are history lovers, or foodies, art lovers, nature lovers or even all of the above, fill your holiday with the things you like most, the things that make you smile.
Group all of the places and things you want to do, together based on their location or proximity. When you have decided to take the journey my suggestion is to make it count!
Once you have grouped things together find the region on the map that would allow you to tick off the most of your items, in the time frame you have with the budget you have.
The things left over, form your bucket list for next time.
The climate can be a big influence in helping you decide where to go. I personally hate the cold, so I am always chasing the warmer weather. Others I know hate the heat and use our summer months to escape to somewhere cooler or to chase the snow for a more adventurous holiday. So when you choose your destinations think about the time of year you are travelling and think about what the climate will be like when you get there, it needs to be the climate that works for you.
When planning your itinerary consider the number of connections you need to take to get from one place on our list to the next. You can lose an entire day, packing up, getting to the airport, waiting for your flight, flight time and getting settled at the other end.
You might want to consider avoiding flights where you can. Hiring cars or taking trains, means that you can stop and see things along the way, see more when you are moving and not as much time is wasted at airports.
If you have planned 3 days for example at a particular place and there is plenty you want to do, make sure that you consider what time of the day you will actually arrive at your location and what time you need to leave on the last day to make your connection.
Time of year
The time of year you are travelling can also have an impact on where you decide to go. As mentioned earlier, climate can play a big part in deciding where to go and when.
Other things that you may need to consider, is whether or not it will be peak travel season at your destination. Peak season will have a big impact on the prices you pay for EVERYTHING, the availability of the flights, accommodation or tours that you want to do. If you are planning on travelling in peak season make sure you book the really important things as early as you possibly can.
The other thing you need to consider when travelling off peak is what is opened when For example if you are planning on a trip to Italy and want to see some of the southern parts like Sorrento, it is important to know that it is closed from November to April because not enough people visit at that time of the year to make it financially viable for businesses to stay open.
So do your homework before you book to make sure that the things you want to see and do will be available at the time of year you plan to travel.
Recommendations from friends and family is always a great way to help you to decide where to go. When considering recommendations make sure that you consider the source. People fall in love with places and can’t wait to recommend them to others. When making decisions based on recommendations consider how much you have in common with the person that is making the recommendation. There is no point basing your itinerary on a recommendation from a Foody if you are a fussy eater.
Travel agents can be a great source for recommendations but just make sure you are working with a travel agent who has actually been to the places you are keen to go to.
Travel Expos are also a great source for recommendations. Having many of the key players in the travel industry under one roof means that you can investigate all facets of your trip at the one time. They are a great source for Travel brochures and leaflets, which are full of suggested itineraries. You can either book a tour that has most of your chosen places on it or use the suggested itinerary as a basis for planning your own.
Word of warning though. Don’t impulse buy at a travel expo. Make sure you have done plenty of research before you commit to anything. It is really easy to get caught up in the moment and make mistakes that could cost you money.
Keep your itinerary reasonable
One of the most important things to remember, is that you can’t see and do everything. It is important to balance your holiday with squeezing as much as you can into the one trip and not almost killing yourself trying to fit everything in. You need to make sure you give yourself enough time to enjoy what you are seeing and doing.
It has been my experience that you can find some pretty amazing people and places when you take the time to walk around and get lost in the place you are in. Oh and don’t forget to allow for Laundry days!