Selecting a destination might sound like the easiest part of trip planning, but if you’re anything like me making that decision can be difficult. There are so many wonderful places on Earth that having to choose one specific destination can be worst than deciding what to make for dinner! Here are four things to consider that will help you make your decision.
One of the countless amazing things about our planet is that a broad diversity can be found in climates and environments from one place to another. Whether you're looking for a snowy vacation, something sunny with high temperatures, or anything in between really, there’s a place for you. When you’re unsure where to go, I recommend starting here and starting with choosing the kind of weather you’re looking for. For one, you probably already have an idea what that is, and for two, it will narrow down your options quite a bit and make the decision making process much easier.
Since we are getting ready for snow and cold temperatures here, the sunny destinations are hot spots right now for everyone looking to escape. Be certain, however, to verify when their hurricane and rain seasons are, especially in tropical countries where the seasons are quite consistent. It’s very easy to avoid these inconveniences simply by doing a little bit of research. You wouldn't want to book a great trip to Florida only to get caught in a hurricane, or a sunny vacation to Cuba, only to have it rain the entire time!
Proximity and accessibility
This may not seem like a very important factor to the majority, but the proximity and the accessibility of your destination will determine how many connecting flights you will likely have to take as well as your traveling time. If you or someone you’re traveling with has flying anxiety, or if children are joining you, catching connecting flights could be a hassle you might not be willing to take on. And the further the destination, the more likely you will have flight connections.
Additionally, for you winter travelers out there, storms will regularly cause delays. The airplanes have to stop at the de-icing station, snow and ice may cover the runway and pilots might even need to take an alternate route if a storm is in their way. The ideal would be to have a direct flight of course! But if this is not possible or the budget doesn’t permit it and you have to catch one or more connecting flights, allow yourself enough time to accommodate slight delays.
Before you make your decision, verify the available routes with different airlines even if you’re not ready to book. Airline routes are (mostly!) determined in advance and you should be able to have a good idea of what to expect. It might just be the reason you choose to go to Costa Rica instead of Guatemala! (FYI, West Jet offers direct flights to Costa Rica from the Calgary and Toronto airports!)
Type of activities
Are you looking to relax on this vacation? Are you the type of person who prefers to be on the go everyday visiting museums, markets and attractions? Or do you prefer an all out, adrenaline filled adventure? Of course you can do all of the above at any destination, but some are evidently better than others for specific activities. I don’t know about you, but I would much rather go diving in warm clear waters than somewhere cold and murky and hike up a mountain instead of a valley. Have an idea of the type of activity you would like to do while on this vacation and do some research on the best places for it. Search for things that you like, for example, rock climbing in Yosemite, museum visits in France, or road trips in Iceland.
Last but not least, there is money. What can you afford? How much are you willing to spend? Sure, Bora Bora looks amazing with those little cabins in the middle of the ocean. But honestly, for the price of a week there, you could spend over two months in Thailand! If you can have wonderful vacations in locations where the cost of living is much more affordable, it frees up your funds for the next time as well. You won’t have to wait four years before the next one. And that’s what it’s all about, because once you’re hooked on traveling, you won’t want to stop!
Bottom line: No matter what kind of trip you want to do, research is your biggest asset. Get on your computer and start reading! Trip Advisor, Google and travel blogs are your friends. Planning and preparing for your trip will make an enormous difference not only in terms of your stay, but also in helping you stay within budget. Let’s be real though, regardless how much planning you put into it, unforeseen events can always come up. Stay positive, embrace it and go dancing in the rain if the sun refuses to come out. You're on vacation after all!
Budget Travel Blog: Tips and tricks for affordable vacation planning. From cheap hotels to cheap flights and everything in between, prioritizing safety and comfort.
The Dime Travelers
It’s time to ditch your misconceptions about cheap travel and join us on our blog as we show you safe and comfortable ways to travel on a budget. We will guide you through the process of trip planning and share with you what we have learned from our own travels. Our advice and reviews come from personal experience and will offer easy to follow tips and tricks to make your vacation a positive experience you'll want to have again and again.
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