Where to Travel Next: 5 Steps to Vacation

Where to Travel Next CompassYou have the enviable question:

“Where to travel next?”
We can help you with that.

Where to Travel Next, Step 1: Determine who and why.


How many travelers will be going on this trip? Just you? You and your sweetheart? A band of friends? The kids and family dog?  If there are other people joining you, consider getting everyone on the same page about the fruits of this brainstorm.

Vision & Values

Be honest, what is the ideal end result of your travel getaway?  Consider the following as good examples of a clear vacation vision:

“I want a calm, peaceful and relaxing vacation.”
“I want to have the adventure of a lifetime.”
“I want us to have a family vacation that we will never forget.”

As for values, they should underscore what you want your vacation to be. Some examples include:

  • Adventure
  • Fun
  • Relaxation
  • Creativity
  • Quality time with loved ones
  • Meeting new people

when to travel calendarWhere to Travel Next, Step 2: Runway and Duration

How much time do you have to plan?

Do you have a vacation coming up in three weeks? Six months? Exactly how much time you have before your next vacation may influence the amount of planning that you have available.

If you are taking the entire family overseas, you need to think about things like passports, visas and vaccinations – this could take considerable time. If you have a few days, consider something that is much more low-maintenance, like a road trip to stay with friends or family. Luckily, most vacations you should be able to plan within the span of about two weeks and any extra time is just a bonus.

How long can your getaway be?

Do you have a weekend or two weeks? Clearly, the amount of time you have available is going to dictate the type of vacation that you plan. For shorter holidays, consider taking a road trip or exploring a new part of your state that you haven’t visited.

If you have a long weekend, or 4-8 days, you might consider going cross-country.   For overseas travel, ideally you want to allocate more than 10 days given the amount of preparation you need beforehand, travel time and recovery time.  If you were taking a long sabbatical, three weeks or more, the sky’s the limit.

travel budget jar of moneyWhere to Travel Next, Step 3: Budget

When it comes to budgeting, no amount is right or wrong.  Only you know what is an appropriate figure.

If you feel your budget is modest for this next getaway, some ideas are:

  • Road trip
  • Stay with friends or family
  • Use airline and hotel miles and points
  • Sign up for last-minute budget deals

And even if you are ready to splurge, it’s always a good idea to determine how much you want to spend over and above the basics of airfare, lodging, and car rental.  Some things to think about in your spending:

  • Adventure activities (ski lift tickets, parasailing, park admission fees)
  • Food (include meals out estimates as well as groceries and snack food)
  • Gas (if you will have a car)
  • Hotel extras (movie orders, dry cleaning, etc.)
  • Experiences (spa treatments, snorkeling classes, etc.)

Determine budget per person for both essential needs and for “fun” spending. Play with the numbers until you and all vacationers are happy with their expenses and you are sure that your budget allows for lots of fun without breaking the bank.

Where to Travel Next, Step 4: The Shortlist

OK, at this point you should have answers to four critical questions:

  1. Who is going?
  2. What is your vacation intention?
  3. How much time to plan and how much time to be away?
  4. What is the vacation budget?

You are at the perfect spot to brainstorm a list of possible destinations that are in line with the people, purpose, timeframe, and budget you’ve decided.

Write down every viable option as you build your list. If you have a large budget and a long timeframe to be away, write down smaller trips, too.  You may decide to take three short trips over two weeks’ time so don’t rule anything out just yet. And consider that you can reference this list for later trips, too.

Great starter questions:

  1. Where have I visited before that I would love to go to again?
  2. Are there any friends or family that I would like to visit?  Has someone been inviting me to visit them for a long time and I just haven’t had the time?
  3. Which destinations have I always hoped to go to but haven’t been?

Have your long list of options?  Good!  Now it’s time to start narrowing it down.

And the winner isWhere to Travel Next, Step 5: Final Selection

Your next step is a process of elimination, so you have to do some research and thinking. This could involve calling friends and family to let them know you’re thinking about a visit. It could also involve online research about airfare and lodging costs for your vacation timeframe. Here are five considerations to help you cross some options off the list:

  • Not too excited about this one.
  • This will likely go over budget.
  • Not the best time of year to go here.
  • Not everyone traveling wants to go here.
  • Not really aligned with my purpose for taking a vacation.

Now that you’ve slimmed your list down, you should be left with one or more options that suit everyone, meet your expectations, and that you should be feeling pretty jazzed about.  It shouldn’t take you too long to make your decision from here.

So what are you waiting for? We hope you’re ready to book and start looking forward to your next amazing holiday!

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