Choosing a Travel Destination

Here are the top 4 questions to ask yourself before choosing a destination for your vacation:

What is the purpose of this trip?

Not all vacations have the same goal. Sometimes, the goal is to get away from it all for some relaxation and rejuvenation. Other times, you might be looking for a more active experience to get you excited and energized. Sometimes we like our vacations to be carefree and other times we want it to be useful and enriching. For that, you might want a trip that is historically or culturally educational.

Determining exactly what experience you and your travel companions are after will help you pick the perfect destination. You might choose a beach location for relaxation, an amusement park for something more exciting or a place with historical relevance for something more educational.

What weather conditions am I after?

The one thing you can’t control is the weather, so picking a destination with weather in mind can help your trip run a little more smoothly. Make sure you know what season your destination is currently in - just because a location is tropical doesn’t mean the weather will be warm and sunny with the perfect light breeze.

How much time do I have?

Time is an important factor in determining your destination. The first thing to consider is how much time you can devote to being on the road or in the air. If you’ve just got a three day weekend to work with, a 6+ hour drive or flight may not be worth it. Instead, you may want to stay a little closer to home base. If you have a week or so, your options are less limited but you will still want to consider time. It can be tempting to fit as much as you can into every day of your trip so you can really feel like you’ve gotten the most from your experience. But if you overbook yourself, the fun can start to feel like work.

What is my budget?

Once you’ve narrowed down what locations fit your purpose, ideal weather conditions and time constraints, go with the location that fits your budget. If you get creative, you can make just about any location fit your budget, depending on what your priorities are. Maybe you’re willing to make cuts when it comes to food and avoid fine dining. Or maybe you’d like to spend less on lodging and stay at a cheaper hotel. Once you know what your priorities are, you can start to find ways to make things work.

If you need help budgeting for your next trip, try this budget calculator.