With so many stunning images popping up on our social media handles, we feel its time to pack your bags and go to those exotic locations. Italy, Switzerland, New Zealand, Maldives or Singapore, where should we go? There are nearly 200 countries in the world and they have so many cities and regions. It’s not a mean task, deciding your holiday destination. Ironically, if you are a seasoned traveler, it becomes all the more difficult to choose a country as you have already seen the best. If you are a new traveler, the world is wide open for you. So how do you decide where to head next? The idea will not suddenly dawn on you. You can conduct a twitter poll, ask your friends or just randomly decide by throwing a dart. It would be better idea however, if you weigh down all the pertinent factors before zeroing down a destination.
- Why you want to travel is the first question? Are you looking for relaxed holiday after a very stressful work life or you want to spend quality time with close ones? Some want adventure to satisfy their adrenalin rush and some are looking for tranquility. You may want to go Thailand to shop and also enjoy the exotic beaches. Or you are interested in History and culture or maybe a culinary vacation. The question is pertinent.
- Once the purpose of the vacation is decided, it becomes easier to focus on the type of destinations for your vacation. Beaches, mountainside, cities, islands, countryside, wild life sanctuaries, historical sites, luxury or budget. The options are too many and it’s time to narrow them down.
- Naturally your decision will depend on whom you are traveling with. If traveling with kids, go for cruises, wildlife safari, beachside resort or family places like Orlando where you can engage in family fun. With friends opt for a place where you can gamble, party and chill like Las Vegas or Miami. Couples choose peaceful and romantic locations like Maldives or maybe trek together in Kathmandu. As a solo you would like to go for trekking or meditation in Indonesia. Affinity of Co traveler’s have to be taken into consideration and compromises have to made so that trip is enjoyable for everyone traveling.
- The dilemma has just started. Time is one of the most vital factors to be considered. If you have just 4-5 days, you would not want to waste it in flying to far off locations and cramming it with too many places. You should not feel like you need a holiday, when you reach home. So, go for destination closer to home where the traveling involved is 3-4 hours and you have time to enjoy the vacation. However, if you have 3-4 weeks, you can head to distant regions with elaborate itinerary. Wherever you go, remember it’s not about ticking boxes, but enjoying and savouring the experiences.
- Unfortunately, everything comes down to money at some stage. Some destinations like Scandinavia, Russia, Japan are quite expensive while South Eastern Asia and Eastern Europe are budget friendly. You can choose cheaper flying and lodging options but its better you stick to the comforts you are used to, otherwise you won’t be able to enjoy the vacation to the utmost. You don’t want to be counting pennies all the time. Going in non-peak time is much cheaper, and if the extremities don’t bother you, use the opportunity to go in off season. Not only flight tickets but hotels, local transport costs, food expenses, sight seeing tickets all must be taken in consideration while calculating budget.
- The time you are traveling will automatically eliminate lots of locations. You can’t travel to Egypt, Dubai, New Zealand in May-June as these places are either too hot or too cold at that time. In the same way, no point in going to Europe, Alaska or Iceland in December, unless you want to do skiing. However, if you want to see the Northern Lights, you have no option but to face the chilling winds and below zero-degree temperatures. Going in a rainy season, can wash away all your plans. So, do your homework, before buying that ticket.
- Airline or Hotel sales, currency depreciation, off season, economic meltdown are some of the reasons which might bring down the cost of your trip drastically. So, no harm in being swayed by them, providing your safety is not being compromised. Don’t go to places where there is political upheaval, security issues or some climate calamity forecasted.
- Landing in a foreign place and trying to find your bearings can be intimidating experience. If you are new to all this, please don’t opt for places where there are language issues. If you are still tempted, book an organised trip. In case you have lots of dietary and cultural restrictions, it’s better you head to places that suits your temperament.
- When you go out on vacations, the purpose is to have fun. You don’t want to be hassled or tensed. So please check the visa requirements, layovers, immigrations, vaccinations and other logistics. Can’t count the number of times I have seen programs of friends and relatives being canceled as they had not received visa in time. Visas of countries like UK and Brazil can take up to a month. Plan in advance. If you need help in applying visa click here
- If you have an opportunity to witness a festival, World Cup or some glorious natural phenomenon, don’t think twice. Tulip season in Amsterdam, Cherry Blossom in Japan, Carnival in Rio, Northern Lights in Norway, Wimbledon in London, Great Serengeti migration are experiences which you will cherish forever. Check out some of the Best Festivals in the World.
All this is easier said than done. It means you have to wade through unlimited information dolled out by Google. The best place to research is Trip advisor where you get reviews from real travellers. Rest you can rely on reputed travel blogs, and books like Fodors Travel Guide and Lonely Planet. If reading is not for you, just search for related hashtags in Instagram and Pinterest. You will be swarmed by millions of pictures which can inspire you. Friends and relatives are always there to advice, but do your homework so that you are prepared for everything and your vacations memorable. The destination is decided, but what about hotels? What are the factors we should consider while booking a hotel?