Where to Next? Choose a Destination
I love the time of year when we set our sights ahead and start to daydream about how to plan the next year’s vacation. Where should I travel next? What places would make the best travel destination for our family?
How to choose a destination for your next family vacation
What do you need to consider when you start looking to choose a destination? There are so many things to consider.
According to CNN the top things travelers look for in a destination are:
1) Is is safe?
2) Is it cheap?
3) Does it have a good reputation?
4) Can I get information about it?
5) Is there a lot to do and see?
Is that your list for choosing a destination? Do you agree with the traveler’s CNN asked “How do you decided where to next?”
Here are the things you need to consider when you ask yourself, “Where to next?”
Where to Next? Interest level for the family –
When you think about ‘Where to Next?” what comes to mind first? What have I been dying to see? What is closest to the top of the travel bucket list? Exotic Turkey or Morocco? Gorgeous Mountains? Beautiful oceans? Architecture?
Talk to the rest of the family and traveling group. Ask them ‘Where to next?”. We love conversations like this over dinner. Pick their brains and really listen. What sorts of things interest your group? How can you put them together in one trip – something for everyone.
Where to Next? Has anyone in the group been there before?
Some people love to visit a spot over and over again. They love the familiar and also the chance to get past the most common sights and start digging deeper – getting off the beaten path.
I love a new place but have traveled back to some major cities more than once depending upon the group. I’ve been to Paris and Rome several times and each time it was a first for someone in the travel group. In those cases, I saw some really cool things I hadn’t seen before.
In Paris, the third time I went all the way to the TOP of the Eiffel tower instead of just a lower platform. In Rome, on a later trip, I saw the Galleria Borghese which I didn’t have time to see earlier. In London, I had High Tea at the Ritz.
Where to Next? Is the destination safe?
Safety is an excellent consideration for any vacation destination. Ask yourself, “Is this place safe for Americans?” Then, ask yourself, “Is it safe for me?” Check the travel safety recommendations of the US state department but don’t stop there. I like to check the British state departments recommendations, too.
At any time there are scary things going on in the world. There are scary and tragic things happening right here in the US. Sadly, there are places high on my list that I haven’t seen because it just isn’t the right time safety wise.
Always check into your destination before making a decision on “Where should I travel to next?” because things change!
It’s OK to put a place on the ‘not right now’ list of places you’d like to see. That’s OK because the world is a big place and one day those places will be safe enough to visit.
Deciding whether or not a place is safe it more complicated than it sounds. I had to examine this question carefully before we traveled to Turkey.
Where to Next? What does it cost?
Ah, wouldn’t it be nice to have a BIG pile of money and not have to consider the cost of a vacation. I supposed if you were Princess somebody or a Kardashian you might not have this concern, but for the rest of us, cost is a consideration. And why not? The more reasonable the cost, the more money left over for the next trip!
Set up your budget to get started. What are airline tickets costing? Sometimes we just choose a destination based on great ticket prices.
Save money for more travel!
Where to Next? When can you travel?
There are three options for travel times:
- HIGH season – This is the most expensive and the most crowded.
- LOW season – This is the least expensive and the least crowded, but it is usually the worst weather.
- SHOULDER season – This is the time that doesn’t fall into either of the other two categories and is a great compromise for less crowds and a less expensive cost on everything from hotels to transportation.
We have to travel according to when hubby is available and the kids’ school schedule. When they were younger (up until middle school) we would miss school without a lot of concern. As a former elementary school teacher I could do any critical schooling they were missing while on the road. It is harder to coordinate now that each have 8 teachers.
Consider the weather when you choose a travel time. Colder weather also means more travel gear – coats and gloves and scarves, etc.
Where to Next? Reputation Matters
You can get a lot of information about a place online. What do others think of this place? Read the reviews to get a feel for the places you are hoping to visit.
When you read reviews consider a few important things:
- Consider the source. Is this a trustworthy person or website?
- How many people have this opinion? Don’t let one bad apple ruin something. I once saw a castle got a low review because it was raining that day.
- How old is this review? Lots of things change so make sure you are getting up to date information.
Where to Next? Are you ready to travel?
When you travel you need to have the right paperwork. Are you ready? Do you have this paperwork in place?
Some destinations require visas along with a passport. Do you have time to get them?
Some places require that your passport has more than 6 months left before it expires. Does yours have enough time left?
Where to Next? Is there a lot to see and do?
We love major cities for traveling and there is always a LOT to do! I usually allow 3 days for a major city and then allow 2 days for day trips from those cities.
Madrid, Spain – 3 days for city and day 4 day trip San Lorenzo de El Escorial, day 5 day trip Segovia
Rome, Italy – 3-5 days for city and day 6 day trip to Orvieto, day 7 day trip to Pompeii
London, England – 3 days for the city and day 4 day trip to Stonehenge, day 5 day trip to Bath
Paris, France – 3 days for city and day 4 day trip to Versaille, day 5 day trip to Fontainbleau
Bologna, Italy – 2 days city and day 3 day trip to Modena, day 4 day trip to Ravenna
How do YOU choose a destination?
If you need help planning the destination of your dreams. Give me a shout!
Happy travels wherever they lead!
Natalie, The Educational Tourist