When it comes down to the nitty gritty of travel, the number one most important thing, more so than any nice hotel or comfortable flight or Instagramable shot, is your destination. There are a few factors to take in to consideration when picking a location…
- One thing to keep in mind is the cost of getting somewhere vs the cost of staying somewhere. Often, big expensive cities are deceivingly cheap at first glance, because it is often cheaper to fly in to a huge hub like Paris Charles de Gaulle or London Heathrow. Even though you can find a sweet $400 round trip flight, look beyond on the flight at the cost to actually stay and experience that big metropolitan city. It may cost a hundred dollars more to get to somewhere like Croatia or Hungary or Greece, but you will be saving by the hundreds once you start booking places to stay, activities to enjoy, and meals to experience. You should absolutely look for great flight deals, but be sure that you at the actual cost of being in a place before you book.
- What kind of trip is it?
- Be honest with yourself! Do you see yourself lying on a beach somewhere? Sitting at cafes in a city? Hiking the mountains? Sure, Amsterdam may be a bucket list location, but if you are feeling more like sitting on a beach or climbing a mountain, maybe that one is best saved for later. Visualize what you want your trip to be like and plan accordingly.
- How much time do you have?
- I am of the opinion that once you get somewhere, you should spend as much time as possible there before heading home. I would hate to fly 20 hours to get somewhere, only to have five days to explore before leaving, barely even breaking the jet lag. Look at the amount of time you have and figure out how to optimize your location. Having lived most of my life on the West Coast of the U.S., I would definitely opt for somewhere like Mexico or Canada if I know I am on a short time frame. Optimize your time on the ground, not on a plane!
- Who are you traveling with?
- Get on the same page as the person you are traveling with. There is nothing worse than booking tickets only to find out that they were hoping to hike the whole time while you were looking to eat and drink your way through a city. Make sure that you have the same type of trip in mind, and if you don’t, then find somewhere you can meet in the middle before picking your destination.