How to Choose a Travel Destination: Look Inward
There are multiple factors to consider when choosing a travel destination. As a result, I bet you’re searching for a simple & satisfying answer.
However, choosing the right travel destination requires us to have a deeper understanding of ourselves. Therefore, choosing the right destination may be a bit more complex than you expected. It requires us to look inward instead of outward.
For example, every major destination holds it’s own characteristics. A trip to Los Angles speaks to our ambitious and creative self. On the other hand, a trip to a long empty beach can draw us into silence and peace.
In order to end up at the right place you must discover what you’re craving and/or missing in your life. When we get the urge to travel it’s not just to see new places. It’s also a way for us to feel ‘fuller’ and more complete. The destination fills in the areas of our life we’ve been neglecting.
Figure Out What Environment You’re Internally Craving
A few months ago I traveled to Sedona, Arizona. My friend had invited me and I decided why not. For the whole week I was there, I felt high on life. My mood was boosted, I became more aware of my negative thoughts, and I was full of energy. I had traveled to other states before but this was the first one that really left a big impact on me.
On the other hand, before my trip I felt the complete opposite. I had been living in a big city for the last two years. The city environment brought anxiety and a feeling of ‘rush’ everyday. When you’re living in a big city everyone is always stuck on go. I quickly became a product of my environment. Everyday was based around work and responsibilities. On top of that I was putting a lot of pressure on myself to accomplish ambitious goals I had set. At the time, whenever I did travel it was to another big city.
As a result, I neglected time to step away from my daily responsibilities. I was desperately craving an environment of calm and stillness. A place where I could reflect and re-connect with myself.
Sedona brought exactly that. The environment was the complete opposite of big city life. The nature was calming & comforting and the people were just happy to be alive. There was a sense of peace in the air that allowed me to forget my agenda and focus on the present moment.
When it comes to traveling, dig dip to figure out what environment you’re internally craving. Ask yourself what is currently missing or weak within you. Then, pick a destination somewhere in this world that will help you grow into a more complete version of yourself.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Travel Destination
Aside from digging deep to find the perfect location for you. You will also need to consider some basic factors in order to make your trip more enjoyable.
1. Consider The Seasons & Weather
When it comes to traveling to a new area you’re going to want to check for the best seasons to visit. During my trip to Sedona, we made sure we went during the cooler season. Arizona temperatures can get above 100 in the summer. Similarly, we made sure we avoided rattle snake season. Yes, there is such thing as rattle snake season.
Make sure you also check the seasons of the area you plan to travel to. Try to avoid extreme cold or hot seasons. Similarly, do research on the area to make sure whatever activities you plan to do will be available when you travel.
2. Plan Activities
My parents own a camper and spend a lot of time traveling the United States. They do an extremely well job of planning their road trips. They plan it down to the hour for every day they’ll travel. However, once they get to the final destination they have no idea what to do.
They tend to find themselves sitting around the camp site soaking in the air while they google search ‘what to do near me’. There is nothing wrong with this. In fact maybe that’s what they enjoy doing.
But, the fact is, you should jot down some ideas of things to do once you arrive at your destination. Search for things to do in the area. Before my trip to Sedona we found the best places to hike, an ATV rental place near our Airbnb, and a few restaurants we wanted to try.
Figuring out activities to do will help you pick the right hotel or Airbnb. The last thing you want to do is book your trip and find yourself 3 hours away from something you’d really want to do.
3. Consider A Budget
It’s common sense to have a budget when booking your trip. Almost everyone considers the hotel price, plane ticket price, and prices for activities.
However, when it comes to budgeting make sure you really dive deep. Think about the purchases you make on weekend night out. Just because you’re changing a location, does not mean your usual purchases won’t follow. In fact, you’ll most likely end up spending more than you usually do.
For example, here are a few things to consider adding into your budget:
- Food – Not just going out for a few nights but also groceries, snacks, and drinks.
- Transportation – Ubers, Busses, ATVs..
- Souvenirs – T-Shirts, Gifts, Photos
- Spontaneous – Something might come up that you didn’t plan to pay for. For example, you’re in the hot desert and you forgot sunscreen. Or you just met a new friend and you want to buy them a drink. Make sure you have a little money set aside for these unpredictable purchases.
Besides that, make sure you keep an eye out for the best deals. When it comes to flights and hotels make sure you plan ahead in order to get the best price.
When choosing your destination, especially internationally make sure there is no tensions in the air. Check out the local politics and recent events of the area to make sure there are no angry mobs storming the streets.
Similarly, do your research on the Hotel or Airbnb you’ll be staying in. Look at the reviews and get an overview look at the area on google maps. A lot of places will post their best pictures on their website. However pictures can be deceiving. Doing research into the area may help you realize what the reality is.
In conclusion, when it comes to choosing the best travel destination make sure you start by looking inward. In other words, choose a place that will help you get away but also help you grow.