machupicchuThis is not a cut and dry question. Some travelers just know. For others, this is an excruciating question — something that passes through your mind and you find yourself torn in a variety of directions. So, how does one solve this problem? Where do we go to find inspiration or reasoning behind our next decision for a location? While there are endless reasons to travel, there are certainly factors that will determine the nature of your next vacation. Trust us, we know how it feels to have a seemingly endless bucket list — too many places to see, endless adventures to go on and a confusion of where to check off next. This has an interesting way of causing anxiety among many potential travelers. The sheer amount of possibilities can often times create a stagnation in our plans. However, there are many factors to consider that can help to weed out the majority of those locations in congruence with your current desires.

Below, you will find a myriad of factors to mull over as you place your finger on the part of the world you want to see next.

germanyDuration. Quick getaway? A few weeks to really explore an area or do you want while away the days feeling languid on a beach? These are keys factors that will determine many facets of your vacation. For example, having only a few days to get away may influence you to only want to take a short flight somewhere instead of spending one of your few precious days traveling to the location. This is a big one and often times is rather set — many people have a very fixed amount of time that they can step away from their daily lives for.

Budget. As discussed above, your budget can also affect how long you can get away for. Think realistically about how much you want to spend on your trip and the activities that you would like to do. This factor also has the tendency to have trickle down effects on the nature of your vacation. Keeping your budget in mind will allow you to determine the sites you can see, the accommodations you will be staying in, the forms of transportation around your destination and the overall duration of your trip. In addition, perhaps if you are traveling with a bit of a larger group you will have your own personal budget to think about as well as the budgets of the remaining people in your group in terms of the activities that group members can do together.

Must-sees, activities, special events. For some travelers, a particular destination is desirable because of a special event such as Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany.

Munich, Germany

Not only will the dates of your trip have to coincide with the dates of the event, but your trip may have to revolve around this event in many other ways — having accommodations near the event site, additional budget allocated for the event, and transportation to and from the event. Another example would be if you wanted to hike to historic Inca Trail up to the lost city of Machu Picchu.

Machu Picchu, Peru

In this instance, you may want to book a guided tour months in advance and determine your itinerary around that hiking adventure. Definitely consider these components of your future vacation as you think about the possible location that you may want to go to.

Sources of inspiration. Now, this can actually be the very first step as you start to really consider certain locations over others. Photos and stories have a special way of evoking emotions and can let us live vicariously through others. This is why checking out various forms of inspiration can be key as you think about your next vacation. Consume information from a variety of sources, here’s a link to Photos From Around the World to Inspire Your Next Vacation. Additional sources that are rather popular are Pinterest (do we have one of those?), Instagram and the blogs of other travelers. Allowing yourself to browse through a plethora of destinations often has a way of elevating certain ones above others. Find photos that stir your soul and give you the travel butterflies — what do you need to see, now?!

Environment, culture, weather, food. These have been grouped together because they often go hand in hand. Are you drawn to sunny beaches, gloomy overcast days, or alpine lakes set in a vast mountain landscape? Every traveler is unique in their destination preferences, really think about where you will be happy. Additionally, think about the time of year that you will be traveling and the various climates that your potential locations may put you in. Traveling in January? Perhaps you don’t want to experience a deep Scandinavian winter!

Lapland, Finland

Opt for locations that will have your own personal desired weather. As you look for inspiration for your next trip, you may come across cultures and different types of food that interest you. These are all important to consider when you consider the location you may want to visit.

Who will be traveling? Whether its with a group, going solo, a couples trip, traveling with elderly folks or younger children, this will be indicative of the nature of your vacation. For example, traveling with a family will open up a whole different itinerary from those traveling in their later years looking for something such as a relaxing cruise.

So, where does this leave you? Hopefully after the consideration of all of these factors, your choices have been narrowed down and become manageable. With such a vast expanse to explore, we don’t want you to be overwhelmed with locations. Consider your options, time constraints, budget, special events, and more as you think about where to go next!

When you’re ready — or if you need help on deciding your location and want to learn more — we’re here to help you plan your dream trip!