“All you’ve got to do is decide to go and the hardest part is over.” -Tony Wheeler, Lonely Planet

coconut tree beside wooden post filled with signboards

It can be really hard to choose where to go next. With social media and various travel websites making everywhere look incredibly enticing, you can find yourself browsing endlessly. Simply put, it can be come overwhelming. Too much information isn't always a good thing. I'm hoping I can help!.Because it should be fun to decide! I'm going to share with you some of the factors I consider.

Create a bucket list. If you haven't done this already, pour yourself a glass of wine (or a cold beer if that's your preference) and start here. Where have you dreamed of going since you were a little person? Where is calling you? Or maybe there's certain things you want to do - hike the Inca Trail or float in a hot air balloon over Capaddocia, for example. I have my list and I categorize it further. What do I want to do in the next year? Next five years? What can I do even if I have mobility issues someday?

hot air balloons in the the sky

What do you want to do? I mean, what do you REALLY want to do? Do you simply want to be a beach bum and drink some delicious pina coladas? Or perhaps there's a mountain you want to conquer? Maybe health and wellness is your priority. Or do you want to shop til you drop and dine on some decadent food? Perhaps there is a festival you've been dying to attend. I knew I wanted to take a yoga teacher training, so I researched multiple destinations - India, Bali, Costa Rica, etc., before ultimately feeling the pull to a certain training in Thailand. I knew I wanted to study Spanish - again I researched multiple destinations before deciding Colombia was the best fit. Whatever it is, give yourself permission to do it. We all have different desires, different dreams, different ways to unwind and recharge. Ultimately...follow your heart.

person standing near waterfalls

How much time do you have? It makes a big difference if you only have a long weekend as opposed to weeks or longer to play around with. If you have a week or less, my best recommendation is somewhere you can hop on a direct flight to or a road trip circuit close to home. Me personally, I won't travel half way around the world unless I have 2-3 weeks. But never say never as in just under a week I'm going to New Zealand for only a week!

aerial photography of blue-and-white patio umbrellas

Consider the weather and seasons. Are you trying to escape a frigid winter? You're not going to enjoy chilling on the beach if it's raining all day. Are you trying to catch sakura season in Japan? I'm going to tell you right now this latter takes some serious logistical planning. Plus luck. I know because I made it happen in 2017! Do you want to avoid the crowds? You'll want to research if it's high or low season where you're going and when you are going. Personally I prefer, and recommend shoulder season as you will have to deal with less crowds and get more for your money. Always do some research and take the weather and seasons into consideration.

What kind of budget are you working with? For most people this is a factor you must consider. I have found you can travel in most places on a budget, but for sure you'll get more bang for your buck (or pound, or Euro, or peso, or whatever you are working with) in certain places. So it's always a good idea to rough out the costs, especially if you're really watching your money. Also, know your preferences. If you know you prefer luxe accommodation you may want to go where you can get a good flight deal. A good seat sale never hurts. A seat sale has been the primary factor in some of my best trips to places like Brazil and Arizona. If you have a flexible timeline as to when you can travel, this works particularly well.

photo of airplane wing

Who are you travelling with? This can have a huge impact. If you're going on girls holiday you'll probably choose a completely different destination than you would for a romantic getaway. If you're travelling solo, are you okay doing so independently or would you prefer to join a group? If it's the former there are many factors to consider such as safety. If it's the latter, is there a company you want to travel with that tours there, or an itinerary that matches your preferences? If you're not travelling solo, then you will have to take into account the interests and needs of your partner, family or group.

two brown wooden chairs beside the wall

I know how hard it can be to reach a decision – so many places to go, so little time! But hopefully these factors will make it easier for you to choose your next destination. How do you typically choose your next travel destination? In a similar way? Did these tips help you to plan your next trip? Do you have any other tips? Send me a message at shariblock@findyourhappytravelsbyshari.ca and let me know...

Did you know that the average Canadian spends 30 days planning their trips. You read that right..30 days! Six are spent in the booking phase. This research is spread out over weeks. I can help you pare that down. I offer a free 30 minute planning session and that's a great place for you to start. Get in touch and let's go from there...