How To Decide Where To Go
This is Part 1 of Step 3 in the 7 Steps to a Life of Travel.
Deciding where to go impacts a lot of other pieces of the puzzle. It plays a major role in determining your travel costs and daily living/traveling expenses, and also affects things like what to pack and whether you need to get a visa, make special financial arrangements, or get any vaccinations or insurance.
First, decide on your initial plans. Will you go to one place for a while and stay until you get tired of it? Or are you planning a long trip for which you need to pick a starting point or map out a whole itinerary? Either way, there are virtually endless options of where to go, so how do you narrow it down?
Here are some questions to help you narrow down the list of possible destinations:
- What type of climate do you prefer?
- What type of environment do you prefer (city, rural, beach, mountains…)?
- What festivals or events around the world would you like to attend?
- What housing and job opportunities are you interested in?
- What airfare specials and route variations do airlines offer?
- What places offer particularly good opportunities for activities you enjoy (diving, trekking…)?
- What is your monthly budget for living/travel expenses?
- What’s on your bucket list?
- Do any friends or family have travel plans you want to coordinate with?
- What kind of transportation do you want to utilize to get there?
Remember, you have a lifetime of travel ahead of you! Just pick one place or itinerary to begin with, and enjoy the journey. You never know where you might end up!
Here’s an example of how this works, from my own Nomadtopia plans in 2012. My husband and I will be spending six months or so traveling in North America. It’s not the most exotic destination, perhaps, since I grew up there, but it’s a good fit for us right now for a number of reasons: We have a family party to attend in June, we’re going to World Domination Summit in July, Roberto has only visited the East Coast so far, and the length of stay allowed for his visa means he can experience a bunch of U.S. holidays for the first time, including July 4th, Halloween, and Thanksgiving (falling just shy of Christmas and New Year’s; that will have to be for another trip!).