It’s this time of the year where you’ll find everywhere the list of the best travel destination for the new year. Every major travel website has put one together. To shake things up a bit, I wanted to share with you, not a list of destination, but a list of things to consider, to define the best destination for YOURSELF!
I believe that the best travel destination is the one you chose. It is where you are longing to go, what you’ve been dreaming about. Not where other people tell you to go. Of course, I totally recognize that these lists are meant to be inspirational and even educational. Some are totally relevant because indeed things are changing in the World, and if you want to admire the beauty of the Borneo forest, the great coral reef, if you want to see elephants in the wild…. you probably have to hurry before it’s too late.
But in the process of listing the places you want to see, do not lose sight of what is best for you!
So how to chose the best destination for yourself? Well, here is a list of things you might want to consider before making any booking:
- Your finances. Travelling doesn’t have to be expensive but realistically, it sometimes is. If you can only travel during certain holidays for example, flights might cost you an arm and a leg. If you want to travel to the other side of the World, it will most likely have a certain price tag. And even if getting there isn’t an issue, it might require a certain type of equipment that you probably don’t have. Thinking of going to Greenland, well it’s cold!
- Your travel style. If you hate flying or are sea sick, if want to bring your dog or your kids, if you can’t stand the heat, the cold, the crowd, the bugs, if you’re allergic to tourists or other things, some places might not be so well suited for you.
- Consider what you are seeking. If you’re goal is to relax and unwind, the best is probably to head to a beach resort, not Paris, London or New York. Are you looking forward to a vibrant cultural scene? new foodie experiences? or are you more of a hiking / biking / swimming with sharks type? You get the idea: chose your destination based on what you want to be doing there. Some destinations obviously allow you to do many of the things you are interested in, but some are just more adapted to one activity than the others.
- When you want to go. Weather can ruin a trip if you’re not prepared. Are you planning a trip to the French riviera because you want to swim in the Mediterranean sea? Don’t come in winter or be prepared to get cold! Other things, like local celebrations & local vacations can have a big impact on your experience of a place. Want to come to Paris in August? That’s a good idea, everybody’s gone and a lot of places are closed, you’ll have a lot more space than you expected 😉
- How “last minute” your trip is. Hooray! You are getting an unexpected week of vacation next week and the plane ticket to Mombasa is a bargain! You always dreamed of going on a photo safari in Kenya! Well it’s probably going to be hard to manage, because you need vaccine shots to be done before. In other countries, the thing holding you back might be a visa…. and of course your passport needs to be valid… What I’m saying is that you need to keep these things in mind before booking the plane ticket. Last minute travelling is an art, I’m telling you this knowingly!!
- How long you want to go. If you’re a jet setter, this one is probably not your concern. But for most people, flying around the world to stay 24h in a place across the Globe is probably not the best idea. If you only have 3 or 4 days of vacation, don’t spend 2 of them in a plane to reach a destination you won’t be able to fully enjoy.
Other possible things to consider:
- The language. When you speak English, it’s pretty easy to travel the World, but don’t expect everybody to understand you. So if it’s your first time travelling abroad, and you are considering booking a ticket to a very remote non English speaking corner of the World? Did you pledged that you will be more adventurous in 2016?!? You might want to reconsider your decision. It’s ok to play it safe, there is nothing to be ashamed of. Go somewhere a bit less remote, and be a little bit more adventurous next time!
- Your health condition. This one is up to you but I would say that if you require some very specific medical attention or have very specific diet requirements for example, you probably should be picky about where you are travelling to.
- Sanitization. Are you thinking of hiking the Inca trail to Machu Picchu? You do know there is no shower up there? Thinking of taking a cross-country rail trip in the US? No shower either. I’m not saying it’s an issue, but it might be something to consider…
- Overall, what matter’s is your travelling experience. If you want to do something or want to go to a place, if you know you’re capable of doing it, than do it. But if you have doubts, than maybe start with something a little less challenging and work your way up. A bit like a marathon training. I’m all for new challenges but I also think that it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Those are just a few things to think about which might help you decide on the best travel destination for YOU. I’m not in anyway implying that you shouldn’t go to Greenland, Cuba, Botswana or any other destination really. If you want to go, by all means, go!
I’m certainly not implying that you should be scared to travel. On the contrary!
I’m just saying that you should do what is best for you, what resonates with your heart. Fulfill your dreams, enjoy the World and all its beauty, discover new incredible places, be mesmerized, meet new friends… but at your own pace and in your own terms!
So where does your heart tells you to go this year?
Tell me in the comment below!