It’s been a challenging few weeks with potentially more to come due to the Coronavirus. This lockdown period has meant staying at home and not being able to travel anywhere. The good news is, this won’t last forever, and we will all be able to have our dream holidays soon enough.
The world is your oyster, and with flights being more affordable with low cost airline carriers, the question I always get asked is, ‘where should I travel to next?’. We are spoilt for choice with so many amazing destinations to visit around the world, so it’s no surprise that this can be a tough decision. To make your planning easier, I have created some simple guidelines to help you find your perfect location to travel to after lockdown.
Your trip will be bound by whatever budget you have, so this is the first thing to consider. If you have a rough idea of how much you are willing to spend, then you can determine what kind of trip you can have. As you are aware, certain destinations are more demanding on the wallet than others, so get the budget locked in before you start planning. One thing to note is to not only consider the cost of the flights, but also the cost of accommodation and tourist attractions. I say this as from the UK, flights to Europe are affordable (sometimes <£100 return), however, some cities have high costs for accommodation and activities, so it may be worth considering somewhere a little further, but with a cheaper economy.
Hopefully during this period of lockdown, you have been able to save some money from staying indoors, so a positive outcome is that you can treat yourself to a more extravagant trip as it’s no doubt, well deserved!
The duration of your trip will have an impact on your destination. Whether it’s a long weekend, 2-week holiday or a 3-month travelling trip you’re looking at, this will bound your plans. As a basic rule for myself, I don’t like to fly >4 hours for a long weekend away. Whereas if I have 10-15 days for my trip, then I am happy to do a long-haul flight taking into consideration the jet lag and time difference. This is just a personal preference but staying within 1-4 hours of your home location for a long weekend has its benefits such as maximising the time you are away and maintaining high energy.
Hopefully through this lockdown period, you have been able to accumulate some holidays, so use them all up and treat yourself to a longer holiday. This will allow you to really relax and explore your chosen destination to the max.
- Time of year
Due to the tilt on the Earth’s axis, we have different seasons which are experienced at different times around the world. The English summer period is at the same time as the Australian winter period and the Thai monsoon period. For this reason, consider when you can take your holidays and chose a destination which best fits your desired season. You can always google when is the best time of year to travel to certain places.
This of course will depend on your situation with work and family too, as you may or may not have the flexibility to choose the specific dates / seasons you can go on holiday, e.g. school teachers bound by school holidays vs more traditional office jobs.
Have a think about the style of trip that you are after. Whether you’re going on your own, with friends, a partner or with family. All of these can result in a different type of location to visit. There are certain places which are perfect for solo travelers/backpackers who want to meet people from all over the world and will be safe in doing so, whereas some destinations are better suited for family travel or as couples.
As everyone around you will be in the same boat with the lockdown period, try planning a trip with your family of friends that you’ve been wanting to plan for the last few years. People have hopefully built up holidays, so they are able to join you.
You will find that every destination has its own unique perks and things to do. To choose the right holiday for you, you need to understand if there are any specific activities that you are looking to do whilst abroad such as mountain climbing, skiing, rafting, wine tasting, seeing a wonder of the world or even just relaxing on a beach. It’s very rare that one location can cater to every single possible activity, so it’s good to narrow this down. Whatever these activities may be, there is always a destination to accommodate to your needs.
- The non-negotiables
Finally, there should always be non-negotiables in place. This can include things such as guaranteed hot weather, an English-speaking country, specific food, having a beach within a 5 minute walk, flat land so it’s easy to travel with a baby etc. Without these, it will be more difficult to narrow down where you can travel.
Once you have nailed down the criteria for your trip, you can then start researching and exploring the different options. I tend to use things such as blogs, social media and advice from friends to help me choose my next destination. There may be a picture on Instagram that I come across of a scene I want to see in real life, or just hearing a friend talk about their recent trip will inspire me to get that destination on my list of places to visit. I’ve put together a table to help you think about destinations based on the criteria I mentioned above.
This post is a set of guidelines based on my experiences to help organise your thoughts, so use them as you please. Remember, the world is your oyster.