First of all, let’s start with some questions:
City, beach or countryside?
Hot or cold weather?
Adventure or relaxation?
Shopping, culture or adrenaline?
Family, friends or boyfriend/girlfriend? Or maybe solo?
Independent travel or have everything organised for you?
Budget or splash the cash? Or somewhere in the middle?
Off the beaten track or a tried and tested destination?
We’ve starting thinking about what kind of holiday you’re after, so it’s easier to pin-point the kind of destination you’d like.
Traveling to a different continent is like traveling to a different world. There are new cultures to be experienced and unfamiliar places to explore. It is necessary to have a basic understanding of the norms in a different country in order to have a smooth and enjoyable vacation. With 725 million people, 50 countries, and 20 official languages, there is much to learn about Europe (Europe). In order to have a perfect European vacation, it is essential to recognize the best time to travel, different methods of transportation, currency conversions, and the best places to visit.
Knowing the right time to travel is an important aspect of a perfect vacation. Based on weather, there is some part of Europe that can be traveled at any time because of the multiple climates that span the 50 countries (Dixon). The most popular time to travel is during July and August because those are the vacation months in the United States, but Europe also experiences generally good weather throughout those months (Dixon).
A downside to traveling during the most popular season is that prices are much more expensive, so that is also an important factor to consider when planning the perfect European vacation (Dixon). If the cost of traveling during the summer is an issue, the best solution would be to travel either during spring or fall because prices are much cheaper, yet the weather is still comfortable (Dixon). Another consideration in deciding the best time to travel would be types of events that take place. In many European countries there are frequent festivals and carnivals to visit and enjoy (Dixon). Knowing about weather, pricing, and events are important in deciding the best time to travel to Europe to experience a perfect vacation.
You’ve made the decision you want to travel more this year. You’ve realised experiences are more important than possessions and you’ve put together a plan to start saving for your next big trip.
But how are you going to decide where to actually go?
Budget and time will undoubtedly play a part in the decision making process but with so many amazing places in the world, how do you whittle it down?
If you’re anything like me, you’ll just want to go EVERYWHERE and explore as much of the world as possible! But unless you’re taking a few years out to travel, this really isn’t an option. While some people want to go everywhere, other people don’t have one place on their wish list and they’re not sure how to discover new places to go.
Whichever situation you’re in, here are my top tips to help you choose your travel destinations.
10 tips when choosing your destination
#1. Be open-minded
Haven’t heard a place? Can’t even pronounce a place? Have no idea where a place is? But you’ve found suspiciously cheap flights to said place…? Google the hell out of it, check it’s safe and book that flight! Sometimes you’ll have the best adventures in places you can’t pronounce. Ljubljana, I’m talking to you.
#2. Be creative
You want to travel to a certain destination but flights are really expensive? Don’t let this put you off, find an alternative. Using the example of Ljubljana again, it’s really expensive to fly direct but flights to Venice are cheap and then there’s a 2 hour shuttle bus from Venice into Ljubljana. Problem solved.
#3. Consider the underdog
Every country has a ‘second city’ and it’s often a much cheaper and a more unique alternative to the capital city.
#4. Be decisive
You’ve found a place you want to go. Book it now. Go on, book it. Don’t think about it for 3 weeks and then think a bit more and then realise you’ve missed the opportunity.
#5. Ask yourself ‘why’?
Why do you want to travel? Do you want to relax, have fun with your mates, reconnect with a loved one, switch off from work, learn something new, get a tan or have an adventure? It’s easier to decide where you’re going when you know why you’re going there.
#6. Remember, remember…
You’ll only regret the things you didn’t do.
I always think about this when I need a kick up the arse to be a little more adventurous.
#7. Safe choices aren’t bad choices
Yes, I like to be adventurous in my travel choices but a good old weekend in Paris or an all-inclusive beach holiday should never been sneered at. So what if a million people have done it before you. If you have a good time, that’s all that matters.
#8. Go Solo
You’ve found somewhere you REALLY want to go but no one wants to go with you? Don’t let this stop you, go solo!
#9. Don’t dismiss your own backyard
Who said travelling has to include long flights? Search a little closer to home, you’d be surprised by the hidden gems you might find.
#10. There’s always a budget option
Don’t let your budget stop you from travelling somewhere. Even the most expensive countries have budget options like hostels where you can cook your own food, free city tours and public transport. You’re going to need to be creative but that often makes it more fun.
Accommodation vs Destination?
Rather than searching for destinations, search by accommodation option. Maybe you want to stay in an amazing spa, the most luxurious hotel in the world, a themed hotel or something really quirky?
Accommodation is often more important than the destination if you plan to have a relaxing break. If you’re going to a spa for example, it doesn’t matter where you are because you’ll spend most of your time wrapped in a fluffy robe while you’re pampered from head to toe.
Consider staying closer to home to save yourself time and money. You’ll still feel like you’ve had a holiday without spending days of travelling to get there.
HAPPY SUMMER VACATIOn