Maybe you know exactly what it is you want from a holiday, and exactly how you can find it.
Maybe you are like me, and you look at the globe and want to go everywhere. You would be happy in a hostel or 5* hotel. Maybe you even have the budget to do most of it, yet the options are so vast that you don’t know where to start.
Here are some things to think about:
This is always going to be the main consideration for most people. Make sure you set your budget first, know how much you are prepared to spend and don’t get carried away. Also be realistic with how much you can afford. Write it down on a piece of paper, before you even begin.
Type of Holiday
Think about the type of holiday you want. Do you want to lie on the beaches the whole time, on your feet sightseeing, exploring, hiking, learning a new skill, understand the local culture, combination of all or maybe even something else. Write this list of wants down.
When Can You Travel?
We all have restrictions on time of year we can or want to travel. Yes, you’ve guess it, write that down next.
How Long is the Plane Journey Plus Transit
Think about the maximum time you can bare travelling for, remembering that there may still be a long transfer time once at your destination airport.
If you’re going somewhere hot, is there a maximum temperature you can stand? Don’t forget to think about a minimum temperature too.
Countries to Rule Out
You may have ruled out countries if maybe you don’t believe in going to the same place twice, it’s not safe to go to (check Foreign Travel Advice) or you know you don’t want to go. Never rule out a country just because “you don’t fancy going”. I never would have gone to Istanbul, if that were the case, and see this blog for what I thought: My Favouite City: Istanbul
Putting it All Together
Based on the kinds of things you want to do, the time of year and if it matches the weather you would prefer, this should help you put together a list of countries. Let’s look at some examples:
You can only go away in July and you want to go to Vegas to do a combination of things, of which one of those is to sunbathe but you don’t like it too hot. We have a mismatch here! When I was in Vegas a few years back in the month of July, they were having a heatwave. Yes, that’s a heatwave for Vegas. It was 47 degrees. I would suggest you add this to a list of things you want to do and do it in a year when you can go away slightly earlier or later, either that or split the holiday. For example do a week in Vegas, for vegas things then head to Santa Monica for a week of sunbathing, where the temperatures are perfect that time of year.
Compromise sometimes surprises you into a better holiday!
You have a budget of £300 and you want to do an African Safari. You can imagine the face I’m pulling right now, can’t you? I’m unsure if you can even get a flight to Africa for £300, never mind anything else. All’s not lost. If you have your heart set on it, then you’re just going to have to save and wait a little longer. In the meantime you can plan your holiday around a safari park in the UK (or your local area), places like West Midlands Safari Park even do a VIP Tour Experience, and there are some cute little villages you can stay near Kidderminster. Travel doesn’t have to be far.
You want to go to the Maldives but you don’t think you have the big budget. I too have always thought you need to spend thousands. It’s only been recently, from watching a travel blogger on snapchat that I learnt otherwise. There are some budget options. I’ve just had a quick look – yes right this second I just looked – in the ususal places (booking.com and skyscanner.net), and you can stay in a 4 star hotel with international flights for less around £680 each based on 2 adults sharing. With a bit more work: changing dates, shopping around you could probably even shave more money off than that.
You don’t like travelling alone, and you want to go to somewhere that might not be safe to travel alone. This is an easy one, there are lots of companies that deal in small group travel. The three main ones are Exodus, G Adventures and Intrepid.
You haven’t managed to narrow anything down and you still want to see everywhere. This is me! Look at your list and try and put it in some kind of order of preference, also bearing in mind places that might be disappearing like the antarctica and Maldives, so put them towards the top of your list. (I quite fancy Maldives next now I know how cheaply I can go). Then based on when you want to go, see which matches by googling best time to go for each country. I managed to narrow down my last list to Botswana or Mozambique as all other places I want to go are better seen at a different time of the year. It then seemed better to go to Botswana in August and Mozambique in September. I decided August was sooner. Choice made!
Promise this is the last one!
You want to go away in February to somewhere hot. Google is your friend here and should help you build up a list of countries, then narrow down again based on the list above.
I’ve said it few time already, but there will always be compromise in some way or another. A few years ago, when I was in California I wanted to stay in Santa Monica by the beach. All of these hotels were well out of my budget. I worked out what I wasn’t going to compromise on, and that was location. I found a hostel in prime location.
Because everyone’s dream holiday is unique, there is no set menu anyone can give you. It is a case of research, research and more research. Check every possibility, from group tours, to booking hotels and airplanes separately to package holidays. Yes I said it: “package holidays” – sometimes a package holiday works out cheaper for the same hotels and flights booked separately. Importantly remember “Travel doesn’t have to be far”, and don’t rule out having a holiday just a couple of hours away from home. Just as travelling further than you’d planned and going out of your comfort zone gives you great rewards.
Have you worked out your dream holiday? What’s stopping you from doing it?