Travel is never a matter of money but of courage – Paulo Coelho.
We have all been there – the absolute angst, the itchy feet, the desire, to hop aboard yet another plane and fly off to a place in the unknown; a destination that will transform before your very eyes as you wander the streets in awe, taking everything in. If you love travel like I do, you will understand the sheer excitement of booking that flight, that hotel, scouring the internet for things to do, places to see and food to inhale. Sometimes, however, there is a drought of travel activity. Money is tied up elsewhere, there isn’t any time that coincides with the people you want to travel with, or you are completely stuck on where to visit next.
So far this year, I have been lucky enough to take four trips out of the country as well as have multiple trips back to various cities and the countryside. That all happened in the first six months of the year, whilst the second half has been concentrating on moving to a different part of the country – a change that has taken up a lot of my time. Now that I am a little more settled in, the wanderlust is calling me from within, meaning it is time for another trip. However, with big plans happening in 2020, including my best friend’s wedding and therefore her hen, I can’t afford to abscond to South East Asia for a month, no matter how much I would love to, no matter how cheap it would be once I arrived.
With the thirty-before-thirty challenge always fresh in my mind, I am conscious to try and widen my horizons when it comes to travel, meaning I will get the chance to explore somewhere new. I have lived in Spain and Australia, travelled to Bali, Singapore, Turkey, Cyprus, Italy and more; I’m lucky to have experienced the countries that I have. Yet there are so many places that are still on my bucket list – the stunning land of New Zealand, the breath-taking views in Norway, the historical fairy-tale of Germany and the incredible islands of Greece. Now is the matter of deciding which is next, what is in my budget and the place that I am absolutely aching to visit first.
When it comes to choosing your next travel destination, ask yourself the following questions. I’m no expert, but it should help narrow down the magnitude of choices from across the globe.
WHERE HAVEN’T YOU BEEN?
Unless you love returning to the same place over and over – everyone adores having a holiday destination that feels like home – write a list of all the places you are yet to visit. Which ones come out on top? It doesn’t have to be a far-flung island off the coast of an unknown destination that has breath-taking views of the ocean, although, we would all love that kind of holiday! It can be a part of your own country that you have always dreamed about visiting. Perhaps you live in the city, but want to relax in the historic countryside? Perhaps it is vice-versa. There are plenty of beautiful places in every single country, especially our own, which is why so many tourists travel to the UK. Take their advice and visit somewhere close by. Travel doesn’t solely include flights and a few thousand miles separation from your home; it can be as simple as a brand-new experience, even somewhere just a little bit out of your comfort zone.
WHAT KIND OF HOLIDAY DO YOU WANT?
This should be the most obvious question. It is no good looking at beach breaks when you want to soak up the culture of a city. Likewise, don’t look at the hustle and bustle of a city when what you really need is a week of doing nothing in order to escape the realities of everyday life. Choosing the type of holiday will narrow down the outcome, making it a lot easier to choose your ideal destination for your next trip.
HOW MUCH CAN YOU AFFORD?
Perhaps the second most obvious question; or maybe it should be the first… If you have copious amounts of money, the world is your oyster. If you don’t, the world is still your oyster, but you have to be picky about which part you want to divulge in. It is no good looking at (dreaming about, yes, but not looking at in a serious I’m-booking-it-and-will-think-about-the-money-later kinda way) the exquisite holiday of your dreams if you have non-exquisite money to pay for it. I’ll give the same tip that every other travel blogger gives you: head to Skyscanner, or Kayak, for flight comparisons as well as Booking.com and Air BnB to find some incredible places that should be worth way more than they are. Be scrupulous in your search and you will bag yourself a bargain!
RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH
This isn’t a question, but fundamental to choosing your next travel destination. Get inspired by the country/countries you want to visit next by searching their hashtag on Instagram and finding beautiful photos of that place. Let’s face it, whenever we need a burst of travel inspiration, the first place we turn to in this millennial day and age is social media. It gives us a true, yet aesthetic, view of the country from people who have seen it first-hand. Of course, there is that question of reality versus creative, which is argued daily. Personally, I scour Instagram for its stunning imagery, and I follow incredible travel bloggers that I trust completely, and so I know that if I choose a destination from their recommendation, I will have a fantastic time. TripAdvisor is another reliable source as are the reviews on Booking.com. Blogs and YouTube are the obvious choice for delving a little deeper into the personal reviews of a destination and getting super exhilarated for that trip!
Ultimately, choose somewhere that makes your heart palpitate with excitement, that gives you butterflies whenever you think about how amazing the trip will be. Be more mindful about the places you want to visit, about their culture and their history. Choose somewhere that will take you physically, emotionally and mentally away from your life at home. If you need a week beside a pool, do that. If you need to get lost in a labyrinth of streets, get your comfy shoes on. Don’t go for the sole reason of getting something Insta-worthy. See that part as a bonus. Instead, go to fulfil your desire for travel and you will always feel as though you are escaping reality.
Love, Faye xo