travel

5 Ways to Find Your Perfect Vacation Destination

perfect vacationIf you google “Choose a vacation spot”, you’ll instantly find dozens of online tools and quizzes that ask you a series of questions and then claim to have found the perfect vacation destination for you. I, on the other hand, kept getting the Grand Canyon, over and over again. Maybe looking at a giant hole is my perfect vacation spot but as someone who dislikes hiking and bugs, I don’t really think it is. Luckily, there are better ways to find a great vacation spot.

What do you want to do?

This is perhaps the hardest question an aspiring travel has ever been asked – what do you want to do on vacation? The most popular choice for a weary traveler is an all-inclusive resort vacation. If lying on a beach and eating an all-you-can-eat buffet every meal is what you want to do, have a great time! Luckily this type of vacation is very popular so you can easily find a travel agent or website to plan your trip.

However, if trekking through a jungle or exploring an urban locale is more your thing, a run-of-the-mill travel agent isn’t for you. Dangerous or off-the-beaten-path trips will require you to coordinate with a more specialized travel agent either at home or in your destination country. Taking a trip to Paris on the other hand, can be done as easily as purchasing a plane ticket.

Deciding the type of vacation you want to take is helps narrow down the locations and makes it easier to answer the next four questions.

How far are you willing to travel and how much time do I have?

Someone who dislikes airplanes or has a particularly difficult time with jet lag might opt for a stay-cation or a road trip. Likewise, a person with limited vacation time might opt for a long weekend in a nearby city rather than a week in Japan.

When choosing your perfect vacation spot, deciding how far you’d be willing to travel is key – if you don’t want to travel for two days in a car, driving from Canada to California isn’t for you. Likewise, if you’d love nothing more than to get as far away from your regular life as possible on your vacation, South Africa or Australia are very, very long airplane rides away.

What’s your budget?

I, like most of you, am not a super-millionaire with thousands to spend on a vacation. For that reason it’s crucial that you work out your budget before you get your heart set on going on safari in Africa.

When you’re working out your budget, you’ll need to include obvious things like hotel and flight costs but also little things that are often overlooked like baggage fees and food costs. Serious budget travelers might be able to get by in Europe for $30/day but people who insist on private rooms, private bathrooms and fine food will need to budget accordingly.

All-inclusive resorts are a great choice if you’d like to save money – instead of nickel and diming your way through your vacation, paying for food, taxis, hotels etc. you can pay a large lump-sum upfront and have all your expenses taken care of for a whole week. Once you’ve decided on an all-inclusive, your only decision then is the number of stars you want your hotel to have.

What destination is on your bucket list?

While a list of dream places could encourage you to spend more to check them off your list, it can also be a tremendously helpful tool when deciding where to go on your next vacation.

In fact, once you’ve determined what you want to do, how long you can travel and what your budget is, consulting a list of your must-visit destinations can make your decision super easy. Plus, with a focused list, you won’t be swayed by flight sales that see you booking random trips to Poland because of the great price when you’ve really been saving up to visit Istanbul.

Choosing a vacation destination isn’t easy. With limited funds and vacation time, no one wants to get stuck spending their holidays somewhere they won’t enjoy. Luckily, if you ask yourself the right questions, you can find the perfect vacation destination with only a little bit of effort.

About the author

TK

TK is a Certified Financial Planner with over 15 years of experience in the banking industry. She started blogging in 2009 after the market crash. TK enjoys helping people plan their retirement, pay off debt, invest wisely, live on a budget and enjoy happy financial lives. You can see what she's up to on Twitter @TahnyaKristina.

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