Planning is Half the Fun of Travel: Choosing Your Destination

Planning is Half the fun of travel_ Choosing your destination

As I set off for another few months of travelling through Europe, I wanted to share with you how I plan and choose my desired trip because after all, planning is half the fun of travel.  In fact, it is scientifically proven that planning a holiday can boost happiness for 8 weeks.  I want to show you my process of planning my European adventure and how you can do the same for your next holiday.

Choosing your destination can be the most difficult decision to make.  There are so many wonderful places I want to visit.  It feels like every time I read a new article or glance at a new picture on Instagram I add another country, city or region to my never-ending list.  Here are some deciding factors which help me decide on the destinations I visit:

 

Planning is Half the Fun of Travel: Choosing Your Destination

Weather and climate

I am totally a summer person but now it’s winter in Europe and there is no escaping it.  Instead, I’m prepared to embrace the wintry weather as Christmas is coming and this means a lot of European cities turn into scenes from a fairy-tale.  With the abundance of Christmas markets, festive food and cheerful vibes, if there’s one thing that Europe does better than my home New Zealand and that’s Christmas.

 

Planning is Half the Fun of Travel: Choosing Your Destination

Accommodation options

I always have a quick look at Hotels.com and check if there are some great options for accommodation in the area I am looking to visit.  You can find some unique and beautiful hotels around the world.  Countries like Thailand and Indonesia have some beautiful luxury retreats for which are incredibly cheap, so that’s always a positive when choosing a destination in Asia.  Another thing I love about Hotels.com is the reward program.  For every 10 nights you book, you get 1 free!

 

Planning is Half the Fun of Travel: Choosing Your Destination

Affordability

This is a key factor for me when deciding destinations.  As I’m a full-time traveller I must make sure my money goes further than if it was just a holiday.  If I do decide to choose an expensive destination, I will consider spending less time there and more time in a cheaper country.  Everyone has a different budget so considering which destinations are within your budget is a great idea.

 

Planning is Half the Fun of Travel: Choosing Your Destination

A vast variety of food

I’m a foodie at heart.  Everyone must eat, so why not enjoy it and hunt down all the best food that the country has to offer.  As it’s going to be Christmas time I’m most looking forward to mulled wine and Christmas mince pies.  As I am only planning to visit within Europe due to budget and time constraints, I want to try some new cuisine so Eastern Europe looks promising!

 

Planning is Half the Fun of Travel: Choosing Your Destination

Transportation

Making sure that it’s easy to travel to the destination I pick is also important.  Are the flights direct?  Is the flight affordable at that time of year?  Is it easy to get around the country when I get there?  These are all very important questions I ask myself when planning a holiday.

 

Planning is Half the Fun of Travel: Choosing Your Destination

Friends and family

This Christmas some of my family from New Zealand are going to be visiting the United Kingdom, so I decided that I am going to spend Christmas and New Years with them.  This makes decision making super easy because it gives me a defendant location and dates I must be there by.  Your travel planning might be influenced by visiting family or friends too!

 

 

Planning is Half the fun of travel: Choosing your destination

Putting all those factors into consideration I decided to do the route above!  I have roughly 4 or 5 months, so I decided I want to see as much of Eastern Europe as possible.  I want to be back in Albania by the start of April and this route is easy to get back there.  As I’m spending a month in the United Kingdom I also wanted to spend the rest of the time in more affordable countries.  The red line is my return trip from London.

I also decided I didn’t want to visit anywhere that I have been before (except the UK), I really want to see and experience new countries, cuisines and culture!

To help you plan your next holiday Hotels.com have given me a discount, which you can use to receive 8% off your next hotel!  Use the code 8OFFNZANITA to receive your discount.  Don’t forget to download their app to make it easier to book on the go.

 

 

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Planning is Half the fun of travel_ Choosing your destination

 

*This post is in collaboration with hotels.com.  As always, all opinions are mine.

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21 Comments

  1. December 5, 2017 / 11:58 am

    Honestly I hate planning hahah. I usually just know where I’m going and plan as I’m already there. But these tips are amazing! Need to try them.

  2. December 5, 2017 / 6:46 pm

    I agree with you, planning is a big chunk of the fun. We like to travel with our friends because we bounce ideas off each other and it magnifies the excitement and buzz.

    We use online cloud collaborative tools like Google Sheets and Dropbox to keep all of us on the same digital page.

    Sometimes we spend over 12 months planning our trips, so you can really extend a happy buzz.

    Thanks for posting and keep traveling. Adventure is better when shared with friends.

  3. December 6, 2017 / 1:13 am

    yes, planning can be so much fun! Every time I book my flight I start watching videos on youtube and read blog about the country I am gonna visit. I am here with ya with seeing this great places online and adding it to never ending list. I am also not really a winter person and I wish I could escape for it sometimes! I see you gonna be visiting Poland 🙂 Thats where I am from so I hope you’re gonna have an amazing time!

  4. December 7, 2017 / 11:29 am

    I find choosing the destination the best aspect of traveling. It’s always fun to discover new places and crossing things off the bucket list. This post was a truly awesome read, Anita! 😉

  5. December 8, 2017 / 2:28 am

    I couldn’t agree more about planning – not surprised to hear how much it boosts happiness. It definitely makes me happy!

  6. December 10, 2017 / 9:03 am

    I totally agree! I generally pick out a list of things I want to do, look at ease and price of flights, and whether or not it will be too crowded with tourists.

    Also, I love your route through the Balkans – we’re headed to Albania in January!

  7. December 10, 2017 / 9:49 am

    You really covered all the main factors to consider when deciding where to go and when. I personally, love planning trips! So I keep all those things in mind. It’s so amazing that you have 4-5 months to wander Europe and the cities you plan to visit seem to be great choices. I hope you have a great trip and fun with family in the UK!

  8. December 10, 2017 / 10:37 am

    Good stuff!! I find it fun to just plan even though I don’t have any openings to travel. I just tuck it away for when an opportunity comes up! 😀

  9. December 10, 2017 / 10:56 am

    I love this part of travel, even though sometimes it’s hard to make up my mind where to next. You have provided great tips to help get the process started. Thanks for sharing.

  10. December 10, 2017 / 2:50 pm

    Great advice. We have used similar tips to book our trips. Especially when we did our Europe trip. Like you said, there is so much out there to see that it can make choosing a destination very tough.

  11. December 10, 2017 / 7:51 pm

    Planning a holiday makes me so excited, from checking on hotels and researching what to see and do, i always tend to organise it on off season its cheaper flights and accommodation too..

  12. December 11, 2017 / 5:51 am

    Totally agree: planning is half the fun when you go on a trip! My kind of plan is really similar to yours. First, I decide the destination; second, bye a flight; third, what’s going to be my travel route; and then means of transportation in loco. I usually only make hotel reservations for the first couple of days and go from there. 😉

  13. December 11, 2017 / 9:13 am

    Yoive got some wonderful tips here. I do agree 100% with everything especially the budget part. I hate being stranded so I tend to go within my limits. Most times I swiych fancy restaurants for locals’ shop and I get more than enough satisfaction in the latter. I think it’s discovering gems out of nothing.

  14. December 12, 2017 / 1:34 pm

    first of all I hope you have fun on your trip around Europe, secondly as a long-term traveler myself, you have a very similar way of planning trips as I do, I’m very much from the school of doing my research into my destination, having a rough route but not over planning. However in saying that I do look at the same things as you when researching my trip, affordability is up there top of my list, when looking for accommodation booking.com and hostelworld are the two I glance at.

  15. December 12, 2017 / 2:17 pm

    I agree, while I mostly do spontaneous traveling, I make it a point to plan my path ahead. It not only prepare you for any eventuality, it also assure you not to miss out on a something – a must-see place or a must-try cuisine.

  16. Megan Jerrard
    December 13, 2017 / 1:38 am

    Totally agree that Choosing your destination can be the most difficult decision to make. We usually make our destination choices based off deals we find at the time, usually flights, but an awesome accommodation deal can sometimes be enough to get us to book flights. You’ve covered some great considerations to think about when choosing your next holiday – friends and family (especially over these CHristmas holidays) is a big one I think – and usually helps with your affordabilit when you have a place to stay and a free tour guide!!

  17. December 13, 2017 / 3:48 am

    I used to love travel planning and would sit and watch the travel channel for hours and look up destinations. Life gets away from you and there’s never enough time these days. My news years resolution this year is to plan out basic routes of my top 5 trips. I’m hoping with the basic done I will have more time to plan the rest and watch for deals

  18. December 13, 2017 / 4:34 am

    Great little checklist of things to take into consideration when deciding your next destination. You’re so right that planning is half the fun! Adventures start as soon as they are thought up! 🙂

  19. December 13, 2017 / 2:38 pm

    These are great tips. So many places, so little time! I tend to travel during low season to more expensive destinations as it is cheaper to book hotels. Looking forward to your stories about Albania. Never been there!

  20. December 13, 2017 / 4:25 pm

    I find bliss in planning but I must also admit that I hate itineraries. And you are right! We might have destinations in mind but when we consider other factors like flight deals, season, safety, costs, etc, choosing a destination becomes tougher than it actually is. On the other hand, while choosing a destination, that’s when our adrenaline starts rushing researching on what to see in a certain place. Sometimes, we just dream of a place and book it right away and then the planning comes after the flight booking. Right? Hahaha.

  21. December 13, 2017 / 6:23 pm

    Wait, you mean people actually plan. I usually just look at ticket prices and pick somewhere then figure out all those silly things like accommodations and things to do.

    You make a good point about picking places near people you know so you can stay for free.

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