“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a broken fan belt and a leaky tire.” -Proverb
Okay, so you want to travel… check. You want to leave the country… check. You want to see and do things you haven’t before… check. You have no idea where you should go… CHECK! It is often hard to pick a specific travel destination when planning a trip. There are so many fascinating things to see and do, and as soon as you think you have something planned out, your planning gets interrupted for some reason or another.
Although traveling is safer than most people realize, there are some guidelines that you should consider to ensure you have both the best time possible and the safest time possible. Here are five main things to keep in mind when picking a travel destination that should get you off to a good start.
Before looking into anything, you should make sure you can even legally enter and visit a country. Your country’s government should have a large amount of information on visas, whether they are required, as well as how long you can stay. You will be able to find this information online, over the phone, or at your nearest government building. There is no sense planning a trip somewhere you will never find a flight to!
Just because the government says you can visit a country doesn’t always mean you should!
There are many, many beautiful countries to visit, filled with colourful, fun cultures that you can be a part of. Foreign festivals, interesting foods, as well as many alternative forms of entertainment are all part of the travel experience! Researching culture may be one of the deciding factors in where you choose to travel!
Unfortunately there is a flip side to this fact. Many countries all over the world suffer from intense poverty, gang politics, heavy crime, and other undesirable problems that could make traveling an awful experience. Although most parts of the world are as safe as the next, there are trouble areas that you should definitely research before going anywhere. After all, you wouldn’t want the dream of a lifetime to turn into a nightmare.
One other point is the language barrier. Many tones and dialects are beyond difficult to understand, so one should keep this in consideration also!
Distance from Home
Although you are probably itching with anticipation to leave your little world called “home”, an important thing to remember when picking a travel destination is how far away it is.
Depending on what kind of trip you are planning, it could be cut short due to travel times. Many times flights can be 30 hours or longer plus any layovers, interruptions, etc. Be careful planning if you are only going for a week or two. It would be unfortunate to spend a good portion of vacation time sleeping in an airport waiting for another 20 hour flight.
Temperature and Climate
Of course something to consider is the temperature and climate of a location. Although it might seem simple, this is something that is often overlooked, and could affect your trip in a great way. For example, if you were to go to India in monsoon season, you would probably experience heavy rainfall your entire trip. It is highly recommended you do your research on the climate of a location before booking your tickets.
The economy is always changing, and it would be wise to check into the exchange rates and living expenses before deciding on a destination. Some places, such as London, England have very expensive living, as the average hotel price is close to $200 per night. Switzerland would also be expensive for a tourist as average meal prices range from $25 CAN – $70 CAN. Once again, doing your research can can help you eliminate travel destinations and save you money!
Other places, like parts of Thailand and India, are among the cheapest in the world. You can live comfortably in these regions for approx. $20 CAN – $35 CAN per day!
Although I am not one to shy away from an adventure, an experience, or even potential danger, I am still very smart when planning any trip and will research all sorts of possible dangers before deciding on a travel destination. Researching diseases, poisonous animal and insects, crime, etc. is very important to your well being. Even if you don’t let this affect your travel destination, you should at least know what you are up against when you go. For more information read this post on how to “Travel Safely While in Foreign Countries”
In the end, just remember that research is truly your best friend when trying to decide on a travel destination. Don’t research too hard or you might spoil some surprises you would have found out about along your trip, but make sure you have a good handle on the where you are going. Hopefully this guide will help you be able to plan a safe, happy, adventure filled trip!