Planning and researching the ideal vacation spot to go to is all part of the excitement. But how can you choose from so many incredible places? Obviously, your budget is one of your primary considerations – no swanning around and living it up in gay Paris if you are on a hectic backpackers budget. Here's how to choose your vacation destination.
1. Traveling Companions
One of the first things you need to decide is who you are going to be taking with you, you could travel alone of course, but if you are a young adult it is all part of the fun if you have someone you know to share it with – like friends. Taking your germ-freak, hysterical and highly strung, scared of spiders and has to sleep with the light on and the hand sanitizer next to their bed kind of friend is not the perfect Amazon jungle camping partner by far.
Also heading out to New York with your hiking/adventure/nature buddy is going to cramp your style – and theirs - when you want to shop all day and party all night and they want to find a quiet nature hike or swim in a lake somewhere.
Choosing your travel companion is as important as choosing your destination, and be sure beforehand that you have a good understanding of each other’s traveling style. Just because you are friends doesn’t mean you will both be comfortable in staying in the first seedy backpackers hostel you come across, or that a prerequisite for any hotel you stay will be a private valet and spa on site.
Once you have your travel companions sorted, and everyone is on board, it is time to get together and sort out where it is you are going to go. And there are a number of considerations one needs to take into account.
2. Travel Distance
Just because it is cheap, doesn’t mean it is viable. Bali is one of the destinations that can be very affordable, but if you are traveling on a weeklong spring break, depending on which part of the world you are traveling from, it could be far. Calculate for a night in awesome Singapore – which is a must – and a bit of jet lag/hangover – and you could have already lost a few precious days of beach and cocktail time.
Also just because it is cheap doesn’t mean the airfares will be. Don’t jump at the first place you see because it’s just so inexpensive and book it, only to find out that you need to take out a couple of loans just to afford the airfare to get there. Traveling gets a bit tricky like that.
3. Put Together a Budget
Work out how much everyone can more or less afford to spend per day. Some will obviously be able to spend much more, others less, so it’s a good idea to agree to stick to a cheerful middle ground. Not fair to all be eating from local street vendors, if one of your traveling group is eating 5-star every day and sipping on chilled mint tea costing a small fortune when everybody else has to fill up their water bottles back at the hotel for free.
Aim for everyone to do the same things, spend the same amount of money on food and other necessities and you won’t find any latent resentment building, especially if your friend won’t share.
4. The Weather
Check out the weather of your port of call or holiday destination before you think about booking. You may want to head out to Australia or Asia, but certain times of year the humidity and heat can be very uncomfortable – which can seriously ruin your vacation if you don’t fare very well in that kind of climate.
Also, the countryside might sound appealing until you arrive without checking the weather and realize that it rains all day and all night – in a torrential kind of way – for the entire time while you are visiting. This means your romantic idea of walks in the meadows was scratched right off the top of your list immediately, and making endless cups of tea and moaning how wet it is outside is all you remember from your country escape.
Skiing holidays could also be cut short by adverse weather conditions, avalanches, and blizzards as well as other vacation weather delights. Check up beforehand with your ski resort about what to expect and always follow their advice when they issue warnings about frolicking around in the snow.
5. Seasonal Vacations
Everybody wants to head to good weather – most of the time, unless you are planning a winter wonderland holiday, then your kind of good weather, won’t mean warm and sunny. But there are various times of the year that is usually much busier than others – and the weather is probably excellent.
But you can bet your bottom dollar that you are not only going to pay a substantial fortune for the privilege of being crushed by wall to wall visitors, stand in queues for everything, have to hustle at bars – 4 rows of people thick, just for a quiet beer at the beachfront, and your vacation nightmare is complete.
But if you are able to go just outside of the ‘’season’’, you will find the hordes, along with their packs of red-faced, shrilling children, have returned back from whence they came and you will have the destination all to yourselves. With great weather, a whopping huge difference in price and no queues at the bar for that nice quiet beer at the beach, off-season times are actually a great way to enjoy a vacation in peace with your budget intact.
6. Shop around Online
The Internet gives us a great variety of options, reviews, and virtual tours. So you can get some incredible deals by just taking a few hours to surf around and peruse a selection of your destinations. Last minute deals, weekday discounts, and winter packages open up an entire other world for travelers looking for the ultimate vacation.