What’s the most exciting thing about travel? Maybe it’s diving into another culture’s food or learning to surf. Or maybe you just love to get away and simply relax. Whether you’re seeking adventure or in search of calm, you first have to answer a pretty big question: where should you travel next?
The world is an endless playground for travelers and it can be quite difficult sometimes to choose your next destination. However, we’ve listed some ideas to help you in your search! Who knows, maybe your next trip is in your own backyard. Or maybe it’s halfway around the globe.
We’ve compiled the following points based on our personal experience as well as some ways we’d like to try in the future. So, for those racking their brain for ideas on where to travel next, let’s see what destinations we can conjure up!
10 Tips on Choosing Where to Travel Next
Where Have You Been?
First and foremost, where have you been? Anywhere exciting? Comparing a return to somewhere you’ve visited vs. an entirely new destination is a great place to start your search.
We’ve been to many places around the globe and dream of going back to quite a few of them. However, we’re always torn between that and visiting somewhere new. Again, there are endless options out there so “somewhere new” usually wins that battle!
Have you ever been out of the country before? International travel not only makes for an amazing experience but it will do wonders for you, personally. Whether that’s a new point of view or stronger self-confidence, traveling in foreign countries can be pretty life-changing! Europe is a popular spot for those traveling abroad. If you’ve never been before, check out our guide for first-timers in Europe!
That said, don’t think that mind-blowing travel has to be international. There are probably so many things to do where you live or nearby that can be just as awesome.
What’s Your Budget Like?
Money, unfortunately, is a critical part of the travel equation. You may really want to go to Bora Bora (don’t we all?) but can you afford a trip like that?
Having traveled 20 countries with just a couple backpacks while working fewer hours than part-time, we’ve had to really crunch some numbers (and stick to them) to make ends meet. Even though it was a tough task we made it work! So, if you really want to make that trip to a remote island happen, you should start your travel savings now!
But let’s say you’ve already got a budget in mind and there aren’t a lot of options on the table. Flights are out of your range but you really want to visit somewhere new.
Road trip, anyone? One of the cheapest ways to travel, especially in the US, is by car. In fact, we’ve put together a guide on how to road trip on a budget in the USA. But these tips can be applied to any country!
So grab a pal or two and explore the open road. But don’t forget to bring these road trip essentials along for the ride!
What’s Your Favorite Kind of Travel?
Maybe you’re the kind of traveler that loves city breaks and hitting all the hip pubs and restaurants. Or maybe you’re a nature lover who seeks peace and quiet. Or maybe you’re both!
We’ve fallen in love with both cities and nature in many countries so there’s not a right or wrong answer here. It’s all about what you’re feeling at the moment.
Cities have their perks for big lists of things to do, see and eat. There’s always the nightlife scene as well. On the flip side, outdoor lovers will feel the same about nature, like national parks. There’s no end to hiking trails and majestic views; there’s some nightlife as well (stargazing!).
Are you wanting to do a certain activity? Snorkeling, surfing, horseback riding? If there’s an activity you absolutely love, try searching for the best destinations for it.
Even though there is no right or wrong answer, we’ll give our two cents. We love mixing the two! Starting with a city and ending with some nature is a pretty good recipe to follow. It’s the best of both worlds. But the choice is yours!
Ask an Expert
Know someone who travels a lot? They might have a lot to say about the next place you should travel to.
Whether it’s a travel blogger or close friend, asking for some advice can open doors that otherwise would have remained shut. We haven’t been to every country in the world (not even close yet!) but we’ve learned a thing or two about travel. So, if you’ve got a question, whether general or specific, we’d love to hear it! Feel free to comment below or contact us!
Use Those Points!
Does your credit card accrue reward points? Put them to good use for your upcoming travels!
We use Chase Sapphire Preferred (earn 60k bonus points when you sign up!), which lets us use points toward Chase travel rewards. Using Chase travel rewards means our points go further, as travel is discounted through their site. So, after saving up points for several years, we’ve used quite a bit toward travel!
There are many more reward cards out there that benefit travelers. Read up on Nerdwallet’s list of the best travel credit cards to find one that’s right for you.
Of course, please use credit cards responsibly! If you cannot pay off your statement balance then you should avoid using it. Failing to do so will result in paying interest and bad marks on your credit!
If you travel often, especially out of the country, it’s good to have a card with no foreign transaction fees and no ATM fees. See our post on how to travel smart with money so you don’t spend more than you have to!
Use Google Flights to Find Deals and Itineraries
Looking for a sweet deal before you make your next travel plans? You’ve probably heard plenty about cheap travel deals on ads from Travelocity, Expedia, etc.
But what about just using Google? Google Flights is an easy-to-use flight search that will show you the best flight deals. Search for cheap deals by specific destination or scour the entire continent at once.
For fun, try searching “Europe” and see what comes up. You could end up somewhere you never thought you’d go, like us! For some help on getting the most out of this nifty tool, check out our guide on how to use Google Flights to find cheap flights!
Another perk of Google Flights is that Google recommends itineraries based on how long you want to travel and where you want to go. Our advice? Make your own itinerary! But Google has some great ideas that you can borrow.
Pro Tip: Google Flights does not list Southwest flights, which is a great option for US travelers. You’ll need to use Southwest.com to view those flights.
Is There an Event?
Is your favorite band playing in a city you’d like to visit? Or maybe your favorite author is signing books in a cool destination. Time your next trip with an event!
This can be a lot of fun, as you mix entertainment with traveling to a new place. For example, we’ve visited Kansas City, Missouri and Vienna, Austria for concerts. The shows were awesome and it was an excuse to explore (and eat!) the destination.
Whatever the special occasion, traveling for it will only add to the fun!
Follow the Food
If you can’t tell from our blog name, we love food. One of our driving forces in life is searching out deliciousness. So, of course, food is a big seller on a destination.
Take Italy for example, you can get pretty decent Italian food in the States but it doesn’t even compare to what can get in Italy. If you love everything about Italian food then book a 2 week trip to Italy and try the food from North to South.
What if the country is huge? How do you pick where to go? Think about your favorite foods. Chinese? Barbecue? Think about what dish you love and visit where it originated!
Let’s say you go ga-ga for xiao long bao (soup dumplings) then hop on a plane to Changzhou, where xiao long bao originated, or Shanghai, where they were made popular.
Do Some Reading or Watching
When figuring out where you should travel to next look no further than then your bookshelf or most-watched TV shows and movies.
Hunt down sights that inspired your favorite authors, like the Greyfriars Kirkyard in Edinburgh where J.K. Rowling borrowed names on headstones to create her characters in Harry Potter. Tom Riddle, Moody, and McGonagall to name a few.
Oxford is a great destination for any literary lover. Greats like C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien spent many years in Oxford. Visit where they taught, the pub they frequented, as well as the famous lamppost C.S. Lewis used as his inspiration in Narnia from The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.
If your travels are more inspired by movies and TV shows then any easy Google search will tell you where many of them were filmed. For example, Dubrovnik and Split, Croatia are great places to visit for Game of Thrones fans and Prague has been the shooting location for many popular films.
Is There a World-Wide Epidemic?
We mention this because, at the time of writing, coronavirus is spreading all over the world. So, as of now, it may not be a great time to plan a trip to heavily populated areas. That said, it might be a great time to escape to the great outdoors.
Instead of traveling abroad or going to a major city in the USA maybe look into quieter, more remote places. National parks like Big Bend (situated on the border of Texas and Mexico) allow you to escape the crowds and enjoy nature. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can cross the border into Mexico to visit the small village of Boquillas.
Summary of Where You Should Travel Next
Have any ideas for your next travel plans yet? We hope so! These 10 tips can definitely get the ideas flowing. If you come up with an idea, we’d love to hear about it.
What happens next? You start saving and planning for that awesome trip!