If you are looking for travel ideas for your next vacation, this formula will help you arrive at the destination or destinations that will make great contenders for where to travel next.
All you need is a journal and pen (or a blank digital document) and some time to give the following questions some thought and jot down your answers.
Where to Travel Next, Step 1: Determine who and why.
Who: Travelers. How many travelers will be going on this trip? Just you? A band of friends? If there are other people joining you, get them on board with this process!
Why: Vision. What is the real reason for your travel getaway? This is an example of a clear vision: “I want to have the adventure of a lifetime.”
Consider the question carefully and be honest about why you are looking to travel. There are no wrong answers.
Where to Travel Next, Step 2: Runway and Duration
How much time do you have to plan? This may influence the number of possible travel ideas. If you take the whole family overseas you may need more time, but fortunately most trips you only need a couple of weeks to plan.
How long can your getaway be? Your travel ideas are contingent on whether you can get away for a long weekend or for a few weeks, so this is important.
Where to Travel Next, Step 3: Budget
When it comes to budgeting, no amount is right or wrong. Only you know what is an appropriate figure. Some things to consider in your budget include:
Transportation and Lodging (airfare, gas, cruise, hotel, resort)
Adventure activities (ski lift tickets, parasailing, etc.)
Food (restaurants, groceries, snacks)
Other Experiences (spa treatments, snorkeling classes, etc.)
Play with the budget until all vacationers are happy with what you’ve planned out.
Where to Travel Next, Step 4: The Shortlist
At this point you should know who is going and why, how much time you have to plan and be away, and a good idea of your budget.
This is the perfect spot to brainstorm a list of possible destinations that are in line with the people, purpose, timeframe, and budget you’ve decided.
Spend some time making a long list of possibilities. If you have a large budget and a long timeframe to be away, write down smaller trips, too. Don’t hurry and don’t rule anything out — the point in this stage is to write down every viable option, so spend some time building your list.
Where to Travel Next, Step 5: Final Selection
At this point you should have a list of travel ideas inspired by Steps 1-4, so chances are you have some good options from which to choose.
The final step is a process of elimination, so you may want to do some research and some thinking and discussion with the other possible vacationers.
You don’t have to do this all in one day — sometimes the brainstorming process needs time to incubate. The point is that you’ve identified some criteria for your travel ideas and it’s much easier than starting from a blank canvas.