When I come back from a destination like Dubai or Hong Kong a lot of people ask me how’d you pick (insert city/country name here) or Why did you decide to go there? A lot of it is kind of spontaneous, but I keep in mind certain things during my trip planning process. I have created a list of the 5 most important factors to keep in mind when choosing a destination.
One of my travel goals is to visit 50 countries before I turn 30. With 3 and a half years left, I about 35 countries. Since I love seeing new destinations, having not been there before gives a destination higher priority on my list than if I have been there.
As you can see from my map above, I haven’t been to South America, Africa, or the South Pacific, so those areas will likely be where I travel to soon
It is a lot easier to travel to South America than it is to South Asia, especially from Florida where I am living now. When we went to the Maldives it took almost 36 hours to get there because it is on the opposite side of the world. Even though our time there was only about 6 days, it was long enough to justify the long travel time since we got to see the Maldives and Hong Kong.
If I only have a long weekend to travel my options are more likely to be focused on Central or South America since you can get almost anywhere with a single stop in Dallas or Miami. If I were still living in the Northeast I would likely be looking for a domestic or European trip for a long weekend. As you have seen in my previous posts about Hong Kong, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi, you can see a lot in 48 hours if you make good use of your time!
Cost is most travelers limiting factor. As I showed in the Award Travel success you can book European trips in business class for a reasonable amount of miles. However, if you are just starting out on accruing miles, or you need to re-qualify for that coveted elite status, you may have to buy a revenue ticket. I suggest looking at theflightdeal.com and the forums at flyertalk.com. If you are flexible on your destinations, oftentimes you will find great deals, use the ITA Matrix to search availability and dates, then priceline to book it.
While having a US passport allows you to visit 160 countries without obtaining a visa ahead of time, some destinations like Brazil and China require you to have a visa before travel. Other possible requirements are immunizations or certain restrictions when entering another country.
I read all of the comments and try to comment back all of the time. If you have been somewhere and really enjoyed it tell me about it, that may inspire me to take a trip! I have been told I have to see Singapore and that Peru and Chile are awesome as well. Those are my top 3 places right now that I’d like to get to.