While I’m all for helping people learn how to maximize their travels through cost-cutting and planning, travel coaching sometimes requires me to help travelers realize that one of the keys to being able to travel more is by choosing the right destination in the first place, because choosing the wrong destination may be paralyzing your travel life.
Now, if you’re anything like me, there aren’t too many places in the world you don’t want to travel to; for people like us, most places tend to be a dream destination. Still, there are certain places on our travel wish lists that take priority over others. So when you realize that your dream destination is outside of your realm of possibilities for right now, you may feel discouraged and wonder if you’re ever going to make it there. I know that feeling all too well – I have a few dream destinations that always seem to allude me (hello, Tanzania and Hong Kong!). It’s perfectly normal to feel this way when our travel plans fall through the cracks due to a lack of time, money, or whatever else stands in the way.
Upon realizing that you can’t make it to your dream destination for whatever reason, you may be tempted to throw in the towel on travel altogether. Don’t make this mistake…instead, simply rethink your destination.
If and when you reach a dream destination impasse, it’s time to go back to the drawing board to find a destination that makes more sense for you right now.
So what are some key things to consider when trying to figure out whether your desired destination makes sense? Glad you asked!
#1 – Distance + Travel Time
When choosing a destination, you need to give some thought to how far away it is, how much time it takes to get there, and how much time you need to spend there to truly maximize your visit. Now, you might be tempted to automatically rule out a destination based on its great distance and long travel time, especially if it’s out of the country. But as someone who’s taken 3-day weekend jaunts abroad, I’m here to assure you that it can be done although of course you’re not going to be able to see and do everything you might want to once there. So don’t be so quick to eliminate a destination based on distance or travel time, but do be realistic about your expectations about how much time you’ll have to enjoy your destination once there.
#2 – The Season
It’s easy to use summer vacations and spring breaks as your default vacation times because maybe that’s when your kids are on vacation, because that’s generally when most people plan their vacations, or because that’s when the weather in your destination is likely to be at its best. However, if you’re not traveling during off peak and shoulder seasons, I can’t tell you how much money you’re leaving on the table! While the weather in your destination is an important consideration, don’t rule out a destination just because the weather won’t be at its prime. Less than ideal weather typically means fewer tourists which typically means better prices for off peak travelers.
#3 – Travel Costs (think beyond airfare)
While high airfares are usually the reason most of us weed out a destination from jump, it’s important to look beyond airfare costs. Why? Well, because airfares may be high, but costs on the ground may be really affordable. The opposite is true too: airfares may be relatively low, but costs on the ground may be really high. Think about Scandinavia, for example. Lately, Norwegian Airlines (love them!) has been offering some awesome airfares from major U.S. hubs to places like Stockholm and Copenhagen, but the fact of the matter is that other costs in Scandinavia – hotels, food, etc. – are really, really high! So airfare shouldn’t be the end-all-be-all in your quest for the ideal destination.
#4 – Chase Deals
A major mistake that I see travelers make time and time again is chasing destinations instead of chasing deals. So, you want to go to Bali? I get it. But if airfare to Bali is going to cost you $900 (which you may not have or may not be willing to spend on airfare), then it’s time to open yourself to chasing deals. If, for example, you come across an airfare deal to Vietnam instead of Bali for $600, it may be worth booking it and then booking a cheaper flight from Vietnam to Bali. In that way, you’ll get to visit your dream destination – Bali – while also getting the bonus of exploring Vietnam – a destination you may not have otherwise considered.
All things considered, traveling to the right destination at the right price at the right time, will give you more freedom and flexibility to travel more. So choose wisely!
So, what’s your dream destination?
Sign up for the free 10-Day Dream Trip Challenge and get the hands-on travel coaching you need to help you plan and book your dream trip. During the challenge, you’ll join a private Facebook group where you’ll have access to short video lessons each day full of tips that’ll help you find and book the most affordable fares, book affordably luxurious hotel deals, and help you put together an amazing itinerary. At the end of the challenge, one lucky participant will receive a special gift. Aaaannnd….by joining the challenge, you’ll also become a member of Time Card Express® which will entitle you to access exclusive discount codes at some of the best boutique hotels and tour companies around the world! To sign up for the challenge, click here. The challenge begins Monday, April 18!
Meet Genesis (on the far left) and her friends pictured here in beautiful Strasbourg, France. After taking the 10-Day Dream Trip Challenge last spring, Genesis set off on her first adventure abroad to Estonia, France, Germany, Austria, Portugal and Spain using the best tips + tricks she learned during the challenge to find and book the most affordable deals. If you’re looking for free trip planning help to set your travel plans in motion, then click my profile link to join the challenge…it starts Monday! #10daydreamtrip