Planning where to vacation can be part of the fun of travel, but when multiple people are involved, all with different ideas and travel styles, it can get a bit overwhelming.
Here are some tips to help you get started when it’s time to pick your vacation destination.
5 Tips to Pick Your Next Vacation Destination
While you might have an idea of where you’d like to go, getting everyone involved in the process can help build excitement about the trip and help each member of the family, or travel party, feel more invested.
Here are some ways to begin brainstorming…
1. Consider Your Budget, Time and Travelers
Before you get to the fun stuff, it’s a good idea to think about how much money you have in your travel budget, how much time you have to spend and the ages and interests of the travelers.
Go to Travel Gal can help you reduce the cost of traveling, especially by using miles and points to book flights, but you’ll want to factor that into your budget and consider other costs.
Remember expenses like:
- Travel to and from the airport
- Tips (bellman, drivers, tour guides, etc.)
- Transportation at your destination
Additionally, some destinations are better for a long weekend, usually ones that you can more quickly travel to, while others lend themselves more to a week or longer, like trips overseas.
Finally, keep in mind the ages and interests of those traveling with you to ensure the ultimate destination will have at least something that appeals to everyone.
2. Play a Game
To get the creative juices flowing and engage in a fun family activity, try turning destination-picking into a game!
Alamo’s Scenic Route offers several fun games, including Travelgories. Print the activity sheet and then take turns selecting a letter. Then, each member of the family must brainstorm an answer to the following prompts, starting with that letter:
- A destination you want to visit
- Souvenir you’d like to take home
- Food or drink you’d like to try on vacation
- A vacation activity you’d like to try
- A destination you DON’T want to visit
This can be a fun way to get an idea of what everyone has in mind when it comes to dream vacations.
Another game from Alamo’s Scenic Route is Travelopoly, where you make your way around a game board.
3. Start a Destination Bullet Journal
If you’re already on the more creative side (uh, not me! ;-)), you might want to start a destination bullet journal. A bullet journal is a way of journaling that uses bullet points as its main structure and where you jot down short notes instead of long sentences.
Some people like to use them to doodle and draw, as well as keep track of to-dos, dreams, plans and “one days.”
So you could use a bullet journal to map out places you’d like to go to, what you’d do there, what you need to do to get there and even dream destinations.
They are also handy for actually planning the trip! Here are some tips on how to use a bullet journal once you’ve picked a destination:
- Create an index to serve as a to-do list that will guide each phase of your planning.
- Write out a travel planning agenda to organize your flights, car rentals, hotels, etc.
- Create an itinerary of activities for the trip itself with plenty of room for doodles.
- Make a thorough packing list.
- Use photos, mementos and washi tape to further decorate your journal after the trip is over.
4. Browse Social Media and Travel Blogs
View this post on Instagram
Super fun electric bike tour in #SanDiego last year. Here I’m standing in a park in #LaJolla with many interesting trees that inspired Dr. Seuss, who called this area home. Ever notice many of his characters look like seals and sea lions? These creatures are also abundant here! #travelblogger #travellife #travelwriter
Head on over to Instagram or Pinterest (be sure to check out Families Fly Free!) for some visual inspiration about where you’d like to travel. Do beach photos or mountain peaks grab you the most? Do you find yourself clicking on images of charming towns in Europe or skylines of New York City?
This can be a good way to get a feel for what type of destination might appeal to you.
It’s also a great idea to read travel blogs and see where people similar to you have traveled and enjoyed themselves. Some of my family’s favorite destinations include Grand Cayman, Colorado, San Diego, Disney World and more!
5. Check Airfare
Of course, as a blogger who writes about how to save on travel, I have to suggest checking airfares or getting updates on great airfare deals, so you can take advantage when a cheap one comes through.
We do a lot of our trip planning based on where we can fly to cheaply from our home base of Indianapolis. And Go to Travel Gal team member John Chavez shared that he recently scored a $50 one-way flight to London, which he took advantage of. And why not?!
If you can find a cheap fare somewhere, run it by your family or travel party and see if everyone’s in. If so, go for it! But book it fast, as sometimes these good deals don’t last long. 😊