A gap has magically appeared in your schedule for a well-earned holiday. But where do you go when there are so many phenomenal destinations in the world? Read on for tips to whittle down your choices.
If you don’t own a world globe, find one at your local mall. Close your eyes, give it a spin and put your finger on the map. Ta-da! Alternatively, write a bunch of places you’re interested in going to on separate pieces of paper and chuck them in a bowl. Shake the bowl’s contents and pick one.
The first thing to consider is how many vacation days you have available. This will inform many other choices like whether to go abroad or not. If you only have a week, it might be a better idea to check if your vehicle has car insurance and hit the local roads for a staycation. Some of the best locations are often in our proverbial backyards.
Do you want to stay in 5-star accommodation or are you willing to slum it a little to get more bang for your buck? Different things are important to different people. If you’re paying for a family, the costs of going overseas might be prohibitive in a way that they just wouldn’t be if you were undertaking an Eat Pray Love odyssey on your own.
You could be the type who wants to get on a cruise where everything is sorted and you can just kick back and relax, or you could detest the very idea. What kind of holiday are you in the mood for? Do you want to get up close and personal with silverback gorillas or do you want to go on a Cape Town foodie extravaganza? Shop until you drop in New York or volunteer? From extreme sports in New Zealand and beach spa days in Thailand to museum hopping in London and partying in Ibiza, the adventures are endless. Make a Bucket List and prioritize items.
What will the weather be like? If you’re dying to see Venice for example, but you hate cold weather, November to February might not be the best time for a whimsical gondola ride.
There are awesome annual events to revel in like the Glastonbury Music Festival, La Tomatina in Spain or the Great Migration in the Serengeti. If your purse is feeling full enough for high season prices but you don’t have a specific event in mind, seek some out that will take place when you’re on holiday. There’s a reason they’re special and they could help you make indelibly good memories.
Is this a family vacation, a romantic sojourn or a trip with your buddies? Perhaps you’re hoping to find yourself on a solo #yolo. This factor brings other elements into play such as how to split time between the interests of your fellow travellers or planning for safety if you’re a woman travelling alone.
Health, Safety and Infrastructure
What’s the political situation in the countries you’re keen on visiting? Is the transport reliable and will you be able to get from one spot to another without too much trouble? Is the region you’re considering currently free of public health crises? Do your research. Kenya’s tourism industry saw a slump during the Ebola crisis even though it was a 100-hour drive away from the centre of the pandemic and didn’t pose any danger to travellers.
If you have food restrictions, where you choose to go on holiday can significantly hamper or enhance your enjoyment. Whether you’re vegan or halaal, having food that you can eat be easily accessible is an often overlooked factor that could make or break your break.
If you have a strong passport that gives you visa-free entry to multiple countries, congratulations. Visa costs can add up. The admin and time required to obtain them can be off-putting if your vacation period is around the corner and you don’t want the anxiety of not receiving your travel documents in time.
As you’ve gone through this list, your mind has probably eliminated some impractical options and added some fun new ones. The important thing is to go with your gut. Happy holidays!