How to decide your next travel destination?

where to next?

With only a few days left in the year, I can’t help but wonder, W H E R E to NEXT? 2016 was a wonderful year filled with amazing memories where my wanderlust grew by the minute, AND even though reminiscing about past moments collected makes me incredibly grateful and it was so much fun, I can’t stop myself from thinking where will 2017 take me? Which destinations should I choose for new adventures this upcoming year?

As I was thinking this, I decided to write down and share with y’all a quick list of things I consider before deciding what trip to take next, how I choose possible destinations and what time of the year to travel there! Hope you find it useful!

Venice Beach, CA 

1. Make a list of all your paid holidays off next year :

  • The first thing I’ll be doing in 2017 (like in 3 days) lol is getting a hold of my calendar and checking ALL of the paid holiday days off I will have, such as Martin Luther King Day, President’s Day, Memorial Day, etc, etc, etc.

  • I do this for one simple reason: I want to visualize what time of year and what day of the week those dates fall on so that I keep them in mind when I’m dreaming about future vacations (+ ideally I’ll combine them with my vacation days to have more time to fly away)

2. Look for cool events at fun destinations:  

  • I’ve found that a great way to decide where to go next is based on the types of events being offered at certain places around the world such as music festivals, art festivals, national events, etc. For example, if you’re into music festivals and you’ve never been to Los Angeles, you may want to try to combine your visit to L.A. with attending Coachella; or if you’re thinking of going to Paris you can attend Rock en Seine, and the list goes on and on of music festivals around the world in amazing cities! Other cool events that I look into are:

    • Sports events: attending a European Futbol League match, a tennis tournament, a F1 race or a FIFA qualifying world cup match would be out of this world!
    • National events: King’s Day in Amsterdam and Bastille Day in France (Montpellier, in my case) are both free national events I’ve attended that were incredibly fun! In Amsterdam I got to spend a whole day walking, drinking and eating (dressed completely in orange, I may add!) along the canals, accompanied by a HUGE Dutch crowd. For Bastille day, I got to see some pretty cool fireworks and gatherings around town.
      • Other events at the top of my bucket list are → OKTOBERFEST and Thanksgiving Day in New York. 
    • Art Festivals: Attending Art Basel (at any of the three cities offered: Basel, Miami Beach or Hong Kong) is something I’ve always wanted to do.
    • And let's not forget about the amazing Christmas Markets all around Europe! 

3. check out how many vacations day you will have:

  • Now that you may have found some events you would like to attend at incredible destinations, see how many vacations days you will have, AND if any of the events you’re interested in happen to fall on one of those holiday paid days off you have!
    • (Maybe Thanksgiving Day in NYC? If you happen to have that Thursday off, now all you need to request is just one vacation day off (Friday) and you got yourself a four day getaway to NY without using up all of your vacation days. #score)

4. look for deals:

  • There will always be deals happening to attend the previous event ideas mentioned, but ALSO look for specific deals airlines, travel companies, or even cities might be offering!

    • I just read on the Travel section of the New York Times an article where they mention unbelievable winter deals. My favorite one on their list? HOTEL WEEK IN NYC!!! Did you guys know about this? Basically, for one week in January (every year) top notch hotels that usually would be in the $500 range/night charge as low as $100/night!! Idk about you, but now you’ll know where I’ll be in January 2018. Lol to read more about cool winter deals click here.

5. look for friends/relatives/anybody offering free lodging:

  • As I mentioned in my travel city guides, this year we were able to travel more often because we visited friends and relatives around the world.

    • Quick recap, we were going to go to Bali for my bday but with the amount of money we would have spent on that trip, we managed to go to NYC and three cities in Europe because we knew people there and therefore had a place to crash for free!

6. figure out how much money you will need to travel:

  • For me, it’s always helpful to calculate the amount of money I will need for each trip a few months ahead (even if it seems impossible to save that amount of money!) and then divide the amount needed by how many months you have to save it, and then by the weeks in each month. (it’s much easier to accomplish your desire goal if you do it this way!)     

    • For example, I may see that I need about $5000 for my dream vacation in Tahiti, but I have about seven months to save that amount of money, so then I realize what this actually means is that I need to save $175/week until the trip comes! Now that doesn’t seem so difficult as I can adjust my budget, think twice before buying that pair of shoes or even look to for another job to save the extra cash.

7. pick your next destination and start planning your trip!

  • Phew! Now that you have done ALL that research, the best part is here! Book your flights, hotels, and get moving, you’re about to go collect some incredible moments!!

    • P.S - Another incredibly helpful article I read recently (thanks mom!) was this cool article on National Geographic about amazing apps to use while traveling! When the moment has finally arrived to go have fun, make sure you have all the suggested apps downloaded and ready to go!

Xoxo - Andreina