I don’t know about you, but I usually get decision paralysis when it comes to picking my next travel spot. Gosh, planning more than four months around the world was so hard and I’m a seasoned traveler! I want to see every single place on this whole damn planet! Luckily, I have come up with a system to help myself figure things out nowadays! Ask yourself these three questions and hopefully inspiration will knock you on the head!
1. What is your budget?
There are some stunning places where you can live off of $20 a day (in hostels). Hell, I did two weeks in Thailand for $1000 in the off season and stayed at five star hotels! I’ve also done three weeks in Italy/Greece and spent $5000, in the shoulder season! Figuring out your budget will help you decide what part of the world you can/should visit.
Southeast Asia: Easy to do it for less than $1000 a person for two or more weeks at any time of the year.
Europe: Avoid high season! Long lines, prices are jacked up, the heat is awful!
South America: EVERY country is inconsistent on pricing, but the spring/fall time is shoulder/off season, where things will be much cheaper!
Australia: It’s expensive, no matter what! However, it’s almost 3-1 for the dollar right now, so now is the time to go!
2. Are you looking to adventure or to relax?
Places dedicated to relaxing are always more expensive. Some countries, like Ecuador, don’t require insurance to do adventurous activities and as a result, you can get activities for 200% cheaper than the states and still be safe! An island location, like Hawaii, Jamaica or Bora Bora will be supremely expensive, not only because they know you’ll pay but because imports are required.
3. What culture moves you the most?
I adore Latin American culture. I feel deeply for Thai culture. Some European cultures move me so much, I want to live there for forever (I’m talking about you, Czech Republic!) African culture doesn’t inspire me, but that doesn’t mean it won’t move you! So many people go to Europe because it’s the thing to do and instead, end up in long lines of misery, tired feet and irritation at the “locals.” You know what? I went to Paris and while the city left me unimpressed, the people were not unfriendly. I think people go to Europe, expecting ‘second hand America’ when in reality, we’re Second Hand Europe.
Okay, I jest. Kinda. But seriously, Parisians will treat you with respect if you use a little French, I promise.
Bonus: every time I get a location in mind, I go to Viator.com to look up the activities that a location is offering, to help build a budget. Often, things are cheaper in country (90% of the time) but better to over-budget than get caught with your pants down!
Once you pick your spot, it’s smooth sailing from there! Personally, I plan on exploring Latin America for the next couple years! I’ve been through most of Europe now, so this is the next goal I have in mind! What goals do you have? Tell me in the comments!!