Where to Go? 8 Ways to Choose Your Next Travel Destination


JoAnna is a globe-trotting, idea-inventing, culture-collecting creativity connoisseur with a global family of foreign exchange students and rescue pets. You can also find JoAnna at joannahaugen.com.

You may also like...

27 Responses

  1. Gray says:

    I find that the more travel writing I read, the more places get added to my list, which makes it even harder to decide where to go. I’ve often chosen my travel destinations based on climate (warm) and budget considerations, but recently I searched my heart and said “If I only had a year to live, what place or places do I want to see before then?” That really helps narrow the focus quite a lot.

  2. A lot of our BikeHike clients choose their destinations based on what activities they like (ex. if they really love mountain biking, they often end up choosing our Morocco Mountain Biking trip), but a ton of people end up just calling and saying “I’ve got 2 weeks off during days x through y, what’s a great place to go?”

    Weather, festivals & events, and an assortment of your favourite activities whether it be active sport or street market shopping are some of the key ingredients for a fabulous adventure.

  3. ayngelina says:

    I think there’s a fear of not going to the perfect place. I felt that pressure even starting out my first flight for my RTW. However, I took the advice of point #6 and found the cheapest flight into Mexico – Cancun. Sure it doesn’t seem like a backpackers starting point but it doesn’t need to be perfect!

  4. Abbie says:

    LOVE this list! Awesome post 🙂

  5. Amiee says:

    Have you seen the book 1000 Places to See Before You Die? I love browsing it and dreaming up my next trip.

  6. JoAnna says:

    @Amiee ~ I absolutely ADORE that book. I have a few like that. 501 Must-Take Journeys and Off the Tourist Trail: 1000 Unexpected Travel Alternatives are also great reads. I got the idea to take the train to for our upcoming trip to New Orleans from Off the Tourist Trail.

  7. Keith says:

    Helpful tips here. Another book you might like is the 100 Best Vacations to Enrich Your Life (USA and World editions). They have some very cool ideas in there.

  8. Stephanie says:

    I like to browse wikitravel, just clicking random links and seeing where I end up. It’s how I decided to visit Bosnia which was my favorite trip so far!

  9. JoAnna says:

    @Keith ~ Wow! Sounds like a great book! I’ll definitely have to check that one out.

    Have you ever made a decision to travel somewhere based on something you found in that book?

  10. JoAnna says:

    @Gray ~ I think you bring up a good point. A lot of people will just take a vacation because they have a money. As a result, they have a lot of little, insignificant travel experiences instead of saving for THE ONE, which is what they’d most enjoy but takes more work to achieve.

  11. Alouise says:

    I’ve always wanted a globe just so I could spin it, put my finger down and go wherever it happened to be. Of course with my luck my finger would stop in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. 😀

    Or if you have a map and a bulletin board (or a wall you can damage), you could always tack the map up, throw a dart and go wherever it lands. I like the randomness of that.

    My trip to Seattle I took because I’d caught some travel show where the host spent a day in a city. I’d never really thought about going to Seattle before that, but I ended really loving it.

  12. Anil says:

    Sometimes, picking the most random place can help shake up your plans, even if you don’t end up going there it’s a good way to kick-start the process.

  13. Keith says:

    JoAnna – not yet, though I’ve been using some of the ideas as springboards to new options. Definitely worth a look.

  14. Nancy says:

    Great post, JoAnna. I’m a sucker for #1. I have these inexplicable draws to places. Right now I’m most wanting to go to India.

  15. 8 great tips – my personal favourite is number eight. Get a dart and a map 🙂

  16. I love this list — there are so many great ways to get inspiration. I have always had many places on my list of where to travel, but I got even more years last year when I used the 1,000 Places to See Before You Die desktop calendar. It was full of pretty pictures and interesting bits of facts and history. It has definitely added more spots to my list!

  17. Michelle says:

    Thats a great list. I did the random travel earlier. Just booked a ticket to nepal and left within 3 days its was my 1st solo-backpacking trip.
    It was excellent, was actully making plans on that flight, but it was the best. I made a lot of friends, lived in a hut with the locals as i did not have accomodation in Lumbini.
    All in all don’t regret it one bit:))

  18. Susan says:

    Great tips! And i really like the first one, FOLLOW YOUR HEART! That’s what makes you happy. 🙂

  19. Mary R says:

    I have a large coffee table lonely planet travel book, and one summer I told myself that I’d go wherever I happened to randomly open the book.

    The first time I tried it, I got Dominican Republic. I tried it one more time, and I got Dominican Republic again!

    I was a little freaked and never made the trip there, but I do have a fantasy of going there one day since it seems to be in the cards.

  20. ayngelina says:

    It’s so funny I just read my last comment and wanted to add to it. On March 1 I was a bit skeptical of Mexico but now on May 2nd I have been here a month and have fallen in love with the country. I’m sad that I’ll only be here another 10 days.

    The point is, just as there is no perfect place, you may be pleasantly surprised by a country that doesn’t seem perfect.

  21. Cam says:

    All good options – we tend to lean towards the “listen to others”, especially with like minded people. Of course, tossing a dart at the globe map can be an interesting approach too!

  22. I love your list on how to choose your next destination. I love adventurous holidays as well as sight seeing and discovering. I’m always looking out for the best ways to enjoy my holiday.

  23. I find picking destinations the hardest part. People ask me everywhere I go where Im going next, and are shocked when I say “I dont know yet”.

  1. August 29, 2014

    […] a deep introspective look at yourself can tell you exactly where to go. According to Kaleidoscopic Wandering, sometimes the best thing you can do is let your heart choose your […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *