Wanderlust Deliberations: How I Choose My Next Travel Destination

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I often stuggle with where I want to go next.  There is a whole world out there.  What do I want to see, how much time should I give it, who do I want to travel with, and how much do I want to spend.  So deciding where your next trip should involve the consideation of various factors and personal preferences. Here are some steps to help you make the decision:

  1. Define Your Travel Goals: Determine what you want to get out of your trip. Are you looking for relaxation, adventure, cultural experiences, or something else? Clarifying your travel goals will help narrow down your options.
  2. Consider Your Budget: Assess how much you are willing to spend on your trip. Different destinations have varying costs for accommodation, food, activities, and transportation. Ensure your budget aligns with your chosen destination.
  3. Evaluate the Time Available: Consider the duration of your trip and how much time you can afford to spend traveling. Some destinations may require more time to explore fully, while others can be enjoyed in a shorter timeframe.
  4. Explore Your Interests: Think about your interests and hobbies. Whether you love history, nature, art, food, or adventure, choose a destination that offers activities and experiences that align with your passions.
  5. Check Travel Restrictions and Safety: Research the current travel restrictions, entry requirements, and health advisories for potential destinations. Ensure that your chosen location is safe and feasible to visit given the current global situation.
  6. Consider the Season: Consider the time of year you plan to travel and how it aligns with the weather and climate of different destinations. Decide if you prefer a summer beach destination, a winter ski resort, or a springtime blossom-filled city.
  7. Consult Travel Guides and Reviews: Consult travel guides, websites, and online reviews to gather insights from other travelers about destinations you are considering. Pay attention to what others enjoyed and what challenges they encountered.
  8. Go with Your Gut: Sometimes, the best decision is to follow your instincts. If a particular destination has been calling to you or feels like the right choice, trust your intuition.
  9. Consider Past Travel Experiences: Reflect on your previous travel experiences. Are there certain types of destinations you enjoyed more than others? Use past experiences as a guide for future trip planning.
  10. Be Open to New Experiences: If you’re torn between a few options, consider trying something completely new. Embrace the adventure of exploring a destination you’ve never considered before.

Remember that the decision-making process should be enjoyable and part of the excitement of travel. Take your time to research, weigh the pros and cons, and select a destination that resonates with you and promises an unforgettable experience.  But, most importantly, enjoy looking and be inspired.

Finding travel inspiration can come from various sources that ignite your wanderlust and curiosity. Here are some of the best places to find travel inspiration:

  1. Travel Blogs and Websites: Read travel blogs and websites dedicated to sharing personal travel experiences, destination guides, and tips. Many bloggers provide stunning photos and detailed accounts of their adventures.
  2. Social Media: Follow travel influencers, photographers, and travel-related accounts on platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter. You’ll discover breathtaking travel photos and destination ideas.
  3. Travel Magazines and Books: Subscribe to travel magazines or read travel-related books that feature articles on different destinations, cultures, and travel experiences.
  4. Online Travel Forums: Participate in travel forums like TripAdvisor or Reddit’s travel subreddit. These platforms are great for getting advice from experienced travelers and sharing your travel ideas with others.
  5. YouTube Travel Channels: Watch travel vloggers who document their journeys in captivating video formats. You can virtually explore various places and get a sense of what it’s like to visit those destinations.
  6. Travel Shows and Documentaries: Watch travel shows and documentaries on TV or streaming platforms. Channels like National Geographic and Netflix offer many travel-related programs.
  7. Destination Websites: Explore the official tourism websites of countries, cities, or regions you’re interested in visiting. They often showcase highlights, attractions, and upcoming events.
  8. Travel Apps: Use travel apps like TripAdvisor, Lonely Planet, or Airbnb Experiences to discover popular destinations, activities, and experiences recommended by other travelers.
  9. Photo Sharing Platforms: Explore photo-sharing platforms like Flickr or 500px to see stunning travel photography taken by amateur and professional photographers.
  10. Local Travel Agencies: Visit local travel agencies and browse their brochures and travel packages. Even if you don’t book through them, the materials may spark travel ideas.
  11. Friends and Family: Talk to friends, family, and colleagues about their travel experiences and recommendations. Personal stories can be a valuable source of inspiration.
  12. Google Earth and Maps: Explore Google Earth to virtually “fly” over destinations and see satellite images. Google Maps’ Street View can give you a sense of what it’s like to be in a particular location.

Remember that inspiration can strike unexpectedly, so stay open to new ideas and remain curious about the world. Whether you find inspiration through digital platforms or offline sources, the key is to let your interests and passions guide you toward your next adventure.

There are several TikTokers that are excellent.  Just be aware that some influencers will display the best.  Some that I enjoy are:  Travel for Nerds, Liz Travel Tips/Digital Nomad, Look Up London, Abandoned Scotland, Billy/PA Travel Vlogger, Destination Inspiration, and  destination.gettysburg.  A lot of these influencers have YouTube and Instagram channels.

I also enjoy talking to others about travel.  It is amazing how often I am approached.  I was at a baby shower and the SO daughter’s MIL, jumped in the chair next to me and asked “Have you been on a river cruise?”  And so began the travel discussion.  I love to pick people’s brains, especially if I know them.  It gives me a real glimps into what I might be getting into to.

I also love travel magazines and book!  Oh, how I love ro read.  One of my favorite travel writers is Joe Yogerst.

Joe Yogerst is a travel writer and author who has written several books on various travel-related topics. Some of his notable books include:

  1. “100 Parks, 5,000 Ideas: Where to Go, When to Go, What to See, What to Do”: This book provides recommendations for visiting 100 of America’s most beautiful national parks, along with travel tips and suggested activities.
  2. “National Geographic Guide to the National Parks of Canada”: In this book, Joe Yogerst explores the stunning national parks of Canada, offering insights into their natural beauty, wildlife, and recreational opportunities.
  3. “50 States, 5,000 Ideas: Where to Go, When to Go, What to See, What to Do”: This book is a comprehensive guide to exploring the diverse attractions and landmarks across all 50 states of the United States.
  4. “50 States of Adventure: The Best Kid-Friendly Destinations in America”: Geared towards family travel, this book presents a collection of kid-friendly destinations and activities in the United States.
  5. “Madagascar Wildlife: A Visitor’s Guide”: Focused on the unique wildlife of Madagascar, this guidebook provides information on the island’s diverse flora and fauna, including its famous lemurs and other endemic species.

The book that I draw a lot of inspiration from, as of late, is 100 Drives, 5,000 Ideas: Where to Go, When to Go, What to Do, What to See by Yogerst (2020). The description on Amazon is:

  Buckle up for the road trip of a lifetime: 100 epic journeys through all 50 states and 10 Canadian provinces offering thousands of sites and roadside attractions along the way. A sequel to the best-selling 50 States, 5,000 Ideas.

From a vineyard route through Northwest wine country to a winter wonderland on Alberta’s Icefields Parkway, this informative travel guide offers epic sights, good bites, and pure fun. Pack your car and hit the road to experience 100 drives–both classic and off the beaten track–across the United States and Canada. You’ll find innovative itineraries outlining your route, along with when to go and what to see and do along the way. And there’s something here to satisfy every passenger. Take in the magnificent turns along Alaska’s Route One through Anchorage to Kenai. Or wind your way through retro spots from Chicago to Los Angeles on Route 66. On nearly 600 miles of New Mexico’s Trail of the Ancients, stop off to encounter sites dating back to A.D. 850. Or discover fossils along Dinosaur Drive, a route that winds its way from Calgary to Denver. Beach lovers will delight in Hawaii’s Oahu Circle Island Drive, while history lovers can follow Canada’s War of 1812 trail: a cruise between Montreal and Windsor with stops at major battlefields along the way.
Filled with expert tips, tons of activities, and plenty to see and do as you drive–the ultimate road trip playlist anyone?–here is an inspirational and practical keepsake for any road warrior.

I truly enjoy the layout of the book, the ideas, and details.  Two of my next trips will be from Philly to Maine through Long Island and from Philly to Knoville throught the Blue Ridge Parkway and then to Greensboro and back through DC.  The book has given me some ideas that will make the trip even better.  For example, there is Rapdian Camp in Big Meadows,Virigina, which was the summer white House for Herbet Hoover from 1929-1933.  A little know and unbeknowst to me Presidential site.  I am looking forward to visitng that site!


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