Skip to Content

6 Tips for Choosing a Vacation Destination

The most widely traveled individual on earth has barely scratched the surface of all the breathtaking vacation destinations one could potentially choose from on the planet. None of us will ever have the money or time to visit every single great vacation spot on earth. So as with everything else in life, you have to make some difficult decisions whenever you are planning your vacation. 

Choosing the best spot is a difficult process but these tips can help you identify the one that’s most suitable for you.

1. Set a Budget

Money isn’t everything but is certainly a big deal in life decisions and vacations are no exception. You must cut your coat according to your cloth so setting a budget should be the first thing to do. No matter how much you long for a Maldives holiday, that cannot happen if your travel wallet doesn’t have the money for it. 

Remember that your budget should cover every aspect of the vacation including transport, accommodation, meals, excursions and souvenirs. It’s based on this budget that you should determine what places are a go and which ones are out of the question. 

2. New or Old?

The older you become, the more vacation destination you’ll likely strike off your bucket list. There’s always an excitement, anticipation and sense of adventure that comes with visiting a place for the first time. 

However, just because you went to a place once doesn’t mean that you cannot return there again. After all, if you truly enjoyed your time there, going back could be worth it. There’s also a predictability that can be a source of comfort especially if you want a vacation that’s quiet and serene. 

So eventually, you have to decide which between the new and the familiar is most important for you at that point in time.

3. Don’t Succumb to Stereotypes

Irrespective of where you live, there are always a set of stereotypical destinations that your neighbors, workmates and countrymen like to go to on vacation. For example, Spain and Greece are popular summer getaways while Paris, New York and London draw in hordes of tourists looking for a city trip. 

Whereas there’s nothing inherently wrong with going to these tourist magnets, they can inhibit your imagination. The world is a big place filled with thousands of nice places to visit but that are off the traditional leisure traveler’s radar. Put on your creative hat and take time to find places off the beaten track. And you’ll also spend much less than you otherwise would in a quintessential tourist trap.

4. Don’t Lock Down Dates Early

You probably have a specific month of the year when you intend to take your vacation. That’s expected because if you are employed you have to obtain your boss’ permission well before time. Nevertheless, avoid locking down specific dates before you’ve made sure of where it is you are going. 

There are a lot of time-sensitive dynamics that affect different destinations. For instance, a difference of just one week in your travel itinerary can make a substantial difference in the size of tourist crowds you’ll run into in your preferred vacation spot. Ergo, determine where you are going, find out from your travel agent which are the best dates and only then should you set the dates.

5. Check Out Traveler Feedback

A bunch of opinions on the Internet from people you’ve never met shouldn’t be the sole determinant of whether you are going to travel to a given location. However, listening to travelers who’ve been to where you are going will give you a clear picture of what you can expect. 

Of course, you are going to run into sometimes conflicting information from different people. That’s expected given that no two people will have the same experience. Still, by looking at a broad range of views, you should start to get a realistic depiction of what you are getting into.

6. Calculate Travel Time

Most people won’t see travel time as a big deal. It depends on what you’re used to or prefer. For some, the travel time necessary to get to their vacation spot can be a deal breaker. Not everyone will be happy taking a 10-hour flight followed by 6-hour drive through unpaved roads to get to their dream destination. 

Travel time won’t always be apparent since most people focus on flight time. To get an accurate figure, find out how far your eventual destination will be from the airport, what transportation options are available, the quality of roads, the weather and how long a typical road or rail journey takes.


Deciding where to go on vacation can be a nerve wracking exercise. Applying these tips will help you make the right decision.

Ruben Arribas is a Spanish traveler who has traveled more than 70+ countries around the world. Now based in the Philippines!