Choose your own adventure: Narrowing down the destination choices!

If you are anything like us, you have a Pinterest board of “Dream Destinations”, overflowing with magical places you yearn to visit. It can prove a bit overwhelming when you are trying to figure out which adventure is pulling at you the most. Add into the mix that you might have a few traveling companions (as we do) who  may have a very different list of “must see” locales, and it can result in a cacophony of different ideas. There are many ways to narrow down the destination when working together. You can always take turns selecting the destination, or try to fit together two neighboring countries into one voyage if you have the additional time to do so. Before you step into the boxing ring of debate with your best buds to knock them dead with your argument for your chosen venture, check out one of our favorite methods to ensure that everyone gets to check some places off their bucket list. 
Begin by compiling a list of Top 10 Dream Destiantions! 

  • Each of you, separately should have a list. Don’t compare lists just yet though!
  • Now that you have your dream list, you will need to prioritize this list. Maybe you want to see France, but you really want to see it with your sister because you have always dreamed of doing that trip together when you were younger, or perhaps you dreamed that your honeymoon will be in Figi. Put these at the end of that list, with a note regarding the special circumstances for that destination. The rest of the items should be listed from MOST important to less, with the special ones at the end (not because they aren’t important though.)
  • Take your top 5 of the list now and sit down with your travel companions and compare lists. 
  • Is there a destination that shows up on EVERYONE’S list? If not, there may be something that shows up on two out of three lists. Take those and prioritize them according to how many lists have that item, from the most to the least. 

YAY! Now you have a prioritzed list of maybe 3-5 destinations! Now the fun part.

Determine when you want to or are able to travel. 

  • If you have a set vacation time, such as spring or summer break, then you will need to determine the cost effectiveness of traveling during these times for each destination in order to pick which one you will do first. 
  •  If you are more flexible on when you can travel, try searching on SkyscannerAirBnB and Hostelworld for the best time to travel for the top 3 destinations. 
  • Always consider when peak and nonpeak tourist times are for each destination as they can differ greatly between country and region. Off-season or non-peak doesn’t necessarily mean fall or winter only. Summer is often off-season for destinations like Mexico, Vietnam, Florida, Arizona, Us Virgin Islands, Utah, and Belize. Check out this article by The Travel Channel.  Off-season for fall/autumn destinations can be New Orleans, The Bahamas, Cape Cod, Bali, Orlando, Florida, Chicago, Illinois, Aaruba, Curacao, Bonaire, Barbados, Iceland, Alaska, Hawaii, Greece, Hungary, Morocco and so  many more! Check out this blog post on Cheapism for some ideas on these destinations. 
  • Keep in mind, traveling in the fall/autumn and winter can be very cost effective, however some tourist sites can have limited hours or even close during these months.
  • Never rule out dream destinations in your home country! Plan to play tourist in a neighboring city, or hop a plane, train or pull a camper to someplace you have never been in your neck of the woods. Beauty surrounds you! Adventure is there! We often just get so caught up in the day to day, that we forget that there is much to see in our “backyard”. This is also a great option if you are short on funds or time and the travel bug is chirping in your ear to get out there and explore!

Now it is time to come back together to compare and make a decision. 

Choosing your own adventure doesn’t have to be a battle, it can be exciting to dive deeper into your inner vagabond. It often stimulates the wanderlust and makes the feet itch to roam, and to do it with friends is exceedingly rewarding. 

“Keep your heart open, a suitcase packed and wander always, for the world is wide and adventure awaits.” 

~Emylee

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