How do you choose your travel destination: price, location, distance, friends’ recommendations, a bucket list?  Some people have a strict method, some wing it, and others are somewhere in the middle.  I talked about creating a multi-stop trip in a previous post.  That’s just one approach.  There isn’t a right or wrong way to do it.  Travel is personal and it’s totally up to you how you craft it.

At the end of each year, hubby and I come up with at least 2 places we want to visit the next year.  Between that time and the coming months, we research pricing, activities, weather, currency exchange rates, etc.  However, we visit travel sites often and have signed up on many to receive emailed sale alerts.  If the right deal pops up, BAM.  We’re booking a flight and will figure out the specifics later.  We won’t book a trip too close in time, as we still need to take off work, get a place to stay, and have spending funds.  

One of the keys to travel deals is being flexible with the destination and dates.  Many times, you may not find a deal going to where you want go, on your desired dates.  It may be at that time, but a different city, or same city, but at a different time.  I try not to be too rigid with my requirements where I can. 

We have visited many places based off a sale, not necessarily somewhere we were planning to go: Dubai airfare for $431 (Qatar sale), China 10-day airfare/hotel for $899 (Travelzoo), Panama City, Panama airfare/hotel for $365 (Groupon).  None of these places were on our immediate ‘want to go there’ list, but the prices were too good to pass up and visit later at a higher cost.  Also, keep in mind travel requirements for your destination.  If it requires a visa, vaccinations, etc., you must give yourself enough time to take care of these before your trip.

Dubai Desert

Great Wall of China

Another way to take advantage of a deal is to be flexible with the departing point.  For example, if a spot a great deal departing from Miami instead of your city, don’t hesitate to purchase (if the trip if far enough out).  You’ll still need time to find a deal to Miami, maybe on a discount carrier or using airline miles.  If another airport is within driving distance with cheaper airfare, maybe you could drive or take a car service there, then begin your travel journey.

Choosing a travel destination doesn’t have to be stressful.  Picking a spot should be part of the fun.  Be flexible, as it opens up the possibilities of more options.

So how do you pick your travel destinations?