It’s not a secret; we love to travel! In our short 2+ years of marriage, we’ve taken quite a few trips (list here) both short and long. Our ability to take extended trips is limited by both school and summer internships, so we have to plan ahead to capitalize on every break. With an entire world to see, though, sometimes it hard to decide where to go next!
When making that choice of where to go first, here are some helpful question to ask yourself.
1) Where do you want to go?
This is an obvious question, but it still must be included. What places top your bucket list? If you can, go there first! Take into consideration your budget: Asia is cheaper than Europe, but a U.S. road trip would be less expensive than either. What time of year will you be traveling? Is it winter or monsoon season where you want to go?
If you haven’t already, make a bucket list. Lists are fun.
2) What do you want to do?
Are you getting away from the hustle and bustle for much needed relaxation? Are you in search of new scenery? New friends? New food? Do you want to see things, or do things? Would you rather travel longer, or luxuriously? Pick the right kind of trip for what you’re hoping to get out of it!
While we are typically active travelers, we decided to go on a cruise for our honeymoon to live it up a little (and eat as much as we wanted). We liked the idea of having everything planned out for us and only needing to show up. However, when we took our trip to Yellowstone, we had just finished a mentally taxing semester of school and wanted to get out in nature and stretch our legs! We roamed around almost the entire park and snapped enthusiastic pictures of wildlife. The purpose was different, and each trip was well suited to the kind of vacation we wanted.
3) Who are you traveling with?
It can be straightforward to decide what you want out of a vacation, but the situation becomes more complicated when you travel with other people who have different ideas about what the trip should look like. Even if you agree on a destination, everyone is different, and they often travel differently.
I call myself a tastebud traveler; when I go somewhere new the first thing I want to do is eat their food. Asian cuisine is my favorite, so that’s where I want to go most. Daniel prefers nature. The less crowded, the better. He loves national parks and his ideal trip is a cross-country motorcycle trip. It’s can be hard to find a middle ground! When we travel, Daniel researches activities, and I look up restaurants and interesting sights. It has been a lot of fun to do both as we add pins to our map.
Communicate and compromise to figure out what works for your group. If someone is into food or photo ops, let them take the lead on that part of the trip. Try to let everyone pick something so it’s a joint effort. Then, and this is key, enjoy their part of the trip too! It may not be your preferred method of travel, but your attitude matters and you can choose to have a good time anyway. If you’re spending the time and money to vacation, you might as well choose to enjoy it!
I asked Daniel what he thought about trip planning. He said he takes this approach: “I’m bored. Let’s go somewhere.” So we do.