How to Choose Where to Travel To

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The world is vast and intricate and no two places are the same—so how the heck do you choose where to travel to?

I get asked to recommend safe places for women to travel to all the time and my answer is always the same: with a little bit of common sense and some preparation, no place in the world is off limits.

Here are our best tips on how to choose where to travel, and how to find great deals to get there.

Choose Where to Travel by Region

Are you pulled towards cobblestone streets, church squares, lattes and slow mornings? Then you’ll want to head to Europe (or Eastern Europe).

Craving a backpacking adventure in a Spanish speaking country? Go backpacking through Central America—Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Costa Rica. The path is well-worn and you’re certain to meet other travelers with similar travel stories.

Want to travel in a Spanish speaking country but don’t necessarily want to backpack? You can do that in Central America, of course, but maybe the glaciers of Argentina and Chile in South America are more your speed?

Or maybe you’re hoping to safari, and want to consider an African nation.

There are a million options so the best place to start is to make a list. My list, currently, looks something like this:

  • Jordan
  • Mongolia
  • Costa Rica
  • Budapest
  • Tajikistan

Narrow it Down by Budget

Let’s face it—money matters. If it didn’t, we’d all be expeditioning in Antarctica right now (ok maybe not all of us). If you’re struggling to choose where to travel, take an honest look at what you can comfortably afford.

If your budget is:

$10/day: India

$25/day: SE Asia/ East + Central Africa/ Sri Lanka/ East Asia/ Central America

$50/day: South America/ Eastern Europe/ Philippines

$100/day: Europe/ US/ Australia/ New Zealand/ South Africa/ Japan/ Iceland

$200+/day: Maldives/ Tahiti/ South Pacific

Choose Where to Travel By Opportunity

Sometimes all you need is a good flight deal to put a plan to action. This is how I ended up spending a month in the Philippines after snagging an error fare flight from JFK to Cebu for only $149 RT.

True, you often need a fair amount of flexibility in your schedule to really take advantage of these deals—but not always. Sometimes you really do just get that lucky.

Sign up for deal alerts or follow the social media accounts of @thepointsguy @scottscheapflights @travelpirates @secretflying @airfarewatchdog and @theflightdeal, for starters.

When you see a deal too good to be true—book it. Worst-case scenario, the airline cancels and gives you your money back. Best-case scenario? You just scored a great deal.

When you’ve got your flight booked, be sure to check Booking.com for their secret deals and deals of the day. Or better yet, use the Booking.com widget on the top right of the page to book, and help us keep this site running! 

Break it Down by Language

Did you study a language in school but then never use it? Well, traveling is a great way to practice those dusty language skills, particularly if there’s wine involved. Como se dice, “more please?”

Narrow it Down by Love

I believe that all of us have a part of the world that just calls to us. For me it was New Zealand. It took a while to discover my passion for the country but once I got it in my head I couldn’t get it out. I eventually lived there for a year and it was the best year of my life. I absolutely love New Zealand and I feel like the best version of myself there. What do you love? Is it a talent, like dancing tango? Is it learning a new skill, like cooking mole? Or is it watching beautiful people while also smoking hookah in Israel?

Regardless, the world is full of possibility. If none of these suggestions help you to choose where to travel to, go old school and throw a dart at the map!

What region are you pulled to travel to at the moment? Tell us in the comments below!

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About Author

Kelly Lewis is the founder of Go! Girl Guides, the Women's Travel Fest and Damesly. She's an optimist, an adventurer, an author and works to help women travel the world.

2 Comments

  1. My first solo trip outside of the country was England. I had planned an England trip three times prior with a girlfriend, but she kept flaking. We also planned a Madrid trip, too, which was also canceled. So, I knew one of those would be the place. I chose England, because as a first priority, everyone spoke English. Yes, they speak a different English, but it’s English. I can get around. Then, I realized that I love the English culture. I’ve been engaged in this country one way or another through books, movies, songs, sports, etc. So, I chose it and I loved every minute of it. I consider it my second home now and will probably eventually retire there.

    • That’s so awesome! I really enjoy England but I feel more of a pull to Spain/ Portugal/ Italy or even Eastern Europe. It’s funny how some places just feel like home!

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