Let's start at the beginning. Why travel and how do you choose where to go? A lot of people are compelled to travel without a specific reason. They have this thirst to hit the road and see the world. It's stronger than anything else in their nature. Others simply want to change their surroundings and be in a beautiful place. You also have the people who travel for business. Some want to spend quality time with their family and moving away from the daily distractions is a great way to do it. A particular hobby or interest may call you abroad such as hiking, architecture, or gastronomy. You may travel for studies or visiting family. The reasons to travel are infinite. What's your reason? Are you simply curious?
If you never travelled, what can you expect? What should you do first? How should you plan? How should you pack? How much will it cost? There is a million answers. Over the next few posts, I'll give you the keys to unlock your own ways. In this article, I'll mainly focus on selecting where you're going, how you're getting there, and how long you should stay.
Where are you going?
To choose where you want to go, decide why you want to travel. What do you want to get out of it? It could be as simple as relaxation, learning survival skills, expand my horizons, learn new cultures, study astronomy, spend quality time with my family, build partnerships with new customers, or attend a French cuisine competition.
Depending on how specific your reason is, it might narrow or expand the possible destinations. It may also influence if you're going alone, with friends, family, or co-workers.
To choose your destination, based on your reason, list the countries or cities that would allow you to realize this endeavour. Research locations online through travel blogs, tourism websites, and official country sites.
Narrow your destination list to your top 3. Next, transportation fees is what may help decide on your final destination... Or maybe you go to all three!
How are you getting there?
Most of the time, you'll get to your selected destination with a plane, train, or car. Once you arrive by train or by plane, you may need to rent a car. You could also get there by long-distance bus. One of the best way to know how you could get there is to simply type "How to get from [A] to [B]?" in Google search. Replace A and B with your location and destination.
If the destination is too far to be driven to, go on a website like expedia.com. Enter your destination and some possible dates. Is there a destination that fits best your budget? Sometime, leaving during the week instead of week-end lowers the ticket price, same thing if you book a few weeks ahead. To know what your travel budget is, I highly recommend you go through these Travel Finance articles. I think they will be useful to you.
If you rent a car, either to drive from your home to your destination or once you get there, make sure you entre a return time that is equal or earlier than your pick-up time. If you don't, they'll charge you for an extra day. Check if your credit card already covers car rental insurance before buying additonal ones.
How long should you stay?
Your travel reason will greatly influence the duration of your stay. A very common situation that determines the length of a stay is the number of vacation days you have from work. A lot of trips will be two weeks long as a result. If you are going on a 2-week trip, I recommend that you avoid overpacking it with tons of activities. Plan in some rest days, especially the first one, and choose some key activities. Let the rest flow as it comes. Overplanning and overloading your schedule will result in an exhausting vacation and you won't have time to fully appreciate this new location and culture. It takes time to unwind from the daily routine. Consider that.
If your schedule is more flexible and can stay longer, I would say that your budget will influence the duration of your stay. Are you staying with friends, family, hotel, appratment, or AirBnB? The accomodation cost can climb fast. If this is not an issue, therefore plan in a week of rest at the beginning and at the end of your trip. Do nothing. Get used to the beat. Between that, plan activities a few days apart. Give yourself time to stay longer, change your schedule, and appreciate your experience.
Look at your travel reason, budget, schedule, destination, and consider some rest time. This should help you figure out how long you should stay.
Here is an example of my own experience. Last year, as a motivation for my fiancé to learn French, we decided to book a trip in a French-speaking country. We decided that seven months was a good time frame between now and the departure time. It would give us enough time to gather the money and spring would be back. It also meant seven months to learn French. We looked at all the French-speaking countries and decided to go to France. The reason was that the Montreal-Paris flights were dirt cheap! It's also the birth place of French. We decided to stay for 12 days based on our budget and the vacation days I had left. May I say we had a blast roadtripping through Brittany and Normandy!
So, where are you going and what do you want to get out of it?
Who Am I? I'm many things. I'm passionate about tons of stuff. I love travel. I love self-improvement. I'm a sucker for optimization, efficiency, and minimalism. I renewed with mathematics and science, those are so amazing. Astronomy and chemistry are just plain awesome! I'm a student, a mentor, a traveler, a learner, an artist, an animator, and Disney brings me tears of joy! I love to grow and I will never stop! So who am I? All that and everything else I have not discovered about myself yet. It's a never ending answer!
Qui suis je? Je suis beaucoup de choses. Je suis passionné des tonnes de trucs. J'adore voyager. J'adore la croissance personnelle. Je suis vendue à l'optimisation, l'efficacité et le minimalisme. J'ai renoué avec les mathématiques et les sciences, des mondes tout simplement incroyable. L'astronomie et la chimie sont tout simplement génial! Je suis étudiante, mentor, voyageuse, artiste, animatrice et Disney m'apporte des larmes de joie! J'aime me pousser à fond et je ne cesserai jamais! Alors, qui suis-je? Tout cela et tout le reste que je n'ai pas encore découvert de moi-même. C'est une réponse sans fin!