The Merriman-Webster Dictionary defines “wanderlust” as:
The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page. Choosing your perfect travel destinations is much like picking the right book - a voyage that speaks directly to your soul, unveiling hidden facets of your personality, while feeding your spirit with boundless joy and excitement. This post is intended to be your trusted “coach” as you embark on your exciting journey, revealing the secret to understanding your unique travel style, exploring hidden gems, and making smart, budget-friendly choices that align with your interests and desires.
As one of the lucky ones regularly infected with wanderlust, I always look forward to next satisfying my wanderlust and traveling someplace new, exploring, discovering, and experiencing. I enjoy satisfying my wanderlust so much that I decided to write about it (My Lifestyle Blog | Wanderlust Encounters) and use my photographs (Portfolio Gallery | Wanderlust Encounters) in case someone only wants to look at the pictures. You even have the opportunity to purchase those photos that particularly inspire you and your wanderlust – go here: Wanderlust-Encounters - digital downloads & prints (picfair.com).
This blog post primarily focuses on how you chose your perfect travel destinations, Making the perfect choice for you begins with understanding your travel style and equipping you with the knowledge to choose travel destinations that will truly resonate with you.
I recently created an eBook to take you from determining your unique travel style and choosing your perfect travel destinations, to embarking on your exciting journey.
Now, where was I… Oh, right…..
Understanding your unique travel style.
Much like one's taste in literature, our travel preferences are deeply personal and varied. Some of us are adventurous, constantly seeking adrenaline-rushing exploits. Others are culture vultures, who love immersing themselves in local customs and traditions. Yet others are nature lovers, drawn to serene landscapes and untouched wilderness.
Additionally, some enjoy and seek out tour groups while others simply like to experience history, culture, and events on their own. Ask yourself, are you a group person, do you want others around to share an experience, or are you more of a solo traveler, wanting to immerse yourself into the experience without unnecessary distractions of others in a group?
Another preference can be a real “hot button” for some travelers. Are you more of an independent, DIYer, or do you prefer to have someone else plan, arrange, and guide you? For example, does taking a cruise on a ship where your every whim and need is catered to by staff appeal to you, or would you prefer a small “bare boat” charter, where you participate in the planning, provisioning, and sailing activities?
I think you get the idea. There are countless preferences that might define your Travel Style. Several of the major preferences should be jotted down as a guide to finally choosing your travel destinations.
Using your author (me) as an example, I am currently planning my next set of travel
destinations to satisfy my latest case of wanderlust (hits me about every six months), Some of my travel style preferences include:
preference for solo travel
focus on history, architecture, and culture
very small group tours
love train travel between cities
seek out smaller and more unique lodging venues
As mentioned earlier, I highly recommend that before you choose travel destinations, you are very clear about your travel style preferences. If that means jotting them down on paper, do it.
Your travel style preference will help you determine the best travel destinations for you. Your unique preference can point you in countless different directions, such as:
A weekend trip to a place near where you live, which you have not visited until now.
A longer trip to a nearby city, town, or state. Again, someplace you have not been to before this.
Perhaps a multi-day trip to a nearby National Park (most have hotels in or near the park).
How about deciding to visit the closest beach/seashore? Might involve finding an AirBnB or hotel and doing some research about activities.
Going to one foreign country or even a multi-country trip is how I satisfy my wanderlust.
These are just 5 quick ideas. There are countless other ways to satisfy your travel style preferences and your wanderlust – cruises, tours, solo trips, and much more.
Once you have your travel style defined along with your list of preferences, on to choosing your possible travel destinations.
Is this the first time you are satisfying your wanderlust? If so, pick something easy to plan and organize, like a 3- or 4-day trip to a nearby destination. Since it is winter, perhaps a 3–4-day ski trip to a nearby destination resort (even if you don’t ski, going to a ski resort is fun for non-skiers too). Typically, the resort will take care of everything from the room and transportation to the lift tickets. And you can get this level of service without Aspen and Vail prices, even at smaller nearby resorts.
If possible, choose a destination close to your location. That way planning and costs of air and ground transportation do not become issues, you can simply drive or take a train/bus or even a shuttle to your chosen destination (for example, options from Denver to the mountain ski resorts include High Country Skiing Shuttle and Front Range Ski Bus). If you fly into Denver and chose to take a shuttle to the Colorado mountains, you have a couple of choices from Denver International Airport (DIA) – Peak 1 Express Mountain Shuttle and Epic Mountain Express.
Is your wanderlust is telling you to travel further afield? Well, you do have several satisfying options. If this is your first long trip, you may want to use the services of a travel agent. Choose a seasoned professional that has a lot of experience with the type of travel you want to satisfy your travel style preferences – international, cruise, tours, multi-country, solo, etc.
Whether you use a travel agent or not, continue your planning by sketching out your trip – total days, number of destinations, which countries, which cities, which events and/or attractions – anything to narrow your possibilities and provide you with a list of travel destinations that appeal to you. Next do a quick prioritization of the destinations. This is important because it provides guidance to you and to a travel agent, should you engage one.
Right about now, you may be feeling a few butterflies and self-talk that tries to talk you into keeping your status quo – I can’t afford this, too much research, I don’t know how to do research on a computer, what about Fluffy, who will watch Fluffy while I’m gone, I don’t like air travel, I don’t have anything to wear, and so on. Self-talk keeps you in your risk-avoiding, status quo, comfort zone and is never ending. Some of the self-talk is important and helps you address specific issues about things like medications, having a valid passport, dealing with wheelchair accessibility, motion sickness prevention, and so on. However, most of your self-talk is just you coming up with reasons not to take a risk and enrich your life experiences and encounters.
So, you have your list of prioritized destinations and you decided to use the services of a travel agent for at least a portion of your trip. Have the travel agent help you determine a route for your trip – where to go first, then second, then third, etc. Depending on your comfort with using a computer, working with airline websites or overall travel sites, and booking your own travel, you should begin to estimate your cost and compare them against your overall budget. Websites like Travelocity.com, Expedia.com, Booking.com, and others will give you enough information to estimate your costs of airfare, lodging, and ground transportation (like a rental car) – the larger cost items.
Working through these steps will take some time and may cause you to re-think some of your destinations, activities, and duration. Don’t let any of that get you down. It is a process to plan your trip and satisfy your wanderlust. Always look around for cost savings. One thing I did on a previous trip was to apply for an airline credit card, on which I earned points for spending a certain amount over 3 months. Although not immediate cost savings, the points I earned are being used to reduce the cost of upcoming trips.
If you have specific questions about beginning your process of satisfying your wanderlust, feel welcome to reach out here with your questions. I promise to get back to you within 24 hours of seeing/reading your message.