This is one of those posts I’ve needed to write for a long time after so many questions, comments and particularly tweets on the topic, but for one reason or another I just haven’t got around to it… until now!
Perhaps the reason it has taken me so long to address the topic of how I choose where I will travel to next is because there are so many answers that it just isn’t a simple answer, forcing me to avoid the topic altogether!
But alas, here we are:
How I Decide Where to Travel to Next
With so much of the world to see and so little time, I’ve become pretty picky on the destinations I decide to visit over the years. Before starting my blog and having these opportunities to travel so much, I still had to be picky as I factored in things (that I still factor in, just with less worry as this is my full time job) like budget, safety as a solo female traveller, and just basing my preferences on my own preferences. Now, I have a whole bunch of readers to consider!
I’m always on the lookout for new destinations I think WOW readers would love to see here on the blog, which I typically choose based on three main considerations:
Somewhere that makes you feel like you’re in another lifetime or another world
Somewhere that makes you instantly happy or fulfilled
Somewhere I’ve seen a photo of and wanted to jump into said photo
These are the types of destinations I like to cover on the blog, and I maintain that they are a curated collection of the “best” places to travel to at the time of writing and explain why you should go there and what to do once there.
Social Media: Pinterest & Instagram
My two favourite social media platforms that influence my travels are for sure Pinterest (follow WOW here!) and Instagram. This is a fairly obvious route to finding where I’d like to travel to next, as both of these social platforms are highly visual and I’m a visual person. I see a photo of a place and I instantly want to go there = trip booked, decision made.
But both of these platforms influence my travels in a different way.
I use Pinterest when I have an urge to go somewhere new or at least discover a new place I haven’t seen or heard about before. I like to follow a bunch of different travel(ly) people for inspiration, as well as keep a secret board of locations I will save for a later date.
I also use Pinterest when I am already booked to go somewhere, but I’m not sure what I want to see when I am there. I.e. by typing in “South” and “Wales”, I was able to check that I hadn’t missed any really exciting sights off my list for my travels in Southern Wales.
For Instagram, its more like an every day thing that is always there and I follow some people I find interesting to see where they are travelling. If I see a place I like, I look into it more… and I guess thats what followers of WOW on instagram are doing too!
Asking Around As I Travel
Surprisingly one of the biggest influencers for me is to ask around as I travel. Because I meet a lot of travel writers/journalists through work, I’m always asking them about the best places they’ve been lately to discover new destinations or nab some insider tips. I also asks locals in any place that I visit “What’s the best things to do around here” and often get a varied response. This I find really interesting as you can wind up swinging off a tire swing into a dam should you ask the right person!
As a blogger I try not to read too many other blogs within my category (travel) so I can always keep my content original. However before the days of turning to blogging I used to always read travel blogs until my eyes were red and my neck was sore! I still read plenty of blogs for food recipes, fashion, DIY and things not related to travel, as I find I relate best to bloggers because I can put a face to a name, rather than reading a book or magazine which I find less personal. You can see who I’m following on Bloglovin’ here.
But how do I choose where to go NEXT?
But of course I can’t go everywhere… and I certainly can’t be everywhere at once!
I choose my destinations and adventures based purely on visual content and word of mouth. When I see or hear about a place I would like to go to, I write it down in the ‘notes’ section of my phone and save it for later.
Then when I get the urge to take a certain type of trip (i.e. a road trip in Ireland or Wales; a camping trip in Australia; or a luxury resort break somewhere in Asia), I consult my list and make some obvious choices based on budget, season, and most importantly gut instinct!