Deciding where to go on holiday is always going to be a stressful exercise, aside from if you go to the same place every year - and even then it can be a bit of a hassle to book everything. One way or another you're going to walk head first into a series of problems and there's no real way to get around that, but to be perfectly honest, it may be easier just to steer into the skid.
Alas, we aren't going to take our own advice in this instance, because we've got twenty tips as to how you can combat not being able to decide where to go. As much as we'd like to, we aren't going to encourage you to spin a globe around and just point to somewhere, although we wouldn't mind hearing from someone who's actually attempted that in the past.
Instead, we're going to run through a series of what we consider to be logical ideas as you go on the path towards your getaway. It may be difficult to suspend your disbelief throughout the course of this piece depending on your own situation, but stick with us - because we may just be able to help you out.
For the sake of the article, we're going to pretend that you're either going away on your own or with your partner. Of course, the majority of these entries can apply to you regardless of how many people you travel with, but it's always nice to have a bit of a back story.
20 Set A Budget - Not Too Much, Not Too Little
One of the most important things you could possibly do prior to a holiday, regardless of whether or not you know where you're going, is set a budget. It doesn't matter whether you earn big bucks or you're on benefits because one way or another, you need to figure out a way to make it work.
You need to decide how much you're willing to spend on everything: from the flights to the accommodation. Once you've got that sorted you'll be able to actually start looking up possible destinations but until then, you may as well be in a dream.
19 New Or Old? - The Keys To The Castle
More and more people around the world are gaining experience when it comes to travelling, and that can only be a good thing. As you get older it's important that you know and understand the ins and outs of venturing outside of your comfort zone, as you just never know when you might be forced to do so.
So for this entry, we want you to determine whether you'd like to visit somewhere you've already been, or if you'd prefer to go somewhere new. It seems like a simple decision but familiarity can be a hard thing to stray away from, especially when you're heading off on holiday.
18 Avoid Stereotypes - Don't Give In!
Regardless of whether or not you're from Europe, America or somewhere else around the globe, there are certain stereotypical locations that people like to visit on holiday. For summer getaways there are the islands of Greece and Spain, and for city trips, you've got New York City, London and Paris to name a few.
Whilst we aren't trying to discourage you from going to any of the aforementioned destinations by any stretch of the imagination, what we are doing is reminding you that there's a big, wide world out there. It's easy to pick some place that everyone goes to, but sometimes, an alternative could be in order.
17 Don’t Set Dates - Keep An Open Mind
While you may have a specific time frame for wanting to go on holiday (perhaps a two to three week period or any given month), you shouldn't lock down certain dates when you aren't even sure where it is that you're going.
After all, that'll mean that you've given yourself a specific deadline, when in reality, that's not what booking a holiday should be about. This isn't some kind of assignment at school or university that you've been forced to do - it should be an entertaining process that allows you to forget about your troubles in the build-up to what should be one of the highlights of your year.
16 Transport - Flight Or No Flight?
You may not realise it, but working out what your method of transportation to your holiday is can be quite important. In fact, it could be what you base your entire decision on because there are certain places which require different modes of transport in order to get to.
You can go by car, by train, by boat or even by plane, but whatever you decide, it needs to be one of the first things that you agree on. You can still drive somewhere in own country and have a good time and, in equal measure, you can jet off somewhere halfway around the world. There's no right or wrong way to go about this.
15 Check Out TripAdvisor - A Key Website
It makes no sense to tell people that one website is going to completely change their perspective, but with TripAdvisor, you're going to be able to get a much clearer picture of what it is you want to achieve and accomplish on your adventure.
Obviously, you're going to have different tastes and interests to others who may have visited certain places or venues that appeal to you, but a quick scan through the reviews should tell you all that you need to know. It allows you to learn a little bit more about where it is you want to go, and it could, quite literally, change everything.
14 Travel Time - Ten Hours Is A Long Time
This isn't going to be viewed as something that's a crucial factor by most people, but it all depends on what you like and what you're used to. If the travel time required to get to a certain location is something that'll put you off, then you're probably better off heading elsewhere.
For example, if you're in the States and you want to go over to Europe, but you aren't willing to spend more than half a day getting there, then that could be a problem. Jet lag is very real and most travellers would've suffered from it at one point or another, and that's just a fact.
13 Dedicate Yourself - Take Some Time Out Of Your Day
Most of us have busy lives and jobs that require us to be in the office from 9-5, meaning that you've got a very limited amount of time in the morning & evening to get things done that you really want to do. That's more off-putting to some people than others but if you're on the verge of booking a holiday, then you need to commit yourself.
By that, we mean that you should set aside 30 minutes to an hour every evening, grab yourself a glass of wine, and do some research regarding where it is you want to end up. It doesn't have to be a regular occurrence, but it could make for one or two enjoyable nights in front of your laptop.
12 Be Selfish - Enjoy Your Holiday
Look, at the end of the day, this is your holiday (or at least, we're making it out to be) and you need to be the one who is in control of what does happen and what doesn't happen. You work hard for your money and you work hard to have a good time, and that's exactly what you're going to have on this holiday.
You need to look at where you're going to go and think about where would genuinely make you happy, regardless of what would be required to get there. You still need to budget your money before you do anything else, but when that happens, don't be afraid to let loose and be a little bit selfish.
11 Trust Your Instincts - Go For It
You know yourself better than anyone, and if your instincts are telling you to go somewhere in particular, then listen to them. The worst case scenario is that it doesn't quite live up to your expectations and you don't go there again, but you need to trust yourself.
If you second guess things then that could cause a ripple effect with everything else involved in planning a holiday, which may end up doubling the amount of time it takes for you to get everything booked. You know what you like and don't like, so just relax into it and see what happens.
10 Outside The Box - Be Different
Every single country on Earth has a focal point, whether it be a seaside resort, a city, or a town of some sort. That location tends to be where most travellers flock to during any given period of time, so instead of following that trend, why not look into some of the more underrated places that are on offer?
You could perhaps go to a second city or a bargain four-star resort, because not only would it be cheaper, but it would also make it feel like more of an adventure. You'd be able to tell people about a destination that few others can claim to have gone to, and on top of that, these kinds of trips almost always end up being a blast.
9 Research - scour Social media and ask around
Researching holidays is a process that's changed dramatically over the years, and that's hardly a secret. Instead of heading into Thomas Cook or Thomson for a brochure, most people take to the internet in order to figure out where they want to spend their time off.
Alas, things have developed even further in the last few years, to the point where apps and sites like Pinterest and Instagram are really useful. Both of these functions allow you to take a look at what these places look like visually, and if you dig beyond the images that look like they've been photoshopped, you'll find some authentic photos that could really help you out.
8 Don’t Overthink It - Simplify Things
Overthinking is one of the worst things that you can possibly do in life, and that doesn't just go for travelling. We've lost count of the number of times that we've had last-minute moments of panic, and to be frank, it's just not good for anyone.
Don't look too hard to try and find the negative reviews, don't pick up on things that you wouldn't care about in everyday life, and don't let the average price of a milkshake throw you off the scent. That can only lead to arguments in your own head, and as we've said a thousand times now, this is supposed to be fun.
7 Take Some Risks - Be Spontaneous
Not everyone is going to be a spontaneous person and we can respect that, because if that was the case, then the world would descend into anarchy. However, if you want to try something a little bit different whilst also challenging yourself, then it can't hurt to give it a try.
One of the reasons why we said not to set any dates was due to this reason because as we all know far too well, life can easily get in the way sometimes. So, if you need to book a last-minute deal, then don't let that get you down. There are often still things to be found as late as 24 hours before you want to depart.
6 Friends & Family - They're There For A Reason
As you can see in the title in this entry, your friends and family are there for a reason: to provide you with help, love and support as you venture through this crazy thing called life. While it may not seem that important in the grand scheme of things, asking for their advice on holiday destinations could be quite useful.
Your parents, especially, are likely experienced when it comes to travelling and even if they aren't, they'll probably give you some interesting insights into some of the places you want to go to. If nothing else, hopefully, this entry can make for some interesting dinner conversation.
5 Consider Your Interests - Surfing? Football?
Something that you really need to think about is what you actually want to accomplish on this trip. Are you going to lie by the pool for seven days, or do you want to do some fun activities like surfing or hiking? Whatever the case may be, there's plenty of information to be found about this kind of stuff no matter where it is you want to end up.
Perhaps you have your heart set on a football-based trip, in which you want to go and check out lots of cool stadiums whilst also getting in some work of your own. Research often isn't fun in everyday life, but with this kind of research, it's hard to dismiss the benefits.
4 Length Of Trip - Get It Just Right
Some people like going on holiday for 48 hours and 48 hours only, and others like going away for two weeks: it really does depend on your own personal situation. However, you need to ensure that you match your desires up to a place that has enough to keep you occupied for such a long amount of time.
If it's 48 hours you're going for, then perhaps somewhere with lots of tourist spots isn't for you, unless you're willing to head back at a later date. A great show to watch for this kind of thing is Travel Man, which features comedian Richard Ayoade. Trust us, you won't regret it.
3 Analyse the risks - Vitally Important
We don't want to sound too boring here but we've got to face the facts: dodgy stuff is something that exists in society, and it's something that you need to take into consideration before you book anything.
You could be planning on going to the most beautiful place imaginable, but if it isn't safe, then is it really worth the risk? Even then, if you decide to go ahead with it, make sure you don't stay in a bad neighbourhood because trouble can easily happen if you're looking for accommodation on a budget.
Trust us, this kind of thing really is a necessity.
2 Priorities - Think It Through
Before you get all excited and head onto the web to find your dream holiday, you do need to think about what kind of vibe you're going for here. Obviously, there are several different types of holidays that you could go for, but in truth, there are two main ones: a summer vacation and a winter break.
It doesn't really matter what time of year you go so long as you get the time off work, which is a simple process 95% of the time - depending on what your boss is like, obviously. This is a priority in more ways that one, and even then, it's hardly something you'd call 'a hassle' is it?
1 Pick An Airport - Enjoy The Entire Experience
Some people don't like the airport because of how cramped and stressful it's perceived to be, but it can actually be an enjoyable experience if you know what you're getting yourself into. So with that in mind, please, oh please, make sure you pick the right one.
Location is vital because you don't want to be forced into travelling too far to get there, but make sure that there's plenty to do when it comes to shops, restaurants and things of that nature.
Oh, and if you aren't going to be flying at all, then at least make sure your car has enough petrol, the ferry you take is nice, or the train has good wifi.