How to Choose Where to Travel Next
Tom and I have decided we’re going to use some of our valuable vacation time to go on a trip this winter. There’s just one small problem: We’re having a hard time deciding where to go. How to choose where to travel next has monopolized our minds.
For clarity sake, a big trip for us is around two weeks. Maybe someday we’ll move to Europe and get a month off like those smart folks, but for now big means something we can fit into 14 days. This means having to decide between all the locations we want to go to and picking just one.
My top pick, Machu Picchu, is out because it will be the rainy season when we want to go. The rest of South America is also out because each country is too expansive and expensive to get around when time is short.
New Zealand came up as Tom studied there in college and he has always wanted to go back. I would love to go there so that became the new front runner.
Then we looked at plane tickets. Way too expensive. So New Zealand was out. But we were onto something. Let’s just go abroad wherever we can find the most inexpensive tickets – relatively speaking. Munich was pretty affordable to fly to, but once we got there it would be expensive to eat, sleep, etc. India came up, but my sister is planning on moving to Nepal sometime in the next year so I felt we should lump that into a trip when we visit her.
Before we knew it we were to Southeast Asia. This wouldn’t be a problem, except that’s where we went last year and shouldn’t we try somewhere new? But last time we went to Thailand and Cambodia, and we both really want to go to Vietnam – which we had cut out last year due to time constraints. Tickets to Vietnam were affordable and we could also visit Laos, which we had heard wonderful things about from other backpackers in Thailand.
It was decided. We’d go to Vietnam and Laos and buy tickets when I got back from Montana.
Then…tickets to New Zealand dropped.
Our original option was now viable! Except…we had already started researching the Vietnam/Laos trip and I was getting excited about Halong Bay and Luang Prabang and visiting an elephant sanctuary in Northern Laos.
Yet I had heard for years from Tom how beautiful and fun New Zealand is. It’s his favorite place in the world and we could just rent a car, travel around the country at our own pace, and explore the land; drink wine, hike trails, explore glaciers, and meander around the cities and towns situated amongst New Zealand’s mountains and shore line.
We spent three hours last night debating which part of the world to go to. No decision. Ticket prices are going up. We have to decide. NOW. But it’s way too hard. See, this is why people take extended time off from careers to go RTW. So what to do with their two weeks of vacation don’t begin to feel like the most important decision in the world. I know, I know, it’s not. The most important decision is when I’m going to quit my job and travel the world. (Kidding, Tom….sort of.)
But in all seriousness, right now, for two travel lovers, it is a big decision. Should we just flip a coin? Should we give it a week and let the fate of airline prices decide for us? I even went to Barnes and Noble today to buy a Lonely Planet book on New Zealand, hoping it would shed light on the situation (we already have a Southeast Asia guidebook). No such luck; still can’t decide.