After you made the decision to travel, you have to choose where to go. It’s not always easy to find the dream destination, but let me help you how to decide. You need to think why do you want to travel. There are some options:
- You just want to leave the place where you are right now
- You want to enjoy Sea and Sun
- You want to see some interesting places or buildings
- You want to do some Sports or other Activities
- You want to see a Nature or/and some Special Events related to Nature
- You want to change your job (this is an option as well) and need to know the new working area better
- It’s a mix of 2 or more options, or something else
There are many things why people want to travel. In my case, I generally want to travel to discover new places and to enjoy the Sun and Sea. I’m in love with the Sea. I’m always trying to combine more places during 1 Vacation to be able to do more things. As an example let me tell you about one of my trips back in 2018. We went to Asia. First we visited Bali (Indonesia) for 9 days, out of which we spent 2 days on a small Island call Nusa Lembongan. After that we went to Kuala Lumper (Malaysia), where we spent also few days. From Kuala Lumpur we went to Singapore for a few days. After Singapore we went for 5 days to Hong Kong. In Hong Kong as an European Union citizen we had the opportunity to go to China without Visa, but only to Shenzhen. We went there for 1 full day. Therefore if you count it together those were 5 countries, where we enjoyed the beach, saw some beautiful building, statues, cultural and historical monuments. We enjoyed lokal food and met local people. We have seen and enjoyed so many things in only 2.5 weeks, that it was definitively worth of it. I will tell you more about that experience in one of my stories on my blog. Anyway, there are some very important factors which you need to consider when choosing the location:
- As mentioned already, your dream/wish – things you want to do
- How you will get there and travel there – transportation (flight, ship, car, bicycle, etc or the combination of some of them). It’s not only about traveling to the destination, but also when you are here you might require some transportation. Therefore you should check what are your options.
- 3. What language do they speak – Do they speak your language or the language you speak? English is one of the most accepted languages across the Globe, however country is different. In Germany almost everybody speaks English, however in China you would find many people who don’t. Therefore it’s important to plan your trip also from language perspective.
- 4. Do you need permission to stay (Visa). If not, than your passport/ID might be enough. If yes, than what kind of permission you will need? Who will manage it for you?;How many days will it take? Can you do it on the airport, or you have to do it before you travel? How much will it cost? There are several things, which you should take care of before leaving the country.
- 5. What is the local currency? Can you pay with EUR or USD, or will they exchange your local currency to their? Can you pay everywhere with your debit/credit card? Do they accept Visa, MasterCard, Maestro, American Express, Discovery or any other card? What are the fees you have to pay when withdrawing money from ATM, or exchanging currency in Bank or some currency exchange place?
- 6. Is the country safe for traveling? Before traveling to the country of your desire, you need to consider if it’s safe to go there. If there is not a war, or (specially in some Arabic and African countries) if the human rights are overall safety is ensured by government and police. You should consider also if in critical situation how can you get help and when. Also consider if you need any medical treatment before leaving. In some of the African and South-East Asian countries you need or it’s recommended to have vaccination before traveling there.
- 7. The budget available for Vacation. What is the amount of money you want/can or you are willing to spend for your Vacation. It’s really important to make a budget calculation in advance to see how much you will spend. When you do your calculation, add always 15-20% as additional cost. You might have unforseen happenings, which might require additional money, therefore it’s always recommended to calculate with some extra spend.
- 8. Culture, Tradition and Habits. Each country has a specific culture, which might include traditions and habits, which are not familiar or seems weird for you. However please don’t forget that YOU ARE a VISITOR, tourist, who received the permission to enter the country. Therefore get prepared and behave as it’s expected from you. Before entering a different country do the quick research first. What is the right behaviour, what is not. If things, which in your country are legal, are leagel also in the country of your visit? This will save you a lot of trouble, issues and explanation.
- 9. Law and personal belongings. As mentioned above the culture, tradition and habits are very important. Really close to that is the Law. You don’t need to study the law when traveling abroad, however you must be aware of basics. Don’t forget: Not knowing the law is not an excuse! E.g. when traveling to US and being younger than 21, you can’t buy or drink any alcohol. Another alcohol rule is e.g. in Europe, in Slovakia it is totally forbidden to drive a car having alcohol in your blood. There is 0 tolerance for alcohol. Also in Arabian countries it’s almost impossible to get alcohol, except of some restaurants, bars or special liquid shops. Therefore when you are going abroad check what are the restrictions for things, you might want to try or do during your visit. Similar to the law are personal belongings. You might want to take something with you, which is not allowed in that certain country. E.g. some meat or vegetables you can’t take with you in US or Canada. In case you are smoking marijuana, it’s absolutely forbidden in several countries, and you can get to jail, or on Philipines it’s even worse. They have a very strict and serious drug policy. To summarize always check the, if the things you want to carry with you are allowed in the country which you will visit. It’s important as your whole trip might be depending on it.