How do you decide where to go on vacation? With so much world to see, we could all use a bit of travel inspiration.
There are so many places I want to go all across the globe that, sometimes, I don’t even know where to begin. Occasionally, I think about throwing a dart at a wall map and heading to whatever city it lands on. Often, I hear about a good deal and book it immediately. Other times, I fall back on these trusted sources of travel inspiration.
Newsletters and Brochures
My number one source of travel inspiration comes in the form of weekly email newsletters I get from some of the best tour companies in the business. I also stock up on travel agency brochures featuring extravagant vacation packages. I can’t afford a single thing they offer, but I can dream. And I can use the itineraries they offer to create similar, more affordable travel plans. In fact, I often follow their exact day-to-day plan, finding my own transportation between communities, lower-priced boutique hotels, and local guides to show us around.
Occasionally, I get lucky, and one of the tours I’m coveting goes on sale. It pays to keep an eye on the prize. For example, last year, I scored a 7-day AMAWaterways Mekong River cruise for just over $1,000 per person. It was ridiculously luxurious and the deal of a lifetime.
Similarly, after seeing an amazing Costa Rican experience in an Adventures by Disney brochure, I was inspired to venture to this part of the world. I did some digging around and found a similar travel package from Caravan Tours for $995 per person. It wasn’t quite as intricate as the one offered by Disney, but it was within my budget and a great way to get a taste of a new culture.
Blogs and Social Media
Surfing the net for random travel ideas can be tedious. Instead, I search hashtags like #travel and #wanderlust on Twitter. This is a great way to see where other people are going and find offers on places you may not otherwise have considered as a vacation destination. It’s also a great way to find travel bloggers, like me, who might inspire you in the long term.
A lot of the people who post in popular travel hashtags on Twitter belong to travel companies or websites. But many others are travel bloggers. On Twitter, you can find a brief profile outlining their special interests and a link to their website. Look for someone who has similar tastes to you, and subscribe to that person’s blog. There’s something for every taste. Some blogs highlight adventure travel or romantic escapes, while others focus on fun family vacations, for example.
Books and Magazines
I love to get lost in the pages of a good book. And it seems I’m attracted to books that take the protagonists on adventures to faraway places. This makes for great travel inspiration. I always want to go to the places I’ve read about. I can’t read a single Laura Florand book without wishing I was in France. And don’t even get me started on The Buenos Aires Broken Hearts Club or Under the Tuscan Sun. A few years ago, I took a vampire tour of Romania after re-reading Dracula. You never know what might pique your curiosity.
Flipping through pages of a magazine can ignite similar wanderlust. Looking at pictures of beautiful places can spark a yen to know more about those places. If you feel like you simply don’t know where to begin your search for a vacation destination, grab a copy of Condé Nast Traveler. It’s rare I can afford the resorts they feature, but I do get plenty of ideas for places I’d like to go.
Friends and Family
Listen to what friends and family have to say about where they’re going or have already been. Look at their vacation photos. Get a little jealous—actually, get jealous enough to take action. I know hearing about all of the cool places people have gone makes me want to go there myself. And getting a first-hand account of someone’s personal experience can really help when it comes to choosing accommodations and activities.
Lean on friends and family for advice. I know hearing about a friend’s African safari adventure or a cousin’s SCUBA story from Australia can really get me in the mood to make my own travel plans.
If you’re looking for travel inspiration, these are a few great ways to find out about new places or adventures. What inspires you? Head over to the Wanderlust Wayfarer Facebook group and share your ideas.