Putting my feet up in Ireland

I know there are some travellers out there who like to be spontaneous, and sometimes I wish I could be too! But there are a lot of things that can sometimes be restricting. My work for one thing, stops me from just running away to the mountains whenever I feel like it.

I will take you through my planning process, which helps me get good deals and make the most of my time during my holiday. Cos of course, for someone who has a day job/desk job – time is money! That one extra day off from work can cost you a lot!

This is a 3-part series, so check out the other posts as well!

Choosing Your Destination

If you have a life-long dream to visit Ireland (like I did), then okay great, you can do that and get it over with! But where to next?

Here are some questions you need to ask yourself that will help you choose the right destination.

When Do You Want To Travel?

If you know the month in which you want to travel, it gets easier to narrow down cities that are best visited at that time.

For instance, if you want to travel in Winter, you would ideally look at a place where there is snow (unless you live in the north pole and want to get away from it!) or perhaps where you can celebrate Christmas and New Year in full swing. Few places that come to mind instantly are Aspen, London , New York , Zurich etc.

What do you want to do on your holiday?

Do you want to laze on a beach somewhere sipping coconut water? Or do you want to be adventurous and skydive? Or maybe you’re just dying to run wild with some animals. Whatever it is that gets you to your bliss, is what will drive you in making the right choice.

But what about those guys (like me!) who want a bit of everything? Here’s the third question you ask

How much do you want to spend on your holiday?

If you are on a shoestring budget, it would be better to opt for a place that is closer to you. Domestic or International – getting to your destination is almost 50% of your cost. So choose wisely.

There are some amazing apps that let you keep track of flight prices. Track flights to random destinations at random times to know what is the cheapest fair you can expect. This will help you narrow down your destination list.

Another way to make this easier is to figure out where you have friends or family who would be happy to host you (for a few days at least)! This cuts back on your cost, and you have someone to guide you around. Isn’t this a win-win? (erm… for you!)

What is the duration of your holiday?

If the above questions haven’t helped yet, try this. Do you want a weekend getaway? 1-week trip? Or a 1-month get-away-from-everything holiday?

2 to 7 days is perfect for a quick holiday to a place that’s close by so that you don’t end up spending too much time just getting there.

I live in India, so countries like Sri Lanka, UAE, Malaysia, Singapore , Thailand, Bhutan, Nepal, Indonesia etc. make sense for me! Or I could just travel within India!

If I’m planning a trip that’s over 10 days long, I usually like to cross an ocean.

I also maintain ‘collections’ on Instagram with the name of a country or city. Every couple of weeks I check them to see which collection has the most photos in it – so I know that’s where my heart is telling me to go!

But then it’s not always easy to plan a trip to Machu Pichu from India on a budget of INR 50k (700 USD) for 4 days, right? So I stick to answering ALL of the questions above for finding the right choice!!

Psst… sometimes its better to plan your entire year of travel in advance. More on this later…!

So choosing your destination is only the first step. Step 2? Research,