There are times in life when there is a very particular place you want to visit, but you can’t find the time. Other times, however, you may be having some extra days off, or you want to take your family somewhere new and nice, but you’re out of ideas and don’t know where to start. This is when you need new destination inspiration, and here I share my favorite ways to find it!
“But finding where to travel actually isn’t that hard”, you may be thinking to yourself. Travel agencies, Instagrammers and your Facebook friends pretty much constantly throw new locations at your face.
And I’m not saying this is wrong in any way, and it actually inspires for some great bucket list entries. BUT, my favorite thing must be when travel planning and brainstorming turns into a creative process and leads me to further resources and makes me want to know everything about a destination immediately.
When coming up with destinations to visit, I am looking for something that I badly want to visit and not just cross off my list because everyone has been there.
Travel is so much more than just crossing locations off the list, and here’s how I get inspired and how I guide my inspiration through the times in the year that suit me most!
Travel writers and photographers
This is such a logical step, but a very easy one to forget: go to people who have seen the world.
Honestly. Travel writers, bloggers and photographers tend to have a genuine and often very raw approach to destinations. They take you off the beaten path. They show you what it’s like to be an expat in a certain country.
Basically, they know their stuff. I love browsing through travel blog’s destination pages!
Wondering where to start? I have a few gorgeous suggestions for you to begin with.
Cassy from Away We Stray extensively writes about USA and Japan travel and it’s a unique opportunity to get your portion of diving, sharks and overall adventure, too! Also, her Instagram is absolutely drool-worthy. Click and enjoy; you’re welcome.
Emma from The Travel Natural, on another hand, is a Kiwi who writes about the awesomeness of places like Peru, Chile, Ecuador and Bolivia. Also, she’s your go-to girl for New Zealand. Go and get inspired!
Let’s now talk about Iga from Eager Journeys. She’s an ultimate source for South Africa inspiration, as that’s where she lives, but she’s also lived in South Korea for two years and knows so much about it. How awesome is that?!
Also, you have to check out Amanda from A Life of Wander. Hear this out: last year, she was on a quest to see all 50 states – and she did it! If you are up for some badass US traveling, don’t do it before you see what she’s done throughout the US. I sure know I’ll be reading her stuff religiously before my next US trip!
Travel hashtags on Instagram
And by this, I’m not advising you to just type in #travel and hope for the best. Instagram’s travel community has grown into an incredible range of travel photographers and storytellers, and it is now a never-ending wanderlust trigger.
Who wouldn’t want to see all these places?
Warning: you may find yourself booking your next trip soon after. (And that’s okay – that’s exactly what destination inspiration is for!)
Skyscanner’s search to ‘Everywhere’
I am actually often surprised when I realized how many people still don’t take advantage of Skyscanner‘s option to type in ‘Everywhere’ as the destination.
Because, as most of you would know, life happens, you’re limited by time or money or both, and you just want to go – but no idea where or how or what’s the best way to make the best of your (limited) budget and/or time.
So let’s take an example. It’s January now, and you were told you should take at least 5 days of your annual leave before end of May. So you want to fly somewhere, but nothing seems to fit this or you keep running into pricey deals.
This is when you open Skyscanner and start looking for flights for this period. Only this time, instead of trying out random places, you type in ‘Everywhere’ in your ‘To’ field. You keep your current location (or the nearest airport) in the ‘From’ field.
What I’d do then is search month by month through the ‘Whole month‘ feature, and take note of each result. This is what comes out as a result (these searches were performed from Skyscanner.ie, from an incognito browser window, for flights from London):
Pretty handy, right? It’s a fantastic way to avoid overpaying for flights when you can work your trip scheduling only within a certain timeframe for your trip and to decide how willing you are to pay for which destination, and organize your dates accordingly.
Another way to look for the cheapest destination – which may not always work with your timelines, but it’s an amazing start – is selecting ‘Cheapest month’ instead of a particular month or a date. This way, Skyscanner will find you the cheapest flights within the next year to a massive list of destinations. And you get to look into your schedule or days off for the upcoming year to see if these dates work well for you!
What are you waiting for? Try searching for ‘Everywhere‘ now!
If you’re not subscribed to Hostelworld‘s newsletter, you’re definitely missing out.
Several times a week, Hostelworld sends out an email with a variety of deals and tips, including Friday, Monday and Sunday deals with a bunch of new location ideas each time, private room budget offers and seasonal trips such as snow holidays.
They also tell you about cool stuff like backpacking secret countries, or simply about hostel deals starting at €7. Who wouldn’t want that?!
Also – just in case you never noticed – their blog is amazing, and they have an admirable range of tips on all things cheap travel and backpacking.
Destination Inspiration on Booking.com
I absolutely love the Destination Inspiration section on Booking.com.
Every traveler is unique and different, and this is where you get to find exactly what you prefer and love doing most while you travel. Some people love relaxation and nature, while others prefer to go clubbing and look for the best restaurants.
This finder has it all. Oh, and the best thing – there is even a category ‘Friendly locals’ – so if that’s what you’d love the most, that’s what you’ll find!
Once you pick your favorite thing to do, you’ll end up with a long list of cities and average prices per night for each. A great place to start planning your next adventure!
What are your favorite ways to get destination inspired? I love hearing from you!