There is no single answer to the question of where are the best places to travel on vacation. The first question to ask is not what place to go but instead what kind of traveler are you?
What Kind of Traveler Are You?
* Are you a Phileas Fogg? Are you a world traveler who measures success by the number of countries visited?
* Are you a Robinson Curuso? Do you enjoy the out of the way and off the beaten path?
* Are you a Geoffery Chaucer? Is the trip more about the people you travel with than the destination?
* Are you a Henry David Thoreau? Is your ideal vacation just a quiet place near home?
There are many different traveling styles or different goals for travel.
* You can travel to get away from it all.
* You can travel to learn about a new culture.
* You can travel to party.
* You can travel to reconnect with family and friends.
* You can travel for adventure.
What is Your Travel Style / Budget?
Some people would rather stay home than stay any place that did not have 5 stars. Others could not imagine staying in any place more fancy than a youth hostel. Some who would love to stay at the fancy resort can’t afford to.
Before you travel you need to figure out your travel budget and style. What kind of style you like will help determine where you can afford to travel and for how long. My wife and I planned a trip to Hawaii before our first child was born. After looking at our budget we had to decide that a road trip to San Diego would be a better option.
One if by Land, Two if By Sea… Three if By Air?
Do you like road trips? If so how about an domestic itinerary. If you like the outdoors or history you could visit national parks. If you like sports consider a tour of major or minor league ballparks. If you like big city lights would a trip to New York, Chicago or Las Vegas be within your range?
Do you like cruises? Consider only packing and unpacking once and letting your hotel (ship) travel from port to port. From the East coast of the United States Bermuda and the Caribbean are both easily accessible. From the west coast Mexico or Alaska offer very different vacations.
If you love to fly and can afford it then Europe, Africa, Asia and South America beckon.
Europe offers familiarity for American visitors but with loads of history. Europe offers destinations from the familiar London and Paris to less familiar destinations like Croatia, Slovenia and Estonia. You have to be willing to deal with another language or driving on the other side of the road.
Africa offers unforgettable wildlife experiences or the wonders of ancient Egypt. It also offers ancient churches dug into the rocks of Ethiopia or far off destinations like Timbuktu. It will require many travels to get further outside their comfort zone.
Asia offers ancient cultures and new economic powerhouses. Your trip might be to overwhelming places like New Delhi which will challenge even veteran travelers or safer more familiar destinations like Singapore.
South America offers better exchange rates than europe but less political stability. It offers European style cities like Buenos Aires or ancient Incan cities like Machu Picchu.
One thing I have learned from hosting the Amateur Traveler for over three years is that there are many more places to travel than I had originally considered. It had never occurred to me to:
* Go to Tonga and swim with whales.
* See the stone churches in Ethiopia.
* Do a night tour of Petra in Jordan.
* See the wild horses in Mongolia.
The more I learn about travel the more places I want to go. What is the best place to travel to? For me it is always the next place.
Chris Christensen is the host of the popular Amateur Traveler travel podcast.