By Lauren Basra 

Choosing where to go on holiday can seem like a daunting task, especially now that almost the whole world has opened up to travel again post-pandemic. Finding the next place to cross off your travel bucket list can feel overwhelming. 

I started to think of a holiday destination like how I would pick a restaurant for a birthday dinner. When picking a restaurant, you usually have a list of things to think about: what you want to eat (what type of food), how far away it is and how you will get there, your budget and whether the place has good reviews. The same can be applied to selecting your next holiday trip.

Find The Right Type Of Holiday

Now, this can seem like a vague question, but in reality, it is a question about what best suits your personality and how you like to have fun. When choosing a vacation location, think about what you would like to do there. 

I mean, if you are interested in adrenaline junkie-type sports and dramatic scenery for long hikes, then picking a country that has the best bungee jumping, free rock climbing, or stunning walking trails is a great place to start. But, if you are more inclined towards a sun-drenched-loafing-on-the-sand type trip, then a resort with lots of sun and bottomless mimosas is probably more up your street.  

Make a list of things you would like to do on your holiday, and then you have a checklist of desires so you can measure up each location to see whether it matches your interests.

Holiday Essentials

This is a much more practical but necessary list that needs to be made. This one is about what you need, and not just the usual sunscreen, bug spray and travel adaptor. 

Will you need to hire a car to move around if you have chosen a rural escape or want to explore other areas? Will you need to consider any travel companions? Travelling with families might change or limit the places you can safely holiday with children. One with a kids club is essential for parents to have a modicum of peace! 

If you plan an action-filled activity holiday (if that’s how you relax, you go for it!), you might need to pack special equipment or find where you can easily rent it. You may also have to consider vaccinations and enhanced insurance coverage, particularly if you are going into a jungle or doing dangerous sports. 

These are the practical, somewhat tedious aspects of holiday planning, but you need to be prepared for these and the obvious things like travel Visa, insurance and, of course, enough underwear. 

Money Money Money 

A somewhat uncomfortable topic and one that might crush your holiday dreams, but it is something that can change the course of your trip. You have to take into account how expensive that country is and the cost of travel to get there.

In my experience, Switzerland is a beautiful place to visit, especially when you go with your sister and her boyfriend. Third-wheeling aside, Switzerland is a very expensive country, and your money doesn’t go very far. 

On the other hand, a family trip to a wedding in India saw our money spread a long way and luxuriously. It is also worth looking at the exchange rate for the country you are thinking of visiting. 

Time After Time

While budget is a big part of a holiday, so is how much time you have to enjoy it. A week might seem like a long time, but if you go a long distance, then the travel time might take two or more days off your week, leaving you with less time to relax. 

The time it takes to get there is a major consideration. I was interested in a trip to Bali, but the 17-hour flight from the UK soon put me off. The flight time is also very significant if you are travelling with children or anxious flyers (like me!). 

Do Your Research

When you have thought of all these things and made your holiday checklist use it to research as many places as fit all of your criteria. This might mean going straight to Google and plugging in the keywords “Rock climbing holidays” and seeing the recommendations that pop up. It could mean talking to friends who have recently gone on a holiday that you thought was amazing and asking for their advice. Or even relying on social media to find that perfect influencer holiday. 

In short, picking a holiday destination is an entirely personal journey, making every holiday special and unique. 

Update: I have decided on St Lucia for my winter sun holiday, and I’ll just chill and do yoga when I feel like it. No early mornings and trekking for me!