The human mind is the fastest traveller on earth. It can go from sports to politics to the snow clad peak of the Alps in no time. For the traveller, mere mental sojourns are hardly enough to quench their wanderlust. Therefore, you start saving, start planning, this place or that? To the hills or the ocean waters? The pine trees or the mangroves?
Choosing the destination has never ever been easy, especially for those who frequently love to travel. There is so much to see in the world- glaciers to deserts, rains to snow, mountains to rivers and oceans, forts to palaces, temples to mausoleums. Too many choices, too little time.However, we cannot be stuck thinking forever where to go if we plan on travelling. So, we have to narrow down the process of choosing the destination.
If you are a solo traveller, you don’t have to think about what others want and may happily pack up and leave wherever you want.Some like the oceans, the beaches and the long walks, some crave for the mountains, a trek through forests and rhododendrons to see snow clad peaks being kissed by the sun, a heavenly play. But if you are a family person, you have to keep many a thing in mind. Most importantly, the budget, the duration and the choices of your family members. What are ways to decide on your destination?
Duration and budget-First of all, you need to choose the duration of your travel. It may be for 10 days in case of domestic travel, and maybe 15-20 days in case of international ones. International travels mainly centre on your budget and places of interest. If you have less than 10 days in hand, say 5-7 days, you need to minimize your travel time. Therefore, it isn’t feasible for you to undertake more than one day journey, the best would be somewhere where you can reach within half a day. Flights save a lot of time, and if it fits your budget do look for cheap flights from the very start. The question is, which flights, or trains to look for? That would depend on the region you are located.
If you are based out of Delhi, you might think of going to HP, UP or MP, Kashmir etc. If you are based out of the Eastern region, the best option would be to go for Hill trips to North Bengal, Sikkim, or to Orissa or AP. If you have 10 days in hand, you can travel across the length and breadth of the country by combining different modes of transport. One thing to remember is, although it saves time, flight may not be the best option for every travel because sometimes the journey itself is so breath taking that you should opt for bus or trains. Going to Goa from Mumbai through the Western Ghats in a train ride is an experience. You would otherwise miss the Dudhsagar Falls if you took a flight from Goa to Hospet or nearby airport. So, you need to do a bit of research on the internet about destinations which wouldn’t be too far in case of a short trip or how to mix your commute in case there are scenic beauties on the way you wouldn’t want to miss.
So, say, you have narrowed down on 4-5 destinations which can be reached within a short time. It may include hills, beaches, remote locations, big cities etc. You need to do a voting among your family members, and yes, like every other vote, the majority would win.
Here’s a small catch. Even if you do decide on a destination finally, there are several other parameters to be considered, before you finally zero in on that place. What are those things?
Ease of access of accommodation– If you are taking a family, you need to check out the hotels and their prices, so that they are not too remotely located, not very expensive, or not the only hotel in the vicinity. It would increase your cost, both for accommodation and for transportation. So, look for places where you have some budget hotels to choose from, and which is not located far off from the sight-seeing areas unless they provide you with transportation.
Avoid remote areas if possible- Again, many people don’t like crowded places and look for remote areas. For a solo traveller or a couple, it might be feasible. For a family with kids, it might be tough to access remote areas. It will be tiring and wouldn’t be worth the effort if all you feel after reaching is to sleep. So, for people with families, choose destinations that are well connected and easily accessible.
Decide on your reason for the vacation– Next, what kind of holidays are you looking for? Sports, adventure, safari, or just a laid back holiday? In case of an adventure, you need to choose a place where these are provided, like parasailing, surfing etc. If you want to simply shop till you drop, you need to go to places where you have good malls with the latest trends. If you want to go for trekking, mountains are where you need to be.
Weekend trips are worth a try- Sometimes, due to budget constraints, we are tied down to weekend trips. Don’t fret, there are a lot of hidden places not frequented by visitors that wait for you, search them and then simply hire a car, or take your own car and out you go.
Check for cheaper options- Do check out for cheaper cities instead of a bustling metropolis where the costs are very high, for staying and exploring in and around a place.
Know the weather- It is very important to check the weather conditions before you go to a place, and the time of the year when you are planning to go. The hills are dangerous during monsoons, and very cold during winter, beaches would be a better choice then. Come summer, and you can safely pack up for a cool trip to the hills. Decide your destination accordingly.
If you have done all of these above, the only thing that remains: to get the ball rolling to your dream destination!