This is one of those posts I’ve needed to write for a long time after so many questions, comments and particularly tweets on the topic, but for one reason or another I just haven’t got around to it… until now!
Perhaps the reason it has taken me so long to address the topic of how I choose where I will travel to next is because there are so many answers that it just isn’t a simple answer, forcing me to avoid the topic altogether!
But alas, here we are:
With so much of the world to see and so little time, I’ve become pretty picky on the destinations I decide to visit over the years. Before starting my blog and having these opportunities to travel so much, I still had to be picky as I factored in things (that I still factor in, just with less worry as this is my full time job) like budget, safety as a solo female traveller, and just basing my preferences on my own preferences. Now, I have a whole bunch of readers to consider!
I’m always on the lookout for new destinations I think WOW readers would love to see here on the blog, which I typically choose based on three main considerations:
Somewhere that makes you feel like you’re in another lifetime or another world
Somewhere that makes you instantly happy or fulfilled
Somewhere I’ve seen a photo of and wanted to jump into said photo
These are the types of destinations I like to cover on the blog, and I maintain that they are a curated collection of the “best” places to travel to at the time of writing and explain why you should go there and what to do once there.
My two favourite social media platforms that influence my travels are for sure Pinterest (follow WOW here!) and Instagram. This is a fairly obvious route to finding where I’d like to travel to next, as both of these social platforms are highly visual and I’m a visual person. I see a photo of a place and I instantly want to go there = trip booked, decision made.
But both of these platforms influence my travels in a different way.
I use Pinterest when I have an urge to go somewhere new or at least discover a new place I haven’t seen or heard about before. I like to follow a bunch of different travel(ly) people for inspiration, as well as keep a secret board of locations I will save for a later date.
I also use Pinterest when I am already booked to go somewhere, but I’m not sure what I want to see when I am there. I.e. by typing in “South” and “Wales”, I was able to check that I hadn’t missed any really exciting sights off my list for my travels in Southern Wales.
For Instagram, its more like an every day thing that is always there and I follow some people I find interesting to see where they are travelling. If I see a place I like, I look into it more… and I guess thats what followers of WOW on instagram are doing too!
Surprisingly one of the biggest influencers for me is to ask around as I travel. Because I meet a lot of travel writers/journalists through work, I’m always asking them about the best places they’ve been lately to discover new destinations or nab some insider tips. I also asks locals in any place that I visit “What’s the best things to do around here” and often get a varied response. This I find really interesting as you can wind up swinging off a tire swing into a dam should you ask the right person!
As a blogger I try not to read too many other blogs within my category (travel) so I can always keep my content original. However before the days of turning to blogging I used to always read travel blogs until my eyes were red and my neck was sore! I still read plenty of blogs for food recipes, fashion, DIY and things not related to travel, as I find I relate best to bloggers because I can put a face to a name, rather than reading a book or magazine which I find less personal. You can see who I’m following on Bloglovin’ here.
But of course I can’t go everywhere… and I certainly can’t be everywhere at once!
I choose my destinations and adventures based purely on visual content and word of mouth. When I see or hear about a place I would like to go to, I write it down in the ‘notes’ section of my phone and save it for later.
Then when I get the urge to take a certain type of trip (i.e. a road trip in Ireland or Wales; a camping trip in Australia; or a luxury resort break somewhere in Asia), I consult my list and make some obvious choices based on budget, season, and most importantly gut instinct!