How I Pick Travel Destinations

‘How do you decide on where to go?’ This is a question I get quite a bit, but especially so when I visit more far-flung or unpopular destinations. The honest answer is that it depends. I’ll be sharing six factors that always affect my decision.



Money talks. When deciding on where to go, I determine how much I can spend on the trip in its entirety before I get carried away with planning. This helps me quickly eliminate destinations that are out of budget. However, for this to work, I need to make sure my budget is realistic and includes all categories of expenses including: visa, airfare, accommodation, transportation, luggage fees, activities, food, and souvenirs/gifts.

Some places are currently off-limits since they cannot be supported by my current economy. Bora Bora, Tahiti, I’m looking at you!

Because money talks!


Travel Crew/Buddies:

When travelling with others, consider as much as possible where everyone wants to go, an agreed budget, and the availability of activities that cater to something that appeals to everyone. When travelling with groups, you will never meet everyone’s needs 100%, but with some compromise, everyone can have an enjoyable trip. Oneika wrote a great post on travelling with groups here, she said it all, I need not repeat. When traveling alone, I can do whatever I want, whenever I want.

Solo or Group Trip? Girls trip or family trip?



This one’s important as it begs the question: what do you really want out of your trip? I find that people pick destinations based on popularity without making sure that the destinations actually fit what they want at the time. Then people end up being disappointed. Am I seeking adventure, culturally immersive experiences, food, relaxation, warm weather, winter sports, city life or countryside get-away? Do I want a hopping nightlife scene or peace and quiet with beautiful scenery and landscapes? For me, the answers differ from one trip/season to another but I seldom ever go on a beach-only vacation.

Once upon a time at the top of Macchu Picchu, Peru.


Distance & Time:

How much time do you have and how far are you willing to travel on a given trip? The number of days can determine how far one can go from home. Generally, for less than a week, I’m not crossing oceans! Otherwise one might end up spending a lot of time travelling, losing valuable time at the destination.


Visa Processing Time & Burden:

Well, that’s always right up there for those of us that often require visas. Some visa applications take a lot of time and money. Considering this often helps me narrow down my options pretty quickly (India, I’m looking at you!)



This is my favorite!! Sometimes, all it takes is a picture or an article and a seed for a trip is sown in my mind. Trips that have been inspired by images include Turkey, Bolivia, Zimbabwe, and Croatia (amongst others). For Turkey, it was an article on best places for a hot air balloon ride in Cappadocia. For Bolivia, it was a picture of Salar De Uyuni and I was sold. With Zimbabwe, it was the picture of the glorious falls. I get inspired and I make plans to make it happen, it might take one year (Bolivia) or five years (Croatia).

Bolivia was such an adventure!


So, what’s the number 1 factor for you in picking a destination, and what else determines where you go? Let me know in the comments below!


12 thoughts on “How I Pick Travel Destinations

  1. Currently, visa! 😭… well okay and cost! Plus right now I only want to go to warm weather locations!

    1. I’d put visa as #2 after cost but I knew if I started going off on visa wahala it would just be a depressing post. But, I hear you girl, I do. After winter, like you I always want warm weather, because can I show small skin and just not be in all these layers? I’m a child of the sun 🙂

  2. Visa policies rank high up in the list. Distance is a close second because I don’t like flying. Costs comes much later. It’s after deciding the place, I try to save up for it, or I say ‘nah, this can’t work’.. but once I can pay for the airfare, I’m good.

    1. #visastruggsss Amen! So many travel bloggers don’t like flying, myself included. I don’t sleep on planes matter of fact i’m going to do an Instagram poll on this…on Monday lol Thank for sharing your thoughts and adding the flights thing!

    1. I agree with you visa and cost and neck to neck on this one. Sometimes though the visa rules motivate me extra to go to the countries…like the foolishness I tried for Bolivia!!!!! That same foolishness did not work for Qatar

  3. Great post, Dee! I agree with most of them.

    Cost and distance definitely determines mine. Working full time means I am sometimes unable to go too far away because I doubt it will make sense to go from Canada to say, Thailand for less than 10 days. So, it usually is a battle of, where can I go for five days so I have vacation days left to go to other places. And of course, cost but willing to ‘splurge’ on places that are farther and will bring one-of-a-kind experiences.

    Loved reading this.

    1. Thank you! I’m with you on trying to ration out those vacation days in the best way possible to make the most of a trip as a full-time employee. As far as cost, its always a battle and lot of number crunching between myself and my accountant (also myself– but a more serious version)!

  4. Hello Dee, my name is Fisayo and it’s so nice to meet you through your blog! Well, I originally met you through Kachee’s blogpost on you and I think you are super super awesome! I’ve always loved to travel but I haven’t been able to yet because I only just finished Uni and haven’t started full time employment so basically no funds yet. Ufuoma inspired me to start travelling when I stumbled across her blog early last year and I plan on going to seven countries this year(Amen to that!). Scotland is the first on my list so just maybe we’ll meet!! And all my favorite bloggers are in the comment section, how amazing is that! For now, cost will be my number 1 factor in choosing a location but I have faith that I will soon ‘blow’! Lovely to meet you again and cheers to the new year!

    P.S one of my travel goals is to travel with you, Ufuoma, Kachee and Amarachi. God might just hear a little girl’s prayer.

    1. Aww Fisayo!!! You’ve just made my morning! Thank you and thank you for taking the time to drop in a comment!!! It’s lovely to meet you as well. I know the feel about not being able to travel in Uni, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed and prayers up for you to start employment and save up for travel. Ufuoma is amazing isn’t she? You know you don’t have to ‘blow’ to travel, I have not blown o hahahha! Amen to Seven countries this year and definitely hit me up when you’re coming to my corner of the world, I’d love to meet up if I’m in town. I’m excited that we have a growing Nigerian travel community.

      Cost is important for all of us, so small steps really one step at a time. My first trip was after I started working and I saved my bonus and saved up for 9 months before I hopped on a plane. Know that we are all rooting for you!!! AMEN to your prayers, I’m sure we can’t all wait to meet you and would be honored to travel with you!

      Thanks again!!

    1. Looks like everyone agrees on cost and visa, but inspiration if the FUN side of things. I’m so inspired these days I have plans to draw up, I cannot wait!!!!

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