Traveling begins long before we book flights, conduct research, and plan out a budget.
Anytime we daydream or think about places near and far to visit, we work on step one: Brainstorming.
Brainstorming potential destinations is something we do without even realizing it.
While working on something at our job, flipping through TV shows, or viewing Snapchats of friends, we might be dreaming of sweet travel experiences.
Whether we wish to travel extensively or for a weekend getaway, brainstorming travel destinations is fun to do often.
Brainstorming also gives us something to work on, research, learn, and get excited for.
When thinking about places legitimately, it helps to ask introspective questions and contemplate various travel factors.
Let’s explore categories and questions to consider. Whether you know it or not, you probably think of some of these things already!
PURPOSE OF TRAVEL
Our first category for brainstorming is thinking about what we actually want to DO with our time available.
Do you want to go on a sightseeing trip to view volcanos and lava pools?
Do you want to go on a jungle excursion to discover exotic animals?
What about a walk through ancient temples? Maybe sightsee and get a sense for a local culture that interests you?
Think about destinations based on specific activities you want to do.
Have you been wanting to go kiteboarding, hiking, kayaking, scuba diving, and/or camel riding?
Or, do you simply want to relax and do a whole lot of nothing?
Answering these questions will give us a better sense of where we want to travel, how we want to travel, and ideas for certain trips.
Make note of everything you brainstorm and search for destinations to complete specific items on your list! I bet a few places have already come to mind!
It’s also helpful to think about locations based on visiting someone like a family member or friend. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, spend a few days in their city and a few days exploring places nearby!
Our second category determines what clothes we will need to pack in our suitcase.
Weather is one of the main reasons people decide to travel – usually to escape from or migrate to certain conditions.
For example, pretend you live in Boston, Massachusetts during peak winter months.
Instead of battling north-of-the-wall type weather every time you step outside…imagine sitting in the sun on a white-sand beach, margarita in hand, getting a bronze tan on. Or lobster red if we’re pale and forget sunscreen.
Looks pretty nice, eh?
The opposite scenario is possible too. Maybe you live where it’s always warm and are so tired of sweating you’d rather be somewhere to experience snow. Get where I’m going with this?
Think of potential trips based on weather conditions you seek.
More importantly, if weather is a main determinant of the activities we can partake in, consider where and when we can go. A snowboarding trip to Colorado in July will lead to a lot of disappointment.
Considering weather when brainstorming travel options helps give us a more clear idea of potential destinations!
Imagine walking into work tomorrow, grabbing a cup of coffee or tea, and sitting down at your desk to read emails.
Suddenly, your manager walks up and says, “Hey Champ, you’ve been working really hard this quarter. Next week, go ahead and take Thursday and Friday off on the company.”
If we’re feeling adventurous and decide to plan a trip real quick, it would be bold to book a flight from Los Angeles to New Zealand! The majority of our time would consist of sitting on a plane.
Now imagine, your manager walks up and says, “Hey Champ, corporate just announced at the end of this quarter, all employees receive a three-week paid vacation. Ride the waves, brooo!”
Now New Zealand becomes a completely viable option! (And your boss is a surfer bro).
Depending on the length of time we have/want to allocate for a trip, our destination(s) will greatly differ.
For extensive travel, e.g. vagabond, time is less important as we are able to go with the flow easier. More on vagabonding later.
Time of Travel
Along with time spent in each destination, we should consider how long to expect for the method of travel.
Will we need to take a 3 hour bus ride, 6 hour flight, or 18 hour train ride? Sometimes we might have to do all three!
Our next category helps us brainstorm areas of the world and countries we want to explore.
Do you want to travel domestically? Or break out the passport and head to an international spot?
Does a certain continent stand out in your mind?
A style of cooking?
Have you wanted to experience what life is like in other cultures?
These are important questions as they are huge determinants for what we are actually able to do.
Certain activities and events can only be done in unique parts of the world. If you have a sushi obsession and want to eat from master sushi chefs, Japan would become a top travel destination.
Along with that, different destinations have different “pre-work”. Items like passports, visas, and other necessary travel documents.
Pre-work shouldn’t be a main factor in brainstorming, but will come back into play later on. For now just know that it exists.
Our last category to consider for brainstorming is more emotional than analytical.
Think about places that have always been on your mind and peaked your interest.
Whether you saw a place in a movie, read about it from a book or online, saw a Snapchat from a friend or are simply curious about an area.
Think of locations people have told you of, but you don’t really know a lot about.
Maybe you’ve dreamed about someplace your whole life and it’s been on your bucket list since before you can remember.
I believe we all desire to visit a place we’ve never seen.
Only you know where these places are, so keep making notes and continue the travel process in the next step with Part Two.
Thinking of our purpose of travel, weather, time, geography, and our bucket list will help us brainstorm fantastic travel ideas.
Considering all categories together isn’t necessary, but it will definitely help paint a more complete picture!
Everyone places different values on travel aspects and experiences, so it’s important to learn what is most important to you. This usually takes a bit of trial-and-error, so don’t be afraid to say yes to things that test your comfort zone!
At the end of the day, we really don’t need a strong reason to want to visit somewhere. Traveling is about discovering the unknown and experiencing new things.
I hope these categories help, but if you already have someplace in mind get out and go!
- What’s an absolute must for travel destinations on your bucket list?
- Which of the mentioned categories do you use to brainstorm travel ideas?
- What other categories help you brainstorm?
Leave your answers below!