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How to Decide Your Next Adventure

Updated: Sep 30, 2023

If you love traveling as much as I do, sometimes it is difficult to decide where your next adventure should be. Luckily there are five key factors to help you narrow down the millions of places to visit!

Save the cheat sheet at the bottom of the post to easily remember each factor.

Factor #1 - Time of Year 🍁 ❄️ 🌸 ☀️

Decide which time of year you want to get away. If you are unsure, start with a season and then narrow down to the month.

Still a little stuck? Consider your Paid Time Off (PTO)—if you have limited time it may be best to travel over holidays to get a few extra days for your adventure. Just keep in mind that if you're traveling within the US over a holiday, lodging and airfare might go up! I personally like traveling internationally over American holidays because prices are low. For example, I went to Portugal and Spain for a week over Thanksgiving in 2019. That enabled me to only use 3 PTO days, and the airfare and lodging was cheaper than if I traveled within the USA.

Additional American holidays: Martin Luther King Day, Presidents Day, Memorial Day, Juneteenth, Independence Day, Labor Day

Factor #2 - Vibe 🏔️ 🏝️ 🏕️

Choosing the vibe will help set the tone for the trip you are planning. There are 3 vibes to choose from: Adventurous, Relaxing, and Best of Both. How do you decide on your vibe? Consider what you want for the majority of your trip—you can have an adventurous trip with one or two relaxing days, or vice versa!


This may be the most attractive option for the thrill seekers or the hyperactive explorers. What is adventurous to each traveler will vary, but think hiking, skiing, zip lining, rock climbing, four-wheeling, surfing, etc. Since adventurous activities are so diverse, decide which type of activities excite you most. For example, if you want to focus on hiking and camping, you may consider visiting a national park.


The perfect vibe for those that need to reset, rejuvenate, and unwind. Think relaxing on the beach, treating yourself to spa time, sunbathing by the pool, sailing, enjoying a picnic with a view, etc. All inclusive resorts, cruises, and waterfront lodging are just some examples of ideal places to stay for a relaxing vacation.

Best of Both

This vibe lets you feel like you are truly experiencing the place you are visiting without wearing yourself out too much. When planning these trips I usually have about half the time for adventurous days and the other half for relaxing days. For me, some of the relaxing days are ones with no or only a short activity planned. This allows time for rest or to simply discover some local places that you may not have known about until getting to your destination! I have found that this vibe is generally best maximized on longer vacations.

✨ I think the perfect example of a Best of Both vacation destination is Hawaii! The island has something to offer for each vibe; hiking, relaxing on a beach, off-roading, surfing, sunbathing by a pool, riding in a helicopter, sailing, snorkeling, volcano climbing, shopping, animal encounters, awarded spas, etc. The only problem is deciding which activities to do!

🌟 Remember, even if you lean towards one vibe, that doesn't mean it is the only type of vacation you can take. It is fun to switch it up every so often!

Factor #3 - Climate 🌡️

Now that the time of year and vibe of the vacation have been decided, you can choose which climate fits your mood best. The key is to do your research - how you experience the seasons at home may be quite different from your destination. If you want a ski vacation, you will want to visit a place cold enough for ideal conditions. On the other hand, if you want a beach getaway to break up a bitter winter, you may consider the Caribbean Islands.

Factor #4 - Budget 💸

Although it is everyone's least favorite part of anything travel related, budget is an essential factor to consider. But there's no need to worry—if you are working with a smaller budget you can still have an amazing vacation! You may not be able to travel across the world for a few weeks, but even a little budget can go a long way. Determine your budget so you are planning a trip you can actually go on!

Factor #5 - Duration 🗓️

Last but not least, you need to choose the duration of your adventure. Consider your allotted PTO and budget for this step! Your PTO and budget work hand-in-hand in determining how far, and for long, you can travel. For example, if you are planning for a 5-day trip with a lower budget, you may want to focus on places that are in driving distance or a short plane ride to maximize your time and budget. However, if you are considering being away for 10 days with a larger budget, you may lean more towards an international adventure! Determining the previous 4 factors will help you decide what duration will work best for you.

Next Steps

Now that you have the key factors figured out, the next step is to decide exactly where to go! If you need some help narrowing down from a few places, be on the look out for a post about location pros and cons to consider when planning your next trip!

🌟 Cheat Sheet 🌟

3 bình luận

06 thg 10, 2023

Great advice! Look forward to your help on our next adventure.


28 thg 9, 2023

All good travel points, but what about the “Friday, get home from work- I’m feeling spontaneous” type trip?

Katie Woods
Katie Woods
06 thg 10, 2023
Phản hồi lại

Good Question! I think for trip that spontaneous it would be fun to also decide your trip in a spontaneous way – maybe choosing a general direction and just seeing where the road takes you or closing your eyes and pointing to a place on a map that is within the desired distance.


Hey, I'm Katie!

I love planning trips almost as much as I love traveling! I started Wayfarer Woods to allow others to feel less intimidated by the travel planning process. My tips and tricks will help you plan any type of adventure; from an overnight stay in a neighboring city to traveling across the world for weeks on end.

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