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What methods do you use to decide where to travel next?

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May 27th, 2004, 11:20 AM
  #1
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What methods do you use to decide where to travel next?

Business travel aside...

Do any of you write down possible destinations and pull one out of a hat? Is it dictated by airfares? Are you influenced by trip reports? I need a creative and fun way to choose our next destination.
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May 27th, 2004, 11:26 AM
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Creative and fun? Why not do what the Int'l Olympic Comm. does, but on a smaller scale. Come up with the name of 10 places you'd like to go. Then send a letter to each of their tourism offices asking why you should choose their city over the other's your contemplating.

Worst case, only a few respond and you can see who cares enough to respond. responds. Best case, you get tons of free stuff, medical treatments, and wined and dined just like the real IOC members.
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May 27th, 2004, 11:27 AM
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I can spell. I just never proofread my posts.
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May 27th, 2004, 11:49 AM
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I have a small journal that contains the destinations I hope to see in my lifetime. When I see the opportunity for a trip coming up, I start searching airfares for all the destinations and see which one I'm going to get the best deal on.

The other thing I do is put almost every expense I can (utilities, car payments, etc) on my Miles card in order to rack up miles quickly. As soon as I have 50,000 miles, I call Delta and let them tell me which of the destinations they can fly me to and when. So far, that has worked pretty well.

I've always wanted to have the nerve to throw a dart at a map. But alas, always worried that I'd end up in <insert awful city here>.
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May 27th, 2004, 11:52 AM
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Close your eyes and rotate a globus.

What, wouldn't work for you? Just try!

(just kidding)
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May 27th, 2004, 11:53 AM
  #6
ira
 
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Hi JP,

I spin my library-size globe and throw a dart at it.
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May 27th, 2004, 12:40 PM
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I am lucky enough to have a dearest friend living in Europe. So each trip includes a long stay in Switzerland and continues to somewhere that interests me and is easy logistically to get to from her place.

Often my non-European destinations are chosen because of a single photograph I see somewhere that captures my imagination.
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May 27th, 2004, 12:45 PM
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Usually, its something that I have read that starts me thinking of a destination.

My last two trips were inspired by discussions/trip reports posted here: Extremadura, Spain (Maria and Maribel) and DOrdogne (St. Cirq). As part of my next trip I am visiting "Green Spain" & the Basque region, again inspried by a dialogue with Maribel.
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May 27th, 2004, 12:56 PM
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I realize this will sound sappy but I always always knew that I'd love France and that it is if, (here's the sappy part) its my soul's home.
So, first time I could go...that's where I went. Three times now.

But I'll confess, on this board, everyone's enthusiasm for Italy does have me thinking!! And printing out reports...
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May 27th, 2004, 01:05 PM
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SusieC, You must go to Italy. You will adore it. Then you will always have your next two trips planned - first to France, then to Italy. We always have a list of the next two or three and though we love France and Italy, we try to add others as well.
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May 27th, 2004, 01:29 PM
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For me it is always a "gut" feeling. I just know. If the budget allows for an extravagant journey than I plan as such, if I am on a tighter budget than I travel domestically and try to use reward miles for the hotel etc..
Destinations in Europe still are my first choices...
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May 27th, 2004, 01:50 PM
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My dart is still stuck in France though I'm giving Greece a whirl in the fall.
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May 27th, 2004, 01:57 PM
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My methods are similar to the ones mentioned above with the following additions:

The length of time available for a trip will often dictate not the destination, but how far from home we can stray. It's tough to get away for more than 4 or 5 days at a time. When we can, that's when we plan the bigger trips. Our upcoming trip to Europe will have us occupied for 15 days. Our longest ever!

Another consideration, at least for me is time of year. If it's cold, am I looking for a ski destination or a beach to escape the cold.

Still a third consideration is... can I talk my husband into it? There are certain destinations that I mention that he seems to wrinkle his nose at. Not me, I'd go 'practically' anywhere!

When my father was ill with cancer, I couldn't travel at all since I was his primary care giver. He had an extensive travel library, so while he slept, I'd read and plan trips. Some I've taken since he passed away, others are still waiting their turn on the list. Bon Voyage everyone!
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May 27th, 2004, 02:06 PM
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When my husband and I find a place we love we just keep going back.

Off and on for the past 18 years we have spent two weeks skiing, eating, and celeb watching in Aspen at Christmas break. We started going there when we were poor and first married because my parents had a condo nearby and we could stay for free.

We spend every Easter week on the quiet northern tip of Anna Maria Island in Florida, kayaking with the dolphins and wading with the stingrays. We started going there because we could stay with the in-laws who lived nearby.

Now that we are no longer so young and poor we continue going to the same towns but stay in nicer digs than in the beginning. We have tried other places to ski and hang out at the beach but are always the happiest at those two destinations. We know and love the crepe stand, we have our favorite restos and ski runs, our kids are comfortable on their own, just comfortable and easy for us.

The rest of our trips are usually determined by business travel. We are headed to Kauai next week for business. It is a trip we've talked about in the past but we have never wanted to deal with changing planes three times to get there.

I won an educational grant to go to France for the month of July to report on the Tour de France to my elementary students. Sad but true, I am leaving the country for the first (and hopefully not the last!) time in 20 years.

Thanks for all of the tremendous advice and beautiful descriptions of your favorite travel adventures. I don't own a globe or darts but...I am intrigued by that method of choosing a destination.
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May 27th, 2004, 03:04 PM
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Where I come from, clinging desperately for a handhold upside-down on the underside of the globe, it's so expensive to get anywhere half-way interesting that many of my compatriots (myself included) try to see too many countries on what for most of us, because of costs, is the one such trip we'll ever do.
That I've done several trips since is a measure more of my passion for travel than my ability to afford it. And I've now learned to be more selective about where I go. Usually it's based on what I read, or it might be to see in greater depth countries that I skimmed through but liked on that first all-encompassing but madly rushed world trip!
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May 27th, 2004, 06:22 PM
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We love to take two to three ski weeks each winter, so that limits our other travel.

Usually we take a 10 to 18 day trip in the summer or fall, and a couple of weekends.

We try to balance trips in North America with overseas travel. Sometimes, friends will discover a trip and invite us, sometimes it's just some place we've never been, but wanted to see.
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May 27th, 2004, 07:11 PM
  #17
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My most recent trip selection method was letting 7th graders vote on it after they checked out two different destinations in their atlases.

Peru with its llamas, earthquakes, and Machu PIcchu won over Finland's Arctic Circle reindeer and ferry to Tallinn!

If you don't have 7th grade geography students available to choose for you, there's always the "Where did I always want to find out more about?" approach and the "What's in the off season when I can travel?" one, both of which work for me!
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May 27th, 2004, 07:20 PM
  #18
 
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My method has been really easy lately. I have skads of people interested in home exchanges with my house in France. So I pick and choose from among them, and in the next few years have a place in the Yorkshire Dales, a place in Umbria, and a place in Calabria to choose from for vacations. I'm looking forward to all of them, plus of course returning to my beloved Dordogne this summer and again in fall.
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May 27th, 2004, 07:31 PM
  #19
 
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Some place just gets under my skin and won't let go until I go there.
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May 27th, 2004, 08:15 PM
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This is an interesting question. I've never thought about a method of choosing. We just go. We have always traveled in the US and then went to France. My husband picked it out of the clear blue sky and I am delighted to go anyplace. We fell in love with it and keep going back, staying as long as we can and visiting as many different places as we can.

He's always wanted to visit Rome so we did that and are spending a month in Tuscany and Umbria next fall. He had to promise me a week in Provence to get that! LOL

We've visited Germany briefly and are returning for a long sojourn next spring. We've briefly hopped the French border into Italy and Spain and were happy to get back to France. We did once spend a delightful week in Switzerland and will undoubtedly go back.

I've spent a lot of time in Haiti but the current political situation is not conducive to a return in the foreseeable future.

We do tend to grab travel specials since we've discovered GoToday.com from this forum. We're doing a week in London for our anniversary next week. We'd like to go back to England sometime and both want to visit Scotland and Ireland. There are so many interesting places!

Perhaps we'll try the spin the globe and shoot a dart method. Sounds as good as anything.
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