Chapter Three - The right destination

The Right Destination

Since travel companies moved onto the Internet, travellers have taken advantage of the savings that they have found by shopping around on these travel websites. However, not all of them have used the Internet to research their chosen destinations or have taken advantage of the wealth of travel resources that are available online.

Although there is so much information out there, it can be time consuming to find what you need. The trick is taking the time to plan where and how to look. It is important to take time in doing this, after all, despite what some airlines might tell you, the destination, and not the journey, is the main part of the trip. There’s no point being somewhere just because it’s cheap if it doesn’t meet your needs.

Your starting point depends on your requirements. We all have them from “I don’t care where we go as long as it’s hot” to watching a solar eclipse.  So before you start researching, take the time to write down the holiday ‘must haves’.
The common method of finding a destination is to go to a large travel company’s website and search for whatever holiday meets the price range. For others, the starting point is somewhere that is a direct flight away from the local airport. Then it’s just a question of visiting the airport’s website and checking out the possible destinations. I have listed websites for UK airports in Annex B.

It is not possible in any book to list all the possible types of holidays as everyone has different needs. The purpose of this chapter is to show you how to investigate destinations so that you can find out for yourself if it offers all that you need.

You may have an idea in your head on where to visit. Maybe you saw it on the telly and fancied it, or maybe you read an article in a paper. You may want to use a travel brochure to find a suitable location. However, these should be used only to find out what you will get for your money from the hotel/travel company.

Brochures and websites from travel companies only want you to focus on what they want you to know about. They may include the fact that the town centre is a bus ride away, but may neglect to tell you that the bus stops running early on Thursdays.

One particular part of Tenerife is promoted as the ideal location for families and party goers, but if you investigate this area on the web you may find that it’s also ideal for lowlifes and drug dealers. The Internet will help you to find what the tour operators miss out.

It is also possible that you may have bought a guide book. Guidebooks are very convenient to read in bed, on the train or anywhere else you like to read, but they are out of date before they are printed. They are also the views of just one person, so unless you want to buy three or four books you may only get a blinkered view of the destination of interest.

Online guides are also produced by traditional publishing companies, with free snippets from their books, and more information may be available if you subscribe, by trade organisations with a commercial interest in the location, government funded tourist boards or they can even be written by amateurs with a keen interest in a particular location.

All have their uses in helping you to find the right place to visit.

What to think about

Before you start to search you really should consider the following;

  • If you are not travelling alone, what does the rest of your party want to see and do?
  • If you live in a city, will a city break feel like you’ve gone away? Think about going on a trip with a lot of contrast to your home life
  • Do you have the energy levels for a full on trip, do you need a ‘fly and flop’ holiday, or a mixture of both?
  • What is your ideal climate? Would it matter if you were too cold, too hot or too wet?
  • How long are you willing to travel for to get to your destination?
  • Does it matter if there is a language barrier?
  • Are you or one of your fellow travellers a fussy eater? There’s no point going somewhere if there is nothing to eat.