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  • Writer's pictureJessica Stough

Ideas for the Next Adventure - How We Decide Where to Go

Updated: Jan 23, 2022

“What made you choose Iceland? I hear about peoples’ vacations all the time, and have never heard of anyone who’s gone to Iceland.”

We have gotten a lot of questions over the years asking how we pick our vacation locations, especially those that are a little less common. The first thing I feel I should point out is that we want to travel everywhere, so it boils down to figuring out which location is next. That being said, even if we seem kind of random in our decision-making process, there is a bit of a method to our madness.

Although there may be just a bit of method to our madness, the initial process of deciding our vacation locations is kind of random. We have two different moods:

  1. We want to find somewhere new to visit. Zac has even gone as far as pulling up a world map and looking into different areas that interest him.

  2. We have a slight idea in mind of where we want to go. We both follow a lot of travel websites and Facebook pages. Sometimes, their content makes it impossible not to look into a certain location. If this is the case, we have to just decide on the best time of year to visit.

We typically choose three common times of the year for vacation. One trip is always around late March or early April. We are both March babies and decided there’s no better way to celebrate getting older than with travel. Another trip is always around the end of June or early July. These are almost always trips to our home away from home - Colorado - to celebrate our wedding anniversary. Finally, we typically take our third week of vacation closer to September or early October, for no other reason than to space things out a bit.

Since we always know roughly what time of year we will be taking a trip, it’s easier to research our options. When we want to find somewhere new to visit, the process can start out with a Google search on “best places to visit in late September” or something similar. Once to that point, it’s just a matter of what really speaks to us from the list. In researching September specifically, three places jumped out to me: New Zealand, Germany, and Scotland. Not specifically noted on the lists for September ideas - but also on our mind - is Alaska.

On the flip side, if we already have a slight idea of where we want to go, we start researching the area we are interested in. We research the best times of year to visit, what types of things there are to do in the area, what languages are spoken (Greece was a bit rough at times, but nearly everyone in Iceland spoke English) - and anything else that seems relevant to planning the trip.

We also (mostly Zac) watch for good deals on different travel websites like Expedia, TravelZoo, and Priceline. He found a trip to Cancun just the other day for $849 for two people, with roundtrip flights at $549 per person. The timing of the trip didn’t work for us, though, so we had to pass it up. We personally have to be picky about the times we request off for vacation because of work, but if you have more flexibility with vacation times, it can really open up a whole new world.

No matter which mood we are in or how we start out with our thought process, we typically land on one or a few different options and have to think through those options. I’ve basically narrowed our options down for our upcoming September trip to New Zealand, Germany, Scotland, and Alaska. Obviously, these options may change (especially since I’m coming up with this on my own - and I will have to at some point include Zac in the decision). Even so, I’m going to be doing my research, and I’m going to take you all along on that journey. Stay tuned - it might be a wild ride!

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