Are you reading this from your couch? Scrolling through posts searching for some relief from the real world? Taking a break from working from home? Daydreaming about less stressful days? We are, too.

With the world flipped upside down, staying happy, healthy and sane is oh so important. Streaming movies is part of this. So is cuddling up with a good book and a perfect cup of hot chocolate or a glass of wine. It’s finally starting that jigsaw puzzle you got two Christmases ago.

What are we doing? We’re daydreaming about travel, of course! Maybe your next vacation isn’t until when summer break rolls around or maybe it’s even next year, but there’s never a better time to start planning than right now! And really, a lot of the fun of travel is the daydreaming that comes with planning.

If you’re daydreaming about your next vacation, here are seven unique ways to figure out where you’re going and what you’ll be doing there.

1. Choose a theme or activity

What’s something you love to do? Like really love? We’re talking about something you would never be able to give up. Maybe it’s bicycling in the sunshine, snorkeling in tropical waters, people watching from cafes, strolling cobblestone streets, or sitting poolside with a stack of your favorite books. Whatever truly makes you happy is absolutely something to incorporate into your next vacation. Run with it.

Note: it doesn’t have to be running, but if running is your thing head somewhere with beautiful runs to be had.

French cafe
Photo by V2F on Unsplash

Your “thing” could take you on a bicycle barge journey through Europe. Pedal the back roads of Europe everyday and sleep in comfort in your unique barge accommodations. Stay at a small bed and breakfast in downtown Lisbon overlooking the bustling streets below, or find your perfect over-water bungalow for unlimited reading time. 

2. Focus on your favorite food or drink

Yes, it’s perfectly acceptable to plan and take an entire vacation solely based on a food or beverage. Afterall, this is all about what makes you happy. If you’re super into coffee, head to Vietnam or Costa Rica or even Seattle, the home of Starbucks. Are you a self-taught wine connoisseur? Argentina might be your best bet or a road trip through the California wine region, not to mention the beautiful wine that comes out of Italy.

Switzerland vineyard
Photo by Daniel Vogel on Unsplash

If you love spicy food, South Korea or Thailand could burn off all of your tastebuds, but still leave you wanting to taste more dishes. Are tacos are on the menu at your house more than once a week? Mexico is your destination of choice.

Whatever you love to eat or drink, there’s sure to be a location that specializes in what brings you the most joy. If your belly compass points in a certain direction, head there.

3. Grab inspiration from a show or movie

While we’re all busy binging on Netflix, Prime movies, and Disney +, your favorite viewing entertainment may be inspiration for your next adventure. Does the movie you’re watching take place somewhere you’re interested in? Have your children watched Moana 83 times in the last week? Maybe they’d enjoy seeing her homeland.

watching tv
Photo by Jens Kreuter on Unsplash

4. Let the cheap flights decide for you

If you’re adventurous and don’t have specific requirements for your next vacation, you could let the price tag decide for you. Head onto Google Flights, set your home airport and your dates and check out what results show up on the map. Google will show you the good deals in green text. Sometimes a flight two states over is the same price as a far away international destination.

Check out our guide to booking cheap flights for extra tips on how to make this happen. Saved money on flights means more funds for the perfect accommodations or activities once you’re at your destination.

airport departures
Photo by Matthew Smith on Unsplash

5. Explore your heritage

With the recent boom in DNA tracking and ancestry, you might find yourself realizing you have roots in parts of the world you didn’t know about before. Or that you have a cousin in Ireland who is your same age. Our ancestry can span the whole globe and pinpoint exactly where our bloodline came from. Not only could this take you to a location you may not have considered visiting before, it can be an incredibly meaningful trip for you and your family if they’ll be joining. 

6. Throw a dart (or three)

If you’re feeling especially ready to let fate decide, order yourself a huge wall map and some darts. While throwing just one might land you in the middle of the ocean or in inhabitable Mongolia, you could toss a handful and make your decision from those options. If nothing “sticks,” you’ll end up researching places you may not have otherwise and every bit of research can help hone in on what you’re looking for in a getaway.

7. Choose an event

The globe is full of incredible events and your next trip could revolve around one of them. St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland, the Thai new year celebration of Songkran (the largest water fight you’ve ever been in), the Kentucky Derby, Mardi Gras in New Orleans, or the Sapporo Ice Festival to name a very small number. If there’s an event on your bucket list, planning a getaway around it is the perfect way to experience not only the event, but the surrounding area. If Oktoberfest is on your list, turn it into a once-in-a-lifetime European train adventure, exploring Germany and neighboring countries like the Netherlands, Austria, and Poland.

Sapporo ice festival

Daydreaming about your next vacation?

The anticipation of a vacation is part of the fun! While you’re hanging out at home, daydreaming of that bucket list trip you’ve been meaning to plan, let’s make that happen! Let us know where your dream vacation takes you, and we’ll be right there to help you plan the best vacation ever. We all deserve something amazing to look forward to right now.

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