Deciding where you’re going to go may seem like a no-brainer. However, you may be surprised by how much you should actually consider if you want to ensure that you end up at the ideal destination.
Here are the 4 most important things I ask myself:
 Where do I want to go?
Personally, I want to go everywhere. Unfortunately, since this is impossible to achieve in one trip (or even one lifetime), I must narrow down my choices based on the three questions below. In addition, I also consider when I’m going to travel, and what the weather will be like at that time of the year. It’s generally more enjoyable to visit most places when it’s dry and warm, so remember that the seasons are opposite in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, and that there are many places that have wet and dry seasons. So, if you don’t want to be soaked or shivering your entire trip, make sure to research the climate of your potential destination before booking your trip.
 Is it safe to go there?
Of course we all know the obvious places to stay away from (i.e. conflict zones like Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria). However, conditions change and you may be surprised by some of the countries that are currently unsafe to visit. For example, Egypt–a top travel destination for decades–has recently been named a country to which all non-essential travel should be avoided. What’s more, it’s advised to exercise a high degree of caution when travelling to many countries around the world, and it’s a good idea to be aware of the risks before you go. An excellent resource for getting informed on this subject are government travel advisory websites, such as this one: http://travel.gc.ca/travelling/advisories
 How long do I have?
What country or countries you go to, and how many cities or places you visit there, really depends on how long you have for your trip. One important piece of advice that I cannot stress enough is: don’t try to do too much at once! A time crunch and packed schedule just adds unnecessary stress, and can make you feel like you need a vacation from your vacation. This is especially true if you’re going to be travelling independently. If you’re really keen on seeing as much as possible in the limited time you have, book a tour. Tours are organized and run by experts, who will make sure everything runs smoothly and on time.
 What’s my budget?
I always want to get the most out of my money, so I’m a big fan of independent budget travel. If you want to travel on a budget, research where it would be most affordable for you to go–just make sure you don’t only look at the cheapest flights. The cost of accommodation, transportation, food and entertainment at the destination is often more important. Some popular budget destinations are South-East Asia, South America and Eastern Europe, while destinations like Western Europe, Scandinavia and Japan are known to be more on the expensive side.
Hopefully asking yourself these questions will help you chose the perfect destination. Then, once you get there, just sit back and enjoy it…