There are over 300 official countries and destinations as determined by the Traveler's Century Club.  That number is before breaking down all those countries that call for multiple trips.  So the very first step in planning that trip is deciding where you want to go.


This can be more daunting than it seems.  Ask yourself a lot of questions.  I have a list for clients that almost sounds like interrogation.


When do you want to go?

How long will the trip be?

How many will be traveling? 

Do you have someplace in mind?

If so, why that country/island/city?

What do you envision your destination is like?

Where have you been before?  Where did you stay?

What did you do on previous trips?

What did you like about your previous trip?  Not like?

How do you want to spend your days on this trip? 

What activities do you like to do?  Or not do?

What are “must sees”? 

What concerns do you have?



There are other factors influencing the choice of destination. 


For example, what are the ages of everyone traveling? Is this adults only are kids involved?  You might want to spend hours in the Louvre, but your 8 year old is going to get restless.  The last thing you want is other museum goers glaring at your whining youngster or dodging an active teenage boy running down the halls. 


Time of year can be a big factor.  You know October is a perfect time to visit Italy, but if you don't mind chilly evenings and possibly a little rain, hotel rates drop substantially November 1.  You know Costa Rica is a bird-watchers paradise, but if you go in June those binoculars had better be waterproof and you'll need a sturdy rain poncho and rubber boots for the mud.  You know spring in northern Europe can be as changeable as in Northeast Ohio, so you'll take that trip to the Netherlands in June or July.  That's fine, but the tulips finish blooming mid-May. 


Where to get this information online?  Start with the official tourism websites.   They've got a lot of useful information and you can contact them for brochures and travel planning guides.  Looking for inspiration?  There's still nothing like browsing a wonderful travel book. Interested in the hottest destinations and what others are doing?  Check out some travel blogs. 


Some of my favorite daydream books:


1000 Places to See Before You Die by Patricia Schultz

The World's Heritage, a complete guide to the most extraordinary places

            from UNESCO Publishing