a globetotting partner post
How do you choose your travel destinations? I have an ever-growing list of places that I really want to see. And no sooner have I crossed one destination of my wishlist, another one (or two, or three) have taken its place. Right now I’m dreaming of exploring Scandinavia as well as train travel around Vietnam and nomadic escapes to Mongolia.
And then there are weekend breaks to Berlin and Amsterdam at the back of my mind (and that’s just for starters). My travel inspiration comes from lots of different places but I’m always open to new ideas, which is why I was delighted to partner Flight Centre when they introduced their new – and fun – way to find travel inspiration. But before we get to that, here are some of my favourite ways to discover new places around the world.
In a Good Book
They could be travel literature, coffee table books. photography books or travel guidebooks but books remain one of my favourite ways to choose a new travel destination. Two of my favourite books (ever!) had a big impact on my experiences living and travelling in India (Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo and A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth). When I was a GAP year student, The Beach by Alex Garland was a must-read for nearly every teenager and I’ve always loved reading anything by Paul Theroux.
Lonely Planet guidebooks have always been my go-to ever since I first started travelling solo (many moons ago now!) and later writing for them. Even going to a good bookstore can be a great source of inspiration. In London my favourite is the amazing Daunts bookstore.
On the Web
This is a rather large category but I find a lot of my holiday inspiration online. Often my first stop are travel articles from organisations such as the New York Times, The Guardian and The Telegraph. Next are travel blogs, especially those that focus on family travel in more far-flung destinations. And then there are those listicle-type articles in outlets such as the Huffington Post that are always great at firing up your travel imagination. Other online options include Pinterest, which is a brilliant way to find travel inspiration, and, of course, Instagram.
On the Cover of a Magazine
Or rather, magazines in general. I love most magazines but I truly love travel magazines. Like many travellers, airports are my time to stock up on my favourite titles. Among my usual stack are titles such as Wanderlust, Conde Nast Traveller and Lonely Planet Traveller. I also like to discover new print titles, both when I’m abroad and at home. I recently came across this wonderful newsagents in Marylebone, London, which has an incredible selection of magazines that I had never heard of before. So yes, magazines are a brilliant way to choose new travel destinations.
What’s in a Name?
For something a little offbeat and spontaneous you should try out Flight Centre’s new travel name game. The idea is simple; you simply add your first name into the system and it generates a handful destinations that they believe to be a good match. Mine were weirdly accurate. The first option was Perth, which I haven’t visited but I did live in Sydney for three years. Second came Bangkok, which I have visited but a long time ago when I was a child. And the third option was Copenhagen.
As I sit writing this, I am actually in Denmark on a week-long holiday with the family. Copenhagen might have been a little too specific (we’re exploring north Denmark on this trip), but I found it entertaining – and quite pleasing – that the Flight Centre system had guessed my summer holiday plans. At least kind of. Bizarrely, when I entered my husband’s name, Sydney was the first choice! This was the first place that we lived together when we left the U.K. 12 years ago as a newly engaged couple.
The truth is there is holiday inspiration everywhere. I love anything that will provide food for (travel) thought and encourage any kind of travel wanderlust. Maybe I should be planning a trip to Perth very soon!
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