What I Look for in a Travel Destination

There are lots of reasons to travel. As I explained in my post ‘A Nerd’s Guide to Travel’, I tend to think on the nerdier side when it comes to picking a travel destination. But, there’s more to my decision than just if one of my favorite movies was filmed there. The most important factors that lend to my picking a travel destination are:

1. Are there Mountains?

There is nothing better than looking out of an airplane window and seeing the white peaks of a mountain range. Growing up in Southeast Texas meant I never got to see Mountains–not unless we went on a trip to another state that wasn’t along the Gulf Coast. Because of the lack of mountains growing up, every time I see them now as an ‘adult’ I freak out. My favorite trips have been to mountainous areas (Scotland, Switzerland, etc.). I just feel better when surrounded by mountains, and so I like to travel to places that at least have mountains near by.

picture out the window of an airplane showcasing the white peak of a mountain near Vancouver, British Columbia.
Near Vancouver, BC.

2. Can I Walk Everywhere?

If I can’t at least walk to a restaurant or a shop near my accommodation, I don’t go. As I’ve mentioned in posts before, I have anxiety, and one of the weird things I must be able to do in a new place is walk around. I don’t like being trapped or forced to go anywhere via public transportation. It’s a bit of a self-preservation thing too. I don’t want to have to depend on anyone but myself to get around.

A picture of Bri standing/smiling in front of one of Amsterdam's canals.
Amsterdam: A great city for walking.

3. Is there Public Transportation?

Anxiety aside, I also need public transportation so my feet don’t fall off. While I tend to walk around 8-10 miles a day while I’m on vacation, that doesn’t mean I don’t use public transportation too. In fact, it is a necessity, because most outdoorsy activities require leaving the main city/town to get to them; and the best way to do that when you don’t have a car is through group tours or public transport. If a city doesn’t have at least one means of public transport, I probably ain’t going.

A picture of a brown trolley with a flower shaped wreath with an arrow cutting through it. The trolley is decorated for Valentine's Day.
The (FREE) McKinney Ave Trolley in Dallas, Texas.

4. Is there Chinese Food?

Everyone has their comfort foods, and mine is Chinese Food. In nearly every country I’ve traveled to I have eaten Chinese Food (the exception being Italy). I know generally what I’m getting when I order a wonton soup, and I know I’ll enjoy it. That, and since I usually travel alone, most nights I like to head back to my accommodation with food instead of sitting alone in a restaurant. I don’t mind eating alone, but sometimes I just want to eat without the waiter feeling pity for me, when in reality I’m perfectly happy eating and reading a book. Chinese Food has never judged me for my introverted tendencies.

A picture of a bowl of wonton soup, with soft drinks in the background.
Wonton soup in Interlaken, Switzerland.

I really do stick to these four principles, though sometimes I do let one or two things slide. The last big trip I took on my own was to Vancouver, and what do you know, Vancouver had plenty of mountains, walking spaces, public transportation, and so much good Chinese food. Not every location is perfect, it just needs to fit my needs at that moment.

What are your must-haves when traveling or do you just go where your heart tells you? Let me know in the comments below!

Thanks for Reading!

3 Comments on “What I Look for in a Travel Destination

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