Seven Practical Guides in Choosing your Destinations

In the past few days we discussed about the cards that you will take on your travel, saving money and earning money for your trip. Now that the money talk is over, we will now talk about your destination.

Why did we talk about money before the destination? Simple, you need to know your resources first before you move. It would be very difficult (but not impossible) to stay and travel in Japan or France for a month if you only have $1000 in your pocket. Your airfare will eat a huge portion of it, if not all (if you’re flying from the Philippines). This is why we’re going to plan out possible destinations for your long term travel in relation to your existing resources.

Here are the considerations that I take when I’m planning for my destinations.

Seven Practical Guides in Choosing your Destinations

1. Low Cost Carriers: Are there LCCs flying to your desired destination? Are LCCs available in that region? These are important questions that you need to ask yourself. Flying out of your country with an LCC would definitely help you cut the cost. Check the internet and compare prices. Most LCCs have unbeatable online deals as well. Promotions abound almost every month and you might even get a chance to fly to far flung places at a very cheap price.

2. Possibility of Overland (or via Ferry) Travels: After you check the internet for LCCs, check if there are overland routes. If there are no existing airline promotions, your best bet would be to travel overland (or over sea). This would not be applicable though for those living in Manila because as of this time, I don’t know any over sea route to other countries and the only option for us (living in Manila) is to fly out.

Another example is, if you’re planning to go to Maldives and doesn’t have enough money to pay for the airfare, then you have to choose another destination because Maldives is not legally accessible by ferry.

3. Check if you need visa on your target destination: Visa is not only a pain in the ass to process but it also eats up money. If you really want to go to a particular country that will require you a visa, then I suggest that you allot a certain budget for it. Since I’ve shared with you that I’ll be flying out soon, I’m restricting my destinations to countries that won’t require me a visa with the exception of one or two countries.

4. Cost of Living: Are rents, food and local transportation cheap in your destination? If not maybe you have to consider an alternative. If you’re a Filipino and you’re planning to travel to Western Europe for a couple of months with $1000, it might not even last you for a month (even if you get your airfare for free). But if you go to Southeast Asia, India or Nepal instead, that same amount of money may help you last for three months or more.

5. Local Travellers Online Community: Check Tripping, Couchsurfing, Hospitality Club or other online travel community if there are registered local members on your destination. This will come in handy since the local members are very helpful to foreign travellers visiting their town/city. You might even get a free accommodation


6. Check Possibility of Short term Work: This will come in handy in case you want to stay longer on the road. You have to find a way to replenish your resources. Given the sample budget I mentioned above, you have to find a way to generate income while travelling. You may take short term work as you go from one place to another or get an online job so you could do it anywhere. Check out,, and online travel forums for opportunities.

7. Check Possibility of Volunteering: Are there organizations in your destination offering some volunteer opportunities. This would be a good medium to connect to the local community which will help you make your stay worthwhile. Some organizations even offer free food and accommodation to their volunteers.

Travel is not impossible even if you have a small budget. A careful and strategic plan will help you go a long way. Never under estimate the power of online research because it will definitely help you travel without spending much money.

Previously: Smart Planning for Long term Travel: Earning Money for your Travels
Next: Smart Planning for Long term Travel: All About Passports


  1. Thanks for these very helpful tips Flip! Chichi and I have considered some of these. We’ll tell you how it works out for us.

  2. JODYxBUFFY says:

    One must be careful when considering short-term work, even on the sly. I was booted out of two countries for working without a work visa (tourist visas generally prohibit employment) early in my backpacking career.

    Perhaps in those countries where visas are not required, small-term employment may be possible.

  3. Couchsurfing is a great option to try. You could probably find someone to host you in just about anywhere, plus it’s really cheap and easy to use. I like your other ideas too. With some careful planning and budgeting, you can make your travels last longer.

  4. Pretty useful information man!


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