How to Choose Your Next Destination: Practical Travel Planning Tips for Readers

When you are deciding on your next trip, what are your top considerations when choosing one city over another?  Let me show you how I think about travel – and why you should consider the City of Chicago as a top destination you should visit, and soon.

Consideration 1: What is your budget?

There are two ways to look at budgeting for a trip. 

First, you can have a clear dollar amount you want to spend in mind before you choose a place to visit.  Have thousands of dollars?  Go to Europe or take a long flight to Asia!  Have enough for a short weekend trip?  Find a place within 1-2 hours driving and pack snacks. 

Second, you can choose a place to visit, and then understand how much you must budget for it before you go.

No matter which budget you choose or have available to you, Chicago can be whatever you want it to be.  It all depends on where you live now and what you want to see.  We have free beaches and low-cost museums, but we also have world-renowned museums that cost $40 a person, and a gorgeous arboretum that will charge as well.  Know your budget and then find the activities that meet that budget.

If you are interested in visiting Chicago, understand that the time of year will make a big difference in the prices you will find.  Summer is beautiful here, so hotels, air b&bs and flights will cost more.  Winter can be brutally frigid, so expect to find prices much cheaper during January, February and March.  But what most people do not know – Chicago has a pedway, which allows one to traverse much of downtown without having to go outside.  If you do your research, you can find something for every budget.

Consideration 2: Can you travel to one place and still see more than one thing?

I believe in slow travel.  What that means (to me) is that you travel to one place and then stay there for the entire duration of the trip, and take day trips out, always returning to stay at the same location each night. 

Chicago is perfect for slow travel.  The city is full of activities that will fill every day you are here.  Weekend trips to Chicago might keep you confined to a small portion of the city (it is a large city, close to 25 miles from the Northside to the very Southside), but with more time in the city you will get opportunities to spread out and see the neighborhoods that give the city its true character. Chicago has 77 distinct neighborhoods, with every culture imaginable represented in these neighborhoods.  Cultural experiences are a part of life when you visit Chicago.

Consideration 3: What about the books?

After I’ve settled on a few ideas, know my budget and what I’m interested in seeing, I check on the books.  What independent bookstore is in the area?  Are there any literary landmarks I can visit while there?  What books can I read that take place in that city?  What stories do the books tell about the city and can I see those stories unfold in front of me while I’m there?

This is why Plot Twist Travels exists.  For years, I’ve been planning travel for myself and friends, and searching out books to read before a trips, bookish places to frequent while there, and literary landmarks to discover, which make my trip a unique, memorable adventure.

Now, I am here to do that for you.  Through this blog (link to: blog) and personalized travel services (link to: store), I will help you create a unique adventure filled with bookish pursuits.

Next week we’ll cover what books you can read about Chicago before you travel here, and get you started with some well-known books that take place in Chicago, those books that tell a piece of Chicago’s history.

Plot Twist Tip

Researching a city can be fun, but can get incredibly overwhelming, and fast.  That is where we come in!  Plot Twist Travels can help you curate a bookish adventure while in a new city.  Visit here (link to: shop) to learn more.

How do you decide where to travel next?  What are the top considerations you have before deciding where to go?

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