The nights are still dark and the weather cold, but now we're in 2019, when better to start planning your next holiday? Whether you want to relax by the beach or go exploring, knowing the best places to go can seem difficult.
Help is at hand. Here are five easy ways to get some travel inspiration and even start planning your well-earned break.
1. Get some inspiration
The world is such a big place that simply getting started can be the hardest part. Don’t panic though, there are plenty of sources of inspiration for your next adventure.
The Lonely Planet Instagram account is the perfect starting place, featuring the best images from the travel experts' photographers and travel writers.
For the truly adventurous, National Geographic photographer David Guttenfelder gives you an unfiltered view of his travels, letting you see the people who define the countries he visits.
The Everywhereist is an award-winning travel blog by Geraldine DeRuiter which gives a funny, painfully realistic view of her and her husband’s travels around the globe.
Finally, Michael Turtle is an Australian journalist who has pledged to visit every Unesco site in the world. Read his blog Time Travel Turtle for some awe-inspiring inspiration for your next holiday.
2. Be adventurous, try somewhere new
Sometimes you want to just lie in the sun and forget life, other times you want to leave your comfort zone and explore somewhere completely new.
No app better encapsulates embracing the unknown than Lucky Trip (available for iOS & Android). Created by brothers Tiff and Alex Burns this app will create a random holiday for you based on your budget with flights, hotel and sightseeing ideas all thrown in. One button press could see you exploring the bars of Vienna while another could have you eating fresh sardines on the beach in Malaga.
For something no less adventurous but slightly more structured, head to Lonely Planet’s Inspirations section which is packed with holiday ideas from cruises to backpacking through the jungle.
Each type of holiday comes with its own section filled with videos, features, photo galleries and even full trip ideas including advice on when to travel and how.
3. See what everyone else is saying
Just because a place looks nice on the internet, doesn’t always mean it lives up to the hype. Why not use your fellow travelers as a source of inspiration and for that crucial second opinion.
TripAdvisor can help you discover restaurants and places to visit that might not have made it into the guide books or onto Google Maps. While it’s not perfect, these reviews are often a great way to discover those hidden gems that may have been missed by others.
Kayak.com is also a great place to source reviews as it collates people’s experiences across not only its own website but that of Booking.com, another huge price comparison site.
4. Go with the group
Not everyone wants to be venturing out into the great unknown alone. Instead why not go on a group holiday where you’ll not only get to explore and meet new people but also go on a trip that’s tailored to you and your interests.
Responsible Travel is one of the largest green travel websites and lets you go to some of the most incredible parts of the world, from seeing bear cubs in Alaska to photographing the Northern Lights with a professional photographer. Trips vary both in size of the group and in the amount of freedom you want outside of the pre-arranged itinerary.
Alternatively Explore.co.uk specialises in small group holidays so you won’t feel lost in the crowd. The website contains comprehensive itineraries of all their trips so whether it’s hiking the Rocky Mountains or exploring Vietnam, you’ll know exactly what to expect from your holiday.
5. Got your inspiration? Here’s what to do next
You’ve found the perfect holiday and suddenly it feels like there’s an awful lot of preparation to get done in not a lot of time.
If you’re looking to have complete control over your holiday then Google Trips (available on iOS & Android) is the app for you. A fully comprehensive travel planner, it’ll let you create your own itinerary for each destination including places to go and sights to see. It’ll even pull in your flight and hotel details from your Gmail account (if you have one). The cherry on top? You can save everything to the phone so that even if you don’t have a signal on arrival, you’ll be able to see where your hotel is and when your flights are.
For those who just want all their travel details in one place, then TripIt is the way to go. Simply forward all your flight, car rental, hotel and restaurant confirmation emails to TripIt and it intelligently transforms them into one complete holiday itinerary that you can access through the app.
Image credit: Simon English on Unsplash