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Unique Ways to Pick Your Next Destination

March 24, 2009 by  
Filed under Features

The world is filled with countless travel destinations. With so many great options, we often struggle to settle upon the perfect place to visit. That leaves us open for a different approach. Ready to try a unique method for selecting your next destination?

The World’s Best Festivals & Parties

Visiting a country in the mist of a festival is a great way to meet locals, observe culture, and have a lot of fun. Rough Guide’s World Party website provides a comprehensive search function for the best festivals from across the globe. It allows visitors to explore in a variety of ways including by specific festival, month, country, or theme (music, food, parades, drink, religion). Have a week off in April? Try the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Headed to Spain this August? Visit Buñol on the last Wednesday of the month for La Tomatina.

Do note that festivals bring in lots of locals and tourists. Plan ahead for accommodations.
la-tomatina-spain.jpg La Tomatina, Spain © AG Saran

Throw A Dart At A World Map

Sounds crazy? That’s exactly what your editor, Gennaro Salamone, did back in 1998. With so many great destinations, he was struggling to select a place for a study abroad trip. A friend dared him to toss a dart at an oversized world map on the wall. A small hole in that friend’s wall resulted in a summer of study in the Czech Republic. Prague delivered a fascinating city along with informative courses in Central European politics, the Holocaust, and Czech literature. Authors Milan Kundera and Franz Kafka remain favorites a decade later.


Searching for the latest hot spots or newly uncovered gems? Twitter has thousands of travel experts spreading their wisdom. It’s a unique opportunity to have a discussion with a travel blogger, innkeeper, or travel-industry specialist within the context of a community discussion. Take in their tweets for ideas or send an @ message for a specific suggestion.

Follow me on Twitter @GennaroSalamone. I’ll be happy to help with travel tips. Be sure to add a collection of the travel tweeters I follow for a well-rounded perspective.
galapago-islands-seals.jpg Galápagos Islands © Kyle Mac

World Heritage List

The World Heritage list offers over 800 sites of natural or cultural value from around the world. Their committee looks to help preserve and promote places that exhibit human creative genius or natural wonders, especially ones with universal value for visitors. Italy has the highest number of sites recognized by the World Heritage Committee with over forty properties. The committee also has an inventory of places that are in danger including popular sites like the Galápagos Islands and Old City of Jerusalem. The Democratic Republic of the Congo leads the way with five endangered locations.

Let Your Blog Readers Decide

Though it’s an easier task for travel bloggers who already have an audience with an interest in the topic, any blogger has the ability to use their communication device to elicit suggestions. Have readers fill the comment section with submissions. Knowing that a few jokers will attempt to send the blogger off to the Gulag, take the ideas and narrow them to a few acceptable recommendations. Use the most popular entries to conduct a final poll. This will lead to a significant interest among readers in relation to the details in the forthcoming trip posts.

Would you employ one of these methods? What was your most unusual approach for selecting a trip?

Need a trip idea? Try rock climbing in Laos.
gennaro-salamone-photo.jpgGennaro Salamone is the founder and editor of Enduring Wanderlust. Feel free to contact him with questions, comments, or inquiries with reference to contributing an article or photograph for publication.



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42 Responses to “Unique Ways to Pick Your Next Destination”
  1. Nisha says:

    Very cool. I would definately use Twitter. And that festival site will be useful.

    Not doing the dart on the map though. That is crazy. You could have ended up in DR Congo 🙂 I like that though!

  2. Steven says:

    I would be pushing to send you to the Gulag. Funny stuff. Love the suggestions. Will Twitter be the next travel guide? It’s possible. La Tomatina looks amazing. I want to do that for sure. Another thing for the list.

  3. Gennaro says:


    I aimed for Europe that year. Of course, a little south and DR Congo was possible. It was fun. No regrets.


    I’m interested to see where things go with Twitter too. It can be very useful especially if you are following locals who provide tips.

  4. J.D. Meier says:

    I really like the “throw a dart at a world map” technique.

    I heard the best approach for picking where to go is ask your friends where they’ve enjoyed vacations … apparently we aren’t good at predicting our own happiness.

  5. Yen says:

    Love the dart at the map. I amy try that one. I get lots of great tips on Twitter. Especially from @EWanderlust 😉 I’m going to check out the people you follow for more tips. That seal photo is too cute. I’d love to go to Galapagos.

  6. Donna Hull says:

    What a fun post. Who knew there were so many different ways to choose a trip? Letting your blog readers decide is intriguing.

  7. Gennaro says:

    @J.D. Meier

    Asking friends is a great method. They are usually very honest.


    Thanks. I’m hoping they work to preserve Galapagos. It’s a gem. Another going with the dart at the map. Love it.

    @Donna Hull

    Thanks. I want to try that at some point. Think it would be fun.

  8. Missy says:

    Twitter travel guide is coming. It makes sense to get quick info. Love the idea of letting your readers select your destination too. That Gulag line got a laugh out of me, by the way.

  9. jen laceda says:

    I’ve had someone place a map in front of me. With eyes shut, I walked around it and pointed somewhere within the map. That’s how I got to Kota Kinabalu in Borneo!

    I certainly agree that the community of bloggers and twitterers can help you select and ultimately plan your trip!

  10. Gennaro says:


    Thanks. I think that would be a fun way to go.

    @jen laceda

    Can’t go wrong with Borneo. I like to have as much info as possible and I get lots before leaving from blogs and Tweeters.

  11. This is a greatest world’s favorite parties that i hadn’t seen yet. Thank you for this great message, i think it is distributed all people and take suggestion about this parties.

  12. Lola says:

    Cool post! Stumbled!

  13. Gennaro says:

    @Golden Triangle

    Thanks. The sites worth a look.



  14. Just in time – my friend was talking to me yesterday about where to take a vacation in the U.S. – he wants to stay here. I started listing places that I liked and places I wanted to go but didn’t really know how to advise him.

  15. Brian T says:

    Dart @ the map? Only you! Love that story. I try to get to a bunch of festivals around the world. It’s a lot of fun to be there with everyone having a great time. Agree with planning ahead. Almost missed the running of the bulls.

  16. Gennaro says:

    @Kim Woodbridge

    So many places, so little time. Let me know what he ends up with.

    @Brian T.

    I know, I know. The running of the bulls is definitely one that fills Pamplona up quickly.

  17. I love to close my eyes and where ever my finger lands on the map, that is where I go. I usually don’t ask anyone else about a place to visit because I like to go with an open mind and make my own opinion. I know…not very logical but it has never let me down! 🙂 Thanks for another great post, Gennaro! Hope all is well!

  18. Wow, Gennaro – that’s so cool that you did that (and very brave of you too)! I bet that was quite the adventure!

  19. Gennaro says:


    I like your philosophy. Go with an open mind and allow the place to reveal itself. It’s true that we often learn too much about a place before visiting and have already formed an opinion.


    It was a fun thing to do. Not sure I’d do the dart at this point in life, but luckily it worked out well.

  20. RennyBA says:

    This post goes well with my saying: ‘Blogging connecting People‘ and may I extend; Social Media does!

    Your ideas are great and actually, I am planning a blog gathering in Oslo, Norway for my blog friends next August. Wanna join us? 🙂

  21. Gennaro says:


    Thanks for the kind words and invite. If I can get across the Atlantic in August, that would be nice gathering to attend.

  22. Great post! Here are some more things to do in the US: Disney Live Tour, Keith Urban @ Mohegan Sun Casino, Annual King Crab Feed in Montana, Robin Williams in Las Vegas.

  23. Gennaro says:

    @Things To Do

    Thanks. First time hearing about that event in Montana. Interesting.

  24. Carla says:

    I will definitely use Twitter and chat with people to find ideas and advice. Unfortunately, I need access to a medical facility with specialists within reason so just going anywhere is not an option – at least for now. On the other hand, I don’t I want to limit myself to specific locations all the time either.

  25. Gennaro says:


    Twitter can be very helpful. I use it for tips and to give out tips when asked. It’s always important to ensure your health before deciding on any destination. No reason to take a risk. Plenty of great places out there.

  26. kitci says:

    this is a very helpful article… thanks =D

  27. Gennaro says:


    Appreciate that. Thanks.

  28. Kikolani says:

    I always thought it would be fun to do something random when picking a travel destination on a budget. Just schedule time off to travel, save up, and then a few days before, look online and find the best “last minute” deal available, and pick that location. Then, instead of having a really planned, structured trip that you might have been in the mood for at the time you booked it months before, you have more of an adventure where you can do anything you feel at that moment.

    ~ Kristi

  29. iWalk says:

    I heard somebody travel free with the help of Twitter. Why not try?! 🙂

  30. Gennaro says:


    That would be a fun way to do it. Set everything up in terms of dates, but be spontaneous in terms of location based on a last minute deal. Good point.


    Coupled with things like Counch Surfing that may be possible. At least for a very low cost as transport and food will cost a bit.

  31. Bryan Karl says:

    Galapagos islands tour would be quite interesting!

  32. Gennaro says:

    @Bryan Karl

    Amazing place. Love to explore places with lots of wildlife.

  33. Salwa says:

    Nice post. Your ideas are great, I would definitely use Twitter.

  34. Gennaro says:


    Twitter has lots of great people from the travel community to follow. True of other fields too.

  35. hhan says:

    Just in time – my friend was talking to me yesterday about where to take a vacation in the U.S. – he wants to stay here. I started listing places that I liked and places I wanted to go but didn’t really know how to advise him.

  36. Traveler says:

    I think that the best way to pick your next travel destination would be to spin a globe and stop it with your finger.

  37. Gennaro says:

    @hhan – So many places, so little time. Tell your friends to enjoy.

    @Traveler – Sounds fun. Takes a little guts…I like it.

  38. Alison says:

    Fun post on how to choose a travel destination. Not sure I could do the dart at the map, but that would be very interesting.

  39. Gennaro says:

    @Alison – The dart idea is taking a big chance, but it’s also fun. And nerve-racking.

  40. Hi Gennaro, Your blog is truly awesome, you are an amazing artist (incredible photos!), and my hometown (St-Louis, Senegal, West Africa) is on the “World Heritage List”. Last but not least, I’m also following you back on Twitter 🙂


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