It’s that time again, when we’re all sitting around + plotting our adventure agenda for the upcoming year. In theory you’ve had time to talk your way through the excitement of last year, reminisced about the memories of years gone by + are raring to get something on the calendar for the upcoming year.

Well then, let’s get started with that!

But…where do you start? There is literally an entire world out there waiting for you to explore it. How do you decide where to start? Very carefully, right?

Or not.

Honestly, the best ideas tend to come from senseless banter + the biggest adventures usually come when things to awry. Let’s use this to our advantage while we’re planning out the next year of exploration. Here are a few ideas to start you brainstorming for upcoming trips, try one + let us know how it goes!

Let the Airlines Decide

Pop over to a website like skyscanner.com + let flight prices decide where you’re first trip will be. With SkyScanner you can put in your local airport then choose ‘everywhere’ as your destination. This will give you the prices for flights to anywhere around the world. Scroll through that list + pick whatever country within your flight budget peaks your interest.

You can even choose to search by specific dates or by the entire month. If you have a flexible schedule this is a great way to get your hands on cheaper flights.

Peruse Pinterest

Once you’ve picked a country to explore head over to Pinterest + start drooling over beautiful photos of your destination. Pinterest started out as a DIY/recipe curating site, but it’s become so much more. Whether you’re into city wandering, intense outdoor adventures or somewhere in between, you’ll find it on Pinterest. The best part of Pinterest is that everything is built around photos + you don’t need to create an account to get access to stunning inspiration.

Make note of your favorite photos then do more specific research. Take the time to look at each interesting item on the ‘must see’ lists + compare them to the time of year you’ll be visiting. Before you get your heart set on anything, make sure it’s compatible with the season or holiday you’ll be visiting during. For example, there are incredible hikes in the Swiss Alps; however, if you’re headed to Switzerland in January you’ll see snow blocking your access to the summer-y fields of wildflowers.

Invite Friends + Friendly Recommendations

There’s a really good chance you have at least a few adventurous friends. Either they’re looking to get out + explore or they’ve already visited the country the airlines have picked for you. Whichever it is, reach out to them! Throw a post up on Facebook with a detailed, yet rather generic request for travel tips in the area you’ll be. Let people know when you’re going + what you’re interested in doing while you’re there. Grab the attention of your most adventurous friends by tagging them. This tends to whip up a lot of discussions around the various recommendations you receive.

If you’re hoping to travel with someone, shoot an email over to the people you’d like to have join you. Be understanding about their personal preferences + obligations, but never hesitate to extend an invitation. You never know…my first big adventure was with a Twitter-turned-IRL friend who had schemed up a trip to Torres del Paine in Chile + wanted a travel buddy.

Write it ALL Down!

As soon as you start plotting your adventures…take notes! You’ll come across SO much information you’ll get overwhelmed from time to time. Put pen to paper, jotting down random notes in your planning notebook [yea, you should get one of those!]. When you’re moved past the brainstorming stage + start actually booking things, go through this book! There is a very good chance you’ll see notes from early in the planning process that reference incredible hikes or delicious cafes that you have forgotten about. Use these random notes are reminders as you secure your travel plans.

Once you’ve booked everything, regroup with your brainstorming notes. Compile all of your confirmation numbers, contact information + travel plans. Keep this in a safe place you can easily access while traveling. If you’re into checklists, make one for all of the places you’d love to go see. If checklists make you anxious, make that list but leave the little check boxes off. It’s great to have a list to reference if you have downtime or need to adjust plans on the road.

There are probably another million ways to get your travel planning started, but we hope we covered a few things to keep you going. When you get those plans on paper, tell us! Once you’re out on the adventures, tag us in photos so we can see what the world has to offer!