How Do I Pick a Country for My Travels?

Buena Vista Costa Rica


How Do I Pick a Country for My Travels?


I am a picky traveler.


I am not a picky traveler.


I predominantly want to travel to the tropics. But in the same vein I will travel to a wide range of spots, even those outside of the tropics from time to time.


I want to help you get inside my weird head to see how Kelli and I pick our travel spots.


1: Warm Weather


Blogging From Paradise vibes with warm weather climes.


Kelli also prefers hotter spots around the globe.


I make exceptions when back in New Jersey; NYC gets hella cold during winter sits in the Big Apple – but when we travel internationally we only visit areas in the tropics. Save Peru and Turkey visits.


I spent 3 decades in New Jersey, enjoying a range of weather. But bitterly cold winters gave me my taste of the chills for this life time.


I aim for the tropics. Not just for the weather though.


I also dig:


  • lush green jungles
  • tropical beaches
  • fabulous fresh fruit, and even fresher fruit shakes
  • a lower cost of living (in most cases)
  • laid back locals
  • fascinating cultures (most cultures in the tropics seem super duper interesting to me)


Thailand, Bali and Costa Rica are 3 of my fave spots. We have done repeat trips to each land/island and are always subject to go back.


2: House Sits


House sits led us to 3 of our most recent trips.


Cyprus, Qatar and Thailand were house sitting inspired trips.


We landed sits in each spot. Traveled to these exotic lands. Enjoyed rent free living in some sweet countries; and sweet digs to boot.


Kelli and I can afford to rent apartments or homes. We often do. But sits have been popping up left and right, drawing us to areas we would never have thought to visit. Places like Cyprus and Qatar were off of our radar until we checked out Trusted House Sitters.


After getting alerts, we learned more about the lands, the culture and the overall vibe of these spots. Of course, we knew the 411 on Thailand. But Qatar and Cyprus took a little bit of digging to get enough information to make a clear, confident decision.


We gave each place the nod and thorough enjoyed all house sits and trips.


We have also house sat in places like:


  • Fiji
  • Nicaragua
  • Bali
  • Costa Rica
  • New York City


I am heading back to yet another New York City house sit soon; all have been in Money Making Manhattan. None yet in Money Earning Mount Vernon.


Again; we travel without house sitting too. Recent trips to Myanmar and Istanbul, Turkey were sit free, apartment and hotel rental deals. Kelli and I prefer to do sits, to save dough and to surround ourselves with fun pets to care for.


3: Ignore US Travel Advisories


Barring active war zones and North Korea, the United States Government is in the business of fear mongering to keep people at home.


I recall sitting in Bali – which has not seen a terrorist incident since 2005 – wondering why the State Department issued warnings for traveling to Bali during the time I was there.


The US State Department warns you about a potential split second in time event in a far off, allegedly dangerous land, yet you are far more likely to be killed in a car accident in your hometown in the USA.


You are probably more likely to be killed by a jet engine falling from a plane than you are to be killed by a terrorist.


No joke; you actually are more likely to be killed by your TV or furniture than by terrorists in foreign lands.


For the love of all that is good and holy, save active war zones and North Korea (where things could get dicey, but where you are probably not gonna have any issues 99% of the time), most places on earth are predominantly safe.


Your Turn


What criteria do you use to choose countries for your globe trotting forays?