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8 Easy Ways to Get Trip Ideas Without Doing Travel Research

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Travel planning and inspiration are two of the most important ways to save money and travel more, like saving money for your 401(k) or your next “me” purchase. The same applies to trips.

If you put it on paper or in front of you, your instinct will be to figure out how to make it happen. So, do that AND get trip ideas to come to you without excessive research, book it, and start exploring the world.

This travel style is putting it in some simple terms, but sometimes it’s really that simple. As someone who’s spent the past 3+ years solely focused on solving the ins and outs of travel, I’ve learned plenty along the way to find new trip ideas, inspiration, motivation, and creativity even when you feel like you’ve seen too much or not enough plan a trip.

If you want some travel inspiration or even just straight up to avoid having to do travel research, here are some of my favorite ways to help me get new trip ideas, and destination ideas come to me without spending hours figuring out how to make them happen.

Proven Ways to Get Trip Ideas With No Travel Research

1. Sign up for a cheap flight newsletter

Dollar Flight Club Next Stop Newsletter
Dollar Flight Club / Dollar Flight Club

This one, to me, is a no-brainer. As much as I’d like to spend hours scouring the web for the next incredible flight deal, I don’t have the time. Plus, that time is better spent elsewhere.

Given that flights are one of the most expensive components of travel (in line with average prices for budget hotels along with accommodation), it makes sense to let cheap flights come to you by using Going.com (Formerly Scott’s Cheap Flights) or Dollar Flight Club, two of my favorite cheap flight newsletters.

Many people expect to sign up for these newsletters to get instant gratification. That’s not the point. Play the long game, live your life, and jump on it when you find a new flight deal to a destination that fits the perfect mix for you.

Like cheap flights, you can also opt-in to a newsletter such as Mighty Travels, where you’ll get instant notifications on hotel deals, which can be a game-changer if you are a person who loves destination accommodation.

2. Swap your home with someone else

Villa in Abbadia San Salvatore, Italy from Homeexchange, a great way to get trip ideas
Villa I stayed at after swapping my home on HomeExchange (Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers)

For several years, my family and I have had our home listed on HomeExchange, where we can let someone stay at our house and get to stay at their home for free.

This is excellent for new trip planning ideas because you can seek out places you want to stay focused and go, but most importantly, you’ll get other people from around the world reaching out to you to stay at your place, leading to new destination ideas.

You’ll be incredibly surprised by how small the world is and how many people would love to stay at your place. You never know what you’ll get next! The spontaneous traveler in me loves this since no place to stay organized is boring.

Beyond this, you’ll meet some incredible people from around the world. Look at the photo above of an Italian villa in the charming town of Abbadia San Salvatore, where I stayed after swapping our home. Moar of this, please.

See Related: Free Printable Travel Planner

3. Participate in credit card rewards and other rewards programs

Travel hacking via rewards points is an excellent way to stretch your dollar to see more of the world without costing you more money. Credit card rewards portals like American Express Membership Rewards and Chase Ultimate Rewards often have flash deals or bonuses for transferring points to their rewards partners.

This can lead to incredible deals and the chance to fly airlines you wouldn’t normally fly. I know that all the cool consultants and investment bankers love flying the same airline to get “status” on travel insurance, but how boring is that? That same intro flight video, flight staff, Cheez-Its, and Diet Coke on every flight (I’m looking at you, Delta Air Lines).

The true way to travel budget is to fly a new airline to a completely unknown destination. The best way to do this is by allowing rewards points bonuses to maximize your dollar while unlocking new perspectives and cultural approaches to travel.

See Related: Free Travel Rewards and Credit Card Spreadsheet Template

4. Support an independent travel blogger

Travel Blogger, Kyle Kroeger in Oude Delft, Netherlands
Visiting Delft on a Cold Day Because I Can’t Sit Still
(Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers)

As independent journalists, ViaTravelers strives to provide the best possible advice before, when, and even after you travel. I’m not here to sell you why ViaTravelers is the best travel blog in the world (we aren’t).

We have some incredible writers like Stuart Jameson, who has been to over 60+ countries, and Doug Weismann, who has been to over 50+(!) countries, among many other travelers and others on the ViaTravelers team.

But, please, get off TripAdvisor and other aggregated forums where many contributors are never compensated for their perspectives and support indie perspectives and travel articles that can provide incredible expert insights.

Some of the best independent, non-biased online advice comes from bloggers who provide first-hand perspectives from their experiences simply because they love to do it.

We are talking about people who have been to 50+ countries or even certain countries multiple times while covering each corner, including the normal best places to visit and the far off-the-beaten-path destinations.

I get it; Tim from Ohio’s TripAdvisor review didn’t like his bolognese in Italy because it had carrots, and he could definitely get something better in Cleveland. It is incredibly helpful…

Jokes aside, you’d be amazed at some of the new things you’ll discover from people who do this day in and day out simply out of passion.

In today’s age, every travel blogger needs as much support as they can get as it gets increasingly crowded with aggregated data and information, pushing our independent bloggers’ perspectives on solo travel further and further away from the people who need it most.

Here are some of my go-to’s to help me travel more (yes, as a person who travels full-time, I still rely on and love other independent travel blogs and creators), such as Mike and Laura Travel and even the household name of Atlas Obscura.

5. Find unique accommodation experiences

Garden view in Hakone Retreat Fore
Staying at Ryokan in Hakone (Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers)

One thing I praise about Airbnb is its excellence in inspiration. Sometimes, a vacation destination solely relies on the experience; sometimes, you want something unique that may or may not be oriented around the destination or foreign country’s culture.

Take a few moments to browse some of the most unique accommodations on Airbnb and Vrbo to see the best deals to stay in a unique spot you normally wouldn’t.

6. Watch or Read Documentaries and Stories

I remember watching Inglorious Bastards after living in Italy for several months. I was completely reinvigorated to see more of the world solely due to how the art of language was portrayed. I get it. It’s a unique choice to be “inspired” to travel, but the blend of historical events and unique cultural differences inspired me to see more.

Another great example is the movie La Vita e Bella (Life is Beautiful). This movie gets me every time. The movie or documentary doesn’t matter much in this context, but rather the context. I can’t tell you how often I’ve followed a story and been inspired to learn more.

Social media should be an afterthought to solely influence you. There’s a lot of stuff on social media that doesn’t depict reality. Just because it’s popular based on other people’s interests doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right for you. Start with your passions and then leverage social media inspiration.

Earth is a massive place that can seem small, but one thing remains constant. There’s somewhere out there for you.

See Related: Best Travel Photography Books to Inspire You

7. Monitor UNESCO Updates

Upper Middle Rhine Valley at Sunset
Visiting the Upper Middle Rhine Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site (Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers)

As a cultural heritage junkie, I love preservation. I’ve been trying to cross off as many UNESCO World Heritage sites as possible. Each time I visit one, it never fails. It stimulates me with more travel inspiration, allowing me to learn and enjoy the outstanding natural beauty.

With most UNESCO World Heritage Sites, it’s not just preserving a place or building but that culture that can lend much insight to a region.

UNESCO frequently provides updates on changes, travel research, and even news relating to these destinations, not just World Heritage Sites and world-famous landmarks but also Literature, Nature, and so much more.

Following the hard work of an organization focused on combining preservation and cultural heritage is a great path to finding your next trip or road trip. I used UNESCO’s extensive research to build a road trip itinerary to tour the Upper Middle Rhine Valley, and that trip was truly inspiring.

Another example would be to follow updates on historic archeological sites to see if there are any groundbreaking updates or new findings.

8. Solve Around Your Interests

Tomorrowland Music Festival, Belgium
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

It’s no secret that I love beer and wine tourism. Pair that with a unique perspective, and it’s game over. Other examples that I’ll instantly travel for are music festivals, sporting, and cultural events.

These are just a couple of examples of any interest. Focus on things that matter to you and solve around them. There’s so much out there to explore. If it’s your interest, I guarantee that there’s somewhere else in the world that a world-class event exists around it.

The best part is that your bucket list is exactly that. Not someone else’s. Avoid the noise, find what matters most to you, and let’s make it happen.

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