Holidays are approaching and the choice of destination becomes the main topic of internet researches or family and friends’ conversations.
But how do you choose the right destination?
Well, there is no magic formula but you can certainly follow some logical steps to identify the most important criteria to keep in mind according to your needs. Each destination can be unique in its own way and suitable for a specific audience. So what I suggest you to do is to write down a list of the most important factors to consider and choose the destination that best matches them!!
What parameters am I talking about?
1- What is the reason of the trip?
You can plan your kite trip in many different ways depending on where you go, who you are travelling with and what you really want to do. If you’re off with friends who just want to kite like you, then you’ll need to focus on the weather and wind conditions. If you’re off in couple or with someone who doesn’t kite, you have to care about no wind activities. If you’re off with your family or children, the conversation may change again.
So it’s essential to know what you expect from the trip to help you better organize it and avoid any problems or discussions during the holiday!
2- Weather conditions
As we all know, the kite depends on the wind conditions. So we need to determine not only if it blows but how it blows.
Many places are in fact renowned for constant and strong wind, which means having smaller sails, others for weaker wind, so larger sails, still others with low wind statistics even during the best season, so it is better to predict something else to do. It seems stupid but more than once I have found people who chose the destination on the basis of a personal taste rather than according to needs and equipment. The result was very bad: while we were all going out iting, they were stuck in the box.
The weather conditions are closely linked to the material in your possession. The destination must therefore be chosen depending on your equipment, unless you are willing to rent on site.
4- Travel budget
The financial resources should not be underestimated. Each of us knows that each country has its own economy and different prices. Check the destination out in advance allows you to avoid bad surprises on the spot. Many choose their destination because of the cheapest airfare, but then they find themselves spending much more to live in a the chooses country. For instance, Brazil can be much more expensive than venezuela even if yu can find cheaper plant tickets.
Obviously the budget is closely related to the duration of the trip, if you have more time available will be cheaper to amortize the price of the airfare, on the contrary, if the time is limited, it is not recommended to leave for long flights overseas.
The budget also includes some administrative issues that should not be underestimated: vaccines, visas, possible problems with the passport for destinations previously visited, etc.. Sometimes bureaucracy not only wastes valuable time but can also have a direct impact on your wallet.
5- How long are you traveling for?
Time is a fundamental component, and it is often associated with the budget.
If the time is short, only a week available, it is better to leave for nearby or easy destinations. By easy I mean those places where you can navigate directly in front of the hotel or where the movements are easier: no boats, planes, complicated transport on site, etc. . Losing one or more days on site can be compromising. Moreover, leaving for a week means, for most people, excluding all those destinations far away where it takes one or more days of flying, and tickets above 700-1,000€.
If you have more than two weeks you will certainly have more freedom to move around on site (less anxiety of losing a day of activity) and the certitude of recovering an expensive ticket. On the contrary, you have to keep in mind that a longer stay means a higher expense, so the longer the journey, the less expensive the destination has to be.
6- Is the place kite-friendly?
Each place is in its own way different and it offers more or less services to kiteboarders. I am talking about essential services such as the existence of a pump or a compressor, as well as secondary services like shaded areas where to park the kite, grass areas where to inflate or disarm it, or even additional utilities as restaurant areas.
I believe that another service to take into consideration is the type of hotel in the area. Is there enough space to store your equipement ? Is it going to be safe?
Last, the Internet connection. The more the place is developed the faster internet is going to be to work on your edits, to watch some kite videos to progress, or just keep in touch with your family and friends.
After visiting several countries I have found that in some places the kite is tolerated and any additional service may not be dedicated to it, while in other places much of the local economy revolves around the kite that plays an important role. On the contrary, there are some areas where the practice of kiting is poorly seen or even prohibited. 🚫.
Are there any good places to repair your kite? If you leave for a long time the risk exists. None of us hope so, but we use very fragile equipment and, if we try new manoeuvres, we run the risk of running into small problems. If we have new kites, it is not recommended to leave them in the hands of the first locals we meet. I’ve seen friends have unpleasant surprises and their kites have been badly repaired or even ruined. Knowing who to ask or at least if there is a trusted or competent person is very important.
7- Language barriers
If you love to travel the world you will surely go to places where the language can really be a barrier to communication. In some countries or more remote spots, locals can’t communicate with you, even in English. In this case, a vocabulary or an application to translate at least the most important phrases can be really useful.
How to find information on these seven parameters?
There are many websites that give general information about the most popular spots on the planet, such as (Kitetrip planner, WhenWherekite, etc..) or other smaller blogs that provide reviews on some spots in particular. These blogs, similar to mine, are often very helpful. Go and check out a German friend of mine who writes an interesting blog about kiting (Wake up Stoked) or the French blogger Isabelle Fabre, or still other sites that propose an all-inclusive kite trips like B-stoked, Ride & Dream and KiteWorldWide.
Finally, I recommend using some facebook groups such as “kitesurf (digital) Nomads“, “One Launch Kiteboarding” or other specific groups about a specific place where you can find out more about specific issues.
I have always kept in mind these seven points and for now they have taken me to some of the most beautiful and well-known places of kitesurfing, such as Brazil and Venezuela. Obviously every now and then daring is important to me and looking for a less known destination can bring great satisfaction as well as great sorrow. The important thing is always to be aware of the risk you run and to reflect before choosing your destination.
I wish you a good trip and I’m looking forward to your comments on new discovered destinations with pros and cons of each individual place based on your experiences. Each comment will help as many people as possible to make no mistakes or to choose their destination in the best possible way.