WHAT’S THE BEST TRIP YOU’VE EVER TAKEN?

Finland, March 2017

Saint Martin, January 2015

On the heels of our honeymoon in Africa, I can’t stop thinking of all the other places in the world Will and I hope to visit together. We actually had several conversations during our trip about where we each wanted to travel next or which destinations were at the top of our bucket list. For instance, I’m dying to get to India and Morocco, and Will is most intrigued by Australia and Peru. We both want to see China at some point in our lives, but it’s not topping the list for either of us right now. And of course we’ll both happily head back to France and Italy any chance we get! There are also so many places within the United States we want to see more of: fall road trips through New England, a ski trip to Colorado, weekend trips to Austin, Texas, a summer visit to Maine…

Palm Springs, January 2016

Bahamas, August 2014

Because there’s no time like the end of one trip to start planning your next one, I’d love to learn from you about your favorite places you’ve ever been. What was the best trip you’ve ever taken, solo, with girlfriends, or with your significant other? And what did you love about that place — amazing food, constant adventure, total relaxation?

Positano, April 2015

London, March 2015

 

Not sponsored in any way, but Will and I are newly obsessed with the app Been, which helps you calculate exactly how many countries and states you’ve visited as well as what percentage of the world you’ve seen. I thought I was reasonably well-traveled for 28, but knowing I’ve only explored 9% of the world definitely gets me fired up to get out and see more! Not to mention the fact that so many of those countries were crossed off during my semester abroad in the Loire Valley and I haven’t made nearly as much headway in the seven years since I graduated from college.

Bermuda, November 2016

Paris, April 2015

I know this is a unique time in our lives (dual income, no kids — some of our friends calls this the “dink” lifestyle haha) to be able to travel, so even though Will’s working at a start-up and I’m self-employed and we’d love to buy a home in the next couple years (there are always so many reasons not to travel, amiright?!), travel is something we both want to prioritize. I’d love to hear how you make travel a priority in your life, and if you know how many countries or states you’ve visited, I’d love to compare notes! (If you’re interested, I’ve been to 24 countries and 42 states!) I truly can’t wait to hear from you!

61 thoughts on “WHAT’S THE BEST TRIP YOU’VE EVER TAKEN?

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  1. I am right there with you! I was originally trying to get to 30 countries by 30 but went right past that, so my new goal has been all 7 continents by 30! I’ll be in Africa next month for continent #6 and then planning to do Antarctica next year (so technically I’ll be 30 by the time I get there, but close enough!) My favorite trips so far have been New Zealand and Australia (New Zealand is an absolute MUST) and I also loved exploring Peru and Bolivia a few years back. I also did an amazing trip to Iceland and northern Norway (Lofoten Islands) and it was so incredibly stunning. I’m always most drawn to landscape destinations the most. I’ve also been using Been for a few years and I’ve gotten a lot of others hooked as well! By the end of this year, I’ll be at 42 countries and 29 states.

  2. The Maldives, Belgium, and Iceland have been some of our top trips (outside the classic London, Paris, Italy, etc). I also have a goal of 30 by 30, so we are booked for Australia, Portugal, and Morocco in the first half of 2018. We are looking at South Africa one of the next trips after, did you use a certain travel agent for your honeymoon?

  3. The best trips I have ever been on are Bora Bora (for our honeymoon), Vienna & Salzburg during Christmastime, and a cruise to Venice and the Greek Isles. Top of my bucket list right now are Ireland and Iceland which we have booked for next year. And now Africa after seeing your pictures! We recently hiked the Grand Canyon and Zion, which made us excited to visit more National Parks. We are trying to itch the travel bug before we start having kids and need to cut down on our world travel.

  4. My boyfriend and I have traveled like maniacs our whole lives and both agree nothing even comes close to how spectacular our Russia trip was. I know it sounds a bit nervy, but it was utterly incredible. The history, the culture, the architecture, the ballet, the museums….unbelievable. We did it on the cheap (airbnbs, and totally self-planned) and would love to go back someday and splurge a little more. There are some gorgeous hotels. Add it to your list for sure!

  5. What a happy post for you. Good information also. My travels have honestly not been much. I have seen most of the states on the eastern coast of the US. Not anything outside of the US, except for one trip. That trip I went to with my ex, Boris. It was to Israel. I don’t talk about it. If asked, I say I haven’t been outside of the US. It was that bad. He was like dating a man multiple times worse than Carrie’s man Big on Sex and the City. After I got lost one evening, physically and emotionally admittedly, he didn’t even come to find me. He stayed on our tour bus and sang songs with other people. I got onto the bus after finding a way back, and was soo outraged, I slapped him. It wasn’t right. But, in all the years he trapped me in, I felt I had done something right. The truth is something no one else knew. Who knows a relationship like the people in it? In my relationship that sentiment did not seem to exist.
    Anywho, traveling single, I am still single but I don’t want to be, it’s scary. I don’t get the drive to do it single either. Maybe I am the only one. Send me a good man like you have. You found someone good, Mack!

  6. Hi! This post is just in time to feed my wanderlust! I just moved to Tel Aviv, Israel to teach English and make my life here. I love my new city! But I really want to go to Vienna, Budapest and Greece. I think those are my next trips.

    My favorite trips were to Argentina, Chile, Spain and Berlin. I studied abroad in Buenos Aires, Argentina, I traveled to Chile during my study abroad and it was the first solo trip I took, This will forever be the trip that told me I COULD travel solo and love it. Valparaiso, Chile is a port city with colorful murals everywhere. It is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen!

  7. My best trip ever was NYC last year. I went by myself, kind of on impulse (no small decision considering the 24 hours of travel from Sydney!) and even though it was terrifying and really tough, I fell in love with the city and was so proud of myself for making something I’d always wanted to do a reality. Plus then a 3 day stint in New Haven to see my best friend who works at Yale was the icing on the cake!

    1. That’s amazing! I know New York can be a majorly overwhelming city for visitors so I give you major props! And Yale is one of the most beautiful campuses in the world — so fun you were able to tack that onto your trip!

  8. My goal was to hit 30 countries for my 30th birthday! (I also had to sleep in the country at least two nights and visit more than one city for it to “count”.). I turned thirty a few months ago and this summer hit #31! My all time favorite countries as a tourist are Morocco (beach, mountains, desert, good food, good infrastructure); Madagascar (amazing beach, wildlife, culture, beautiful!); and Japan (FOOD! amazing cities, nature, culture, and FOOOOOOOD). I’ve lived overseas for the past six years so have emotional ties to several other places but none are exactly desirable (I work in humanitarian world so not exactly going places on anybody’s bucket list, haha!). My boyfriend and I took a month long trip through China that was not exactly a travel priority for me but wound up being absolutely amazing! Definitely a cool place to visit but HUGE and easy to get overwhelmed. We prioritize travel by living very simply and traveling fairly simply. I don’t have a ton of clothes and we probably could stand to update our living situation. For me, it’s 100% worth it.

  9. I just downloaded Been. So cool! I’ve been to 35 countries and 26 states. Top countries would have to be: South Africa (we are planning another trip next year and would love to hear about your trip), Japan, Vietnam, Australia and Italy. Tops US locations would have to be: DC, Charleston, Denver and San Fran/Sonoma/Napa. My husband and I both love to travel and we make it a priority. We often forgo birthday/anniversary gifts and choose to travel instead. In fact, we are going to Budapest in two weeks for our anniversary (tips, anyone?). We are also runners, so we like to use races as excuses to travel, and are currently attempting to complete a race on every continent. So I say that if you are fortunate enough to travel, do it!

  10. Ireland! My family and I just got back and I have to say it was the most beautiful places that I’ve ever been. Surpassed my expectations and had a wonderful time! Highly suggest you adding that to your list!

  11. I love knowing how many places I’ve been, so we have a travel map that we put push pins in for each trip we go on to a new place! Definitely travel while you can – we did for 7 years until we just had our first baby (2 weeks ago), and I know that trips are going to be a little harder from now on. P.S. If you haven’t been yet, go to Thailand!

    Alyssa
    http://feathersandstripes.com

  12. Italy, France, and Africa are all on my bucket list! Your honeymoon pictures are stunning!

    Stephen and I are lucky enough to have gone on two international trips together: one to Spain (Madrid, Barcelona, and Seville) and one to Portugal (Lisbon, Porto, and the Douro Valley) and I HIGHLY recommend both countries! Nice people, great food, beautiful cities, lots to see and do! Flamenco in Seville was a highlight, as was Fado in Lisbon. If you go to either of these places, let me know and I can send you detailed recs!

    And, in a couple weeks, we are off to Santiago, Chile! I’ve heard rave reviews from a few friends who’ve been to Chile, and it looks like our trip will be a blend between the Andes mountains, the ocean, and wine valleys — with maybe a pit stop in the desert. And checking out cities of course. Google Valparaiso! 🙂 I totally agree now is the time to travel and think any money spent on travel is money well spent!

  13. Columbia! Hidden gem–very affordable without a lot of tourists, and easy to get to (only a four hour flight from Atlanta to Bogota)! The country has beaches, amazing cities (Medellin is simply spectacular), jungle, and mountains only a short plane ride apart. Additionally, we worked with amazing travel agents based in Columbia, and felt completely safe in the country.

  14. The best trip I ever went on was when I was about 10 with my family. We went to Jackson Hole, WY and it was amazing. We went in July because being from New Orleans we are not good with snow. The mountains are amazing. We went white water rafting on the snake river, went and horseback riding through the mountains. I think it’d be great for a ski trip too! Also there’s huckleberry everything (jam, soda) and you get addicted. We had breakfast at a place called the Bunnery and it was so good we kept going back!

  15. Nothing makes me want to travel more than when I am on a trip haha so I totally feel you! It’s like, once you’re out there you realize how much there still is to see and it’s impossible to not want to start planning.

    I feel like I am pretty well-traveled for a 26 year-old, especially since we didn’t travel much growing up (mostly went to the same places in our home state of California – there is so much to see and do there!) but I downloaded the Been app and have only seen 6% of the world! (15 counties and 30 states).

    As for favorite trip, earlier this year my husband and I rented a car and roadtripped through Germany, Switzerland and France. We have both agreed it was our favorite trip ever. We’ve been to Europe a handful of times now and even went to Japan, Argentina, Mexico City, and Canada this year and yet, the roadtrip takes the cake. The fact of having a car was the best part – being able to stop when and where we pleased and seeing all the “in-between” towns that don’t have tourists and being able to see how “normal Germans” live haha, it was truly spectacular. I absolutely cannot recommend renting a car and just driving through a foreign country enough.

    xo Mary-Katherine
    http://www.goldhattedlover.com

    *Not trying to plug my blog but this is the post I did on the roadtrip if you’re interested in seeing where we went and what we did: http://goldhattedlover.com/2017/06/planning-a-roadtrip-through-europe.html

  16. I’m super lucky to be an American living in Germany (fell in love with a German while studying in Heidelberg, Germany)! At 26 years old, I’ve been to 41 countries and 48 states (darn you Alaska and Hawaii!). I’m dying to go to South Africa, Argentina, Colombia, China, Russia, Faroe Islands, Morocco, and Israel…just to name a few 😉 I’m especially lucky to live in a country that’s a) so centrally located to so many other countries and b) values vacation time…I get 30 days plus public holidays!

  17. I just got back from an extended honeymoon as well (Italy – Tuscany, followed by Bologna, then Lake Garda) & my favorite trip was to Turkey with my two lifelong best friends a few years back. I know the region is often viewed as unstable, but the people there blew me away with their hospitality and genuine kindness. We did 5 nights on the European side of Istanbul in an air bnb (we still get into hysterical laughter over stories from that experience), 3 nights out in Cappadocia in a 5 star cave hotel (hot air ballooning at dawn was breathtaking), and 4 nights in Istanbul at another air bnb on the Asian side (with a daytrip out to the Prince’s Islands). I’ve also been to Paris, London, Singapore, and Bali in the past few years, but Turkey tops my list! Bali was incredible (stayed at the Amandari in Ubud then the Four Seasons by the beach, which was a great balance), but unfortunately, I got terribly, terribly sick a few days in and spent the rest of the trip in and out of hospitals and unable to eat anything/keep anything down. Still doesn’t stop me from wanting to go back and get a better experience! For trips with either my (now!) husband or friends, I definitely prefer planning it myself and learning along the way, as opposed to tours or guided, strict schedules!

  18. Kansas City is smack-dab in the middle of the country, but is not on most people’s radar. KC has that midwestern, laidback hospitality coupled with an amazing art and music scene (hello, jazz!) not to mention the best BBQ in the world (totally not biased). There’s an amazing downtown area and the world-renowned Country Club Plaza which was modeled after architecture in Seville, Spain has some of the best shopping. Everyone I know that’s visited KC for the first time is blown away (not by tornadoes) by how modern and eclectic it is.

    1. Kansas City is such a hidden gem! We lived there for a few years and it amazes me how people judge it when really it’s a delightful little city with all the fixings of a major city, plus an incredible food scene!

    2. I visited Kansas City as a teen and was amazed at how much it had to offer. Dancing to live jazz music under the stars with my high school crush will always be a memory I cherish.

  19. Yes to Peru! My husband and I went and trekked the Inca trail over 4 days, it was the most magical experience! Porters carry all of your stuff and cook for you and set up tents each night. It was such a cool trip and I would recommend that over just visiting Machu Picchu for the day via train. I know it’s a trip we’ll do again with our kids someday.

      1. Not at all! I’d say if you’re in moderate shape you would be totally fine. We saw groups of all ages (teens to seniors) when we went, there’s always a guide at the back that will stay with the “slowest” person and help them along if needed.

  20. How much does this post make we want to pull up a chair and order coconut ice cream with rainbow sprinkles (and maybe a spiked fruit punch too) at the Lyford Cay Club? SO MUCH. Beautiful photos.

  21. My favorite trip was super short – only six days – but awesome. Met up with one of my friends in Paris, jumped in a rental car and drove to South of France, then over to Germany, Italy, and stopped for lunch one day in Switzerland. We logged about a thousand miles. It was so fun not having a formal plan and not knowing exactly where we’d be each day!

    1. Ummm that sounds AMAZING! I can’t imagine a more beautiful road trip and I’m impressed at how many miles you logged in just under a week! I’m dying to get back to Switzerland 🙂

    2. We did this exact same thing earlier this year, but only 4 full days so we only made it to Germany, Switzerland, and France but I totally agree that not having a formal plan and just hopping in the car is the best experience ever!

  22. For an in-country suggestion, I think you’d LOVE Savannah, GA! I recently moved here, and just can’t get enough of the architecture and charm. As I know you enjoyed Charleston, I think Savannah would be great to add to your list 🙂 Thanks for the travel inspiration, I am definitely feeling inspired to start adding to my list now, too!

    1. Oh my gosh, I am DYING to go to Savannah and am a little envious you just moved there! I haven’t been since a gymnastics meet circa age 15 and everyone I know who’s been raves about it. I am def bumping that to the top of my U.S. list — any ideal times of year to visit?

  23. Totally take advantage of the dink period, it is so much fun and carefree! Even after we bought our home we were still dink had a great time traveling.

    Even when we can’t hop on a plane to a new state or country we love exploring the state we are in, CA. There are so many state and National Parks to see, along with gorgeous coastline and mountains. Many of these things are an easy day or weekend trip from Oakland.

    I’ve been to 20 countries and 25 states. My favorite trips were traveling to India with my husband and a solo trip to Germany.

    1. You are in one of the prettiest states to explore! Driving from LA to SF with my family is one of my favorite childhood memories. 🙂 I would love to hear more about where you went in India and any tips you have for planning a trip there!

      1. Completely agree on the drive from LA to SF, the train is also a great way to see the state as well! I’ve been wanting to take the train from LA to Vancouver, Canada.

        India: I’m spoiled by having my in-laws take care of me and plan everything, but my parents have done some solo travel recently and loved every moment. I’ve been to Mumbai, Nagpur, Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve, Pench National Park, Delhi, Agra, and Keoladeo National Park. There are major tourist places (Taj Mahal), but I’ve found that visiting the National Parks allows you to see the natural beauty of India. I think you would appreciate it as well having returned from your honeymoon.

        Tips: Visit India between December and February, temperatures will be cool and pleasant. Also, if you need a travel agent I have a great one to recommend. My parents will be in India for a month later this year and this will be their second time using this agency. Nomads: http://nomads.in/

  24. I was thinking about my #1 destinations yesterday. I’d say my top five are India, Russia, Bali, Greece and South Africa! Though I’m also dying to see so much of South America too. I also did the bulk of my traveling when I studied abroad and while I travel a fair amount now, it’s just not the same when you have real life to deal with as well. My next trip is in two weeks — to London, my favorite place on earth, Lyon, France and Belgium. I’m also headed to Southeast Asia (Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand) this December and that I’m SO excited for! I’m also def. going to download Been now. SUCH a fun idea!!

    x Diana // Pearl Girl

    1. Oooh YES to Bali! And that’s amazing that you have two big trips coming up! I’ll be dying to hear what you think of Lyon (never made it there even though I studied in France!) as well as all of Southeast Asia. And you will love the app, especially because you’ll have so many places to check off! 🙂

      1. I’m currently living in Lyon and LOVE it! Though I was not impressed with Bali (which I know sounds SUPER privileged)- I just didn’t connect with it like I thought I would.

  25. ICELAND! Admittedly, it wasn’t very high on my list of countries to visit, but a good friend of mine was planning a trip last spring to visit another friend of ours who lived there at the time and I decided to tag along since it was relatively inexpensive to travel to. I can’t say enough good things about the country and trip! We stayed in Reykjavik and took bus tours most days. We explored a glacier, watched a geyser explode, saw several beautiful waterfalls, and visited a tomato farm, a black sand beach! The Blue Lagoon is also a must. The country has some of the most beautiful scenery I’ve ever seen, plus the Icelandic people are genuinely so friendly and proud of their country and culture. I also recommend taking a day or two to explore Reykjavik (the city is completely walkable), visit a museum or two and just admire the cute architecture haha. Absolutely the trip of a lifetime and I would love to go back some day!

    I also traveled to Rome, Italy on a spring break study abroad trip my sophomore year of college (in denial that was 5.5 years ago…) and lately have been dreaming about going back! I definitely would love to experience the city again now that I’m no longer a college student who was kind of interested in history but mostly just wanted to party haha.

    1. Iceland sounds incredible! I’ll be honest — I thought I scratched the Iceland itch when I went to Finland this past winter, but the landscape there was so beautiful and I’m dying to see the Blue Lagoon, so it’s definitely still on my list! And I totally hear you on the difference between traveling as a college student and traveling as an adult. The idea of returning to some of the European bars/clubs I visited back then makes me cringe haha.

  26. My husband and I also went to Africa on our honeymoon, which was amazing! Of the places you mentioned, we’ve also been to India and Greece and he studied abroad in Australia. We LOVED Greece – we spent 2 nights in Athens, 4 nights in Crete in Chania and then 5 nights in Oia, Santorini. It was the perfect order of a trip – touring, adventure and then relaxing. I do know people who’ve done babymoons in Greece, but the food was soooo good and I’d want to be able to eat everything. India was a very cool experience, but traveling through India is not easy. We went with a group tour and I do not think I would’ve felt comfortable just going on our own and it is definitely a trip where you feel more out of your comfort zone the entire time. The poverty there is also astounding and upsetting, so while it was an amazing cultural trip, I didn’t find it as relaxing as Greece – so I think it really depends on the type of trip you are looking for. I’ve heard amazing things about Morocco and Japan as well. So many places and so little time!

    1. You are quite the well-traveled duo! I loved Greece as well (Athens, Santorini, Ios!) and would love to go back with Will someday. Thanks for the words of wisdom on India — I imagine it’s not a trip I’d be able to plan totally on my own so I’d love to know which group tour you did!

  27. If you and Will make the trip to Australia — New Zealand is MORE than worth a visit while you’re over there. Queenstown is a great adventure city while you’re still young…. but if bungee isn’t your thing (I didn’t think it was mine before planning my trip to NZ) it also has amazing scenery and wineries!

      1. Hi Mackenzie, if you ever happen to come down this way more than happy to give you some ideas for NZ. Lived here all my life and there is some really cool and beautiful things to see and do 🙂