Monday, January 30, 2017

new destinations: New Mexico (and Texas)

My friend D and I always try to plan a little friends getaway every year. Last year we went to Arizona and had such a good time that we're tackling a bit more of the American southwest again this year. We're headed to Santa Fe for a few days and then spending a day in Texas and I'm pretty excited. It's going to be a pretty artsy trip (hello, Georgia O'Keeffe!) but I'm also really going to savor being in that amazing desert ecosystem again.
We leave this weekend and I'm super excited. The flights were a bit complicated - we got direct flights there but we have a layover coming back because we're flying out of a different airport - but we managed to score a pretty good deal ($270 each). We're renting a car and driving all over; we had a blast doing it last year so I can't see why we won't love it equally this time around.

Monday, January 16, 2017

Road Trip Checklist

I always thought I wasn't really a fan of road trips because I kind of hate driving (I was the youngest in my grade so I was the last to get my license and was basically chauffeured around for a long time). I actually really love sleeping in cars, which isn't great for road tripping because I think that part of the charm is noticing stuff along the drive, right?

As it turns out, I actually kind of like road trips. I suppose it depends on how you define it, but I qualify a road trip as any vacation that involves spending a decent amount of time in the car. So, that time my family drove up to Ithaca for a long weekend, I consider a road trip. That week in November that we drove around Iceland; that was a road trip. Last year in Arizona, that was definitely a road trip. Sure, some of those required flights that took us to our destination, but once we were there, we did quite a bit of driving so they qualify.
Since D and I are doing another road trippy holiday in a couple of weeks, I thought I would put together a few essentials that I like to have in the car, ways I like to prepare, and a few extras that make road trips more successful and more fun.

Monday, January 09, 2017

How To: Plan a Long Weekend Trip

For years, I was always super keen on taking long holidays. Basically, I always wanted to use 5 or 6 vacation days to spend at least a week abroad. In the past couple of years, however, I've really come to love weekend trips and exploring more of my own country. I read a NYTimes article about vacations boosting happiness and the results indicated that taking several shorter trips actually make people happier than a couple of longer trips.

Why? Because the best part of travel is apparently the planning and the anticipation, which is something I can wholeheartedly understand. I mean, I have a countdown app on my phone which I check daily to see how many days I have until my next trip. I make Pinterest boards to get inspiration for my trip. I collaborate with my co-travelers on Google Docs and we're constantly texting and emailing and chatting about the trip right until we actually depart. I pin cool spots on a travel map. I start an entry in my travel journal. I'm always eager when it come to planning my outfits and making my packing list. There's a flurry of activity prior to the trip, all of which just stoke the flames of excitement.
I still love my longer trips, don't get me wrong, but when there's a cheap flight or when I start to get a bit bored and itchy, it's super easy to run off for a few days.
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