Ever notice how when men and women go away for a long weekend, most women arrive with a full-size suitcase and most men a simple backpack? What are we doing wrong? Some women over plan and pack for every possible social event and natural disaster. Others can’t decide what they need and pack their entire closet. Although I love to be prepared, I have learned a few tricks to minimize the size of my bag without forfeiting my options. Keep reading »
I think just about everyone is dreaming of getting out of their hometown for a few days this time of year, plane ticket prices be damned. Luckily for us, WalletHub has ranked 50 US cities for vacationing this summer, and their listing was heavily based on affordability.
To determine their list, WalletHub took a look at TripAdvisor and Fly.com to seek out the most popular vacation destinations of the summer, and combined that with Census Bureau data to find the largest metropolitan areas in the country. Then, they analyzed flights on Kayak.com for the month of July (the most popular time for summer travel), looking for quality departure points, affordable and quick travel routes, and logistically and financially accessible destinations. In each major city, they broke down round-trip flights to popular vacation spots by cost, duration and number of connections. Apparently, when it comes to getting out of town, the airport you’re planning to depart from can make or break whether you can afford the trip. Some cities have a much better track record than others of offering quick and affordable flights — and it’s not always so easy to see which cities are doing best in this category without a little digging! Keep reading »
The day I realized that Kyle and I weren’t going to get married was the day he told me how he’d always dreamed of honeymooning at Disneyland Paris.
My family was into nature. Most of our vacations were spent hiking through national parks. But Kyle’s family went to the same place every single year: Disney World. They stayed at the same hotel, ate at the same restaurants, and rode the same rides. These people were okay with paying a lot of money to be an audience year in and year out. I mean a lot of money: tickets, fast passes, souvenirs, overpriced food, hotel rooms. When they came back from Disney, all they could talk about was when they were going to go again. Did I mention the youngest member of their family was 25? Keep reading »
A few years ago a study came out that said the anticipation of a vacation actually makes people much happier than the vacation itself, and as much as I enjoy traveling, I must admit I find this to be true. I just booked a trip to France, Switzerland, and Iceland for later this year, and I’m SO excited. Of course I’m stoked for the trip itself, but I’m almost equally thrilled about spending the next few months researching, planning my itinerary, and staring wistfully at photos of sidewalk cafes in Lyon. Nothing makes my life feel more colorful and energized than having a trip on the horizon — even if that horizon is pretty far off. Here are 5 things I love about traveling, none of which happen on the actual trip itself… Keep reading »
I’m a travel writer. I’ve visited Seoul, Santiago, and Vancouver in the past few months alone. My job sounds pretty glamorous on paper: I get to sample exotic foods, visit locations that others own dream about, and meet people from all over the world.
But there is a less glamorous side, too. I usually either travel solo or with a group of other travel writers on an organized press trip — that means that I am spending the majority of my time by myself or with a bunch of people I barely know. Given these circumstances, the number one question people ask about my job is whether I have had any hot vacation hookups. Here’s the sad and possibly surprising answer: nope. While I might stay in hotel rooms with heart-shaped bathtubs, I sleep in their king-sized beds alone.
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As if a gorgeous boutique hotel tucked into the rainforest of a Caribbean island could get any more perfect, what if that hotel was chocolate themed? Such a wonderland exists, and it’s called Hotel Chocolat, a luxurious lodging option on the island of St. Lucia, operated by a gourmet chocolate company of the same name. In addition to an infinity pool and speedboat taxi to the beaches, Hotel Chocolat partners with St. Lucian farmers to harvest local cocoa, which is used liberally in the hotel’s spa treatments and restaurant menu. A cacoa oil massage followed by a fresh cacao bellini on the balcony? Yes, please! Guests can also tour the estate’s cocoa groves, pick ripe pods off the trees, and make their own chocolate bars. At $500 a night, Hotel Chocolat is a “maybe if I win the lottery” option for most of us, but definitely a fun destination to dream about on a rainy Monday, no?
For me, the phrase “hotel pool” instantly conjures images of overcrowded, over-chlorinated concrete boxes teeming with rowdy kids with nosebleeds, but luckily, the airport Best Westerns of my childhood are not the only options out there. Case in point: the spate of gorgeous, relaxing rooftop pools popping up at swanky hotels across the country. These hip hangout spots boast jaw-dropping views, comfy cabanas, poolside bars, and exquisite design. The perfect place to laze away a hot summer day. Click through to check out six of the country’s most fabulous rooftop pools, but beware: common side effects of this slideshow include daydreaming about warm breezes, intense cravings for mojitos, and lurid fantasies involving cabana boys.
The #1 reason I love to travel is also the #1 reason I love to, umm, be alive: FOOD. Sure, experiencing other cultures is nice, and expanding my horizons, and seeing cool stuff, blah, blah, blah, but when I think back on my most memorable travel moments, nearly all of them involved a truly unforgettable meal that I could never have gotten back home. A couple of friends and I got to talking about our best travel meals ever the other day, and the ensuing conversation was so drool-worthy that I thought it would make for a fun open post. After the jump, read some other travel food highlights from the rest of The Frisky staff (spoiler alert: most of our best food memories are from Italy, but hey, can you blame us?), and please share yours in the comments! Keep reading »
Astoria, Oregon, sits at the mouth of the Columbia River, smack dab between Oregon and Washington, just a few miles from the Pacific Ocean. Judging by location alone, you’d think Astoria would fit the mold of a classic beach town, but if you go there expecting a plethora of pastel ice cream shops and “Life Is Good” t-shirts, well, you’re going to be surprised. Astoria is much different than the other tourist traps that dot the coast. So different, in fact, that it’s often referred to as “Little San Francisco.”
Astoria is home to many of the things people love about Portland (great coffee, microbreweries, artsy culture), combined with a few coastal town perks you can’t get in the city (salty sea air, clam chowder, shockingly aggressive seagulls). And if that wasn’t enough of a reason to visit, “The Goonies” and “Kindergarten Cop” were filmed there. Packed your bags yet? It’s about an hour’s drive from Portland, and here’s what to do once you get there (besides the truffle shuffle, which is a given): Keep reading »