Travel Dreams for 2016 & How I Plan My Adventures

///Travel Dreams for 2016 & How I Plan My Adventures

Travel Dreams for 2016 & How I Plan My Adventures

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Tips for Booking New Travel Adventures

Hi friends!

Traveling is one of my biggest joys in life.  You might have guessed by how often I write about it, that I simply love it.  I’d rather go on a trip than get new things any day.  The Hubs and I make it a priority to go to as many places as we can.  We’re determined to see the world!

2015 was an amazing travel year for us.  We went to Antigua





Brazil Spring 2015-184-2-26

Elbow Cay (Bahamas)…


Key West

Key West Southernmost Point

Barnsley Resort


Hilton Head

Hilton Head


Perfect Charleston Day Trips- Southern brunch, shopping, exploring historic areas, oysters and dessert on the rooftop bar! / Running in a Skirt

& Hawaii.

Hawaiian Volcanoes National Park Tips-16

I feel so blessed just typing that out.  I know how lucky I am!  While some of those trips were repeats, day trips, visiting friends or business trips for my hubby’s work, it was still an epic year.  I’m not anticipating as much travel in 2016, but we are still debating a couple of good trips to round out the schedule this year!

One thing the Hubs and I have been talking about with travel, is exploring more of the United States.  We often jump to the conclusion that we have to leave the country to go on a big adventure, but we have been rethinking that lately.  There is so much beauty in this country to explore.

US Travel Ideas

  • Seattle / Pacific Northwest – I have several friends who recently moved out to this side of country and I’d love to see it!  I think I will love the gorgeous scenery and hippie spirit of this part of the country.
  • Maine – I went to Maine when I was a kid, but would really like to go back and explore.  Must sees include Acadia National Park and Bar Harbor.
  • Yosemite National Park – I’ve heard booking this trip requires about a year in advance planning, so it’s probably not happening this year, but it’s on the short list!
  • Alaska – The Hubs has been three times to go fishing with his Dad and Uncles, but I have not been once!  I’m a little jealous and hope to change that.
  • Austin – I’ve been fascinated by this quirky, hippie town in Texas for years!  I’d love to go soon.  I feel like I’d be in Mexican food  heaven.  The Hubs has a business trip there this year, so it might finally happen.

If we do go to Austin, I’ve been eyeing the Hotel Ella!  It has 4 1/2 stars on TripAdvisor, ranked in the Austin top 10 AND has a special right now when your book right through TripAdvisor.

Those are some US choices, but I do have a running international trip bucket list too.  I’d love to fit in one of these adventures in the next year or so!  I’m not sure if it’s possible, but I like to dream big.

International Travel Bucket List

  • Galapagos Islands – I have looked at booking this trip so many times, but have not pulled the trigger yet.  This place is an animal lovers dream.
  • Machu Picchu – The scenery alone makes the ride look worth it!
  • Australia – I’d love an extended trip to also visit New Zealand.
  • African Safari & South Africa – This is actually on the top of the Hubs list!  I would love to make this happen someday.
  • More of Europe – I’ve been to Paris and explored most of Italy over two weeks, but have not seen much of Europe.  On the top of my list is the rest of France, Spain, Greece, Switzerland and Germany.
  • Tahiti – I’m kind of obsessed with beaches and warm tropical vacations, so of course this is on the list!
  • Belize – I loved Costa Rica, and have heard it’s similar yet different enough to make it worth the time and money.

One thing I can guarantee about any of these trips I may take is I will be doing the research beforehand on  TripAdvisor.  TripAdvisor has been my loyal travel companion for years!  From hotels, tours, sights and unique experiences, I read all the reviews.  In fact, I can’t remember booking even a short weekend trip without consulting the site.  I want to know what to expect before I get there and make sure I make the best choices for my budget.  For that reason I really like looking at the candid traveler photos!  There are over 46 million on the site.  I’ve also been known to check their travel forums for answers to some of my travel questions. 

Hawaiian Volcanoes National Park Tips-8

Did you know that in addition to the more than 320 million reviews, you can now book virtually any hotel right on  TripAdvisor?  You can check prices right from TripAdvisor and then book directly from the same place.  It’s basically now one stop shopping for all your travel planning needs!

I can’t wait to start researching my next trip!  I consider it one of my favorite hobbies πŸ™‚

Paraty Blog Pictures No Watermark-26

Now here’s the good part! A contest!

 TripAdvisor is hosting a  TripAdvisor #BooktoWin Trip-A-Day Giveaway.  They are giving away $60,000 worth of trip money!  Book any trip through the end of March and be automatically entered to win incredible prizes.  Thirty-one winners from every day of the month of March will be chosen daily to receive $1,500 towards their next getaway booked on TripAdvisor and one grand prize winner will receive $15,ooo towards the getaway of your choice, ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD, booked on TripAdvisor.  So start dreaming!

To enter, book your hotel on  TripAdvisor during the month of March and automatically be entered in the Giveaway.  Or you can find your hotel on TripAdvisor, then click from TripAdvisor to book on another site, then complete the entry form.  If you’ve been on the fence about that next trip, now is the time to book (through TripAdvisor of course!)  For complete details, check out the  TripAdvisor contest page.

And don’t forget, next time you book, use  TripAdvisor and share with the hashtag #BooktoWin

Thanks for coming along for the adventure and daydreaming by today!  See you back Monday for a weekend recap.  I’m thinking sushi will be involved. πŸ™‚

I’m linking up with Thinking Out Loud ThursdayTravel Tuesday.

Your turn!

What is on your travel dreams/ bucket list?

Where do you want to travel this year?

By | 2017-08-15T14:04:03-04:00 March 4th, 2016|Other International Travel, Travel|67 Comments


  1. Andrea on Vacation March 10, 2016 at 8:38 am - Reply

    My big trip this year will be the United States. We are renting a camper and driving around out West for a month. I’m super-excited to do it! I like your bucket list- it has some goodies. My African Safari was my favorite trip of all time and the Galapagos are amazing and surprisingly easy to get to.

    • JulieWunder March 12, 2016 at 2:29 pm - Reply

      That does sound like fun! I can’t wait to read about it.

  2. Tanya @ Mom's Small Victories March 7, 2016 at 7:50 am - Reply

    What a fantastic traveling year! We finally got kids passports so went on a Disney cruise to Bahamas and we’re hoping to go to Spain this summer. Greece is on my bucket list and Hawaii too. I love Hilton Head and Charleston too. I look forward to seeing where your travels take you in 2016!

    • JulieWunder March 8, 2016 at 2:50 pm - Reply

      Thank you Tanya! I hope you do get to go to Spain! It must be wonderful to take kids along to see the world.

  3. Allison Barrett Carter March 6, 2016 at 7:25 pm - Reply

    Those are all great places to visit! My parents just went to Galapagos and I can’t wait to go there, too!

  4. Stepfanie Romine March 6, 2016 at 6:07 pm - Reply

    I really want to go to Morocco next. In the States, I, too, am intrigued by Austin. πŸ™‚
    My husband and I took a belated honeymoon to Vancouver and other places in BC last summer. I loved it β€” and used Trip Advisor for help.

    • JulieWunder March 8, 2016 at 2:49 pm - Reply

      I don’t know how people booked vacations without it!

  5. Nicole Escat March 6, 2016 at 5:50 pm - Reply

    You’re so blessed and you had a lot of beautiful places you’ve visited. Such a lovely pics.

  6. Liz March 6, 2016 at 4:46 pm - Reply

    Looks like a lot of awesome trips you had in 2015, and I spied one of my favorite Lilly prints in your Key West photo πŸ™‚ I’m sure 2016 will be great too! I was just planning a couple trips this week – I can’t wait to explore some more!

    • JulieWunder March 8, 2016 at 2:49 pm - Reply

      Good eye, my friend πŸ™‚ I have the matching tote too.

  7. Neely March 6, 2016 at 1:45 pm - Reply

    these are great ones! I have a long travel wish list!

  8. Mandi Korn March 6, 2016 at 11:32 am - Reply

    You are sooooo lucky to be able to travel as often as you do:o) I love all your posts about it, makes me feel like I am there:o)

  9. Rosey Rebecca March 5, 2016 at 10:12 pm - Reply

    Fun post! Jeff and I are thinking of going doing Seattle/the Pacific NW for our honeymoon and possibly driving into Canada. Two summers ago we went on a huge road trip from VA to Utah. It was so much fun! I’d also love to visit Australia. I love traveling!

    • JulieWunder March 6, 2016 at 7:44 am - Reply

      That sounds like a great idea! There are so many places to go. It’s always hard to choose!

  10. Sonali- The Foodie Physician March 5, 2016 at 9:26 pm - Reply

    Wow, what an amazing year you had! I agree with you about travel within the US- my husband and I were always so focused on going overseas, there are many parts of the US that we still have to experience. The Pacific Northwest and Austin are at the top of our list! Now I just have to get my toddler to behave on the plane, lol! Love TripAdvisor, by the way!

  11. Jessica @ Nutritioulicious March 5, 2016 at 6:52 pm - Reply

    Wow, you’ve been to some amazing places and your bucket list certainly has some more great ones to get to! We love traveling and try to take at least one trip without the kids a year. Last year we were lucky enough to get to Italy for a friend’s wedding and the year before to Spain for our 5th anniversary. Greece was our honeymoon and it was amazing. Hope you make it to some of these European places – you’ll fall in love with them and especially the food!

    • JulieWunder March 6, 2016 at 7:43 am - Reply

      That’s so great you can take a trip without the kids! Greece and Spain are on the list!!!

  12. [email protected] March 5, 2016 at 6:15 pm - Reply

    So glad you have been able to enjoy so much travel this year, Julie. Here’s to more great trips in the future!!

    • JulieWunder March 6, 2016 at 7:42 am - Reply

      Thanks Debbie! It was kind of unexpected crazy year!

  13. Caroline March 5, 2016 at 4:25 pm - Reply

    This is amazing. I wish I could travel more, we managed to go to Disney with the kids in 2015 and we are planning on Bermuda for 2016.

    • JulieWunder March 6, 2016 at 7:42 am - Reply

      Those sound like some great trips! There is nothing like kids at Disney!

  14. Blane Sherer March 5, 2016 at 4:13 pm - Reply

    I do enjoy reading your travel blogs.
    Keep them coming Julie ( smile ).

    • JulieWunder March 6, 2016 at 7:41 am - Reply

      Thanks so much Blane! Hopefully I’ll have more to come soon!

  15. Alisa @ Go Dairy Free March 5, 2016 at 10:44 am - Reply

    I’m a little jealous I must admit! I LOVE travel and we actually have the freedom to do it more, but have been a little paralyzed by life and work for the past few years. We’ve just started traveling again though and some on your list are on mine, too! In fact, we just booked several hotels, but I’m not sure if we used TripAdvisor or not (I do use it!) … going to check now …

    • JulieWunder March 5, 2016 at 11:08 am - Reply

      You should check! I bet you could still enter the contest!

  16. Crystal March 5, 2016 at 1:06 am - Reply

    I’m kind of obsessed with taking my kids to see the Grand Canyon. We are planning on going to go during spring break!

    • JulieWunder March 5, 2016 at 10:19 am - Reply

      That sounds like a great trip! What a wonderful adventure and learning experience for them.

  17. Toughcookiemommy March 4, 2016 at 11:38 pm - Reply

    One of my students visited the Galapagos Islands and he always tells me how beautiful it is there. I would love to visit one day.

    • JulieWunder March 5, 2016 at 10:19 am - Reply

      Me too! It’s the one place that has been on the list the longest.

  18. [email protected] March 4, 2016 at 10:17 pm - Reply

    Wow! You have been to many places. I was a flight attendant for several yrs and I was so tired on my days off I never wanted to travel. Italy has always been on my bucket list. That, and Hawaii of course. Someday I will get there.

  19. Farrah March 4, 2016 at 6:21 pm - Reply

    So many awesome trips!!! I want to do a Pacific coast road trip, and I need to go to Hawai’i! And Maine and Austin have been on my travel bucket list too! I’m with you on tropical vacations, so Tahiti is definitely on my international travel bucket list! <3 Belize is super fun! πŸ˜€ I went cave tubing there many years ago!

    • JulieWunder March 5, 2016 at 10:16 am - Reply

      Yes! I’m a sucker for warm weather. I hope you get to go to Hawaii.

  20. Scott March 4, 2016 at 6:02 pm - Reply

    I would have loved to have traveled as much as you did last year! We only went on a couple trips all year!

    • JulieWunder March 5, 2016 at 10:16 am - Reply

      I know! I was SOOO lucky last year. It just worked out that way. I totally realize how blessed I was to be able to do all that and didn’t even realize it was so much until I typed it out.

  21. Amelia @ Eating Made Easy March 4, 2016 at 5:46 pm - Reply

    As a mom of two young kids, I’m living vicariously through you while reading this post πŸ™‚ Re: your travel ideas for 2016, I approve of them all! Haha. But really, I absolutely love Austin and was grew up in Alaska & Seattle – so I have to strongly recommend those! BTW I would never survive without Trip Advisor. I use it anytime I’m planning a trip!

    • JulieWunder March 5, 2016 at 10:15 am - Reply

      Haha! I’m glad you enjoy the travel posts. I totally agree about TripAdvisor. I don’t go anywhere without checking it.

  22. Jessie @ The Acquired Sass March 4, 2016 at 2:51 pm - Reply

    I’m so impressed by everywhere you managed to travel in 2015! I can’t say enough great things about how much I enjoyed my African Safari. I went on one in 2015 & have a few blog recaps up about it too! Switzerland, Iceland & Patagonia are on my short list right now. Really, I want to go everywhere. So making a short list is pretty hard.

    • JulieWunder March 5, 2016 at 10:12 am - Reply

      This year was kind of fluke with trips– go very, very lucky! I need to go check out those recaps. Very curious about the logistics of the whole thing.

  23. valmg @ Mom Knows It All March 4, 2016 at 12:53 pm - Reply

    You’ve been to some great places. I love to travel but haven’t had the opportunity to do much of it. Everywhere is on mybucket list, I wan to go everywhere.

    • JulieWunder March 5, 2016 at 10:11 am - Reply

      Me too! My bucket list is massive. I’ve been really lucky with travel.

  24. Mary Ellen @ VNutrition March 4, 2016 at 10:44 am - Reply

    Awesome post! I love to travel too and I thought I went a lot of places this year – you totally beat me lol. My father is from Ecuador and I traveled there for the first time last year but did not make it to the Galapagos Islands. I really want to go there as well as Machu Picchu. Trip Advisor is one of my go-to places to go before I travel. πŸ™‚

    • JulieWunder March 5, 2016 at 10:11 am - Reply

      This past year was kind of an anomaly with trips. Doing that much would not normally be feasible! But it worked out this year and it sure was fun! πŸ™‚
      Ecuador sounds cool! Hope you get to make it to Galapagos and Machu Picchu too.

  25. Tammilee Tips March 4, 2016 at 10:15 am - Reply

    We have a ton of in the US travel set up for the year. I am hoping we are able to get more international travel in last year we went to Bali and parts of Europe.

  26. RFC March 4, 2016 at 9:55 am - Reply

    Yes, you NEEEEEED to go to Maine! I just moved away from Vermont, but spent every free weekend last summer in Maine (we have family up there). Such a gorgeous coast. Bar Harbor is amazing, but don’t forget to check out Portland!

    I’m headed to the Grand Canyon in a few months. I’ve lived a pretty sheltered life, though the wanderlust runs deep. This will be my first desert experience, I’m so excited!

    • JulieWunder March 5, 2016 at 10:09 am - Reply

      Everyone who has been to Maine raves about it! It just might have to happen this summer. πŸ™‚
      My wanderlust is a real problem.

  27. Melissa @ Freeing Imperfections March 4, 2016 at 9:26 am - Reply

    Definitely go to Maine! I regret not making a second trip up there when I lived in the North East. Acadia National Park is where it’s at!

    I just went to Austin a month or so ago and I wasn’t impressed. Maybe I just didn’t see the cool stuff? I also had a baby with me so I wasn’t able to really see it at night, but it was just kind of like any other city to me??

    I really want to go to Seattle.

    • JulieWunder March 5, 2016 at 10:07 am - Reply

      I’ve heard nothing but good stuff about Maine. It might actually happen this summer. Aww bummer about Austin! I’ve heard cool things about it!

  28. Australia is on my bucket list. I think Tahiti was just hit pretty badly in a recent storm with lots of damage. I am dying to go stay in one of those over the water huts.

    • JulieWunder March 5, 2016 at 10:06 am - Reply

      I think you might be right. The water there looks beyond spectacular! The flight there is SOOOO long though.

  29. Susie @ SuzLyfe March 4, 2016 at 8:29 am - Reply

    I am always so envious of your travels! I would love to Machu Pichu. I actually have a client who is in the Galapagos right now! She was like… um… I might not be able to run, lol. I would love to go back to Europe. That is my dream.

    • JulieWunder March 5, 2016 at 10:05 am - Reply

      How cool. Galapagos is one I’ve been dreaming of for a long time!

  30. Dan Steadman March 4, 2016 at 8:28 am - Reply

    awesome! I had a few friends that went to Yoesmite last year while we were in Wyoming…I would love to go back to that part of the country, specifically South Dakota or Wyoming, such a beautiful area…also would like to go to the North East and Seattle…Canada and Australia is on my list as well

  31. [email protected] March 4, 2016 at 8:27 am - Reply

    I love your travel list! I love traveling and would love to see more of the US as well. Thanks for sharing the trip advisor details!

  32. You have gone some amazing places. On my bucket list is Italy. several trips top to bottom. It’s a must before I die. I also have friends in Hawaii and want to go back there as much as possible. It’s so beautiful.

    • JulieWunder March 5, 2016 at 10:03 am - Reply

      Italy was amazing. I loved it so much that I’d like to go back.

  33. Mary Beth Jackson March 4, 2016 at 6:38 am - Reply

    Fun post! I love Trip Advisor I would not travel without it! Keep dreaming! I have 2 fun adventures coming up for my birthday: Las Vegas and Jekyll Island πŸ™‚

    • JulieWunder March 5, 2016 at 10:02 am - Reply

      Ohhh! Those are some good ones. I have checked their website probably since it first started. It’s a Type A person’s dream!

  34. Dannii @ Hungry Healthy Happy March 4, 2016 at 6:23 am - Reply

    Wow, you travelled to some amazing places last year. Austin is amazing – I was there last summer and it’s such a fun place.
    Also, you HAVE to go to Switzerland. It’s my favourite place in the world.

    • JulieWunder March 5, 2016 at 10:01 am - Reply

      I know. I don’t think I realized I went that many places last year until I typed it out. I was really luck. You seriously have convinced me to move Switzerland up the list. πŸ™‚ Your post was amazing.

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