2018 is here, and I always love to start the new year by planning some travel. Today I am sharing the best places I went in 2017 – which serves as a handy list of where to travel in 2018!
Last year I visited 11 different countries and 11 different cities in the United States. Today I am taking a look back at 2017 and sharing my favorite travel destinations.
I didn’t spent enough time in Ireland and I am longing to go back. My sister and I went on a quick 5 day trip to Donegal, Northern Ireland, and Dublin. Ireland is the ideal place for a road trip because it is such a beautiful country. My sister is a strategic planner and she planned a trip that let us spent just the right amount of time driving around the country.
This ancient walled city is so beautiful and romantic. It was the ideal place for Charles and I to reunite after a few weeks apart (we have a pretty chill marriage and it isn’t weird for us to spend a couple weeks apart). We kayaked, explored nearby islands, walked along the top of the city walls, and ate our hearts out. We continued on to Montenegro, but Croatia was the highlight of the trip.
One of the things that I love about my job is that I get invited on press trips that take me to places that I wouldn’t have thought of visiting. I was so blown away by the beauty of Belgrade and the countryside, the insanely delicious food, and the kindness of the locals that I felt foolish for not having previously considered Serbia as a travel destination.
I am going to call it right now, you are going to start seeing Bosnia on lists of best travel destinations. The nation’s capital, Sarajevo has bounced back after the war and is a vibrant city that embraces a mix of cultures. Mosques and cathedrals are just blocks apart, and the different parts of the city are so different you can feel like you are somewhere completely different after walking three blocks.
After Sarajevo I took a bus to Mostar – and the bus ride was one of the most gorgeous drives I have ever experienced. Mostar (pictured above) looks like a town from a fairytale, and is a short drive from the Kravice Waterfalls. Important Sidenote: I made a 3 week trip out of visiting Serbia, Bosnia, Croatia, and Montenegro. You may want to do the same. Both Serbia and Bosnia are incredibly affordable – nice hotels are under $100.
I have been telling everyone I know that they need to go to Portugal. I even successfully convinced my friend Jenn to go. It is one of the European countries that is closest to the United States, and it is more affordable than other countries in Western Europe. Portugal has everything that you could want in a European vacation, there are warm beachside resort towns, castles to explore, a wine region, stunning architecture, and delicious food. I was in Portugal in late March/early April and it wasn’t crowded and very nice hotels were about $175.
This was the most epic vacation I have ever taken. We started in Marrakesh were we explored the Medina and shopped our hearts out, then we headed deep into the Sahara Desert for two nights of glamping. I loved every minute of the adventure. We ended our trip at in Essaouira, a beach town with a French influence. I am eager to go back with Charles.
I have been to London several times, but this was my longest trip to London and I got to spend more time exploring the city like a local. We stayed in a flat in St. John’s Wood and I took a cooking class and learned to prepare afternoon tea, explored the pubs, went for 4 mile jogs through the parks, and spent a day in the Cotswolds.
This city is so underrated and just so much fun. Not only does the city have world class barbecue, there are breweries, darling coffeeshops, speakeasy cocktail bars, and incredible museums to explore. It is so close to Chicago, and such a fun place for a weekend getaway. I took lots of midwest mini-vacations in 2017, but KC was my favorite.
After two years of living in NYC and several trips back to the city in the past few years, I finally checked some big items off my NYC travel bucket list. I went to the Statue of Liberty, toured Ellis Island, and walked the High Line. NYC has a magical quality to it and I love how every neighborhood is so different.
Now it is your turn, tell me about your best 2017 trip in the comments!my favorite link parties