Monthly Archives: May 2016

Best Getaways to Take This Fall

Just because temperatures are cooling off, doesn’t mean your traveling has to! Whether you have a long weekend coming up or want to take off for the holidays, you can be sure these top fall destinations will not disappoint.

1. PORTLAND, OREGON

Portland is a gorgeous outdoor paradise in all seasons, but this river-side city is magical when the leaves change color. Its many coffee shops make Portland the perfect place to cozy up inside with coffee and a good book, but for a real treat check out all of the arts that start up in September and October; Portland Opera and the Oregon Symphonyare unique opportunities to see some musical pieces, while Portland Fashion Week is a chic event for the fashion critic in everyone.

Fall is also the best time to try out Portland’s best ciders, so branch out from your typical breweries and hit up cideries like Bushwhacker Cider and Portland Cider House while you’re in town.

Stay: Jupiter Hotel, Hotel Monaco, McMenamins Kennedy School

2. SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA

U.S. News deems September through November the best time to visit San Francisco, and for good reason. With festivals, street fairs, and wine country in full bloom, there’s no better time to take in one of California’s most beloved cities. With clear skies and surprisingly warm temperatures averaging around 70 degrees, autumn months make for great photo ops and the best views of the Golden Gate!

The internationally-acclaimed Mill Valley Film Festivals takes place in October, as does the Castro Street Fair and Treasure Island Music Festival. Stroll Clarion Alley for some awesome street murals, and stop by The Sycamore down the street for the comfort food, board games, and jukebox tunes.

The best way to visit Sonoma’s wineries is by being chauffeured, so purchase ticket for the Muir Woods/Wine Country Tour and get to witness the coast’s astounding redwoods before spending the day wine tasting in the valley.

3. ALBERTA, CANADA

If you’re headed to Alberta this fall, you’re most likely going for the turquoise lakes and gorgeous views. Banff National Park and Jasper National Park are two of the most stunning parks in North America, and thankfully there’s plenty of ways to explore them! Book a ticket for the Jasper Skytram for a mountaintop view of the Rockies, stargaze at the Jasper Dark Sky Festival, or take a helicopter tour over the Icefields with Rockies Heli Canada.

Best hiking? Valley of Ten Peaks and Lake Agnes Teahouse in Banff, and Bald Hills in Jasper.

Stay: Fairmont Banff Springs, Overlander Mountain Lodge, Whistlers Inn

4. SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA

Skip the summer crowds and visit sunny San Diego when the weather’s still warm but the masses of tourists are gone. Satisfy your beach craving at the popular Mission Beach or dog-friendly Ocean Beach, and grab dinner or drinks in the historic downtown Gaslamp District. If you’re up for a thrill, hit the Haunted Hotel; it’s rated one of the best haunted houses in the U.S., so be prepared for a good scare.

And, there are no shortage of outdoor festivals either; with Spirits of Mexico, Beer Week, and San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival all taking place in the month of November, you can be sure you won’t go thirsty!

Quit Your Job to Travel

The topic of traveling long-term and the way many online travel personalities glamorize the perpetual travel lifestyle has been on my mind quite a bit lately. As you know, we are huge advocates for finding a balance between a healthy home life and wanderlust.

Let me start off by saying I’m not judging anyone who chooses to quit their job to travel. Our goal here is to present a different side of the coin from our personal experience. With so many articles advising others to quit their job to travel full-time, we think it’s important to note that it’s not the only option.

Just because you have a job or a home base doesn’t mean you can’t live a life filled with amazing travel experiences. We have yet to publicly announce this, but we just bought a house in coastal San Diego and as someone who has been fighting against the traditional American dream for the past 10 years of my life, this was a HUGE life-changing decision for me.

However, after traveling nearly 6 months per year for the past 5 years, I’ve grown to love my routine at home. I’ve surprisingly found a massive amount of joy in remodeling and DIY plans for our little beach cottage — in between trips to places like Canada and the Philippines.

Having a home base and a career you love doesn’t mean you have to give up travel. We’ve managed to travel to over 40 countries in the past 5 years — all while paying astronomical prices to live in a beach town we adore, Scott working a traditional full-time job, and both of us running this busy online business. My point is, it’s entirely possible to find a balance. You really can have the best of both worlds.

YOU WANT TO HAVE LONG-TERM RELATIONSHIPS

Because we decided against selling all of our possessions to travel, we’ve been able to keep close ties with our dear group of friends — and for this, I am eternally grateful. I’ve heard far too many perpetual travelers express regret over losing friendships after bouncing around for long periods of time. At some point, almost everyone realizes the value of long-term relationships and most even eventually find comfort in daily routine.

TRAVEL WON’T FIX YOUR PROBLEMS

In my experience, if you are using travel to avoid a big emotional issue (been there, done that!), then it’s probably not going to fix anything in your life. Deal with your problem first, with a clear head, and then hop on a plane to an exotic location — ready to take on whatever adventures life throws at you.

SOCIAL MEDIA IS ONLY A HIGHLIGHT REEL

Don’t drink the Kool-Aid. I mean, drink it if you want to — I’m not here to tell anybody how to live their life — BUT… remember that people only show their best moments on social media. I’m not saying all long-term travelers are unhappy; just take it with a grain of salt if someone’s life on social media seems perfect.

YOU DON’T WANT TO LIVE WITH YOUR PARENTS

In many cases, the brutal truth is that many long-term travelers wouldn’t be able to afford a lifestyle of jet setting all over the world if they didn’t have a comfortable place to crash in between trips. Long-term travel is exhausting. Even taking 1-2 trips per month like we do is taxing and it’s nice to have the luxury of coming home when you get tired. And you WILL get tired.

I moved away from home at 17 and I can’t imagine relying on my parents to provide a place for me to live when I’m in my 20’s and 30’s — especially if I’m just choosing to spend all of my money on travel versus going through a tough time for other reasons. I would much rather find a balance of supporting myself AND traveling than crashing with my parents until I’m 40.

Now, if you’ve gotten to the bottom of this article and you still want to travel full-time, then more power to you! Just because this lifestyle is not right for us, that doesn’t mean it’s not perfect for someone else. As a full-time travel blogger, I’ve written quite a few resources on how to make a living while traveling, which may help if you are looking for a way to make a living while you are on the road.

Prove Alberta is Heaven on Earth

Comparing the cost of an Uber, Lyft, or local taxi doesn’t require multiple apps or standing in the cold for 5 minutes. RideGuru – available in over 70 countries – is the comparison site for all rideshare and taxi services, and even allows you to request your ride straight from the website. Forget jumping from app to app looking for the quickest and cheapest ride – a quick check on RideGuru’s website will save you time and money in seconds.

“Many times travelers can save even more money on taxi and rideshare rides with student or senior discounts. If you are unsure of the promotions in your area try asking one of the “Gurus” in the RideGuru forum.

CARPOOL

In major cities, many taxi services like UberPOOL offer ridesharing or carpooling services; take advantage of these! By sharing a ride with other passengers, you can save around 20-40% on your ride fare. Chatting with locals or other travelers is just a bonus!

UTILIZE BUSES AND TRAINS

Large cities in the U.S. are consistently rated among the worst public transportation systems in the world, so it should be no surprise that most Americans have no idea how to navigate public transit. Nevertheless, don’t let this intimidate you from using buses or trains in other countries!

Western European countries are known for exceptionally efficient and organized public transportation – a great cost-effective alternative to traditional taxis or flying from country to country. Eurail passes are widely popular among tourists visiting multiple bordering European countries, although there are multiple reputable railway systems running through each continent.

Budget tip: Travel at night and sleep on the bus or train to save money on hotel accommodations and have more time to experience your destination city, rather than wasting precious daylight hours traveling from location to location.

BIKE

Contrary to popular belief, Amsterdam and Copenhagen are not the only cities where cycling is a popular mode of transportation. Save yourself some money, get around like the locals, and rent a bike! Not only is this much cheaper than other alternatives, but getting to experience your surroundings on two wheels is probably the most personal way to see a new city. Here are some of the top bike-friendly tourism cities around the world:

  • Copenhagen, Denmark
  • Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  • Bordeaux, France
  • Seville, Spain
  • Barcelona, Spain
  • Berlin, Germany
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Dublin, Ireland
  • Vienna, Austria
  • Paris, France
  • Hamburg, Germany
  • Montreal, Canada