Friday, March 23, 2018

2018 Trips and Ideas Ahead

Hi everyone! I usually do a better job of sharing my travel plans for the year (well, I did in 2016 anyway) - but I've been traveling in early January the past two years so I haven't kept up with that. Better late than never! I have some fun destinations coming up (which you can see to the right) like a trip to the Netherlands for work, New York City for Brian's 40th birthday, and Iceland in September (because Iceland Air just chose Kansas City as one of it's direct routes for 2018!!). It's a good mix of work and personal, and takes me to places I've been and some that I have not.

Iceland has been on my list for a very long time. From all the photos I've seen (like this one - thanks Creative Commons), it seems like the closest you can get to another planet while still on earth. The formations of land, ice, and water are so beautiful and unique. I can't wait!
I also just recently came across this concept of "mystery trips" in a magazine. Have you heard of this? It's been around for awhile, but likely didn't occur to me because I usually like to make my own plans. However, as I am working on refreshing my blog (maybe you've noticed a few cobwebs missing?), I am thinking of ideas for my next blog winner weekend (it's been forever since the last one). So, what is a mystery trip? It appears that you take a quiz, set a budget, pick some dates, and a travel company sends you to a random location for a planned out trip.

I have found three companies that look interesting - Magical Mystery Tours (promoted by Oprah and books global destinations), Pack Up + Go (plans 3-day U.S.-based trips), and The Vacation Hunt (which let's you pick international, domestic, and all-inclusive options). My biggest question is how long it's actually a surprise destination. Like do they blindfold you and have locals hand you clues about your next activity or meal? I sure hope so. Maybe I'll try one out with one of y'all so and we can find out together!

Where are you heading this year? It's not too late to make some plans! A good starting point is to check out Wherefor to see what destinations might be available for a set budget amount based on the type of trip you want (beach, family, continent). I have also just started using Hopper which helps you find out not only when to buy your plane tickets but also what the optimal travel dates are for a specific destination. Finally, if you're looking for the best deal on a hotel room (and aren't looking for some crazy, beautiful houseboat or shipping container on Airbnb), I think Trivago is as good as their commercials say they are, comparing across sites and letting you know where to book. Let me know if you have any questions I can help you with!

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