For me, part of the fun of doing cool things is the planning and preparing. I love researching an experience almost as much as I enjoy the experience itself. I’ve made a cottage industry of oohing and aahing over projects and pinning them on Pinterest. I love reading books about different lives in different times and places. And I love hearing about other peoples’ travels. Rick Steves visits our house on a regular basis. Being an armchair traveler has its joys. But this is the year to bring travel into the real world for me, doing the planning AND the traveling. It sounds amazing.
With this all said, one step to getting where I want to go is creating a plan, both in terms of the destinations and the strategies for getting there. Here are my destination and travel goals over the next year, and beyond. For each travel experience, I will fill you in on the details about how I funded it, how much I spent, and how I managed with teenagers, baby, and partner in tow.
The 1-Year Plan
I have several possible trips scoped out for the upcoming year. Most of these trips tap into important family events.
January 2017: First trip is under our belts. My kids and I made a quick trip to the beautiful resort town of McCall, Idaho on January 1st. My son wanted to visit a friend and I wanted to kick off my travel year. It was low-key and enjoyable. A great way to start the year.
February 2017: Disneyland and Universal Studios Hollywood. We’re going on a girl trip to Disneyland! My daughters, mom, niece and sister-in-law, aunt, and I are rendezvousing in southern California for 3 days of amusement park bliss. I went with my older daughter and aunt a little more than a year ago and it was great fun. I expect the same for this trip. Plus, my niece has never been there. I hope to make a Disney with my daughters and annual event. I’ve gotta keep getting creative!
March 2017: In late December 2016 we had a 3 night trip to Portland planned, which had to be scrapped at the last minute due to snow, wind, and unsafe road conditions. I still want to go, and am thinking spring break would be a good time. We’ll probably stay in a suburb to save money and plan to do things not just in Portland but in that area. Silver Falls state Park is about an hour’s drive away and I’ve always wanted to go there. Hopefully late March is warmish and lovely for hiking and exploring.
May 2017: My sweetie’s grandpa is turning 100 years old! How can we miss that? Such an amazing milestone to reach. And I hear he is still active and doing well! Many of his family members will likely attend, so I am imagining a family reunion of sorts. We’ll road trip it there and we will probably rent a bigger car to carry our 7 person family, although they may not all go. None of our cars can accommodate all of us together. I have been to Montana and will look forward to seeing the beautiful landscape and maybe a few touristy/outdoorsy sites along the way.
New York May 2017: My cousin is graduating from college in New York with her doctorate degree. She is very accomplished academically and this will be the cumulation of many many years of hard work and academic dedication. Not only will it be fun and our family will be attending, but my cousin is such a great role model of achievement that I want my kids to be there to see what the fuss is about. And if she can do it, perhaps they can someday as well. I’m planning to stay for a week so we can go to the graduation, take in the sights of New York, and do a little college touring with my older son who is a junior in high school. As of this writing I have flights and accommodations booked and am spending about $1,000 total. Look for a post soon. Right now I have enough airline miles for me and kids to go to her graduation in May, as well as her wedding, also on the east coast, in October. I’m looking forward to a little cross country adventure this year.
June 2017: San Diego with my SO and the baby. A cousin is getting married and we would both welcome the chance to get away, just the 3 of us. My sweetie’s family is there so we can stay cheaply, and perhaps get some time to ourselves, even an overnighter!?
August 2017: My mom is turning 70! She would like to go somewhere gorgeous and outdoorsy. We’re looking at Stanley, Idaho, Ketchum, Idaho (near Sun Valley) or McCall Idaho, the first week in August. Plans to rent a cabin or two have fallen apart because of the size of the group and the cost and they are not interested in camping. It’s back to the drawing board and hoping that it comes together. There are so many beautiful places in Idaho – it would be great to enjoy that with our families.
September 2017: Mendocino/ California Redwoods. This trip will be in honor of my older children’s dad. He and I met in Mendocino and I have many sweet memories with him in Mendocino, Ukiah and the redwood parks. I am hoping that my parents, his parents, and other family will meet us there for this occasion. It will likely be a road trip even though Boise to Mendocino is a 12 hour drive! With a 16 month old! During the school year! We’ll make an overnight stop or two at Lake Tahoe and Ukiah.. And hopefully stay a couple of nights at one of the Redwood parks on the way back.
October 2017: My cousin is getting married! There’s no way I could miss that. She and her husband-to-be live in New York and will probably be getting married in Pennsylvania, which must be due to his family connection. My daughters and I will definitely go! I also have two anywhere in the world Hyatt overnight stays and I am planning to take my daughter to the super fancy $1,000 a night Park Hyatt to enjoy the lavish lifestyle, if only temporarily. Or even hop a plane to London or Paris and stay somewhere swanky for a few nights. They don’t have a date for the wedding yet so this planning is still up in the air. But I love my cousin, love a wedding, and love a little luxury, so it’s sure to be a highlight of the year.
I plan to keep planning. For this year, and going forward. My SO has mentioned taking in a concert in Seattle. He has started to slowly and cautiously accumulate miles and points through credit cards too and that will give us options. My son would like to go visit University of British Columbia and University of Arizona in preparation for college applications during his senior year. I want to take my kids to Hawaii because they are part Hawaiian and have never been there.
Disneyland is opening a Star Wars Land eventually that I’m already anxious to visit. Not to mention my daughter and I want to keep going back. We could do a family ski holiday… So many trips, so little money. How can I earn more money and more miles to keep on traveling? That’s part of what I get to figure out. And that is half the fun.
What travel plans and dreams do you have for this year?