Taking A Break From Traveling

I am on a traveling hiatus, only partly by choice. Life is really busy right now and there are so many other things that require money, time, and attention.

On the one hand, my break from traveling has allowed me to see my friends more. I’ve gotten more done around the house and in my own town. I’ve been really busy at work and stacking on trips on top of work would have just been way too much for me to handle (even though I’ve done it before). I have had time to myself and to just relax.

On the other hand, I’m tired of it. I need a distraction from life and traveling is usually the one thing that whisks me away and makes me happy. I keep looking at my calendar booked with hundreds of other things like appointments, work events, family get-togethers and am just underwhelmed with the way my summer is looking.

It is possible to have too much of a good thing and I was booking trip after trip after trip with no regard for my real life. I love traveling, but I need to appreciate the here and now too. The break from traveling has been an adjustment, along with many other things going on with my life, but I feel like it has been much needed.

Taking a break from traveling has been good for me, but I’m ready to get back into it! Luckily I have a trip planned in July. Where are you going this summer?

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Photo by Michael Vershinin on Pexels.com

 

Solo Adventuring in NYC

I have started tagging along on my boyfriend’s business trips. Which means while he’s working, it’s up to me to entertain myself. Two weekends ago, I had a little solo adventure in New York City – a place I’ve been many times.

There’s always SO much to do in NYC that it was a little overwhelming for me to choose an itinerary. Even though I’ve been to the city more times than I can count, I don’t know how to navigate the subways AT ALL. So I stuck to walking and doing what I know I’ll love!

On Saturday, we got dinner and drinks on the Terrace of the Yotel where we were staying. Yotel NYC is a smart hotel and very centrally located. The rooms are like little pods and are so fun and affordable. The food on the Terrace was so good and it was a lovely evening!

On Sunday I stopped and got coffee and a muffin at Old Country Coffee and people watched while I ate. I then walked the High Line and stopped a few times for photos and reading. I walked the High Line down to the Chelsea Market and stopped at Creamline for lunch. I tried the Impossible Burger here because I’ve heard SO much about it!

I haven’t eaten meat in about 10 years and have tried tonssss of different burger alternatives, but none that actually taste like a burger. I really enjoyed the Impossible Burger and I would urge non-meat eaters and meat eaters to try it!

I shopped a bit then walked the Highline back to the hotel. We went out and split a sushi burrito at PokeTown. Say what you want about quirky spins on classic foods, sushi burritos are delish.

Then I ended my weekend in NYC, but I will be back soon! 🙂 What’s your favorite thing to do in NYC? (Clearly my favorite thing to do is eat!)

Visiting All 50 States

One of the many reasons I envy Europeans is because their countries are relatively close together which allows them to visit a whole other culture that is basically in their backyard.

The United States is so huge that seeing the whole thing is a big task, especially if you’re like me and you also want to see the whole entire world!! But I have made it a goal now to spend quality time in every one of the 50 states. We’ve begun chipping away at the East Coast with weekend trips, but I reallllly need to get out to the West Coast soon! Check out my progress which I will be updating every couple of months! How many states have you been to?

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming

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The Nervous Traveler

I’m pretty much always convinced something is going to go wrong when I travel. I get to the airport early, print out all my receipts, and check my luggage about 50 times to make sure I have everything.

Yet, I always get nervous. Even though nothing has ever drastically gone wrong, I always think that it will all go downhill for me.

I think this mostly stems from how much money I put into travel with very little insurance. What if I miss my flight? That costs money. What if the Uber’s are upcharging when we need a ride? That costs money. What if I forget something really important? That costs money.

Like clockwork, every time I have a trip the hours leading up to it include a nervous stomach and a migraine. My only tips for someone traveling with a nervous travel is to constantly assure them.

My boyfriend and I travel together a lot and I do 90% of the planning, when he assures me nothing will go wrong I have a hard time believing him because I planned it so I know the possibilities. But that’s his job, I plan and he makes sure I don’t go nuts.

But in the end, the travel is always worth it.

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How I Afford Traveling

I put off writing this post because:

  1. I think every person who has traveled ever has written it
  2. My advice really isn’t that groundbreaking

But I’m going to tell you anyway. I probably go on a trip every two months, usually only two big/expensive trips a year and a bunch of little trips scattered in between. To many, it seems like I travel a lot. To me, it’s never enough. But I do get asked a lot how I afford to travel.

The kind of trips I take play a big part in affordability. We use Groupon to book our big and out of country trips. The hotel and flight are usually bundled with some other perk and the savings are amazing. We only do these trips once, maybe twice a year, and it’s always during winter. Last year we went to Iceland and this year we went to Portugal. If we do another big trip it will only be because I’m tagging along on one of my boyfriend’s work trips.

I don’t do a lot on the weekends that will cost me money. I know some people enjoy going to the bar with their friends on the weekends, but that’s not exactly my idea of a great time which is where I save money. Instead of dropping $50 on drinks every weekend, that money is saved and put into tiny weekend trips every month or every other month. Traveling is what I enjoy so I choose to stay in most times. The only fun activity I ever really splurge on are concert tickets.

I have a cash back card. I get 1% back on purchases and 1% back when I pay. I take the money I earn from that and use it as spending cash when I’m actually on my trip.

I have two savings accounts. I put money away every month. One savings account is for the future – for a new car, new home, in case of extreme emergencies. The other savings account is for trips, things I want to buy in the future, and extra cash for my checking account which I use to pay my rent, bills, etc.

How I can afford to travel isn’t all that glamorous. I don’t make a lot of money, I don’t have a fancy book of budgeting, I don’t have a top secret website that scores me the best deals. I prioritize what I want to spend money on in my life and then I plan to get the best price – but it works for me so maybe it will work for you too!

My Quick Trip To Orlando

I was lucky enough to ditch the winter weather and head to Orlando for 3 days – it was just the break I needed!

On day 1 we went to Universal solely because we wanted to go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Are tickets pricey? Yes. Was going to Hogwarts worth it? Yes.

Here’s a couple things you have to do if you go to Harry Potter world:

  1. Get a butter beer because they are sooo yummy!
  2. Splurge for an interactive wand. It was $55 but doing spells all day and having an awesome wand can’t be beat.
  3. Wait on line for the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey 3D ride – this ride was NO JOKE. It felt like a real rollercoaster!
  4. Get ice cream at Florean Fortescue’s Ice Cream Parlor. I highly recommend the lavender and earl grey flavor!

The next few days I spent poolside and just soaking up the sun at Westgate Lake Spa and Resort which was a really nice place.

I will recommend Dixie Dharma, a vegan restaurant, if you’re in the area! It was so yummy, it’s a bakery, restaurant, and shop and they had a lot of cool local prints, soaps, candles, etc. for sale.

Have you ever been to Orlando? Tell me your favorite part about your trip!

5 Don’ts For When You’re Traveling

1. Don’t forget a back up plan

Even trips where you’re winging it require some kind of plan. You never know when the bus you bought tickets for will get delayed and leave you with no ride to the airport (cough, cough, Greyhound).

2. Don’t overpack

Carry ons are really all you need. I usually bring a few pieces I can swap around and create new outfits out of.

3. Don’t forget the do not disturb sign

I don’t know about you guys, but the one thing I hate about hotels is always being intruded on – which is why I prefer airbnb’s. Someone is always knocking to clean or calling to ask something and I just want to be alone!

4. Don’t glue yourself to your phone

My favorite part about going out of the country is only having wifi when I’m chilling in the hotel. I don’t really preach putting your phone down often, but it’s nice when you’re on vacation to enjoy the moment and the people you’re with.

5. Don’t take pictures of everything

Yes, everything is amazing and DO take photos. I have a pretty bad memory so I can usually look back at one photo and get an amazing reminder of a whole day. But you don’t want to travel through a lens. There are plenty of things to do that aren’t instagram worthy or that you can just keep for yourself.

Let me know your tips below!

hc
Photo by: https://www.flickr.com/photos/grapefruitbrains/