I tend to plan our trips far in advance. For one thing, I like to take advantage of early booking fees when I can and I also just like having things done and set. It’s also nice to know what you have to look forward to for the rest of the year. We’ve either already booked or at least decided on most of our trips for 2017 and I am already thinking ahead to 2018 as well (I know, I’m weird). Here is what we have on the agenda for 2017 and my travel lusts beyond that.
French Polynesia – April 2017
We are planning on a 7 day trip to French Polynesia to celebrate our 15 year wedding anniversary next year. We’ll be spending time at the Sofitel Hotel on Moorea and doing the overwater bungalow at the St. Regis Hotel on Bora Bora for a few days as well. The plan is to do as little as possible though I am sure we will end up doing a sunset sail and go snorkeling a few times on both islands. French Polynesia is hard to plan so I actually used a travel agent for the first time to book this trip. They were able to get us extra benefits (free breakfast, free wifi, spa treatments included) that I couldn’t get just booking directly.
Mid-Coast Maine – August 2017
We usually don’t take a traditional full week summer vacation like most people do and we opt instead for a few weekend trips here and there. However, we think that next year it would be a good idea to break up the monotony of the long, miserably hot summer in Texas and go someplace up north. After hem-hawing around, I think we are set on finding a rental house on the Maine coast between Freeport and Acadia. I have some research to do to find the right place but we have lots of options. Cool evenings, lobster rolls, hiking and clambakes sound perfect right now.
Central Coast California/Santa Barbara – November 2017
This is an area we have been to many times before and we love Santa Barbara and the surrounding wine country (Santa Rita Hills, Santa Ynez Valley) and the cute towns of Los Olivos and Solvang. We belong to several different wineries’ wine clubs in the area so we get many free tastings and other perks when we visit. We usually fly into Santa Barbara’s tiny airport via Phoenix and we have rented a house in Los Olivos many times but next year we plan to mix it up. We plan to fly into Los Angeles and rent a car, stop for lunch in Malibu and then drive up to Santa Barbara for 4 or 5 days at a wine country rental home before returning to LA for a 1 or 2 night stay at the Beverly Hills Hotel for fun.
2018 and Beyond….
Right now I am in major points hoarding mode. I am saving airline miles and hotel points for a big 2 week trip in 2018. I haven’t taken off more than 7 consecutive work days since I took the bar exam over 15 years ago. I think the biggest trip we did was a 10 day trip to Paris (which included the bookended weekend days) a few years back. We usually plan trips over holidays so there is less work interference and while people razz me about how many trips we take each year, many of those trips are only 3 night weekend trips. We typically take off 1 week in early spring and the week of Thanksgiving and then throw in 3 to 4 weekend trips to Santa Fe, New Orleans, Austin or Mexico here and there (and those are also usually on holiday weekends like 4th of July, Memorial Day and Labor Day too).
While I enjoy those short breaks, we don’t get to really and truly decompress and, let’s be honest, taking 5 days off from work is not enough to do something really different and far away. By the time you factor in flight time, it’s not worth taking off only 6 or 7 days from work to go to Australia. Why bother? You can’t get over jetlag in that short of time. So, I am finally ready to bite the bullet and take a big trip somewhere and take a full 2 weeks off in 2018. My number one choice is Asia.
So, in early 2018, we are hoping to plan a 2 week trip that will likely involve Hong Kong, Bali and Singapore. Airline and hotel points will be a must and I will be cashing them in for this trip. There is a direct flight from Dallas to Hong Kong that is 16 hours (one-way) and I don’t want to fly that in coach. Yes, I am a diva.
Beyond that, I have the following places on my “to do” list as well:
Argentina – Buenos Aires and Mendoza wine region
Greece – Athens, Santorini and Crete
Thailand (the Four Seasons Tented Elephant Camp in the Golden Triangle is on my bucket list)
Japan (Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka)
Vienna and Budapest
London and the English Countryside (Cotswolds/Oxford)
So many places, not enough vacation time.