Planning Our Next BIG Trip

In April of 2020 my husband and I will celebrate our 30th Wedding Anniversary. Time has certainly flown by!  I like to celebrate anniversaries with a trip.  We have always loved to travel together.  He always goes along with the crazy adventures I plan.  We have so much fun together!

For our 10th we were on a low-budget so we took a Carnival Cruise.  I feel like cruises are affordable since most of your travel, lodging and food are included.   It was a nice cruise out of New Orleans that had us in town for the French Quarter Festival and then back for Easter parades. The cruise stopped in Cozumel – Mexico, Georgetown – Grand Cayman and Montego Bay – Jamaica. It was an exciting 5 days full of activities and beaches with bonus parades and entertainment while we were in New Orleans.

For our 20th there was no real big trip.  But that was ok.   The economy was terrible  and  we were busy planning a graduation for our oldest and getting ready to send him off to college.  A big trip just wasn’t in the cards that year.

For our 25th we did it up with a 2 week tour of Italy.  Fabuloso!  Love, love, loved it! We explored Italy from top to bottom (not quite all the way to the toe). A highlight on that trip was getting  to spend my birthday in Venice complete with a gondola ride and serenade. Unbelievable. I really love Italy. We had the best time.

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Other non-anniversary trips we have taken the last few years 

  • Inner Harbor – Baltimore, MD (Not FOR our anniversary, but it fell on our anniversary….)
  • Several trips to Texas (including one road trip adventure from MI with stops in Memphis, San Antonio and a few days on the beach at N. Padre Island)
  • Lots of trips to Traverse City, MI
  • Petoskey, MI
  • Oh yeah, and 14 days in Europe this year. (London, Belgium, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, and France)

Over the years we have taken several trips to Disney World (including part of our honeymoon), Myrtle Beach, and Las Vegas. I am looking for something different this time. I just don’t know what.

Not a cruise. We have done 2 and they served there purpose at the times we took them, but not my favorite type of trip.

We talked about Alaska, but just didn’t get stoked when we researched it like we usually do when planning an adventure.  Maybe in a few more years.

Mark is not a fan of toooo much adventure so no eco-trips to Costa Rica. Drat! (He has a no bug net rule and doesn’t really love heights).  I am definitely an adventurer and  I don’t relax well. I need something to keep me engaged at all times.

This is where you guys come in, I need your suggestions for where we should go. Someplace amazing and full of Mark speed adventure!

Places we have considered (but any place is still fair game):

  • Road trip out West
  • Scotland and Ireland
  • Bali (more my flavor than Marks)
  • Portugal and Spain
  • Alaska
  • Sicily, Sardinia, +/or Malta
  • Greece
  • Northwest US and Vancouver
  • Venice>Milan>Paris to do things we didn’t have time for on our last trips
  • Key West
  • Australia/New Zealand

For big vacations I start planning about a year out. Doing the research, figuring out the best approach, planning the budget and getting the most bang for our buck. So I need to start planning as we roll into 2019.

READER CHALLENGE

I want you guys to leave your comments, thoughts and suggestions. Pull from your travel experiences, memorable vacations or places you have always wanted to go to help us pick a destination.

Keep in mind Mark likes beer and beaches and I like history and adventure!  I would cage dive with sharks, he would watch from the boat.  A fine combination.

Looking forward to your comments!  

5 thoughts on “Planning Our Next BIG Trip

  1. I appreciate your time and love the great suggestions. I agree about doing the hard trips first (decided that after watching folks struggle on our first trip to Italy). 😊

  2. Happy anniversary! (way in advance)

    Based on when you got married, I’m assuming you’re roughly the same age as Joe and me (mid-40 to early 50s). Personally, I’m finding the trips that require more walking up/down hills more difficult as I get older, so we’re starting to plan the more “difficult” trips (note: we don’t do adventure LOL) now, with the assumption that they’re going to get even more difficult as time goes on. Hence our trip to Germany next Xmas instead of seeing fall colors in the NE US next fall 😉 So you may want to keep that in mind. YMMV.

    Of your list, we’ve been to a few places…

    Road trip out west – we did that over 2 weeks last year. LOTS of fun! Phoenix, Sedona, Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Disneyland
    We’ve done Ireland, not Scotland yet – anyway, Ireland is very green and lovely. The people are friendly. We loved it!
    Alaska – Meh. I’ve done 2 Alaskan cruises. I’m not much of a cruise person so there’s that. But unless you do Disney Cruise, it’s all old people. And the excursions were OK (OK, the salmon fishing was awesome but it would’ve been nice if I had actually caught a fish. EITHER time). Save it for when you’re old 😉
    Key West – save it for a not-so-big vacation. It’s REALLY not in the same category as what you’re looking for, I don’t think
    Australia/New Zealand – Again, did Aus, not NZ. Sydney is now one on my most favorite cities in the world (it’s like NY and London combined). Sydney Opera House tour! Climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge!

    Other suggestions:
    Japan – granted, not as exotic as Bali but still very different from the US, yet with lots of similarities. I’ve been 5 times, Joe 4 (and we’re going back in 2020, for the Olympics). Oh, and Tokyo Disneyland/Tokyo DisneySea are AMAZING (and this is from someone who is generally pretty cynical about Disney)
    Hawaii – lush, green, volcanoes, caves
    Places in Europe you haven’t been
    Places in Europe where you have been but get to spend some quality time there (we spent 5 days in Salzburg, Austria and did all the things. And you could spend 2 weeks in England and still not see everything)
    Not sure where you live, but….NYC?
    New Orleans as a trip itself – not just to get on a cruise ship 🙂 (although granted, it could be another long weekend, TBH)
    Cuba – I turned 50 in Havana, because the gates has just opened to tourists and I could ;-). Granted, it was during the previous administration and we had more freedom when visiting. But you can still go with a tour or a guide and it should be OK. Or as part of a cruise (we’re looking into that now, for early 2019, if we can find one that we like).

    That’s all I’ve got for now. Good luck!

  3. Paris! Ignore the rude Parisians! Picture this, 30th wedding anniversary dinner cruise on the Seine, eating magret de canard à l’orange and côte de bœuf and sipping on a glass or two or three of French wine as a lit up you pass a lit up Eiffel Tower while a violinist plays Chopin in the background. Doesn’t get any more romantic than that! Also you have to go on a Paris food and wine tour and take the train to Reims to stock up on Champagne. There’s a cathedral in Reims where the kings of France were crowned. France has such a deep history and rich culture, three trips and I don’t think I even scratched the surface.

    Greece is my second pick. Spend only a couple of days in Athens to see the Acropolis then head to the islands. Seafood on the islands is fresh and delicious. Greece isn’t well known for their wine and beer but they have OUZO! Rent a moped or side by side but not right after the ouzo to explore the islands. Santorini is a must but touristy. They do have wineries on the island. We went to one that was pretty good. We also went to a brewery there; Bryan wasn’t impressed but had a fun experience. Paros is where the locals go to vacation but I think their secret is out. There’s a clay beach on Paros; you can give yourself a spa treatment. Some people we met on our trip recommended Crete for the food.

    Third pick is California – San Francisco, Napa/Sanoma Valley, Muir Woods, Point Reyes, Monterey, Yosemite NP. Time permitting, head to LA via Highway 1 if it is open (i.e., a landslide didn’t take a chunk of it out). It might be a problem for Mark though with his dislike of heights.

    Not on the list is Maui and the Big Island. Mai Tai on the beach?!?!? Plenty of things to see and do. Not sure about swimming with sharks but you can night snorkel with manta rays.

  4. If you haven’t been to California I would definitely check out Napa valley/Sonoma. Breweries and Wineries a plenty! Plus you can always fly in to San Fran and visit Alcatraz on the way out. Scotland and Ireland are a hot spot these days because of the Outlander series. But there’s plenty of history and whiskey to go around! And who wouldn’t love a trip down under to Australia!

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