I won’t lie, I have never put much thought into my “travel style” until my fabulous blogger friend Angie from Silverspoon London tagged me in her recent post describing the things that characterize her travel style. I enjoyed learning about some details that guide her luxurious vacations and it motivated me to share some of my own with you all.
1. Travel Itineraries. Oh, if only you knew how many times have my friends laughed at me about this. London, Paris, Prague, Rome, Barcelona, New York, San Francisco… I’ve done it for each and every place I’ve visited. Sometimes I wish I could just let go and play it by the ear, but I truly cannot. I don’t want to miss out on any major sight that I could see during my visit. I believe that having a clear travel plan helps you make most of your experience at your destination. For example, for our upcoming trip to Hong Kong (Eeek!) I started with researching all the best places there is to see and things to do in the city. For that I usually use official travel guides like Fodor’s Travel and Lonely Planet; travel sections of Huffington Post, BBC and CNN; and most importantly look for bloggers who have traveled to or are based at the same place and share their personal tips and finds. It’s the best way to get a solid piece of advice. Pinterest is usually a perfect place to start looking for the bloggers, and you can check out how my HK board is currently shaping up. I then compile a list of all the places that interest me and start mapping them using TripAdvisor app. Green hearts are for sights and orange hearts are for restaurants. Did you know you could do that? You guys, it’s a lifesaver! It helps me better visualize what is where and plan the visits accordingly.
Since food travel is essential part of our trips, I also make a list of all the places I’d want us to eat at and map them too. I then divide everything by location and come up with a logical itinerary of all the places we’d be hitting in our time-frame. Knowing your approximate agenda also helps make reservations at restaurants where you’d otherwise have to queue for hours. Last but not least, I also make sure to include some “down time” in-between our explorations so that J doesn’t bail on me.
2. Luxury Dining and Food Travel. J and are self-proclaimed food enthusiasts and make sure to dine at at least one, if not more, highly acclaimed fine dining restaurants everywhere we travel. So far we have enjoyed dinners at Nobu in Atlantis Dubai, Komi in Washington D.C., Guy Savoy in Las Vegas just to name the few, not to mention a number of memorable meals in Tokyo. This is a common passion and ritual we have, share and cherish. Now you can really imagine how excited we are about our trip to Hong Kong. ;) Having said that, it is also paramount for us to soak up the local flavors and at times the best places to do it are local markets and mom-an-pop eateries that I love to explore so much.
3. Staying at Airbnb. I think that Airbnb is a genious invention and whoever is behind it deserves nothing but praise. For the last few years I have booked apartments via airbnb (San Francisco, Los Angeles, Kyoto, Osaka) and I have not been disappointed yet. While I love the fact that it is much cheaper to book airbnb apartment than stay in a hotel, I mainly appreciate the fact that I get to live like a local while visiting a city. It’s like getting an insight into local lifestyle on a whole new level. Having said that, I believe that one should never be shy to splurge on a comfort of a luxury hotel whenever possible.
4. Photography. If there is one thing I never travel without it’s my camera. I have learned tons about photography since I started my blog and hope to develop my skills further in the future. I love freezing all the beautiful moments we’ve experienced and relive them over time. I should follow Angie’s advice and start printing them though and making little books for each of our travels. Do you print your photos? 5. Unique experiences. I have started planning something unique everywhere we travel. For example, we absolutely loved a food tour of San Juan which was a fun way to tour the city as we munched on local specialties. Dune bashing followed by a dinner in a desert in Dubai was also absolutely unforgettable. Enjoying Luau in Maui was a true eye-opener for learning about local culture and traditions. Whether it is whale watching in Boston, surfing in Hawaii or scuba diving in St. Kitts, everywhere you go there is a unique experience awaiting which will enrich your life and that’s why I have irrevocably fallen in love with traveling in the first place.
So how do you plan your travels? What’s your travel style? Let me know in the comments!