Hey y’all- hope you’re having a good week. I’m excited that we finally got some snow here in central NC! My mind may currently be in cozy homebody mode, but today’s post is all about travel. I’m participating in the Love Blog Challenge link-up hosted by Belle Brita. Not only is Brita a blogger friend, but I personally know her from my time at Furman, long before blogging was even a thing! One of this week’s Love Blog Challenge prompts is all about travel, so I’m going to share my thoughts on travel. I’ve done travel guide posts for some of my favorite destinations, but none with general reflections on travel. So keep reading to learn more about where I grew up going on vacations and how that has shaped my current travel preferences. In addition, I will also share some tips on how to find your ideal travel buddy!

My Travel History

To he honest, I’m not very well-traveled at all. In 2009, my parents got me a passport just so I would have it on hand if I needed it. Fast forward to 2019, and it expired with zero stamps. I’ve never been north of the Mason-Dixon Line or east of the Mississippi River. For a visual representation of just how little of the US I’ve seen, check out this map. The Bahamas is the only foreign country I’ve ever been to. Although my travel experienced may not be broad, I still consider myself very privileged with respect to the places I have vacationed. And I’ve been to my favorite destinations frequently enough that I consider myself somewhat of an expert.

Growing up, Walt Disney World and the North Carolina coast (specifically Emerald Isle) were where my family vacationed most frequently. Seven of my 10 trips to Disney World were family vacations before I turned 18. The even before my family bought a house in Emerald Isle my junior year of high school, we would rent a place there for 1-2 weeks nearly every summer. Because of my happy childhood memories in Disney World and Emerald Isle, those remain my two favorite vacation spots today. (However, I definitely have more opportunities to travel to Emerald Isle, since it’s in weekend trip driving distance and I don’t have to pay for accommodations or theme park tickets.)

Disney World
(My first trip to Disney World. Not pictured-my parents escorting me screaming and crying out of a restaurant because I spilled water on my menu.)

Emerald Isle, NC

Additional family vacations I took growing up include Williamsburg, VA; Boone/Blowing Rock, NC; Charleston, SC; a weekend trip to Hilton Head when my dad had a conference; and a Royal Carribean cruise to The Bahamas (my one international trip). I also visited Washington DC with my 4th grade class (and got sick on the bus ride back and was hospitalized with pneumonia a couple days later). Then in 6th grade I went to Savannah, GA with my Girl Scout troop to see Juliette Gordon Low’s birthplace.

There’s a lot more places I want to visit. Also, my current budget doesn’t allow for frequent travel to destinations without free accommodations. Nevertheless, I’m thankful for all the travel opportunities I have had!

Find Your Travel Buddy

I hope and pray to be able to make vacation memories with a family of my own someday. But in the meantime, my best friend has made the most awesome travel buddy during my single young adult years. In fact, my favorite vacation ever was the girls’ trip we took to Disney World the year I turned 30! Over the past several years, we’ve also taken girls’ trips to Emerald Isle & Wrightsville Beach, NC; Williamsburg, VA; and Greenville, SC. This means we’ve vacationed together in four different states! Here are a couple big reasons why my best friend conveniently makes the best travel buddy:

We have similar priorities when it comes to accommodations.

My bestie and I have similar attitudes about hotels. While we both know and accept that The Ritz is out of our budget, we also need to stay at a minimum of a Hampton Inn tier hotel. Neither one of us wants to stay in a sketchy budget motel, regardless of how much money it will save. This makes planning trips together convenient, because we can easily agree to split the cost of a room at the Hampton Inn in half!

We enjoy doing similar things on vacation.

This is especially apparent with beach trips. I’m the type of person who likes to stay out on the beach with a good book for hours on end. I don’t even think about heading back up to the beach house to shower and get ready for dinner until at least 5:00, usually closer to 6:00. If I’m going out to eat while at the beach I don’t like to have dinner reservations that force me to go back up to the house and get ready before I really want to.

So if I want to stay out on the beach until 6:30pm, I can. And I don’t care if it’s 8:30 before I eat dinner, or if I have to wait at a restaurant. Beach time when the weather is good beats anything! My bestie has a similar approach to beach vacations as well, which is why we are a good fit for traveling together.

In addition, we tend to enjoy a combination of rest and sightseeing on other vacations. When we went to Disney World, we devoted almost our entire arrival day to simply relaxing at our resort pool, rather than hitting the parks immediately. Then on a couple of our park days, we took time to go back to the resort pool and rest. Even when we stay at a Hampton Inn, we like to devote time to relaxing with drinks from their 24/7 coffee bar!

Goofy at Cape May Cafe

Emerald Isle, NC

I hope that you enjoyed this post! You can check out my other travel posts here, including some travel guides to some of my favorite places.

What were your favorite vacations as a child, and where are your favorite places to vacation now? And who is your favorite traveling companion?

Also, don’t forget that you can follow me on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. You can also subscribe to my e-newsletter here. Also, if you know someone who would enjoy this post, please share with them!

-xoxo Liz

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