My 5 Favorite Travel Destinations

Since Mexico is only a few short days away I thought it would be fun to put together a post featuring my top 5 favorite travel destinations!

I get a lot of questions about these destinations on Instagram because it seems the guides are kind of hard to find here on the blog (that will be changing very soon with the new website!)

So, for this post I will share why these are my top 5 travel destinations AND I will share the travel guides I have saved for each destination!

Hopefully we can all travel freely again soon. It is good for the soul!

My Top 5 Travel Destinations

1. Hawaii


You should know by now how deep my love for Hawaii runs. I have spent over three months there in my lifetime and we are planning on another month in 2022.

Everyone in Hawaii is so nice! You can drive and explore most of the islands on your own, which we love. In Jan/Feb you can watch the humpback whales (they migrate in to have babies in the warmer water where there are no threats to their young) and you swim alongside turtles almost year-round (but keep your distance, please!) The beaches are stunning and the FOOD IS TO DIE FOR.

Oh, and I can’t forget to mention Mai Tais. After all, we did conceive BOTH of our kids in Hawaii, haha!

We mostly visit Maui, but we have seen all of the islands bu Kauai. That is definitely on our list for our 2022 trip!

Maui has the best food and beaches (in my opinion), and the Road to Hana is a really fun day trip. In Hana you will find one of our favorite beaches in the world- the Red Sand Beach.

The big island of Hawaii has so much to do as well. We went snorkeling with Manta Rays (top list of things to do in Hawaii), visited the black sand beach and the green sand beach, and road down through Waipio Valley.

Oahu definitely has plenty to do on it as well, it is just really crowded there so we tend to steer clear. We loved Pearl Harbor, visiting the North Shore, walking through the pineapple plantations, and hiking Diamond Head.

Hawaii seems like a huge travel destination right now since they require negative covid tests BEFORE entering. This means you can get on the plane and know everyone on there with you has tested negative!

Travel Guides:

THE ROAD TO HANA

BEST OF MAUI TRAVEL GUIDE

HAWAII VACATION- WEEK 1

HAWAII VACATION – WEEK 2

HAWAII VACATION – WEEK 3

HAWAII VACATION – WEEK 4

HAWAII VACATION – WEEK 5

HAWAII VACATION- WEEKS 6 & 7

2. Paris


Paris ahhhh…. what can I say? It is just the dreamiest place I have been. Plus, I went with my mom and we had the BEST 9 days together (it takes about a day to get there and a day to get back so we were in Paris exploring for 7 full days and the other two were travel days)!!

Seriously though, there are MANY places left for me to see in this world and I still 100% want to go back to Paris!

Paris is a romantic city, yes, but I 100% suggest grabbing your mom, sister, or best friend whenever you decide to travel to Paris. You will have such a better time being on a girl’s trip! Plus, my husband has 0 desire to ever visit!

My mom and I did everything you could possibly do in Paris, and we rode the metro the entire time! I loved it. I really got acclimated with the culture of the city by riding their public transport. Plus, we could do WAY MORE because it was much quicker to get around that way.

I could talk all day long about what to do in this beautiful city, but instead I encourage you to read our PARIS TRAVEL GUIDE and then do EVERY SINGLE THING on it when you go to Paris. I wouldn’t leave a single thing out!

7 DAYS IN PARIS- TIPS AND TRICKS

3. Canada

Oh Canada. Canada is where Troy and I got married and it will always have a special place in our hearts. We have explored a lot there, but there is still so much for us to see.

This Fall we plan on renting a car with the kids and cruising around Nova Scotia. We want to travel the entire island and stop in Prince Edward Island. I would also LOVE to see Quebec City at Christmastime (see Katies post on this here!) So magical! Oh and I need to do the Calgary Stampede sometime as well. That would be such a fun rodeo!

In case you didn’t already know, Canadians are HANDS DOWN the nicest people on Earth.

Places in Canada we have been:

Banff/Canmore: This is where we got married and is hands down one of the most beautiful places in the world. You cannot beat the glacier lakes and the beautiful Rocky Mountain backdrop. Think CO Rocky Mountains on steriods.

I highly recommend traveling there in the summer to see it’s true beauty.

Vancouver/Whistler/Vancouver Island: We did this trip together for our one year anniversary (I was pregnant with Miller!) Vancouver is one of the coolest cities I have ever been to. It looks so futuristic when you are flying in. There is so much to see and do there!

While in Vancouver, rent a car and head to Whistler. It is such a beautiful mountain town. The Joffre Lakes hike is hands down our all-time favorite hike we have ever done. You cross not one, but three turquoise glacier lakes on your way up.

After Whistler, finish your trip on Vancouver Island. Rent a car and spent a few days exploring all of the cities along the way. End with a high tea at the Fairmont in Victoria.

Montreal: Seriously one of the coolest cities I have been to! So much history and art. Oh, and I got a massage on an actual boat docked in the water called Bota Bota and it was the best massage of my life!

WHERE TO STAY ON VANCOUVER ISLAND

WHAT TO DO IN WHISTLER

VANCOUVER IN TWO DAYS

THE LOLË WHITE TOUR (Montreal)

OH CANADA- DAY 2 OF OUR WEDDING WEEKEND

4. Mexico

I grew up going to Mexico and have probably been two dozen times, at least. When I lived in Texas it was just the cheapest, quickest flight. Ah, I miss those days!

The culture in Mexico is beautiful, the people are very friendly, and you cannot beat the blues of the Caribbean waters.

Places in Mexico I Have Been:

Everywhere. But really. I have probably been to every beach destination in Mexico. I don’t have many guides on these because we traveled there so often. My parents are/were big scuba divers so we went a couple of times a year as kids. They ended up buying into a time share with Melia resorts since we went there so much so then we went on a couple trips yearly just to use those points! Long story short, name a beach in Mexico and I have prob been on it. Mexico is AMAZING.

Most recently I stayed in Punta Mita with a bunch of girlfriends and had the most amazing time, but my favorite thing to hit up in Mexico is a good, all-inclusive resort.

I took Troy to an all-inclusive in Cancun for his birthday and had the most amazing time. Cancun’s waters are so incredibly beautiful and it is definitely the easiest (and cheapest) place to fly to!

My favorite family vacation spot in Mexico is Isla Mujeres. You take a 30 min water ferry from Cancun and you are there. The island is small enough that you can get from one side to the other in a golf cart in 30 minutes. I recommend staying in an airbnb there with a pool, renting a golf cart, and exploring the island daily. It is filled with amazing beaches, restaurants, bars, and local shops!

Plus, from Isla or Cancun you can get an excursion to swim with the whale sharks- another top 10 thing I have done in my life!

If you always go to Hawaii, or Florida, or some other beach destination, try Mexico next time. You won’t regret it!

PS- Cozumel has some of the best snorkeling! We will be there for 2 weeks so I will definitely put together a guide for you!

I could only find a couple of Mexico guides for you:

ISLA MUJERES GUIDE- WHY YOU SHOULD TRAVEL HERE

WHY YOU SHOULD CHOOSE TO CRUISE

PLAYA DEL CARMEN ROUNDUP

OUR TRIP TO PUNTA MITA

5. Florida

Honestly, this was a struggle between Disney World, Seaside, Las Vegas, Saint Petersburg and Switzerland, haha. I probably could have called this post top 10 travel destinations and go on and on all day. I decided on Florida so that I could bundle Seaside and Disney together (cheater, I know). Plus, Saint Petersburg is nearly impossible to get to, so that just wouldn’t be fair.

I am a sucker for Disney World and Universal Studios. Troy- when can we go back. OMG I just dream of the day when Miller gets to hug Mickey Mouse. She is going to DIE!

I have always been a huge Disney fan, and you know I am a HUGE Harry Potter fan, so I have SO MUCH FUN at both of those parks. I also love to ride rides and love walking around Epcot and just love ALL OF THE THINGS! Troy and I stayed at a Disney resort last time we went and had so much fun. We took a ferry to and from the park each day.

As soon as character meet and greets are back, we are definitely taking Miller to Disney!  Until then, maybe Troy and I can go on our own…

Seaside is another favorite. It is easy to get to, you don’t need a passport, and the white sand is gorgeous. There are so many cute restaurants and shops there. I highly recommend staying somewhere close enough so that you can ride a bike to the beach!

Here are a couple of travel guides I have for these places and I went ahead and added in Switzerland too (my friend and I did 10 days in Switzerland and had the most amazing time!):

FLORIDA TRIP- PART 1

FLORIDA TRIP- PART 2

MY STAY AT THE HILTON SANDESTIN

TIPS FOR TACKLING DISNEY WORLD WITH KIDS

SWITZERLAND ITINERARY- PART 1

SWITZERLAND ITINERARY- PART 2

List of places I would love to see one day:

More of Italy (I have only been to Milan and Como)

Greece

Croatia

Cape Town (would love to do a Safari while there)

Argentina

Alaska

Australia/New Zealand

Bali

Cuba

Hopefully I can travel to at least one of these in the next couple of years and update this list after doing so!

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE tell me what is on your top 5  travel destinations list and why! I have so many places I still want to visit and need help deciding which to see first! I would love to hear all of your favorite spots!

xox Amanda

6 Comments

  1. March 22, 2021 / 11:30 pm

    I grew up in NYC, but moved to Nova Scotia (Cape Breton) in 1975. I have an Airbnb and strongly advise visitors to allow more time for Cape Breton. It really is the “destination” in NS. Too many visitors spend their valuable holiday time touring the rest of the province, which is nice, but they inevitably regret not allowing enough time for the island across the Canso Causeway.

  2. Lana
    March 19, 2021 / 12:40 am

    I agree with your list: love all the places on your list. As a Canadian (from Calgary), wanted to return the compliment that Hawaiians and Texans are the nicest, friendliest people on earth. For real!!
    Couple of tips for you: it can be dang cold in Quebec City in Dec or Jan….. -15 to -20F brrrr cold. Canadians find that brutally cold. I worry about you Texans not enjoying it. Kauai is our fav island but it rains just about everyday Dec – March hence its name the Garden Isle. Maui has more stable weather or if it does rain; it rains for 1-2 hrs and not all day. If you do go, spend most of the time in Maui and spend 5 or 6 days on Kauai. Na Pali coast line and Waimea Canyon are stunning. Stay in Princeville or Poipu, not Kapaa. I agree with the comment about New Zealand. Stunning beauty and lovely people!

  3. Cathi
    March 18, 2021 / 4:31 pm

    So hard to narrow the list to just 5! But, here we go; 1. Italy, I’ve been to Venice, Florence, Rome, Cinque Terre, and Sienna. Love them all and would go back to any of them! 2. Greece, one of the few places I’ve been that looks exactly how I pictured it!! 3. Stockholm, Sweden, I could live here(the only foreign place I’ve felt this way about), 4. London, one of my favorite cities in the world! 5. Jackson, WY and the surrounding area… summer, winter, spring , fall… beautiful anytime of year and so much to do!! Honorable mention: Ireland;Copenhagen, Denmark; Paris, France; Charleston, SC (I’m a native South Carolinian and it never gets old), NYC, Boston and Chicago.
    Going to Saint Lucia this summer and cannot wait. Would like to travel to more places in Canada, Italy has my heart so more time there please, would love to rent a place in the French countryside for a summer, and my 60th birthday dream trip is S. Africa/ safari. So many places!!

  4. MJ
    March 18, 2021 / 1:48 pm

    So hard to rank them but:
    1) AFRICA – we did Capetown, Franschoek (wine country similar to a Napa but waaaay cheaper – amazing food and wine just a couple of hours outside of Capetown), and 2 safari lodges (one near the SA/Botswana border and one near the Botawana/Zimbabwe border near Victoria Falls). Trip of a lifetime and we want to go back every decade (sooner if it weren’t so far and expensive).
    2) TURKEY – Cappadocia and Istanbul
    3) Kauai
    4) Tie between a week driving around in Tuscany or southern and western Ireland. The food probably breaks the tie (Italian!)
    5) RUSSIA – Moscow and St Petersburg. definitely not for everyone but the most culturally unique place we have been (Moscow esp; St Pete was way more European)

    • MJ
      March 18, 2021 / 5:29 pm

      I change my mind – Paris is also up there – love it more than Russia!

  5. Angela Booles
    March 18, 2021 / 5:37 am

    I haven’t been to as many places as you have and I love reading about your experiences and your opinion on all the things in each place. I would say my top 5 are 1. Hawaii 2. Mexico I’ve been a few times. I think my fav was Cancun so far. 3. Jamaica 4. Orange Beach 5. Colorado. My top list of places to go: Maldives, Canada, Greece, Alaska, Bora Bora, Thailand, St. Thomas. Other places I’d love to Carolinas, Montana, Virgin Islands and I’d love to take the road trip you guys took I think it was in the fall…I don’t remember all the places you guys went but it was beautiful that time of year!!!

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