photo: Carrie Kellenberger/Flickr
I have to admit it – I’m not that sad to say goodbye to 2015. It was a pretty crazy year: I moved from New York City back to my hometown of Boston, started a new job in tech public relations that is a pretty big departure from what I was doing before (fashion) and enrolled in a night class that took up a lot more of my time than originally expected. I had a few drastic changes in my personal life as well – let’s just say, I’m a totally different person than I was on Jan. 1, 2015! While ultimately I think I came out on top, my fingers are crossed that 2016 will be just as exciting but maybe not quite as tumultuous.
On the blog front, I changed my website’s name to The Weekend Jetsetter and have a ton of amazing new content planned for 2016. The transition to my new site has been slow, but that’s because I’ve been focusing my efforts on behind-the-scenes work that will ultimately make The Weekend Jetsetter amazing.
In terms of travel, in 2015 I visited Mexico, Norway, Italy, Colombia and Iceland. In the US, I also traveled to San Francisco, Chicago, Atlanta, Colorado and Michigan for the first time and revisited Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, upstate New York, Washington D.C. and Virginia. I’d call it a good year!
As for what’s coming next? Here are the 2016 travel destinations I’m either planning or hoping to visit. And stay tuned, because at the bottom I have a special holiday gift for you!
#1 – Martinique
photo: Sébastien Avenet/Flickr
I’ll actually be ringing in 2016 on the French Caribbean island of Martinique, which is located between Saint Lucia and Dominica. No one seems to have heard of this tiny tropical locale, as everyone assumes I’m going to St. Maarten or Mauritius when I tell them. Why go to Martinique now? Well, December was the first month that Norwegian Air launched direct flights there from Boston and New York, and prices are so good, there’s literally no excuse not to go. I’m talking $69 each way. Not even kidding! Once you arrive, there’s plenty to do. From the colorful capital city of Forte-de-France, the beautiful beach towns of the south and the Mount Pelée volcano to the north, there are so many things I’m excited to check out.
#2 Miami, Florida
photo: Ed Webster/Flickr
This will be my third trip to Miami in the past year, and with good reason: my best friend from living in New York relocated there right around the same time I moved to Boston! The first weekend of February I’ll be flying down there to celebrate my birthday. I love having someone there to show me a different side of Miami outside of the typical tourist traps – like the up-and-coming Wynwood arts district.
#3 Dallas, Texas
photo: Michael Zanussi/Flickr
Dallas was the most affordable place to fly during the President’s Day long weekend, so off I go! I’m not quite sure what I’m going to do there beyond hunt down some delicious Tex-Mex food, so suggestions are welcome.
#4 Paris, France
photo: Moyan Brenn/Flickr
I booked this trip due to an amazing airfare deal back in the summer, but in the aftermath of the Paris terrorist attacks, I think it’s more important than ever to travel to the city. Reports that their tourism is struggling make me sad, as Paris is such a beautiful city that everyone should see in their life. I’m personally so excited to spend a four-day weekend there at the end of February and experience Paris in winter for the first time.
#5 Palawan, Philippines
photo: Allan Ascaño/Flickr
Anyone who works in social media marketing: you’ll appreciate this. I follow the Philippines’ tourism account on Instagram and the pictures they post are to die for. I’ve been dreaming about traveling there for almost a year, and then one day last month I happened upon a deal too good to pass up: a $500 round trip flight from the US. Knowing little except for the fact that it’s Instagrammable, I booked a ticket. I then struggled to figure out which of the 7000+ islands to spend my precious six day vacation on and finally settled on Palawan. I’ll spend most of the week in a remote beach town, and also visit the city of Puerto Princesa. This will be my first foray into Asia (and first time taking a whole week off from work at once in two years) and I can’t wait!
#6 Seoul, South Korea
photo: Emmanuel DYAN/Flickr
On the way back from the Philippines, I have a 15-hour layover in Seoul. You bet I’m going to leave the airport, see the city a bit and obviously hunt down some delicious Korean BBQ!
#7 Big Sur, California
photo: Brand (bpprice)/Flickr
A road trip to see the cliffs and coastline of Big Sur has been on my to-do list for what seems like forever, and now that my sister has settled semi-permanently in San Francisco for med school, I have no excuse not to go in 2016. I have my heart set on “glamping” in a yurt, so fingers crossed it works out.
It’s pretty shameful that I’ve lived a four-hour drive from the Canadian border my entire life, yet never visited our neighbor to the north. Montreal, Quebec City, Banff National Park, Vancouver and Toronto are all places I want to see, and I’m hoping that in 2016 I’ll cross one or two of them off the list!
photo: Christopher Michel/Flickr
I’ve set a goal to earn enough miles for a free flight to Hawaii next year, and now that I’ve put it on the Internet I might have to hold myself accountable.
#10 Eastern Europe
photo: Moyan Brenn/Flickr
I feel like I’m missing out on a whole other world having only traveled in the western half of Europe. Prague, Budapest, Riga and Tallinn are all on my bucket list, and I’m hoping to snag a great deal on a flight to Europe in the fall. We’ll see which city wins!
So I’m going to end this list with a very ambitious goal. Because hitting four continents in one year would be pretty awesome, right? I feel like Chile doesn’t get the international travel media attention it deserves thanks to its better-known neighbors Argentina and Peru, but having done some research I’m really interested in visiting the Atacama Desert and Patagonia, along with the major city of Santiago and artsy town of Valparaiso. Who knows, maybe I’ll ring in 2017 in Chile!
So now that I’ve shared the 2016 travel destinations on my agenda, I have a gift for you! Since I started blogging, the top question I receive from readers is: how the heck do you afford to travel so much? Well, there’s no trust fund and aside from the occasional family vacation, my parents aren’t paying for it. So what’s my secret?
Well, it took me 22 pages to explain, so I wrote an eBook: How I Afford to Travel the World (…on a Real Girl’s Budget). I’m giving this book away for FREE to subscribers of my email list. So just sign up below, and you’ll receive an email with instructions on how to download the PDF.
(Psst! Already a subscriber? Email me and I’ll get you a copy of the eBook).