Africa, a place known for its incredible wildlife and the Big 5 animals. We had never been to Africa before (we had tried to go to Morocco twice, but both times were unfortunately cancelled by COVID) so it took some planning to figure out the best itinerary for our trip. We ended up deciding to go on a 3-week trip to East Africa, starting from Kenya for the famous Giraffe Manor, then heading to Tanzania to see the Serengeti, then a stop in Zanzibar for some beach time, and finally to Rwanda and Uganda for gorilla trekking. So if you are into a little adventure with beautiful backdrops, incredible wildlife, luxury lodges, and the friendliest people to guide you on your way, then this Africa itinerary might be for you!
Many people have asked how we are able to travel so much...one month it's New Zealand, and another month it's Canada. The key is to plan ahead - and to use a couple of trip planning strategies that we've really nailed down. And yes, I'm a bit of a detailed planner - so much that people say I should plan trips for a living - so here are my tips on how to travel on a budget!
Most people will tell you that 1 week in Japan is not nearly enough. And even if you did 1 week in Japan, there's no way you would think of going anywhere outside of the main cities - possibly Tokyo, Kyoto, and Osaka and that's it. But for experience seekers like us, this might be the itinerary for you, or at the very least, inspiration to add to your longer trip! We had already been to Japan once before (you can check out our last Japan Travel Guide blog post!) This time we had a few goals in mind - eat all the good food, bring back a luggage full of souvenirs, and experience authentic Japanese ryokans (traditional Japanese inn) and onsens (hot springs) that we had loved so much from our last trip. Most of the places we visited were ones few travel guides had listed, so it took hours of deep dive Google searching to plan out this trip. If you're ready for some travel inspiration, check out this 2023 travel guide with a 1-week Japan itinerary below!
Vietnam and Thailand Travel Guide: 3-Weeks in Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, Ha Giang, Ninh Binh, Phong Nha, Hoi An + Koh Phi Phi, Railay, Krabi, Chiang Mai
Though Vietnam was not always on our bucket list of travel destinations, it quickly rose to top after reading more about the amazing hiking, culture, and food that this country had to offer. Plus, pho was always my go-to comfort food in the winter (with spring rolls being my go-to food in the summer!) so we were super excited to finally take a cooking class there. It was an incredible 3 weeks in Vietnam and Thailand - we got to ride motorbikes through the mountain passes of Ha Giang, spend a night in Ha Long Bay, explore temples in Ninh Binh, trek through a jungle to camp in a cave, watch the lanterns light up Hoi An, swim in the clearest blue waters of Pileh Lagoon, rock climb at Railay Beach, and hang out with elephants near Chiang Mai. Check out the rest of our 3-week Vietnam and Thailand itinerary below!
Most of California is known for its great weather year-round, but the one thing we don't get is a true fall season like the East Coast does. So we made it our mission to find fall colors in California! We had already roadtripped through much of California, including visiting Yosemite in all different seasons, driving up and down the California coast to see the redwoods and cliffs, and hitting up the desert in Joshua Tree and Death Valley, but somehow had not been to Mammoth Lakes. When researching Mammoth Lakes, we found that the Eastern Sierra mountain range was the best place to see fall colors in California so we timed our trip for mid-October. Not only did we get to see the beautiful trees change colors, but we also got to soak in the most incredible natural hot springs and see the Milky Way clearly with our own eyes. Check out this 3-day itinerary for seeing the fall colors in Mammoth Lakes and Yosemite National Park (and it's dog-friendly too!)
Faroe Islands had always been on our bucket list - it drew us in with its Iandscapes reminiscent of Iceland without the crowds. Rich in culture, salmon, and sheep, this country captured our hearts as we spent 7 days trekking through the rain and wind and mud to see the epic cliffs. If you enjoy quiet coffee shops, epic adventure, and off-beat adventures, check out our 7-day itinerary for the Faroe Islands!
Did you know that there is a place where the sun never sets? We knew that we wanted to visit Norway in the summer for this very reason - to chase the midnight sun. And it was well worth it! Romantic fishing villages, small towns connected by bridges, and some of the most incredible views you will ever find make it easy to see why the Lofoten Islands are a pilgrimage destination for so many hikers and thrill seekers around the world. Check out our 9-day itinerary in Norway for travel inspiration and tips!
This trip was a few years in the making - our original destination had actually been Morocco. Since it was too expensive to fly straight into Marrakech from San Francisco, we booked flights to Lisbon instead, with smaller flights in between the two cities. Just as we were getting closer to our trip date, Morocco closed its borders. Scrambling to figure out a backup plan, we weren't sure if we wanted to go or postpone for another time given all the travel restrictions. After a few days and nights of nonstop research, I stumbled upon the island of Madeira. It had a variety of landscapes that got us excited for our trip again - epic mountain views, beautiful coastlines, and lush waterfalls. We decided to still go on the trip and spent most of our time on the island of Madeira, while still hitting up the iconic sights of the Algarve Coast and Sintra castles on mainland Portugal. Check out our 8-day itinerary in Portugal!
The Dolomites had always been at the top of our bucket list - we had seen countless photos from fellow elopement photographers of the epic mountain views and famous Lago di Braies with its crystal clear blue waters. When travel started re-opening, we planned a summer trip to Iceland, but were unable to go to our second destination (Norway) because it was closed to tourists. So I hopped onto the Google Flights Explore page to see where we could fly to from Reykjavik. (Pro travel tip: Just put in your starting location and you'll be able to find out where you can fly to and even put filters like budget or non-stop only!) Just 16 days before we were leaving for Iceland, we decided to book a flight to Milan and rushed to plan the second half of our trip in just a few weeks. Luckily I had already mapped out most of the spots I wanted to go to on a Google Map, but it definitely wasn't without a few hiccups along the way. Check out our 5-day campervan itinerary in the Dolomites!
Iceland, the land of fire and ice. For years, we were skeptical about Iceland because of how popular it had gotten. Could it really be that magical with hundreds of tourists crowding to get that one Instagram shot? Anyone and everyone seemed to be going to Iceland, not just the avid adventure seekers. But maybe because we had gone just at the right time (COVID restrictions had just lifted), on top of going to all the famous sights at 4 AM when the midnight sun rose - it ended up being one of our favorite trips. Check out our itinerary for 1 week in Iceland!