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My 2019 Travel Plans

It’s difficult to believe we’re already halfway through January! It feels like we were just opening the Christmas presents and it’s already time to start thinking about Valentine’s Day. Before we get too far into the year I wanted to take a minute to share my 2019 travel plans. There are two main reasons for sharing these plans…

  1. I hope one (or more) of these trips inspires your travel in 2019!
  2. I need your tips! If you’ve been to any of these places or have read great blog posts about these places, please drop links and tips into the comments below! A lot of these trips are new locations so I need your advice!

And now a look at my 2019 travel plans…

January

Central California – Route 1

I’m taking a trip to finish up my tour of the 21 California Missions. I’ve been to 17 of the 21 and I’m excited to visit the final four. All four are located in Central California on Route 1 – Pacific Coast Highway – so it will definitely be a scenic trip!

February

San Diego, California

I’ll be heading to San Diego for a work conference and decided to add on a day or two for some sightseeing. The weather in San Diego during the winter is absolute perfection and although I’ve been there before, there is a lot I still haven’t seen!

March

Cap-Haïtien, Haiti

I always try to sneak in one or two sightseeing activities while I’m in Haiti, but the main purpose of my trip is to visit my sister, brother-in-law, and nephews! Because seriously, who can resist this face?!?

It's time to start making your 2019 travel plans! Here's a look at what I have planned this year to help inspire your 2019 travels.

May-July

Europe

Here’s where the crazy travel begins! I’ve spent three weeks in Spain, but this is my first time in Europe beyond that. And I believe you should go big or go home, so I’m heading to England, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, the Czech Republic, Austria, and Switzerland. If you have any thoughts on where to say, what to see, or what to eat, I’ll take them all!

July

North Dakota & Montana

Once this trip is complete I’ll have been to ALL 50 states!! I have been waiting for this trip for a couple of years now since I crossed off states 45-48. But the time has come to visit these last two states!

July – December

I’m not sure yet! I have a list of trips I’d like to take in 2019 but planning the trips already on my calendar has kept me so busy I haven’t had a chance to make travel plans for the second half of the year. Do you have any suggestions? If you do, please leave them below so I can start planning more adventures!

What about you? Where are you going in 2019? I’d love to hear all about your 2019 travel plans in the comments below.

P.S. If you’d like to know more about my Haiti travel you can check out More Than An Earthquake and Cupcakes in Haiti.

Ile à Rats, Haiti
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Travel Inspiration: Road Trip Bloggers

I love traveling and exploring new places and one of my favorite ways to travel is to road trip! There’s just something about not only enjoying a destination, but exploring and discovering new things along the way. I was one when I took my first road trip and I’ve road tripped more than 100,000 miles since then. Along the way I’ve found a lot of travel inspiration from various road trip bloggers.

These bloggers share can’t miss roadside attractions, unique lodging, hole-in-the-wall restaurants that can’t be passed by and adventures to take in places you may never even have considered visiting. These bloggers inspire me to pack up and hit the road so I wanted to pass on that inspiration to you as you plan your next adventure! You can also find great road trip inspiration on Pinterest!

Road Trip Bloggers

Back Road Ramblers – Tara and Eric share about road tripping in the United States and have an interest in small town destinations, traveling with teens, hiking, glamping retreats and more.

Backroad Planet – Howard and Jerrry are from Florida and they travel off the beaten path and share out-of-the-way historical places, scenic routes and the hole-in-the-wall places you just can’t miss.

Dang Travelers – David and Angela are obsessed with travel and highlight amazing locations, pass along budget-friendly tips, share our favorite travel resources, and to post about our journey from part-time to full-time travel.

Exploration America – You’ll have the opportunity to follow this family of five as they explore America one city at a time.

My Road Trip Marriage – The name says it all for Jerry and Rebecca.

If you're looking for some travel inspiration, these road trip bloggers will inspire you to pack a bag and hit the road for your next adventure!
One Road at a Time – Abi and Patti have lived on both coasts and they now redefine retirement one road at a time.

Roost and Wander – Nikki shares a great mix of travel and recipes/traditions from life at home.

Travel Inspired Living – Tonya started her blog in a 31-foot motorhome and has grown and evolved to share thoughts on family travel, travel in the US, cooking in hotel rooms, and as every good road tripper needs…Tonya shares roadside attractions!

Have you been on any road trips lately? Are there other road trip bloggers that inspire you to hit the road for your next adventure? GOTM post signature

More Than An Earthquake

Ayiti.

Land of Mountains.

Pearl of the Antilles.

Long held public perception of Haiti is that it is a country filled with destruction and mass poverty. People imagine millions upon millions of Haitians living in tents unable to feed themselves or their families. People imagine piles of rubble from the buildings that collapsed in the earthquake. People imagine a country only able to survive with the help of outside organizations.

And there are kernels of truth in those perceptions. 25% of Haitians live in extreme poverty. Haiti ranks 163rd out of 188 on the 2016 Human Development Index. The literacy rate hovers around 60%. Haiti is prone to natural disasters and it is indeed a third world country. There is corruption in the country.

But it is also so much more.

It is a country filled with serene beaches, breathtaking waterfalls, vibrant art, and valuable history.

It is a country filled with people working hard despite limited opportunities.

When Haiti gained its independence on January 1, 1804,  it not only became the first black republic in the world, but it became the first country in the Western hemisphere to abolish slavery. There is so much rich history to be gleaned as the Haitian Revolution is the world’s only successful slave rebellion.

Haiti was a major tourist destination in the Caribbean after World War II and people came in droves to visit this island nation. The art, the music, the culture, the beaches drew people in to this nation occupying the western portion of Hispaniola.

Several natural disasters and a tumultuous political period have left pain, heartache, and uncertainty, but they have not extinguished the beauty.

Sans-Souci Palace

The ruins of Sans-Souci Palace, built from 1810-1813, look different than when King Henri I was in residence but what remains nestled in the vibrantly green mountains are worth seeing (And on this point of interest I’m slightly biased because this is where my sister and brother-in-law got married).

Wedding photos courtesy Hunter Kittrell Photography

Ile à rats

Ile à rats, translated Island of Rats, is a serene escape with a misleading name as there is not a rat to be found! However, there is a grove of trees in the center surrounded by fine white sand and snorkeling in waters whose color is not found in the 8-pack of Crayolas but only in the 120-pack!

Haiti travel will reveal a country filled with serene beaches, vibrant art, valuable history and people working hard despite limited opportunities.

Citadelle

The Citadelle sits on top of Bonnet a L’Eveque and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Haiti.  The trail to the Citadel is 7 miles and can be travelled on foot or horseback. The top of the fortress offers breathtaking views in every direction and throughout the fortress you’ll find more than 160 cannons and tens of thousands of cannonballs resting in piles.

Haiti travel will reveal a country filled with serene beaches, vibrant art, valuable history and people working hard despite limited opportunities.

Haiti is so much more than an earthquake and it is open for business. I would highly encourage you to explore the idea of Haiti travel in this beautiful country. The Haitian Tourism Board says it best, “If you like history, culture, adventure and you want to be stimulated by the new and the different, it’s time to EXPERIENCE HAITI.”

Haiti travel will reveal a country filled with serene beaches, vibrant art, valuable history and people working hard despite limited opportunities.

As with most of my posts, some links may be affiliate links. This means at no additional cost to you, I may make a small commission on anything you buy through the link.

If you’d like to experience Haiti travel, I wanted to give you some additional reading I’d encourage you to explore…

Reading about Haiti

Haiti Tourism 

Day in Labadee

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Stretch Your Travel Budget With Groupon Coupons

I have a pretty simple travel philosophy y’all…if there are reasonable ways to save money I’ll do it…because that means more travel!  And if there’s anything I’ve learned from couponing shows, it’s that coupons are a great way to save money.  And Groupon Coupons are no exception!

This is a sponsored post. All opinions are mine. Also, as with most of my posts, this post may contain affiliate or referral links.

So let’s talk about how Groupon Coupons can help you make the most of your travel budget!

*Did you know you can get coupons for Home Away?!?  Hands down this is my #1 suggestion for how to save money when you travel.  Not only is the cost per night often cheaper when you stay in someone’s condo/apartment/home/castle, but you’ll save money in general.  Having access to a kitchen can cut down on food related expenses.  Being able to share the space with more people can cut down on the room cost per person.  And staying with a local often means getting tips and suggestions for visiting like a local…on a local’s budget instead of a tourist budget!

*What many people often forget in their travel budget is costs associated with the trip before and after the actual trip.  Once you factor these in you might find yourself over budget (and that could mean cutting out a future trip!).  So before you go and spend a fortune printing out all of the pictures from your fabulous vacation, head to Easy Canvas Prints for coupons to preserve your memories.

Where will you go with the money you save on your next trip?!?

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Reasons to Road Trip

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Road Trip Week: Reasons to Road Trip

One of the reasons this blog is called, “Girl on the Move,” is because I love traveling…I am literally a girl on the move.  And while I love all kinds of traveling, one of my favorite ways to travel is on a road trip.  So this week is Road Trip Week!  This is a week where I get to share my love of road trips, convince you to take one of your own, and help you have the best road trip possible.  Today, we’re kicking things off with reasons to road trip!

Not sure why I’m qualified to convince you to take a road trip?  It’s quite simple really…I’ve taken a couple hundred hundred thousand miles worth of road trips.  Yup, you read that right!  A COUPLE HUNDRED THOUSAND miles of road trips in just over 30 years.  I’m pretty sure that number qualifies me to convince you to take a road trip!  And now a look at reasons to road trip….

  1. You have control.  When you take a road trip, you have so much more control over your travel plans.  Want to stop at fun breakfast place and get a late start on the day?  No worries, you choose when your car leaves.  Want to stop and see a funky roadside attraction?  No problem, you control when, where, and how often you stop during the day.  When you fly your plane is going to depart and arrive at a designated time (or at least it’s supposed to lol) and so you lose spontaneity.
  2. You can pack as much as you want.  When you head out in your car, you’re not limited to 3-oz bottles of liquid that fit into a quart size bag.  Nope!  You can bring the Costco size version of your favorite shampoo if you want.  Not sure which shoes you’ll want on the trip?  Bring them all…you’re not limited to a bag that will fit in the overhead bin or will cost you $75 to check.  You can take as much as you want!
  3. The views! I will admit that I have seen some pretty amazing views from my window seat on the airplane but it just doesn’t compare to the views I’ve seen on road trips.  An up close and personal look at mountains, deserts, raging rivers, small towns, thriving cities…I’ve seen it all from my car.  And going back to #1, because you are in control you can stop the car at any point and get out and experience the view for yourself.
  4. Quality time.  This is probably going to sound crazy to most people, but I love the quality time you get with friends and family when you take a road trip.  One of my craziest road trip experiences was one day after my brother-in-law arrived in the United States for the first time (yup, you read that right…ONE day!) and our family set off on a two-week road trip around the country.  It was absolutely priceless to be able to get to know my brother-in-law and see him experience the United States for the very first time (and trains. and snow. and so much more!)
  5. Time freezes.  All of travel leaves you with memories, but there is just something about the added road trip time that gives you extra special moments.  It’s like this break between your regular life and your travel life where time seems to freeze and you build up memories and moments.  I have childhood memories of my brother zapping things with a garage door opener, getting new boxes of car activities each morning from my mom, seeing new states with my family and just getting to hit pause on life to make memories with each other.

What are your thoughts on road trips?  What has been your favorite road trip?  What are your reasons to road trip?

Tweet: Celebrate road trip week with @jmdenouden with a look at why you should take a road trip! http://bit.ly/2di7HgZ #roadtrip #travel

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Rocky Mountaineer Dreams

Last week on Twitter I was chatting with the Rocky Mountaineer and I referenced my very lengthy list of reasons I dream of boarding a Rocky Mountaineer train.  And while it’s not very practical to write a blog post with the more than 500 reasons I have to take this train trip, I wanted to share 20 reasons why I think you should book a trip on the Rocky Mountaineer!

As with most of my posts, some links may be affiliate links. This means at no additional cost to you, I may make a small commission on anything you buy through the link. You don’t pay anything extra, but you help support your favorite blog with something you would have bought anyways.

#1 – Bottom line…a trip on the Rocky Mountaineer seems like the BEST way to see Canada!

#2 – This trip is a brilliant way to celebrate the birthday of Canada’s National Parks in 2017

#3 – One of 7 best train trips in the world (via Wired)

#4 – You can ride in glass topped train cars…the views will leave you swooning!

#5 – Cooked to order breakfast…yum!

#6 – Opportunity to meet and connect with new people…it’s like a cruise on land!

#7 – One of the World’s Most Scenic Train Rides (via Travel + Leisure)

#8 – Cooked to order lunch…more yum!

#9 – Horseshoe curve in Kamloops

#10 – One of the Top Ten Trains (via National Geographic)

#11 – Absolutely brilliant photography opportunities

#12 – Opportunity to see Lake Louise

#13 – The wildlife…you just can’t see this kind of wildlife when you’re flying!

#14 – Outdoor adventures in Whistler

#15 – Vancouver, Canada – one of the world’s most incredible cities

#16 – You can stay in a Chateau…and that makes for a great story when you get back home!

#17 – Visits to a World Heritage site

#18 – A trip of luxury from start to finish

#19 – Travel by train like your ancestors did long ago…but with more luxury 😉

#20 – Open-air viewing decks for an unobstructed view of breathtakingly beautiful nature

Tweet: 20 reasons you should have a trip on the @rmountaineer on your travel bucket list http://bit.ly/2cCFSiP via @jmdenouden #exploreCanada

And until I can go on this trip I’ll settle for reading these books about The Trip of a Lifetime and the gorgeousness of these Canadian National Parks.

What destinations and trips are on your travel bucket list?

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