Summer 2019 came and went with a blink of an eye. I’m still in denial that Pumpkin Spice Lattes are back at Starbucks, and that I’m transitioning my closet to the next season at the moment. Summer is hands down my favorite season, mainly because I get to relax for once!
As a travel blogger, I’m usually on the road quite a bit. However, this summer, I took it easy, and only planned a handful of quick weekend trips this year. Today, I’m sharing why I took a travel break, and what’s in store for my Fall travel bucket list!
Why I Didn’t Travel Much this Summer + My Fall Travel Bucket List
Why I Took A Travel Break
There are several reasons why I laid low this summer. For starters, summer is by far the most popular time of year for people to travel. The weather’s warm, the kids are out of school, and most employers have a “Summer Friday” policy that encourages employees to take some time off.
That being said, hotel and flight prices to some of my favorite destinations are a lot higher this time of year. Since I’m a travel blogger and have the flexibility to travel any time of the year, it doesn’t make sense for me to pay extra to travel at peak season!
Also, there’s something really special about traveling to a location during its off-season. I can produce a lot better travel content when I travel to a destination during its off-season for many reasons: tourism boards aren’t swamped, popular destinations are less crowded, and people are a lot more laid back.
Lastly: I moved into a house this summer, and that took up quite a bit of my time! Between packing and shuffling things back and forth from the old apartment to the new digs, getting everything over to the new place was my main priority this summer!
Fall Travel Plans: California Road Trip
Next week (!!!) I’m going to be going on a trip that’s been on my bucket list for a very long time. We’re currently prepping for a pretty epic California Road Trip that starts in San Francisco and ends in San Diego! We attended the New York Times Travel Show back in January, and Visit California was the title sponsor. They were really pushing the idea of a California road trip, and we’ve been hooked ever since. Nine months later, and we’re turning that dream into reality!
Crazy, right? I’ve visited San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego previously, but I haven’t had the opportunity to explore the smaller towns and wine regions of California…until now.
Next week, we’ll be flying into San Francisco, then we’ll be exploring the Dry Creek Valley wine region in Sonoma, and then we’ll be headed to the Livermore Valley wine region afterward. And for those of you who are wondering about Napa: while it is arguably the most iconic wine region of the U.S., we decided to skip it this trip. Don’t get me wrong — Napa is incredible. However, I wanted to use this trip to discover some hidden gems and to highlight the smaller wine regions in the state that are also producing incredible wines.
After our wine experience in Northern Calfornia, we’ll be swinging down to Monterey and Big Sur for a few nights and soaking up all of the coastal views. Next on our list is Paso Robles, which, IMO, has some of the most beautiful wineries and vineyards in the entire state! Afterward, we’re stopping by Solvang, a charming town outside of Santa Barbara with Danish-inspired architecture and even more wineries (shocker!)
I’m going to spend a day in Los Angeles to catch up with old friends and meet with a few brands (surprisingly, a lot of people from my high school, in Virginia, moved out to L.A.!), and then we plan on visiting Temecula, Southern California’s wine capital. Our last stop on this trip is San Diego, which is one of my favorite places on earth. Tom and I have visited San Diego before, so we’re going to relax on this last stop, revisit some of our favorite places, and attend our good friend’s wedding.
Fall Travel Plans: NYC
Right after our friend’s wedding in San Diego, we’re flying straight to New York. I won’t be in town for NYFW (I’m coming 1.5 weeks after it ends!), but I’m looking forward to doing something new in NYC this September.
If you’re following along on Instagram, you might have noticed that I have an ongoing partnership with Wines of Australia. From 9/17-19, their team will be in NYC, and they’re bringing the best Australian wines to the U.S. and hosting a huge party. I’ll be in town for their kickoff event, and staying a couple of extra days to meet with some of my favorite brands and catch up with old friends as well. Oh, and I’m also staying so I can eat all the Italian food. Can you blame me?
In total, I’m going to be out of town for three weeks in the month of September. Whew, y’all! It will be 100% worth it, though.
Fall Travel Plans: Spain
Ok, so the above photo is a picture of me in France since I don’t have any Spain photos just yet, but it’s only one country over. Just pretend! 🙂
I found a pretty good flight deal from D.C. to Madrid, and I begged Tom to let me purchase tickets for us. I only had to ask repeatedly for about an hour before he caved! We’ll be flying out at the end of October, and we’re planning on visiting at least one other city other than Madrid during our trip (it’s all TBD at the moment!) This will be my first time in the country, and I’m really looking forward to it!
Fall Travel Plans: TBD
Usually, if I get invited on a press trip, I have about 3-4 weeks notice, so my schedule is subject to change. I have a couple of exciting opportunities in the works that haven’t been finalized just yet. But I can’t wait to share them! These destinations are hidden gems that might not be on your radar, but should be!
What are your fall bucket list travel plans? Share in a comment below!
Photos by Tom McGovern