Travel Plans and Possibilities for 2016

Monday. Every week starts with one, and it’s always filled with dread. The start of another work week. Doubly bad when it’s a Monday back from holiday. (How can I have 500 unread emails in just one week?)

Yet the start of every new year, January, is usually greeted with enthusiasm, hopefulness and optimism for the coming year, even the 52 Mondays. I think that must be, in part, because we start looking forward to our trips and travels for the coming year! Our crew already has a few trips lined up for this new year, and certainly have a few things we hope to arrange. But we’ve also left the door open for opportunities to arise.

Ironically, the first trip we booked, even before the new year began, will probably be our last trip of the year. We have so enjoyed fall in New England that we booked an October trip to Vermont. One thing we have learned is that the best rooms go early in the small towns of New England, where fall leaf-peeping is a major draw. We booked rooms in Vermont’s Green Mountains almost a year ahead, and still found limited availability in some areas. By November, the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, for example, was completely sold out for the following October. Even when booking early, expect to pay a premium for rooms during the fall. While it’s “shoulder season” for most destinations, it’s one of the high seasons in New England, and rates can be double or more what they are in the summer.

Fall color in Vermont's Green Mountains via @TravelLatte

Vermont’s Green Mountains are a prime attraction for leafpeepers in the fall, and skiers in the winter. (Photo: © Stowe Area Association)

Long before fall, we’ll be enjoying some activities closer to the TravelLatte World HQ, starting with the Travel & Adventure Show in Dallas. We attend at least one of the shows every year, and always enjoy it. We’ve met Scott from Scotte Vest, learned how to make Sushi rolls, practiced the Hula, Zip-Lined and rock climbed, and rubbed shoulders with travel celebrities like Samantha Brown, Pauline Frommer, and Andrew McCarthy. We’re excited this year to see Rick Steves, who we seem to miss every year. And we’ll be guiding our next generation through the fun and excitement as they research their first European trip without the ‘rents.

After that, we’ll celebrate Chinese New Year at Asian Times Square, the cultural, entertainment and retail complex in Grand Prairie, Texas, that serves as a home away from home for the region’s large Vietnamese population. While ceremonies and blessings, the Lion Dance and fireworks (so many fireworks!) are a large part of the celebration, I’ll admit that we are going mostly for the food. Literally tons of traditional food is served from local restaurants, temples, street vendors, and, we suspect a fair amount from “mom’s kitchen”! Luckily, there is a lot of walking involved to work off some of the caloric intake.

Spring will find us in Washington DC to visit our favorite National Park at our favorite time: The Cherry Blossom Festival at the National Mall! Since we didn’t make it up the Washington Monument during our last visit, that’s first on the list this time, along with the Library of Congress. Then it’s off to visit the homes of four Founding Fathers and Presidents: Washington’s Mount Vernon, Jefferson’s Monticello, Madison’s Montpelier, and Monroe’s Highland. (This trip compliment’s last year’s American history trip from Philadelphia to DC.)

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In May, we will join other travel bloggers and professionals at TBEX North America in Minneapolis. We’re looking forward to meeting some of the writers we’ve been reading and following for years, and lots of new faces, too. Plus, Mall of America! Rob #1 is planning an escape to his favorite Sushi restaurant, Ichiban on Nicollet, and there is talk of venturing to the lovely town of Duluth for views of Lake Superior. Austin is a short drive away, and home to the Spam Museum, so that’s pretty tempting, too. Add in a visit to the Guthrie and Mill City Museum, and it should be a wonderful visit.

As winter descends, we’ll be headed up into the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and the beautiful village of Santa Fe for a healthy dose of the holidays. While travel is our avocation, some of us have real jobs with large retail corporations, so a little bit of peace and harmony in the middle of the holidays is desperately sought after. Where better to find it than Santa Fe? At least, that’s the plan, though snowboarding in nearby Taos has also been tossed out there. We’ll have to wait and see whether Mother Nature provides some white stuff for us to play in.

Travel Plans and Possibilities via @TravelLatte

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In between these planned outings, we are hoping to visit one or two National Parks for the Centennial Anniversary of the National Park Service, and to arrange shorter getaways each month. More than once last year, we had to decline an invitation because we had something else booked. So, we have intentionally left some white space on our calendar where we can pencil in opportunities as they arise. Where the winds will take us this year is one of the most exciting questions we look forward to answering!

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We’d love to hear about your experiences and recommendations in any of the places we’re visiting. Even more, we would love to hear about your travel plans and dreams for 2016! Just leave us a comment below. Safe Travels!

If you are anything like us, you love reading about travel almost as much as the actual traveling! We participate with other bloggers in the “Link Ups” below, meaning that we share our posts and get to read a lot of other great travel stories by other bloggers who Link Up. Please visit the host bloggers of the Link Ups today, or search for the hashtags on Twitter. And don’t forget to comment – bloggers love comments and that’s how we build a community of like-minded travel lovers!

14 comments on “Travel Plans and Possibilities for 2016

  1. Wow! You guys have the year well planned. This is so exciting. I do not have concrete plans yet but have a lot of ideas. I want to go back to Europe and visit several National Parks.

    • Hi Ruth! It seems well planned, but looking at that list makes me think we’d better get busy! 😉 I think Europe and National Parks are both excellent ideas – it will be fun to see where you guys end up! Happy New Year, Ruth!

  2. You have a busy, busy 2016 planned, even with the white space. I didn’t get very far into the post before you inspired me to look up the Trapp Family Lodge. I hope to pass through Vermont this summer, and I had forgotten that is where the Trapp family settled down in America. What’s the Travel and Adventure show like for bloggers? Dallas is not too far a drive away from me, and you have me thinking about it.

    • The Travel & Adventure show is a lot of fun, but it’s not really a blog event. There are some destination marketing people there, but it’s really a consumer event. As such, it’s a good source for information and inspiration, and we enjoy the national and local speakers. There are also several stages that vary by event, like a food stage, and the Global Beats Stage where cultural groups perform. We will likely be there on Saturday 1/30; let me know if you want to say hi. I hope you get to the Trapp Family Lodge this summer – we can’t wait to visit it this fall! That seems like sooooo long to wait… 😉

    • Hi Brooke – When it comes to Fall and New England, we are smitten kittens! And we could go back to Washington a dozen more times because we get so absorbed in one museum or another that we don’t get to everything we intended to. We’re geeky that way. 😉 Really looking forward to both trips, and you can bet there will be pictures! (The gang already gives me a hard time about taking a picture every ten steps…)

  3. I’m impressed, Rob. We have yet to book a single trip for 2016, and here you’ve already planned out the entire year. Can’t say I blame you for returning to the Green Mountains because they are so pretty at that time of year. I love to watch the leaves change!
    Thanks for linking up to #TheWeeklyPostcard.

    • Thanks, Linda! To be fair, we only have Vermont booked, but we should have a couple more wrapped up before the end of the month. As I mentioned, some among us work for a big retailer, and Rob #2 has a full time job as a corporate trainer, so we have to plan far in advance. Can’t wait to be back for fall in New England though! 🙂 Thanks for visiting the blog!

  4. It sounds like you have a great year planned! Fall in the NE is definitely on my list. So beautiful! I’m so excited to read about the Travel & Adventure Show. I just looked it up and am going to attend! It will be my first ‘travel’ related show. Can’t wait! Thanks so much!!

    • Hi Nancie! We love the Travel & Adventure Show! We always have a good time, and get SO many great ideas there. The down side is that our wish list gets a big boost every year. I’ve also come to look forward to seeing the folks from Louisiana at the Dallas show because they bring samples. Yum!! 🙂 I’ll be interested to see which one you attend and what you think of it! Thanks again for stopping by the blog!

    • It’s funny – I didn’t think we did until we got it all written down. And we’re still trying to work out how to do more! That’s the thing about travel, right? The more you go, the more you want go more! Thanks for stopping by, Tanja!

  5. Like you just yesterday we were talking about how our last minute planning is putting a damper on our freedom. We wanted to go skiing in the Alps this coming weekend, and there is no affordable hotels. So we booked the weekend after, but next year we are booking the three day way ahead (we’re on an American holiday schedule)! Argh. Your 2016 is shaping up to be pretty epic and fun! I would definitely make time for the Spam Museum! Won’t see you at TBEX since flying to Minneapolis for a weekend is a little extreme for us, but I’m sure you will have a blast. Good luck and Happy Trails, and thanks for linking up with our Weekend Travel Inspiration!

    • Spam Spam Spam Spam…the chant from Monty Python will be stuck in my head for the rest of the week! 😉 Sorry to hear about your booking difficulties. It’s a hard lesson to learn, isn’t it? Thanks for stopping by the blog, and we’ll have a drink in your honor at TBEX! Cheers!

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