I haven’t even finished writing about my travels in 2016 (my UK road trip posts are just on pause over the festive period!), and I’m already thinking about travel plans for 2017!
Travelling is something I love to do – it gives me a break from daily routine and gives me the opportunity to explore new places. As much as I love the stereotypical holiday in the sun, I was brought up on a mixture of holidays. My parents took us to family focused resorts when we were younger with mini discos, kid’s pools and waterslides and, of course, Disney, but more and more so as we grew older, we were taken on more adventurous and exciting holidays. At 13, we did our first RV holiday as a family exploring British Columbia and the surrounding area, then this became an every other year occurrence through my teenage years – travelling in an RV around America, including the Blue Ridge Parkway, Yellowstone and the North West Pacific Coast. Even our Disney trips always had at least a week away from Disney exploring the wildlife and culture of Florida (yes, it does it!).
When I got together with Ben, I was 17 and still holidaying with my parents (and actually, we still do so now!). But in the year I finished school when I was 18, Ben and I took our first holiday together – we chose Portugal as we wanted hot, sunny weather, but wanted to make sure there was good food (very important to us!) and that there were things to do. We had an awesome time (see photos above!), but it turns out that the place we’d chosen wasn’t brilliant as it was a short walk to the beachfront, but the restaurants were all very tourist-focused and we didn’t end up with a lot of traditional Portuguese food.
We’re now a bit better at holiday planning for the two of us though (our UK road trip was a massive holiday-planning success!) and have discovered that Portugal has got even better as a holiday destination for people like us now. We like the idea of slow travel – holidays which offer a more unique experience off the beaten track, visiting cultural locations and experiencing what the country has to offer that isn’t just for tourists. Portugal has actually been listed by Lonely Planet on both the top regions and cities to visit in 2017, which is why it’s making our list of considerations for a later on holiday in 2017.
So what are our plans for 2017?
Of course, we have Florida and Disney with half the family and family friends in May – I’m super excited for that! I won’t bore you with all the details here though as they’re on my Disney blog!
Then there’s a trip I’ve been keeping a surprise! My sister and I booked a trip away for our mum in May as her Christmas present – eek! The three of us (our first holiday for just us 3!) are going to the Peak District for a long weekend in an Airbnb in March. Obviously I know the Peak District really well as we visit at least a couple of times a year with Charley and Frankie, so I’ve got loads of ideas of what to do including getting a Bakewell pudding in Bakewell, introducing my family to my favourite vintage shop, exploring Chatsworth and visiting Tissington, which is the cutest village (it featured in the last photo of this post).
Ben and I are also planning a week away for ourselves in September or October of 2017. We haven’t had an abroad holiday for just the two of us for a few years, so we want to get away somewhere. Like I mentioned, this kind of trip to Portugal’s Algarve is one that’s making our list of possibilities for this week in later 2017, but we’ve also got Italy in mind (I still haven’t visited Pompeii, despite it being one of my favourite things and I taught about it!) or somewhere else in nearby Europe.
Then I’ve literally just spoken to my parents who have booked a holiday cottage in Northumberland for 5 nights and have invited us to spend the weekend with them there. Luckily, Northumberland isn’t too far from us so we’ll probably take them up on that offer!
I’ve always thought that having limited holiday days with work would be tricky, but it turns out that if you use them wisely, you can get plenty of travel out of them! I’m lucky in that I get extra days over Christmas that I don’t have to take off my total as we close completely from Christmas Eve to New Years, but balancing days can still be hard!
What are your travel plans for 2017?