I didn’t know much about Jordan until some friends of ours did a tour of the middle east. After looking at their pictures of Jordan and reading a little more about it, I knew I wanted to go. Check out pictures from our trip there, and get ready to add it to your list too.
Every place you visit is different and every trip is different. Some trips are for relaxing (ie. Hawaii), some are for activity (ie. hiking in Wyoming), some are for sight seeing (ie. Paris). But there are five things that we do on every trip and you should too. Here they are:
Puglia & Basilicata were not on my wanderlust wishlist, mostly because I didn’t know much about it, until Mr. H was asked to give a talk there. If you think about Italy in the shape of a boot, Puglia is the region of Italy that is the “bootheel” (ie. the eastern coast of southern Italy); Basilicata is the “instep” (ie. inland southern Italy). Puglia & Basilicata do not have the famous sites that some of the other areas of Italy have, so is a lot less touristed than the rest of Italy, which is exactly why it is so wonderful. With scenic cobblestone lined historic centers in every town, wine that is cheaper than water (no, really!), AMAZING Italian food, and beautiful Mediterranean beaches, Puglia/Basilicata is well worth the visit. Here are the top reasons why you should add Puglia and Basilicata, Italy to your Wanderlust wish list:
It was first in college that I heard about Cinque Terre and added it to my unofficial wanderlust wish list. With the stunning views, great hiking, and incredible food, it sounded amazing. It was not until almost 15 years later that I actually made it there. It was, what inspired me to start this blog in the first place. With my second maternity leave ahead of me, and a conveniently timed work event in Milan for Mr. H, we decided to take our first vacation as a family of four [Big D, then 3YO and Tater Tot, then 6WKs old]. We first went to Milan and then found our way down the western coast of Italy to the fabled villages of Cinque Terre. Here is what you need to know to travel to Cinque Terre, Italy with kids.
I had always wanted to visit Cuba and in February of 2010, we were lucky enough to have the opportunity. There are so many visions of what Cuba is like in your head from the way we experience it here in the US…the food..the music…the art, there is a real aura of romance and mystery around this little country that not many people have actually visited. What we found were amazingly kind and generous people, beautiful architecture and scenery, a vibrant art and music scene and terrible food (you’ve been warned).
Now that the Obama administration has eased restrictions on travel to Cuba, things are changing, but change comes slowly. Since our visit in 2010, tourism has increased by 25% to just over 3 million tourists in 2015, just less than the number of tourists to nearby Jamaica, but in comparison, the resources available to Cubans seems much more limited. When we visited Cuba, it was one of the most challenging trips we had been on, not because Cuba is not a beautiful place with super warm welcoming people, but more because of the lack of tourist infrastructure and resources as well as the feeling of political “walking on eggshells”. Here are a few things to know before you go:
Singapore has so many different activities to offer, it is hard to decide what you want to do. We love getting outdoors (regardless of the Singapore heat), so spent our week there, in May, partaking in all the great outdoor opportunities that existed. A couple of tips before you decide exactly where you are going and what you want to do:
The Gardens by the Bay were the highlight of our trip to Singapore. There is such a variety of activities in the gardens, that we visited every day of our five day trip, and still felt like there was more to do. The Gardens were finished in 2012. As part of the Singapore government’s desire to turn Singapore into a “City in a Garden”, they held a competition to create a design for the Gardens by the Bay space. The results is a stunning 250 acre park that is largely free to the public and full of fantastical sights (Cloud Forest, Flower Dome, and Supertree walkway require tickets).
We were lucky enough to be able to go to Bhutan in 2008. With the recent royals visit to the country, I was reminded of what a great trip it was and wanted to share some of my favorite pics from our Hope Pre-Kids trip there. Bhutan is one of the 25 least touristed countries in the world. The Bhutanese government purposely limits the number of tourists by requiring you have a guide and imposing a daily fee of $250 per tourist to cover accommodations, food, and services. The goal of this is fewer “higher value” tourists and less impact on local culture and environment. On the personal level, it feels very “untouristy” and authentically Bhutanese; I hope they are able to keep this feeling forever. Bhutan is known for its adventure trekking (not us), hiking, unique culture, and festivals.
Singapore has not always been on my wanderlust wish list. I didn’t know much about it, but I also hadn’t had a lot of friends or family members who had visited and raved about it. We decided to go to Singapore because Mr. H had a conference there (this tends to dictate a lot of our travel destinations) and the kids and I had never been. I figured why not?
Once we decided that we were going as a family, I started asking around to get friends and family member’s ideas of what to do in Singapore. What were the must see sights? What experiences had people had that they loved? I was disappointed to hear that it was primarily shopping and eating. “The Singapore malls are AMAZING!” “There is great dining.” “Shopping and eating are a national sport in Singapore.”
Even with pretty expensive plane tickets, Bali is a relatively affordable international vacation for a family of four. Here is a little insight into how much a week in Bali costs for mid-range accommodations and eating. There is definitely much cheaper backpacker options for everything listed as well as much more expensive, higher end food and hotels.