Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Summer Travels, I'm Coming For You

You guys are already well aware of my deep appreciation for the summertime and everything that comes along with it. I've gushed about my affection for summer fashion, summer entertaining, summer food, and just plain good ol' summer vibes. One thing that I haven't discussed much here though is one of my greatest loves: summer travel. My wanderlust is at its highest when June rolls around, and there is little I love more than exploring different places during a time of year when I can truly enjoy being outside. In my 20s, I traveled almost nonstop in the summer months. I was mostly on the road (although sometimes in the air as well) with my clothing company, vending at music festivals and green events, from May through September, without much time at home. It was a lot of work, but it was a lot of fun too. (A lot.) In recent years, I've chosen to spend the majority of each summer at home, but always with a few trips incorporated into my calendar. This summer happens to be my favorite in years in terms of travel plans, with a couple of really great trips coming up in July and August (and some little road trips woven in as well). I cannot wait.

Second* on the summer travel agenda is a girls/family road trip down to Indianapolis (I leave tomorrow!) with my mom and Essley to visit my sister for four days. It's a quick trip, but we plan to fully enjoy summer in all its glory, via all the stereotypes: swimming pools, s'mores around the campfire, al fresco dining, yard games, outdoor shopping, random summertime frolicking. All of it. (*I'm starting with our second trip because our first trip for the summer was a couple of weekends ago, when Robbie, Essley, and I went up to Lake Geneva for our annual family summer lake weekend.)

In late July, we're hopping in the car and heading north for five hours up to Door County, Wisconsin. Some of you may remember when I visited there for the first time a couple of years ago, in the fall. It was absolutely beautiful, but it was pretty chilly (and so, so rainy), and I vowed to go back someday during the summertime so I could fully enjoy all of the outdoor activities for which this gorgeous part of the midwest is known. Door County is famous for having over 300 miles of shoreline along Lake Michigan, stunning beaches, and several huge state parks, but it also has dozens of insanely cute, quaint little towns full of great boutiques, galleries, and restaurants, as well as live music and countless summertime events. We love the feeling of escaping to small towns for getaways, especially if they have water/beaches. This will be both Robbie's and Essley's first time to this midwestern travel staple, and I'm stoked to see how much fun they have. (I think Robbie will especially appreciate the lack of internet service, and even phone, in much of the area. Me, maybe not quite so much.)

My third (and best) travel plan for this summer arrives in August, when we fly out to San Francisco (my favorite city in the US) and then up to Sonoma County for a week. I've spent a lot of time in Sonoma over the years because several of my best friends live there, but this will be the first time Essley accompanies us, and I am absolutely thrilled. In addition to getting to spend time in what I genuinely feel is one of the most beautiful places in the entire world, I get to be a bridesmaid in the wedding of one of my best friends (alongside Essley, who is a flower girl, and Robbie, who is an usher). I've been looking forward to this trip for months. There is nowhere where I feel more alive than in the redwoods in the summertime (my hippie roots will never die, man), the lush, green hills of wine country are truly magical to me, and the rugged coastline of the Pacific in this part of California gives me chills. Along with all of the natural beauty we'll get to enjoy (it's seriously one of my favorite places in the world to explore; just talking about it gets me so pumped), we get to spend time with a huge group of best friends who I consider to be family but don't see often enough. I couldn't think of a more awesome adventure to incorporate into our summer travel plans.

Along with these trips, I'm counting on several smaller day trips and another weekender or two to pop up along the way. I'm by far more spontaneous in the summer than any other time of the year, but I'm still aware of the importance of planning. I make extensive checklists of everything I need to pack (for myself and for Essley), I (usually; unless we're going somewhere very close) research and book hotels in advance, I work double time in the days (or weeks) ahead to make sure the blog and my business are ready to be left, and I carefully create a budget and decide on the best way to manage the financial end of things.

When it comes to finances and traveling, both in the summertime and beyond, I've learned that it is crucial to choose a credit card that allows me to earn miles, has excellent security fraud protection, and has simple and fast card replacement services. This is exactly what makes the Discover It Miles credit card such a perfect fit for traveling. You also don't have to worry about blackout dates (you can fly any airline any time; just buy a ticket and use miles to credit your statement), there is no annual fee, the miles never expire (this is huge!), you have the option of overnight shipping of a replacement card to any U.S. street address upon request, and there is $0 fraud liability guarantee where you are never responsible for unauthorized purchases on your card. Pretty great. Discover it Miles cardmembers can also redeem miles at any amount for cash, or as a statement credit toward their travel purchases, including commercial airline tickets, hotel rooms, car rentals, commuter transportation and taxis. If you're a frequent traveler like I am, the Discover It Miles card is the way to go. To explore all of the rewards and discover more about the card for yourself, just click here.

Now that you've heard about my entire summer travel calendar, let me hear yours! What are your summer travel plans? Your favorite places to visit in the summertime?

Photos from top (from our past summer travels + more): Punta Cana, DR // Door County, WI // Door County, WI // New Buffalo, MI // Sonoma County, CA // Sonoma County, CA // Sonoma County, CA // Dillon, CO // Santa Fe, NM // San Francisco, CA // Punta Cana, DR

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  1. What fun plans you have to visit cool places!! My only summer travel plans are camping up north but I can't wait! I love trips in summer too!!

  2. I've been to SF once as a child and once on a business trip. I remember it so well. I loved it! How lucky you get to visit this summer :)

  3. I'm really excited to go to Istanbul and Greece (mostly on the island of Paros for a wedding) with my husband this summer. We're going just the two of us and it will be the longest we've been away from our daughter, which I have mixed emotions about. We're also taking weekend trips to Cape Cod, a place I traveled to for many summers as a child, and the Berkshires. We had so many local weddings last summer we didn't really get to do much traveling, so I'm excited to have more time to spend as a family!

  4. Door County sounds really cool. I'm jealous you're going to Sonoma, it's one of my favorite places in the country too. I'm going to visit family in Virginia next month and I'm so excited.

  5. Wow!! That's quite a travel itinerary! But each place sounds like a great family destination! I've already been to the Phoenix area (May), and I'll be heading to NH to visit big kids and grandkids July 30-Aug 4. CO grandkids will be here for the 4th of July. Love the slightly less stressful schedules and beautiful warm sunny days of summer!

  6. Thanks for your comments everybody! I love hearing about your summer travel plans. xo, m

  7. Looks like you have some cool trips planned! We went to Sfo two years back it was so much fun! We so want to plan a summer trip, but also with the ongoing Mers scare in Asia, we are not so sure:(


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