It seems wrong to post a 2016 recap without posting a look ahead to 2017, so here we are! Between work, our wedding, and (potential) home renovations, we have a busy year ahead of us. However, that doesn’t mean we won’t continue to travel. We are obsessed with traveling, after all!
While not all of our plans are set in stone, we do have a couple of UK trips booked, as well as our honeymoon (yay)! In fact, we just booked over the weekend and are SO excited to reveal the destination. We also have a general idea of the other places we want to visit throughout the year – if we manage to squeeze in just one or two, it will be a success. Here’s to another year of adventure!
2017 Travel Goals
When brainstorming our 2017 travel plans, we had a couple of goals in mind. These relate to both our travels and our travel blogging, but ultimately helped us narrow down our destinations:
1. Visit 4 new countries together.
We count these based on where we have been as a couple – for example, Kelly goes to Ireland all the time, but we have not been together. No matter how often you visit a place, it’s always different going with someone you love – you have an entirely different perspective and do entirely different things. We love sharing those moments and then passing them on to you!
2. Better photos & video.
This one is two-fold – better images & videos to start, and then better editing. Our goal for the year is to upgrade our photo & video editing software (and learn how to use it). We just upgraded our camera to a Nikon D3400 (finally a DSLR!) and purchased Lightroom…now, we just have to learn how to use it all! This year is all about learning to take more quality photos while traveling, more photos of us (we’re also in the market for a new tripod), and decide exactly how we want to be telling our stories in our vlogs. We would love any feedback you have on our current photos and videos – we are still learning, after all, and any advice is helpful!
3. Learn to shoot manual.
It goes hand in hand with better photos & video, but the goal is to be able to adjust manual settings without googling “manual settings for ________”. Even just to have an idea of what to push up and what to dial back in certain situations will be a game changer.
4. Budget better on trips.
We’ve never been good at budgeting. It’s the complete truth and we are not afraid to admit it. This year, we’d like to get a bit better at budgeting on trips, resulting in cheaper trips and, therefore, more trips! We’re planning on using Skyscanner’s Everywhere function, AirBnb, and budget-friendly blogger tips to make this happen. If you have any budgeting tips for any of our destinations below, please send them our way!
5. Grow our audience!
It goes without saying that this is every blogger’s goal, even if it’s just in the back of their heads. We love sharing our story and our couples travel tips & experiences, and we would love to share that with more and more people as the year goes on. This blog is only about 6 months old and has already been an incredible experience – we cannot wait to continue on this journey.
2017 Travel Plans
Now – onto the part that you really care about – travel plans. Our plans through April and our honeymoon in July are finalised – everything else is up in the air. Hopefully we can make most of these trips happen in between our full-time jobs – if so, it’ll be our best travel year yet!
Q1: January – March
Q1 is the most planned out quarter of the year, which makes sense because we are already in it! Pretty much all of these plans are solidified, so expect to see photos from the following places soon!
We started our year off in Zermatt, Switzerland, ringing in the New Year under the Matterhorn and starting the blank slate of 2017 on the slopes. In February, we are heading back there with another couple for a pre-Valentine’s Day ski getaway. We are hoping to get back to Zermatt a couple of more times this year (in September to attend a wine event is the main goal!). After all, we need to take advantage of our new ski boots!
In terms of UK travel, the first quarter of our year is loaded. And the best part is that all three trips are dog-friendly! We are heading to York, England at the end of this month with Visit York. It’s been at the top of our UK weekend breaks list for quite some time and we are eager for a good mix of country/city over the three days we will be spending there. In March, we are going to Cornwall, England for a weekend away from it all. We’ll be staying in a Cornish Horizons cottage and envision the following: curling up with a blanket in front of an open fireplace (it’s early March, after all); lazy mornings with breakfast & tea in bed; long walks with Giorgio inevitably ending up at a nearby pub; wandering deserted stretches of beach with stunning seaside views.
We are so excited about all of these trips, but the one we are most excited about is our stay at Wriggly Tin Shepherd’s Huts in South Downs National Park, England. The huts look oh, so cozy and it’s already gearing up to be our most romantic weekend of the year. We can’t wait to wake up to nature (but in comfort, not camping in tents), roast marshmallows on an open fire, and let Giorgio run free on long, countrywalks. Also, our communication with Alex, the owner, has been nothing short of customer service perfection! We booked this trip back in the fall and are so happy it’s finally coming up.
Q2: April – June
In April, we are heading to the US of A for some pre-wedding festivities (Kelly’s bridal shower & bachelorette party). We’ll be sticking to the Washington, DC area for the trip and plan on our usual routine of baseball games, wine tasting, and bringing tons of food back to the UK. Sean’s family might be tagging along, so it will be great to spend some time in DC with them, as well!
When we return from America, Kelly will be attending Traverse 17 in London. It doesn’t technically count as travel, but it’s going to be a great experience regardless. Let us know if you’ll be there!
In June, we will hopefully make it up to Glasgow, Scotland for the Scotland vs. England football match. Hopefully we’ll be able to add a few days to that trip and do some exploring around Loch Lomond or take a mini trip to Isle of Arran.
We are also hoping to spend some more time in the Northeast this summer – not only to see our goddaughter (and the rest of the family), but to go on more excursions with Giorgio. Our Christmas visit included a trip to Hadrian’s Wall and we have plans to visit Holy Island next time we are up that way. There are also so many English Heritage sites that are dog-friendly, like the ones we visited on Isle of Wight, and we enjoy very few things more than exploring castles and palaces!
Kelly’s brother & his wife are currently living in Berlin, Germany until the end of the summer, so our hope is to squeeze in a visit there sometime over the next couple of months. We had a blast visiting last April and would like to return anyway – going while they are there is an added bonus!
Q3: July – September
Ah, the star of Quarter 3 is, without doubt, going to be our wedding and honeymoon. After an incredible day celebrating with family and friends from all over the world, we will be jetting off to the beautiful Kandohlu Island, Maldives. We went full luxury on this one in a #treatyoself kind of way, and could not be more excited. An Emirates business-class flight out, plus 7 nights in paradise is going to make for a truly unsurpassable experience.
Our honeymoon may be the star, but it is not the extent of our travels in Q3. We are also extremely excited to head to Malta at the end of August/beginning of September. This, again, will be for a football match, but we’re planning on making a trip out of it. Malta was named NatGeo’s #1 Destination for Culture in 2017, and we are so excited to experience it for ourselves. Plus, it’s warm. We’re not even sure if our bodies can handle two warm weather trips in two months, but we can’t wait to explore all of the must see places in Malta!
Q4: October – December
If we have any holiday left come October, it will likely be the most relaxed travel quarter. Long weekends, day trips, etc.
A football trip to Lithuania is in the cards for October, but that one is very up in the air. The only trip we really have confirmed (destination TBD) is our annual December Christmas trip for Kelly’s birthday. So far, we have been to the Alsace wine region and Bruges, Belgium; this year, who knows where we will go! Somewhere in Scandinavia or Austria is the current plan, but if you have any different ideas for somewhere wintry and snowy and romantic, send them our way.
We had so much fun traveling off-season in the UK in 2016 – to the Cotswolds, Isle of Wight, Oxford & Cambridge, etc., that we cannot wait to do it again next year! Again, the destinations are very TBD, but we would love to make it to the Lake District or perhaps Snowdonia, Wales to cram a bit of nature and adventure into the end of our year.
2017 – We’re ready for you!
2017 is looking like it will be our best year yet, and we can’t wait to see how it plays out. We have four countries that we haven’t been to together (Lithuania, the Maldives, Malta, and wherever we spend our Christmas trip) and plenty of UK exploring for our 80 weekends series planned. Our goals will hopefully also make us better travellers who are better able to preserve our memories.
Of course, we wouldn’t be travel bloggers if we weren’t constantly thinking of future destinations. If we have time (and money) this year, some potential add-ons are on our minds. These include Portugal; Isle of Skye, Scotland; Venice, Italy; and an off-season trip to Greece or Croatia.
Here’s to another year of travel, laughter, and love. We can’t wait to take you along with us!
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Where are you heading in 2017? Will we run into you on any of our trips?
Let us know in the comments below! And include recommendations if you’ve been somewhere we’re heading 🙂