We took a short 2-3 day trip to Seattle and it was all the time we needed! Seattle is a short drive into Vancouver so that was one of the reasons why we visited but the other was to enjoy Starbucks and the seafood! July and August is the best time to visit but we got delayed for a month due to Hurricane Harvey. So my advice is to bring an umbrella or rain coat if you go any other month!
Where to stay:
We stayed as close as we could to the Pike Place Market! It was one of the places we wanted to revisit each day. Hotels are pretty small here and parking is around 20-30. You don’t necessarily need a car unless you’re planning to do day trips around Seattle.
What to do:
Visit the first Starbucks (near Pike Place Market)
If you were to ask me where I would visit again- I would have to say Vancouver/B.C as one of my choices. British Colombia is insanely beautiful and full of nature. When we started driving north of Vancouver- I felt as if the world stopped and took my breathe away. The fog laying on top of these beautiful tall standing trees and the winding roads along the waters- can you picture what I’m describing here? I seriously would take this view with the blue lakes over a beach in the south any day! So that leads me to how many days do I suggest? A MINIMUM of 3 days!!! There’s so much to do and see with a short drive outside of Vancouver. Go explore, ski, swim, hiking, and eat!
Where to stay:
I would suggest staying by Harbourfront or by BC Stadium. There’s some really nice hotels and you could find great deals sometimes. The only downside to Vancouver is if you have a car. Parking is over $40 at some hotels! They do have a great public transportation system but, we unfortunately did not experience it since we rented a car to drive out to explore Joffre Lakes and the Richmond area.
What to do:
Granville Island Public Market
Take a 2.5 hour trip to hike to Joffre Lakes. The hike is steep here and there but the view is totally worth it. I would do this again in a heartbeat. There’s a lower, middle, and upper lake- make sure you make it to the top!
Also on the way to Joffre Lakes is Brandywine Falls Provincial Park
And whistler- go skiing here in the winter!
Capilano Suspension Bridge
Point Atkinson/ Lighthouse Park
Sea to Sky Gondola – temp. closed
Hell’s Gate Airtram
Visit Gastown- check out the clock!
Richmond Night Market: definitely save your stomach when this night market is around. Food is great but parking is not. I suggest ubering!
Where to eat:
Jam Cafe (breakfast)
Medina Cafe (Breakfast/Brunch)
Catch 122 (Breakfast/Brunch)
Fanny Bay Oyster House
Olive and Anchor
Shanghai River – get the dumplings!
Dinesty Dumpling House- more dumplings!
Rodney’s Oyster House
Phnom Penh (Vietnamese and Cambodian Fusion)
Steveston Pizza Company- if you want to be adventurous- get the $75 seafood pizza
When in Bangkok- EAT, SHOP, and PRAY! The food is amazing, the temples are beautiful, and the shopping really never ends. We loved our trip here and would definitely go back.
– do not listen to the locals when they say a certain attraction/location is closed. For example: the palace is closed for a prayer. They tell you these things to sell you on a tuk tuk tour/ride. Then they will take u to these places that pressures you to buy things
– download the grab app. This is identical to Uber/Lyft. Cheap and easy way around town if you want to opt out of public transportation.
– when shopping- MBK is the biggest counterfeit mall in Southeast Asia. Bargain back when you get want a product- I suggest going in at 1/3 of the price asked.
– when visiting temples- make sure you have a wrap to cover your legs or shoulders( if you have a tank top) if you don’t have one- you can rent one.
– be careful in the red light district (pat pong) in Bangkok. They have lots of sex shows and will try to sell you on watching them. Then, we were told that they try to charge you more once you sit down.
– the air pollution can be pretty bad here! I suggest getting a mouth mask/ cover. Trust me- I was blowing dust on my tissue from my nose.
Where to stay:
I recommend the Siam Area or the bang Rak area. It’s by all of the touristy areas/shopping centers so it’s more convenient and safer than some areas.
Highly rated hotels in Siam area:
Lit Bangkok hotel
Hua Chang Heritage hotel
Amari watergate Bangkok
Things to do:
Wat arun- beautiful temple! Take the ferry over to visit this temple!
The grand palace- get there super early- line gets long!
Mua Thai fights
PatPong- if you want to check out their red light district.
Wat Phra Chetuphon(wat pho)
Pak Khlong flower market
Visit some night markets
Wat samphran dragon temple
Amphawa floating market- busiest market- I think you have to book a tour. We didn’t have time for this but it is on the highly recommended list from others.
Chatuchak weekend market- biggest market for shopping and food
Central world- I loved this mall!!! Great place to eat in AC and shop. I think I went back 2-3 times.
MBK- largest counterfeit mall
Amulet market- coins, amulets, good luck charms
Where to eat:
To be honest- you can’t go wrong with food here. Plan a few places you really want to eat and then wing it! Start trying everything at the nigh markets and around town. Everything is super flavorful.
Ratchada Rot fai- loved this night market. MUST TRY The pork spine rib at this market. Sooo good.
Sampeng night market
Thipsamai: pad Thai!
Ann Guay Tiew Kua Gai: fresh fried noodles
Mr Joe Crispy Pork– must order extra pork!
Haa Bao Thao– five sisters: just order what everyone else is getting- it’s so good!!!
After you: this is the best shave ice I’ve EVER had. Get the Thai tea one!
Cha Tra Mue: hands down the best Thai tea 🤤 why didn’t I buy any packets to bring home. Try the rose one too!
We went for food that we craved from other countries like:
Ding Tai fung:
Then enjoyed food in the food court of central world:
Staneemeehoi: it was so fun here! You have guys dressed in lingerie dancing and serving you seafood. They’ll even get together every 30 mins to dance!
Just to add- it was in a great night market as well. Great place to try other foods.
This is the type of town you would see on a postcard! It is absolutely beautiful and we were speechless once we arrived. A day is really all you need here but I suggest spending the night and waking up early to beat the crowd.
Things you must know:
Everything closes down around 6-7 so eat early and bring snacks if you get hungry at night
If you want a beautiful photo- go during sunrise. There is no crowd or large groups of tourist in the way
Hotels strictly have a check in time- no check in beforehand
In the wintertime- attractions like the 5 fingers close from December 4 till after the holidays. We unfortunately were there during this time.
Bus: if you arrive by bus- it’ll take u directly in the town
Train: the train will take you across the town and then you will need to take a ferry to get into the town
Car: the town is quite small so there is no parking. If you’re staying the night go to P1 parking:
It’s $14 euros for 1-3 days
Make sure you choose hotel parking and register with the attendant. From there, a shuttle will arrive to take you to your hotel with your luggage.
Places to see:
5 fingers– closed for the holidays- make sure you look into this before you go. We were so disappointed but also know you will need to take a cable car up.
Hallstatt Skywalk – judging from photos it was beautiful. Sad we missed it
Classic village view point
Walk around the town- it’s beautiful!
Then if you have time- you MUST see this beautiful lake: Lake Gosausee. The Alps reflecting in the waters… so picturesque. This was probably my favorite view. I would have sat her for hours if I could’ve!
Growing up, my family took many trips to Toronto since we lived Grand Rapids, Michigan and it wasn’t too bad of a drive (6 hrs). I remember the amazing Asian food and the beautiful scenery of Toronto. I knew I had to revisit and take Billy! Luckily we have friends that live in Toronto now and got some amazing recommendations- Thank you Grace and Huy!
Things to do:
Visit the Niagara Falls (~1.5 hours from Toronto):We visited the falls on the US and the Canada side- Canada side would have to be my favorite. While you’re there, take a boat tour to the falls on the Hornblower ($26 CAD). The tour was breathtaking, wet, but so fun!
We were on a tight schedule and weren’t able to stay as long as we hoped for but these were other things on our list:
Journey Behind the Falls
White Water Walk
Whirlpool Aero Car
New York’s Niagara Falls Observation Deck
Enjoy a relaxing scroll around Harbour Square Park
Visit the Distillery Historic District
Layout at Woodbine Beach
Catch a beautiful glimpse of Lake Ontario at Scarborough Beach
Take some photos outside of Aga Khan Museum
Visit the CN Tower
Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada
Royal Ontario Museum
The Rec Room Toronto
Eat Drink Repeat:
Fisherman Wharf Lobster Supper- home of the lobster tower! (~$400 USD)
Shinta- AYCE Wagyu BBQ (~$90 USD)
Royal Tea- Get your bear Brick Bottle for (~$2 USD)
Dragon Boat Fusion Cuisine- Great Dim Sum
Crack De Creme
Menami- Mmm Udon
Onezo Tapioca- homemade tapioca balls( so many flavors)
Uncle Tetsu Japanese
Places we wanted to try and were recommended to us:
Strange Love Coffee
Eva’s Orginal Chimney’s
Sorelle and Co. Bakery
Daldongnae Korean BBQ
Platform Espresso Bar
Wooffles and Cream
Overall, I will definitely come back to Toronto! There’s so much to see, do, and eat!
San Francisco, the city of cable cars and home of the Golden Gate Bridge! I’ve visited this city twice already and I still want to go back. Below are some tip and suggestions if you were to visit San Francisco!
Do not rent a car. There will be no place for you to park and it’ll cost you around $70 for Hotel Parking. San Francisco has plenty of ways you can get around: so rent a bike, ride the cable cars, take an Uber/Lyft.
The only time i would rent a car is to drive into napa and then return the car when you get back in San Francisco
When booking flights, look to see if Oakland is cheaper because it’s the same distance as SFO airport to get into the city.
Things to do, Places to see:
Bike across the Golden Gate Bridge
Hideout at Kirby’s Cove
Catch a view at Land’s End- you may even see whales!
Hang out at the Golden Gate Park
Take a photo at the Palace of Fine Arts
Eat and Stroll through Pier 39
Book in advance (90 days) to tour the Alcatraz Prison
Visit the 5 story mall: Westfield
Check out the Sutro Baths
Visit Point Bonita Lighthouse
Check out Lombard Street
Walk around Chinatown
Eat, Drink, Repeat:
Boba Guys: Matcha Strawberry is my fav there!
Steap: More boba!
Liholiho- they were booked up but i heard its worth the try
The Buena Vista: Must try their irish Coffee!
Eat along Pier 39/Fisherman Wharf area
Boudin Bakery: check out how they make their sourdough breads and try the calm chowder!
Mr. Holmes Bakehouse: Get ready to stand in line here! It’s the most instagrammable place but is it worth the wait? not really lol
House of Prime Rib: definitely make reservations in advance, i still haven’t got on the books to try it yet.
I travel about once a month and I often get ask: How do you plan your trip?
Search the location you want to pin and hit save:
Now I like to use hearts for where I want to go and star as my hotel. Please choose to your liking:
And there you have it! This technique will eliminate that spreadsheet of yours and also save you time! When I’m in a certain area, I would knock out as many “heart pins” as I can.
2. PINTEREST! This website has really help me plan out my trips, decor, life, etc.
You will find the most beautiful photos that will inspired your next trip. Don’t forget to save the pin on your map along the way!
3. INSTAGRAM! Ooo the gram has really allowed me to express my love for photography. I uploaded pictures for years on Facebook and MySpace but Instagram took it to another level! It’s also inspiring to see others do the same. I find so many destinations I want to visit coming across photos on insta. Don’t forget to check mine: l.n.daa
4. Search for the right credit card! I currently have the Southwest Card and the Chase Reserve. Needless to say, I pay with points when I travel!
The chase has a high yearly fee $450 plus $75 for an additional cardholder BUT you get:
one $300 yearly bill credit for any purchase made within a travel category (hotel, flight, car)
3X The points with travel and dining purchases, a priority pass to some airport lounges
it also covers the purchase of 1 global entry or TSA ( I would get global entry since it includes TSA)
Travel insurance and more!
100,000 points (after spending x in x months)- this promotion may still be valid.