Travel Blogs to Inspire Your First Post-COVID Vacation!

Travelling has always been something that was really important to me. Ever since I was young, I’ve always wanted to see the world, experience new cultures, and explore new places. I’m pretty fortunate — I’ve already gotten the chance to see so many different countries in my lifetime — and yet, I still can’t wait to see more.

Then, of course, 2020 happened. While I didn’t have any solid plans to travel anywhere at the time that lockdowns hit, I certainly had a trip or two in mind to celebrate graduating and enjoying my time between finishing university and setting out into the “real world”. However, the last year of being at home has given me plenty of time to reflect on the places I have been lucky enough to visit, and all the places I hope to go as soon as COVID and lockdowns have become a distant memory.

Below are all the travel blogs I’ve posted since beginning my blog nearly two years ago now — during which time I was fortunate enough to visit everywhere from my own hometown to South East Asia. Hopefully for all of you who’ve been feeling impatient to break out of your routine and go experience new things after this last year of being at home, you’ll be able to find plenty of inspiration, recommendations and ideas from my little collection of blogs in this post!

SPEND A WEEK WITH ME IN PUERTO VALLARTA, MEXICO!

This was the last vacation I went on pre-COVID, but it was a great one to have experienced as my last trip for a while. Puerto Vallarta makes for a great relaxing beach holiday, while also having plenty of adventurous places to visit and local areas to explore the culture.

SPEND A DAY WITH ME IN BANGKOK!

Bangkok was both the first and last stop on my trip to South East Asia, so while we didn’t see that much of Bangkok during our first few days there per se, you can get a good sense from this post of what it was like acclimating to travelling to the opposite side of the world on my first trip without my family!

THINGS TO DO (PART TWO!): BANGKOK EDITION!

The title here may be a little confusing, since I didn’t actually make a “Things To Do in Bangkok: Part One”. However, this post shares what I did in Bangkok the second time around, and how I spent the last few days of my travels in South East Asia.

THINGS TO DO: KOH PHI PHI EDITION!

Koh Phi Phi is, hands down, one of my absolute favourite places on earth. Not only is it an absolutely stunning landscape, but it’s full of great little cafes, restaurants and shops AND every single shop owner on the island owns a cat. No joke, I’ve never seen so many cats in one place in my life (which was fantastic for me, as I really love cats). I really couldn’t recommend visiting Koh Phi Phi more, I’d probably live here if I could.

SPEND A DAY WITH ME ON A BOAT CRUISE IN KOH PHI PHI!

Koh Phi Phi is a great adventure spot, and has loads of snorkelling, hiking, and all sorts of other exploring options for those of you who enjoy a little hands-on adventure. There’s SO many adventure options for all types of different comfort zones, as well — so don’t worry if you’re not looking for anything too extreme. If this sounds like your thing, check out this post to get a better sense of what it’s like to take a day trip boat tour of the island!

THINGS TO DO: CHIANG MAI EDITION!

Chiang Mai is a city in northern Thailand, and a great place to visit to be able to see some really stunning architecture and buddhist temples. It’s a really beautiful place, and visiting the Old City is unlike anywhere else I’ve ever visited.

PLACES TO EAT: CHIANG MAI EDITION!

For my foodies — there was some really great food in this city. Maybe I’m just biased, though, because Thai food is one of my all-time faves.

THINGS TO DO: SIEM REAP EDITION!

My time in Cambodia was short, but I did manage to fit in a lot of things while I was there. I really didn’t know what to expect of Siem Reap, but it really took me by surprise and ended up being one of my favourite places I’ve ever travelled to.

SPEND A DAY WITH ME AT ANGKOR WAT!

Perhaps the best-known travel destination in Cambodia, Angkor Was and the surrounding temples are really one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever experienced — they’re really different from any other temples in South East Asia as well. It’s usually packed with people, but if you go in the summer (as I did) it ends up being a lot emptier, which really made the experience more special.

THINGS TO DO: HO CHI MINH CITY EDITION!

Vietnam was one of the coolest places I’ve ever visited, and if it isn’t already on your bucket list I’d definitely recommend adding it right now. Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) is absolutely full of all kinds of amazing food, history, and culture — the city itself, and the entire country of Vietnam, was really one of the most unique and interesting places I ever visited.

THINGS TO DO: NINH BINH EDITION!

Ninh Binh was a real stand out for me in terms of places I’ve visited in my life. I really pushed myself out of my comfort zone in a whole lot of ways, but it was all really rewarding at the end of the day. The town is absolutely beautiful, and there’s no shortage of beautiful places to see in the Vietnamese countryside.

SPEND A WEEKEND WITH ME IN HOI AN!

To be honest, Hoi An is definitely more of a “party” location in terms of places I visited in Vietnam — at least for me. It was crazy fun, though, and I met all kinds of people from around the world while I was staying here.

PLACES TO EAT: HANOI EDITION!

Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam, and very different from Ho Chi Minh City. It was really interesting being able to visit both in my time in Vietnam — I loved them both so much, and for very different reasons. There’s all kinds of cool things to do and see in Hanoi, but the food in particular is to die for.

SPEND A DAY WITH ME ON A BOAT CRUISE IN HA LONG BAY!

Ha Long Bay is by far the most beautiful landscape I’ve ever seen in my life. Honestly, I’d give anything to go back right now. There’s all sorts of ways to see and experience it, but one of the most popular is spending time on an overnight cruise — which I have to say, I’d highly recommend.

THINGS TO DO: LUANG PRABANG EDITION!

Okay, I know I’ve pretty much said that everything on this list was my favourite thing in one way or another, but Laos was really one of the best places I’ve ever visited — and you should probably consider adding it to your bucket list, TBH.

SPEND A DAY WITH ME IN LUANG PRABANG!

A little in-depth look at one of my best days from my whole trip to South East Asia. Seriously, I couldn’t recommend Laos more.

SPEND A WEEKEND WITH ME IN TORONTO!

Does it really count as travelling to visit my own hometown? Probably not, but I’m still counting it. Plus, for those of you who’ve never been to Toronto and want to experience it as a local would — then my guide will definitely help you do that!

PLACES TO EAT: TORONTO EDITION!

For all my fellow foodies, Toronto is a must-visit. There’s just so many great options. It has a little bit of everything — as it is the most multi-cultural city in the world, after all — so no matter what you love, there’s something here for you.

SPEND A WEEKEND WITH ME IN DISNEY WORLD!

Okay…I won’t lie, I’d be pretty hesitant to be going somewhere as crowded as a theme park anytime soon. That might just be me, though. So for everyone who’s been looking forward to a Disney vacation when this is all over, feel free to check out how I spent my weekend there and all my fave things to do and see at Disney World!

SPEND THE HOLIDAYS WITH ME IN WEST PALM BEACH, USA!

This was more of a trip to visit with my family, but we still managed to squeeze in a little sight-seeing of the local area surrounding our AirBnB while we were visiting West Palm — and we spent a lot of time at the beach, too!

Do you guys have any plans in place to go travelling post-COVID? If so, I’d love to hear where you’re planning on visiting! I, personally, am not making any solid plans until I have my vaccine and the end is “officially” in sight, but in the meantime it’s fun to imagine everywhere I’ll go when we’re free to travel again. I’d love to be able to visit either Japan, Singapore, Italy or Greece (or all of the above!) but honestly I’m not even picky — I’d be happy to go on a trip anywhere at this point. I’d love to hear all of your dream travel locations, so drop a comment below and let me know where in the world you would go right now if you could choose from absolutely anywhere!

Happy Sunday, everyone! I hope you all have an amazing week ahead to look forward to.

Much love,

Meredith

Spend The Holidays With Me In West Palm Beach, USA!

Me, at Delray Beach

Hey everyone!

So, as many of you know, this holiday season I headed down to Florida with my family. Since I had all my holiday posts planned, written and queued up for the duration of my getaway, I saved all my travel posts for after the holiday season. So, without further ado, here are my Florida travel posts as promised! Today, I’ll be sharing with you guys the first portion of my trip, Christmas in West Palm Beach, USA. Stay tuned next Sunday for part two — Spend A Weekend With Me In Disney!

To start off my trip, I headed back to Toronto for a bit, where I rested up and did my gift swap with my family. While it was a little non-traditional, it saved us from having to waste luggage space bringing everything to Florida — which would have been a huge pain for my family, since they’d just be bringing it all back home anyway. Going home was great — it’s always nice to spend some part of Christmas at home — plus I got to see my cat Dmitry.

My baby!

Shortly thereafter, we got on a plane and headed off to West Palm Beach. Florida can be very hit of miss this time of year when it comes to the weather — so we prepared for everything. Thankfully we did, since the weather was pretty all over the place during our stay — but we didn’t have to let it ruin our vacation.

Our Accommodations

Florida, USA

Surprisingly, in all my travels, I’ve never stayed in an Air BNB before (that I can recall). However, this trip wasn’t just a regular family getaway — my whole extended family was meeting up for this vacation. We rented a home in town that fit all of us, which was interesting as a first time Air BNB stay.

It was a pretty decent place overall, but it definitely had some flaws. The place was a large, rather empty home put up for rent on Air BNB while it was on the market to be sold — so it wasn’t actually anyone’s current home. It was large enough for my whole family, but it felt empty still — it kind of lacked a lot of furniture, as well as a certain charm. Maybe that’s just my opinion since I had to share a tiny single-bunk bed room with my sister and they didn’t have anywhere near enough hand or shower towels — but overall, it wasn’t terrible. I’d rank it a solid 7/10, and I’d definitely consider trying out Air BNB again.

I may or may not have totally forgotten to take photos of our place…… so here’s a screen shot of my insta story! Apologies for the poor quality 😦

Things To Do

During our stay, we were located in the Delray area — which is a cute little beachside town. While we were mostly there to spend time with family and enjoy the holidays (rather than explore), there definitely was a few activities I’d recommend if you ever go to visit the area.

Hit The Beach
Delray Beach

Delray Beach is a small, beautiful and pretty secluded beach, especially for Florida. If you’re going to visit the area and are looking for a beach day, I’d totally recommend it. It’s a lot quieter than other nearby beaches I’ve been to — making it far more relaxing and more fun to explore or spend the day at. If you’re there for the day, I’d definitely recommend walking down the coast for a bit or just sitting and soaking up some rays (weather permitting, of course).

Explore the Town
Atlantic Avenue

Beachside towns are always the best to explore. If you’re in the area, the absolute best place to look around is Atlantic Avenue. The entire street is completely made up of cute restaurants, beach clothing stores and local art shops — there’s hardly a chain store on the entire strip, meaning you get a little break from the same-old same-old and really get to look around at something new. I’d totally recommend going for an afternoon just to wander — no need to worry about time, directions or anything, this area is best experienced plan-free.

Places To Eat

This entire area is full of every kind of restaurant, fast food or take out joint imaginable — so no matter what you want, you’ll be totally covered. It certainly was a little tricky being a group of 14 looking for places to eat — it did tend to limit our options, but we still had a couple really great meals.

Papa’s Raw Bar
Soft Shell Crab at Papa’s Raw Bar

While this is a fish and seafood restaurant, I can attest there really is something here for everyone you’re travelling with. The menu features multiple categories, including sushi, burgers, salads, tacos and hibachi, so everyone can find something on the menu to satisfy their cravings. Plus, I gotta say, the fried rice was pretty much to die for. Check out their website here!

Doc’s All American Burger Shack
Root beer Float at Doc’s

This cute little roadside take-out joint was pretty much the epitome of classic American take out food. They had burgers, fries, shakes and floats — and absolutely all of it was delicious. We stopped in for a quick snack but honestly, all of us were super impressed with what we ordered. Sometimes, simplicity and classics really are best.

While this trip may not have been all about adventure and exploring, it is what makes the West Palm area perfect for a family vacation. Not only is it simple and easy, there’s absolutely guaranteed to be something for everyone. Whether it’s activities or food, this little town has it all — Florida is really one of those places that has everything you could ever need. If you really are feeling up to a little adventure, there’s countless types of day trips all in the nearby area as well. If you want, there’s Miami, the Everglades, Disney World, plus so many other beaches and, of course, a whole ocean to boat around.

Florida, USA

Stay tuned next week to hear all about my weekend trip to Disney World — I’ve been plenty of times, so I’d consider myself a bit of an expert for anyone looking to plan a trip there themselves. I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas, New Years and holidays — if you went on a winter getaway yourself, I’d love to hear all about it! Drop a comment below and let me know where you went and how it was!

Xo,

Meredith