I don’t believe in New Year’s resolutions. But as winter continues its march (at least where I live in New York City), I’ve been dreaming up a few travel goals for 2014. Some are places, some are new services, all are experiences that will make this year of travel the best one yet.
Homes Away From Home
I love traveling with my kids, and I am equally enamored with a fantastic hotel. But there are times where a home–something with a kitchen, multiple bedrooms, and, ideally a stash of awesome toys–is what we need. Kid & Coe, which launched this fall, has forever replaced VRBO (Vacation Rentals By Owner) as my go-to site.
Started by a fellow New York mom, the company has a quickly growing roster of great houses and apartments owned by real families that make settling into anywhere from Paris to Patagonia even easier with tots in tow. Current obsession: the adorable chalets in the Swiss Alps.
Long before kids, my husband and I lived in Tokyo. I’ve always wanted to return to explore more of Asia, but haven’t found the time. This spring, I’m taking my 7-year-old on a mommy-daughter trip to Hong Kong and Phuket. We’ve done shorter jaunts alone, but this is poised to be our biggest adventure yet.
Luckily she eats like I do, so I’m mapping out HK’s best street eats and am excited to get in some beach time, Thai-style, at a family-friendly resort, as well as enjoy a few long lunches at Phuket’s new Nikki Beach.
Roughing It…Sort of
I’ve never considered myself much of a camper, and my budget won’t stretch to cover a super-posh tent at Montana’s famed Paws Up. But seeing Under Canvas’s more affordable glamping options makes me rethink the great outdoors.
Tents are outfitted with king-sized beds, wood-burning stoves, and (yes!) en-suite bathrooms with proper plumbing. The company’s original camp is in Yellowstone and makes a great base for exploring the park. Later this year, they’ll also be opening locations just outside Glacier National Park and Arches and Canyonlands national parks in Moab, Utah.
Farther Afield in Familiar Territory
Mexico has become a regular destination for my family. It’s easy to reach and has great food, beautiful beaches, and wonderful history and culture. This year, however, I’m hoping to explore beyond the coast, starting with a trip to Tepoztlán, nestled in the mountains about 50 miles from Mexico City.
- Nat Geo Expeditions
Purportedly the birthplace of Quetzalcoatl, one of the major deities of the ancient Mexican pantheon, this Pueblos Mágico boasts a stunning setting, spectacular ruins, and a groovy New-Age vibe that’s bound to feel eons away from the sun-and-sand good times of Cabo. Bonus points: we were able to easily combine this trip with time on the coast (because who wants to miss a chance at margaritas by the pool?).
That’s right–my wish list includes a trip without the kids, and I’m not ashamed to say it. In fact, I think traveling without your children, be it for an in-town staycation or a week-long sojourn, is as necessary as regular date nights–and can reenergize you as a parent.
This year, my husband and I are celebrating our tenth anniversary, and I’ve called in backup (Grandma) and pulled out my adults-only bucket list. Mykonos, Capri, British Columbia, and Peru are all places I’m dying to visit. The only resolution for that trip: disconnect, reconnect and, of course, sleep in past 7 a.m.
New York-based travel writer Henley Vazquez has lived on three continents, but she’s happiest when she’s hitting the road with her husband and two kids. Follow her story on Twitter @HenleyVQ.