Where Should We Travel in 2017?

You wouldn’t think you’d need a vacation from a life of full-time travel, but we were feeling ready for some rest and relaxation by the time we got back from our second three-month road trip earlier this month.

We’ve enjoyed spending the past few weeks staying offline, sleeping in (and indoors!), and being with our families over the holidays. Thanks to those of you who checked in to make sure we were still alive. We may take some breaks now and again, but we have no intentions to stop blogging anytime soon! I’ll share a few more photo posts from our road trip in the coming weeks. In the meantime, though…

Where Should We Travel in 2017?

It’s a new year, and that means new travel adventures! We have a high-level travel plan for the year, but we’re hoping to do a bit more research in the coming weeks, and we would love your advice.

Here’s our tentative itinerary as it stands today:

January: West Coast, USA

We plan to spend New Year’s week at home before driving south to visit friends and family in Oregon and Northern California for the rest of the month. We skipped over much of the west coast on our way home in December, so it will be great to spend more time in Portland and San Francisco, two of our favorite places.

February: Mexico (?)

Daniel’s brother, who works in the airline industry, recently gifted us four flight passes (on standby) to any Alaska Airlines destination. The passes must be used by March 31. We weren’t originally planning on staying in North America beyond January, but who could resist two free round trips?

I was hoping we might be able to use these for travel to Cuba (Alaska begins service to Havana next week), but the Cuban visa requires confirmed travel home – something we can’t do with these standby passes.

With warm weather in mind (and having explored much of the U.S. and Canada in 2016), Mexico seems like our next best choice. Based on reviews from friends and family, we’ve tentatively picked Puerto Vallarta as our destination. Alaska also services La Paz, so we might catch a ferry to Baja and return home from there.

Where would you go with these free flight vouchers?

After months of cold weather, the beaches of Puerto Vallarta are sounding pretty attractive right now!

March – July (?): Southeast Asia

We nearly made Southeast Asia our primary international destination in 2016. This year, we’re actually doing it! We want to spend months exploring Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, and Myanmar – and potentially Malaysia and Singapore, if time permits.

As Ms. Our Next Life once joked with us, every travel blogger in the world seems to spend at least six months in Chiang Mai, so I guess we’ll hang out there, too!

Bangkok street food will definitely be on the menu

We might want to spend months exploring Vietnam alone!

Angkor Wat, a top bucket list site

Angkor Wat, a top bucket list site

We’ve heard so many great things about this region that I hardly know where to begin: fascinating and beautiful sights, unbelievable food, friendly locals, and affordable accommodations are all extremely attractive to us. Our tentative plan is to begin with a one-way flight to Bangkok, then see where inspiration takes us.

What are your must-see destinations in Southeast Asia?

July (?) – September: Pacific Northwest and Alaska

We missed the entirety of the beautiful Pacific Northwest summer in 2016, and we’d like to make up for it with a few weeks of camping and exploring closer to home after we return from Asia.

Alaska has been on our priority list for a long time, too. With the van’s frequent mechanical needs (and our complete ineptitude with anything engine-related), we’re leaning against driving – perhaps preferring the Inside Passage ferry departing from Bellingham.

Alaskan friends, what would your ideal month-long itinerary look like? Do we need a vehicle?

Denali National Park: Yes, please

Denali National Park: Yes, please

October 25-28: FinCon17 in Dallas, Texas

The only confirmed stop of our entire year: We’ll be at this year’s FinCon in Dallas this October! We’re excited to meet and hang out with more people from this great personal finance community. Hope to see many of you there!

October – End of Year: Central America

Next up on our list of high-priority travel destinations is beautiful and affordable Central America. We’re considering beginning this leg of the trip in Mexico City and working our way south. Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica are all particularly appealing, though we still have lots of research to do on the region. Perhaps we’ll find ourselves ringing in the new year in Honduras or Panama!

Panajachel, Guatemala

Panajachel, Guatemala

What do you think, friends? Almost all of this year’s destinations will be completely new to us, so we’re all ears for your recommendations.

Photo credits: Longster47, moshen, Denis LeBlanc, Benjamin Thomas, Nic McPhee, and Daniel Mennerich

22 Comments

  1. Sounds like an exciting year ahead for you guys! Central America and Southeast Asia should certainly be easy on the wallet, especially if the USD continues to be strong.

    Can’t wait to follow along. I still need to look into that Alaskan ferry.

    I found Jason Fieber’s post about his experience in Thailand particularly intriguing, because I guess it just didn’t work out for him for whatever reason. See @ http://www.mrfreeat33.com/consumerism-experiencism-and-capitalism/

    I’ve already been starting to think about what my “life after the road trip” looks like and I think a lot of that might just be nerves because my “non-working life” is getting so close to becoming reality. I think I need to take a few steps back to let myself enjoy the upcoming life experience, however it is to be labeled.

    • We’re happy to have you following along! That’s interesting perspective from Jason. I think he touches on a few of the reasons we likely won’t be pursuing full-time travel for more than a couple years. I’ve also heard some negative things about the expat “experiencism” vibe in Chiang Mai. If we don’t like it, we’ll move on! I definitely advise giving yourself the opportunity to enjoy the work-free period without having to define exactly what it is or what’s next. It’s too easy to immediately start planning without enjoying the present!

  2. For not having many plans, it seems like an action packed year! Let me know if you make it to the Midwest for any reason.

  3. That sounds like a great outline! And I’m so excited you guys will be at FinCon. 🙂

  4. What fun travel plans for this year! We’re currently in SE Asia for our second time and love it. We have some tips on Vietnam and Thailand you can find on our blog (www.doseofdiscovery.com. We’re currently in Luang Prabang and have really loved it here!

  5. Okay, so next year is pretty much planned out, but I highly recommend a visit to our neck of the woods at some point. Cape Town is awesome! I’m biased, yes, but it really is! 😉

    • Yes, we will have to do it! One of our friends just arrived in Cape Town a few days ago and is loving it. Perhaps in 2018 🙂

  6. Physician on FIRE

    December 31, 2016 at 8:58 pm

    I think you’ll love Alaska, but I’ve only flown there, never driven the AlCan.

    Looking forward to the travel posts and pics from around the globe.

    Happy 2017!
    -PoF

  7. Sounds like an exciting year is ahead of you guys. So very cool. And Mrs. ONL is right, you’re not a travel blogger unless you spend at least 6 months in Chiang Mai. 🙂

    • Some of our travel blogger friends have commented that it can feel like no one in Chiang Mai does anything but work on their blogs and attend seminars about SEO, but I’m sure there are other activities, too!

  8. Absolutely looks like you have a dream year planned already! We’ve only confirmed one trip for 2017 – Cabo in a couple of weeks. After that, we have a lot of planning to do to catch up with both of you! Happy New Year!

  9. Sounds like a great travel plan you have. Great to see that FinCon is a confirmed stop on your journey. One day, It will be my priority to go there.

    You travel blog on Croatia inspired us. We just booked flights and AirBnB stays in Dalmatia and we plan to visit national parcs.

    On Costa Rica en Nicaragua: Both are very different to visit. My personal highlight was a walking tour to the cerro negro volcano. And there is this lake with an island composed out of a twin volcano… gorgeous (Omotepe)

    • Daniel spent a week in Ometepe years ago, but I’ve never been. Very curious to see that and the volcano. So glad you’re headed to Croatia; you’re going to love it 🙂

  10. ExploreMountainsOnSkiFoot&Bike

    January 9, 2017 at 11:11 am

    Where would you go with these free flight vouchers?
    AK, HI or Costa Rica

    For AK I would consider Barrow, Adak Islands, or skiing near Anchorage, or Nome for the start of 2017 race.

    HI – hiking, backpacking, skiing, snorkeling, eating pineapple, visit the newly created largest ocean reserve (outside Antarctica)?

    Costa Rica sounds like a great place to mountain bike – ocean to ocean?

    If you are looking for inspiration or ideas to generate a theme or concept for a trip, I find Al Humphrey’s website and book Grand Adventures inspirational.

    Enjoy having these great options.

    • Excellent suggestions. We’re going to try to do several of those before the year is up. We’ve both been to Hawaii many times, so we ultimately decided against that even though I would be happy to return any time! I’ll check out the site and book you mentioned; thanks for the tip!

  11. Sounds like you have an incredible year planned! I was in Denali National Park just last year (Sept 2016), and can say that it is stunning. The weather is notoriously irrational, so if you go, stay for as long as you can then pounce on bus tickets when the weather looks good 24 hours in advance.

    Prospectors (just outside of Denali park) may have the best food in the history of mankind. And when I say ‘may’ I mean I would sell part of my soul for their cheese fries. You will not be disappointed.

    • Great tip about Denali. I think we should have enough flexibility with our timing to make that work. Also, cheese fries… YUM!

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