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120 Top North American Destinations: Where and When to Go in 2017



This post originally appeared on Hipmunk's Tailwind blog on January 11, 2017. It was written by Kelly Soderlund.

It’s a new year, and with it comes the endless possibilities for the adventures, experiences, and memories that travel brings. But with uncertainty abroad, many Americans may choose to stay closer to home this year. Yet domestic travel can be just as challenging to plan as excursions abroad. And while most travel data analyses concentrate on when to buy or where to go, just as crucial is when to go. Indeed, at Hipmunk we get asked all the time when the best time to travel to a particular destination is (read: the cheapest).

5 Things that Will Make You Feel More Prepared for Travel

5 Things that Will Make You Feel More Prepared for Travel | CosmosMariners.com

Travel forces us to get out of our comfort zones, and that unfamiliarity is one thing that travel lovers crave. Not everyone seeks out that uncomfortable aspect of travel, but it's a part of the experience whether you embrace it or not.

If you want to travel but also want to feel more confident in taking those steps toward planning a great trip, here's what you should do.

History Meets Luxury in LoDo: A Review of Hotel Teatro, Denver, Colorado

History Meets Luxury in LoDo: A Review of Hotel Teatro, Denver, Colorado | CosmosMariners.com

In order to facilitate this review, I was provided one night's complimentary stay. I purchased a second night at a media rate. 

For the final leg of our Western U.S. road trip, we cruised into Denver for a few days. After hiking in three states, spending nights in yurts and campgrounds, and finding more red rock dust in our suitcases that you can imagine, I was looking forward to the big city life for the 48 hours before we headed back to South Carolina.

When Traveling Is Unpredictable (and What You Can Do about It)

When Traveling Is Unpredictable (and What You Can Do about It) | CosmosMariners.com


This post is sponsored by Generali Global Assistance. All opinions are my own.

Vacation is supposed to be the time when we recharge our batteries. It's an escape from the regular ins and outs of life: the bills, the commute, the school run. It's a chance to explore the world around us and experience life in one of the many beautiful places around the globe. Traveling is fun. 

Until it's not. 

No one wants something to disrupt their carefully planned and budgeted trips, but sometimes things happen. 

I've been traveling since I was a little kid, and the majority of our trips have been wonderful. They've gone exactly as planned, and generally exceeded expectations. But there have been a few that have gone south for a variety of reasons, all of which were completely unpredictable.

5 Things I Wish I'd Known before Studying Abroad in London

5 Things I Wish I'd Known before Studying Abroad in London | CosmosMariners.com

After my first trip to London in 2003, all I could think about was how quickly I could return. When I stumbled upon a study abroad fair at my university during my freshman year, I discovered a way to combine my love of school with my love of London and started a long journey towards studying abroad.

The summer I spent abroad in London made a big impact on me as a college student, and the experience I had in England exceeded every expectation I had going into it. If I could go back in time, here are five things I'd tell myself before I packed my suitcase and headed across the Atlantic.

Books to Read Before a Visit to Paris {Guest Post by Misadventures with Andi}

Books to Read Before a Visit to Paris {Guest Post by Misadventures with Andi} | CosmosMariners.com


Books + travel = for a bibliophile with wanderlust like me, it's the perfect combination! Today, I'm super excited to hand my blog over to one of my favorite bloggers, Andi from Misadventures with Andi. She's going to be sharing a fantastic post about experiencing Paris through the written word.

I know you're in good hands, as I've been reading her blog practically since I discovered the online world of travel bloggers. Her experiences (including a year-long road trip around the U.S. last year) have been incredibly inspiring for my own travels. I hope you'll find a few new tomes to add to your must-read list!

Monthly Goals: May 2017

Monthly Goals: May 2017 | CosmosMariners.com

April was one of the hardest months I've had in recent memory. As I mentioned in my April goals post, I was already struggling with the parenthood-freelance writing-blogging balance, and I didn't see how I was going to add anything else to the mix.

Well, of course, my husband and I decided that adding something to the mix was exactly what we had to do. After Easter, my father-in-law came to stay with us for two weeks to help us with our biggest house project to date: removing stumps and grading as much of our 7.5 acre property as we could in 14 days.

Bread and Butter Pudding: A Southern Twist on a Classic Dessert {Inspired by the Francis Marion Hotel, Charleston, South Carolina}

Bread and Butter Pudding: A Southern Twist on a Classic Dessert {Inspired by the Francis Marion Hotel, Charleston, South Carolina} | CosmosMariners.com

I started my Tasty Travels series a while back with the best of intentions. But, as with most best laid plans, life got in the way, and my travel-themed recipe series faded into the background.

After a long hiatus, I'm excited to see if I can focus on the series again; and, to kick it off for the second time, I'm going to share one of the best dishes I've tasted in a long time: an interpreted version of classic bread and butter pudding.

Katie Miranda: Changing the World Conversation, One Piece of Jewelry at a Time

Katie Miranda: Changing the World Conversation, One Piece of Jewelry at a Time | CosmosMariners.com

One of the things that I love most about traveling is how it forces me to stare stereotypes straight in the eye. It’s one thing to hear about a region, country, or culture on the news, and it’s something completely different to be on the ground in that location meeting the locals, eating the food, smelling the air. I cannot think of one trip that I’ve taken when I’ve not come away from it with a deeper, richer appreciation of the people and the culture that I had the opportunity to embrace.

Instagram Inspiration Friday: Adventure

Instagram Inspiration Friday: Adventure | CosmosMariners.com

In this installment of Instagram Inspiration Friday, I'm taking a look at how other bloggers define "adventure." For some of us, it's going to a new city or trying a new food, while others see adventure as a challenging hike or a rafting tour.

No matter what your version of adventure looks like, I hope you'll find some ideas for new ways to get yourself out of your comfort zone in this week's round up!

10 Things to Know before You Start to Plan Your Arizona + Utah Road Trip

10 Things to Know before You Start to Plan Your Arizona + Utah Road Trip | CosmosMariners.com

The countdown is on for our upcoming road trip to the Western U.S., and I am so busy putting the final details on our itinerary. The majority of our trip will take place in Arizona and Utah, which have so many incredible locations that it's been hard to narrow down exactly where we need to go!

 Our original plan had been to fly in and out of Denver, Colorado, and do a quick excursion into northern Utah as part of that loop. However, when we realized that we were leaving out so many incredible sights in the neighboring states, we had to rethink that plan. We expanded our original route into the multi-state road trip that we'll actually be taking.

How to Make History Fun for Your Kids in St. Augustine, Florida

How to Make History Fun for Your Kids in St. Augustine, Florida | CosmosMariners.com

There are few places that I love to visit in Florida more than St. Augustine. Not only does the city have an incredibly deep history that spans multiple centuries, but it is also so easy to navigate on foot, it has an amazing food sceneand it's right on the Matanzas Bay for gorgeous pictures of the water.

To visit St. Augustine without doing your best to understand its more than 500 years of history is to do the city a disservice. From the earliest Spanish explorers to those who fought for freedom during the Civil Rights Movement, St. Augustine has been an integral part of American history.

The Easiest Way to Turn Your Travel Pictures into Photo Books

The Easiest Way to Turn Your Travel Pictures into Photo Books | CosmosMariners.com

This post was sponsored by Blurb. I was provided a complimentary photo book of my choice and compensation in exchange for my honest review.

Fun fact: I was the yearbook nerd in middle school (my claim to fame was that I was the editor of my yearbook in both 8th grade and 12th grade). When you consider that I spent most of my lunches during my senior year pouring over layouts, it's no wonder that I still love travel photography and editing and creating photo books.

Yet, with all of the craziness of day-to-day life, those photos seem to stay backed up on my hard drive. My older child is going to be 4 in just a few short weeks, and I've only made photo books that cover up to her 2nd birthday. I'm 2 years behind at this point.