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Welcome back Thriftaholics!
I can’t believe it’s almost the end of January already! I mean, time flies when you’re having fun, right?
Anyway, I’m a little bit late on this, but let’s go over a few quick housekeeping items for this year.
In case you missed it, Holly is back! Every Monday, she’ll be sharing her thoughts on money and travel here at the blog. If you’re interested, here’s a recent piece she wrote about the government shutdown and why you need an emergency fund.
As for the rest of the week, we’ll still be sticking to the same schedule. We’ll talk travel on Wednesdays, cover various money and travel topics on Fridays, and we’ll sprinkle in other articles the rest of the week. So, that doesn’t change.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s get to today’s topic – our family travel plans for 2019!
Explore With Us in 2019: Here’s What to Expect
Although the year is barely a month old, Holly and I have most of our travel plans booked for 2019! When you travel as much as we do, it’s important to plan ahead. (Pssst…it can also help you get the best deals!)
So far, we’ve got over 10 weeks of travel already booked for the year. This includes four trips to Europe, cruising through the Caribbean, and more! Even better, we’ll actually be sharing a lot of our trips with family and friends this year – and we’re super stoked about that.
Additionally, we think of all of you as our traveling companions. So, to get you pumped up about some of the travel content you can expect from us (and to provide some travel inspiration for you), we wanted to give you a quick preview of our travel plans for the year.
February: Hawaii and an Inaugural Cruise
Starting the year off with a bang, Holly and I will be heading to Hawaii in February. This will be my first trip to Hawaii, so I’m super excited. Even better, it will just be the two of us!
In Hawaii, we’ll be spending four days in Maui at the Grand Wailea and four days in Kauai at the Westin Princeville. While we’re there, we’ll be participating in a luau, going on a whale watching tour, and taking a helicopter ride. It should be pretty epic, and I can’t wait.
After Hawaii, Holly will be traveling to France to board the new MSC Bellissima on its maiden voyage out of the shipyard. She’ll be traveling from the shipyard in STX France to Southampton, UK. After arriving in the UK, Holly and her sister plan to spend a few extra days in London at the Kimpton Fitzroy.
March: Cruising the Caribbean
In March, we’re taking the whole family on one of MSC’s newest ships, the MSC Seaside, for a seven-night cruise out of Miami. Not only will the kids be coming on this trip, we’re also traveling with Holly’s parents. This will be their first cruising experience, so we’re excited to show them around.
Our itinerary will bring us to the Western Caribbean, with stops in Grand Cayman, Jamaica, Cozumel, and the Bahamas. It’s been a while since we’ve visited some of these stops, so I’m looking forward to spending some time at the beach!
April: Italy with Friends
April sees us heading back to Italy, this time with friends!
This will be a nine-day trip for our friend’s 40th birthday. They’ve never traveled to Europe before, and we’ve never brought anybody with us to Italy. We can’t wait to show them around!
Since this is their first trip to Italy, we’ll be doing what we consider to be the essentials. We’ll start in Rome (staying at the Hotel Indigo and an Airbnb) touring the major sites like the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and a day trip to the Amalfi Coast. We even booked the exclusive Scavi tour through the excavations below St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican. That will be our first time through there, so I’m pretty pumped.
From there, we’ll head to Holly’s favorite city, Florence. We’ve booked a guided tour through Tuscany, an electric bike tour, and have left plenty of free time to enjoy the local food and drink.
Finally, we’ll hop a train to Venice and spend the night there on our way home. Of course, we’ll definitely be taking a gondola ride and snapping photos with our friends.
Honestly, even though this is our fourth trip to Italy, going with our friends is going to be epic!
June: Cruising the Norwegian Fjords
In June, we’ve got another awesome trip planned to the Norwegian fjords. The kids will once again be in tow, and this will be our first time visiting Scandinavia. We’re also bringing my parents along on their first trip to Europe. Since my side of the family’s heritage is mostly Norwegian, I’m super excited to share this with them!
Our trip begins by flying into Bergen, Norway. We’ll spend a few days there exploring the area, then hop a quick flight over to Copenhagen, Denmark to board our main cruise. This time, we’ll be sailing the MSC Meraviglia for 7 nights – enjoying Norway stops in Hellesylt, Flaam, Stavanger, plus we’ll also stop in Kiel, Germany.
After the cruise, we’ll head back to Copenhagen to help my parents get on their plane back home. Holly, the kids, and I will be spending a few more days in Denmark (with a possible side trip to Sweden) before we head home.
July: England and Scotland
Since the kids have eight weeks off of school in the summer, we usually like to take a couple of trips with them. Although we didn’t have a solid plan for this year, we’d been kicking around the idea of taking the kids to the UK for several years. We absolutely loved our trip to London a few years back, and we have been jonesing to go back ever since. So, when we ran into some cheap flights (just $400+ round-trip for each of us), we decided to pull the trigger.
This will be another two-week trip, the first several days of which we’ll be spending in London. Of course, we’ll do all the touristy things like the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, and more. I think the kids will love it!
After that, we’re renting a car and heading up to England’s Lake district where we’ll be doing some hiking and enjoying nature while staying in a cool little Airbnb. Then, it’s off to Scotland with stops at Loch Lomond, Inverness, and Edinburgh. I can’t wait!
August and September: 40th Birthday and FinCon
August and September will see us slow down just a bit, but we definitely won’t be bored. For now, though, our plans are a little up in the air.
I turn 40 in August, so – aside from the fact that I’m getting old – we’ll probably do something cool. For the time being, we’re waiting to see if Pearl Jam will be touring. If so, we’ll almost certainly travel to see them play a show or two.
We’ll also be traveling to Washington, D.C. in early September for the annual FinCon conference. This is always a great time, allowing us to catch up with friends, make new connections, and learn a few blogging tips along the way.
October: More Italy Plus a Mediterranean Cruise
In October, we’ll be heading back to Italy – this time with Holly’s parents (and our kids)! Holly’s dad has never been to Europe and her mom last visited Italy about 40 years ago. She’s always wanted to go back, so we’re super excited to help make that happen.
Again, we’ll be hitting Rome and Florence – although we’ll probably take this trip a little slower so we don’t wear everybody out.
After spending about a week on land, we’ll be taking a seven-night Western Mediterranean cruise out of Rome. This will be a great way for Holly’s parents to see a lot of different port towns in several different countries over a very short amount of time. Plus, it will (hopefully) give everybody a break from walking if they need it.
Ports of call on this cruise include stops in Marseille (France), Valencia and Palma de Mallorca (Spain), Sicily, Sardinia, and Genoa (Italy). It’s going to be a lot of work hauling everybody around, but we’re super stoked for this trip too!
So, there you have it – our travel itinerary for this year!
As of right now, we don’t have anything planned for May, November, or December. I’m sure we’ll probably take another trip or two in there, but we’ll see how things go.
Obviously, we’ve already got a ton of travel booked, and we feel very fortunate to be able to pursue our travel dreams while we’re still young. Even better, we’re really excited to share some of our experiences this year with family and friends. Although our kids are no strangers to travel, we’re super stoked to show our friends and family some of our favorite spots in Europe.
Last but certainly not least, we also love sharing our travel experiences with you! Of course, we’ll be sharing some in-depth reviews here on the website, but don’t forget you can also follow along in real time. Check out our frugal travel Facebook community and our Instagram page for more.
Thanks so much for reading! Until next time, happy traveling!
Do you have any travel booked for 2019? Share your travel plans and experiences in the comments below!