choosing a vacation destination.

I always get a lot of questions from friends and family about where we are planning to travel for the year and how we choose where to go. This seems like a simple question, and maybe for some people it is. A more organized person might have a list of destinations that they work through methodically, crossing each off the list as they go. But if you’ve ever met me then you know that I don’t really get along well with lists…or methodical approaches to just about anything. For the sake of being hip, let’s just say my method is a bit more organic.

Our travel plans always start out rather broad – sweeping from Napa to Nova Scotia to Naples (we genuinely considered all of these places…and I hate to miss an opportunity for a good alliteration). There are so many places we want to go and it can be hard to nail down what feels right for this year.

I always start planning based on when we are going to travel and for how long. For example, I get roughly six weeks of vacation every year working for a college, but much of that is around the holidays and spring break is typically a very busy time for my husband. So that leaves my two weeks of summer vacation. As much as we want to go to New Zealand and Argentina (I’m being so serious, we are dying to visit both of these places) we don’t really want to visit during their winter. So…two weeks in the northern hemisphere it is.

Next I think about what kind of vacation we want to take. Do we want to explore a new city? Lounge on a beach? Get lost in a foreign country? The answer for this question varies from year to year, depending on how we feel. This year, we both decided that we very much so wanted to relax on vacation, but not at a tropical resort. So now we’ve narrowed it down to laid back cities, preferably on the coast.

The next step can only be described as obsessive research. I spend hours pouring over travel sites, pricing out flights and hotels, checking out local restaurants, and putting together secret Pinterest boards to get a feel for each trip. This is the most lengthy phase in our travel planning process, but it’s also the most fun for me. I get so excited seeing what all the world has to offer.

In the end, we make gut decisions based on when and where we can go, for how much, and what all we can do while we are there. This year, that ended up being two separate trips in the contiguous states. So without further ado, here is what you can expect from the Jones Travelogue in 2016.

New England

This probably doesn’t come as a surprise to many of you because it’s become a bit of a tradition now for us to summer in New England. It’s really starting to feel like a home away from home to us, and I would be lying if I told you that we didn’t have big dreams of owning a second house up there someday. This year we will be visiting Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. My head is swimming with visions of sailboats, ice cream cones, bike rides and more lobster rolls than I can handle. If you have never been to New England in the summer, you should definitely consider it in your travel plans for this year because it’s absolute magic.

new england


In our 3 years of marriage, my husband and I have never made our way to California. I’m not sure how this happened, but we are quickly taking care of the situation. We will be spending a week soaking up southern California, with all of its glorious palm trees and orange groves; specifically in Ojai and Santa Barbara. I plan on listening to the soundtrack from It’s Complicated the entire flight down and I hope you all prepare yourselves for an over abundance of photos featuring red roofs and ceramic tiled staircases; because those two things are what my dreams are made of.

the jones travelogue | california

All in all, I think 2016 is going to be a very good year for us. Where are you going this year? I would love to hear how you plan out your vacations or answer any questions you might have about traveling!


7 thoughts on “choosing a vacation destination.

  1. Victoria B

    Wonderful! I do have a list of places I and my husband want to visit someday. We don’t always agree, but we do both love to travel, so chances are we will make it to Thailand (my top location – mostly for the food) and Australia (my husband’s). But each year is different on how we pick places, similar to you – cost, time of year, interests, etc. We also decided to do two different US trips to similar locations. We are doing a week in Napa and San Francisco next month and a week in Boston and New England in July. I am so excited!

    1. Julie Post author

      my husband has been to Australia and I cannot wait to mark that off my “list” as well! i kind of just want to go everywhere, so narrowing it down can take a while haha. I love that Thailand is at the top of your list – Asia is so often overlooked. India is pretty high up there for me! we almost booked San Francisco and Napa, but decided on Santa Barbara at the last minute. I can’t wait to see your photos! 🙂

  2. Scarlett

    Hey Julie, Santa Barbara is one of my all time favorites!! I went to college near there and would take advantage of any excuse to day trip to SB 🙂 It’s Complicated captures it perfectly! Looking forward to your pictures of red roofs and ceramic tiles!

  3. Autumn Carton

    What wonderful places to travel to!
    James, Avonlea, and I will be in So Cal in July. We go to CA at least once a year to visit my family and go to the beach. This year James is a photographer for a wedding, so that’ll be super fun! You will love Cali and Santa Barbara is just wonderful! New England is on our bucket list…maybe next summer 😉

    1. Julie Post author

      oh, I cannot wait to see those photos!! I bet it is going to be gorgeous. this will be my first trip to California, so I’m quite excited haha. when you do get up to New England, I’ll be sure to send you all of my best recommendations! you will absolutely love it there 🙂


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