Trip Ideas

What We’re Thankful for in 2015

Life-changing travel doesn't always involve 5-star hotels and Michelin-starred restaurants. After logging more than a million miles this past year, Jetsetters should know. Here, we look back on the small, wondrous moments we encountered on the road: the meals we shared, the trails we climbed and everything in between.

Trip Ideas sky water outdoor person Town River bridge waterway tourism vacation Canal reflection cityscape vehicle travel
1

Florence, Italy

"I took my twin boys, age 5, to Florence, Italy for two amazing weeks. We visited the Duomo and the Uffizi; had breakfast on the terrace of Villa San Michele, where my parents were married 35 years ago; took walks along the Arno; and ate tons of gelato—our favorite spot is Gelateria la Carraria. Best of all, my boys got to meet their 91 year-old Italian great grandmother for the first time, and I'll never forget that."—Clara Sedlak, Senior Editor

Trip Ideas building wall stone ancient history waterway cement
2

Wrocław, Poland

“This past summer I went on a mini Euro trip with my fiancé. The first stop was Wrocław, Poland—a small and super walkable city with a killer sidewalk café scene. From there we moved on to Croatia, which is really a sight to behold with its waterfalls, gorgeous Mediterranean coastlines and seafood (I’m drooling just thinking of it!) We finished the trip by touring Gothic architecture in Prague and eating schnitzel in Vienna."—Leana Gonsalves, Marketing Manager

Trip Ideas arthropod crab invertebrate animal food dungeness crab fauna crustacean Seafood decapoda american lobster homarus animal source foods
3

Hood Canal, WA

"Over Labor Day weekend, I traded New York City’s steel skyscrapers for the towering evergreens in Hood Canal, a remote forested alcove an hour northwest of Seattle. We rode the ferry to Bainbridge Island (Washington's equivalent of the Staten Island Ferry) and stayed in an idyllic A-frame cabin tucked away in the woods. We spent our days watching the fog rise over the Olympic Mountains, catching Dungeness crabs with the locals (then eating them fresh out of the shell later), hiking mossy wilderness trails, and watching the sunset with a glass of wine in hand. But the most memorable part of the trip was spending time with our family and friends."—Chelsea Bengier, Editorial Assistant

Trip Ideas text night signage neon sign display device neon electronic signage scoreboard christmas decoration light sign
4

Los Angeles, CA

“My good friend and I bought tickets to our favorite band's reunion show in LA. They haven't played together in 18 years! We rented a car, ate lots of good food and searched for the ultimate place to soak up the California sun. As for the concert—I’ve been to hundreds of shows, but this one was by far the most special. Before the band took the stage, there was a video complication of all the movies that inspired the group to write music. Once the tribute was over, the band broke into song. It still gives me chills just thinking about it!"—Curtis Valente, IT Support

Trip Ideas tree outdoor sky Nature mountain valley canyon wilderness landform rock trail Adventure park geology formation walking national park ridge
5

Great Smoky Mountains, Cali to Tennessee

"When your boyfriend lives 2,789 miles away, travel and love become synonymous. This year we slept beneath the stars (and in a teepee!) in Utah, climbed the Great Smoky Mountains, rode horses through the California desert and ate ribs at a Wild West honkytonk. But I'm most thankful for the roads we took to get there, those quiet moments in the car with the windows down, two people in their shared little moving world just being together. I'm also thankful for JetBlue because, man, do those free snacks make all those red eye flights better."—Colleen Clark, Managing Editor

Trip Ideas sky outdoor mountain person grass Nature mountainous landforms sports hill ridge Adventure people mountaineering fell mountain range posing climbing group walking extreme sport hiking summit backpacking hillside highland
6

The Himalayas

"I recently returned from a month and a half long trip in Northern India. It was absolutely life changing. After receiving certification from the company NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School), I embarked on a month-long backpacking trip through the Himalayas. We hiked four to 10 kilometers per day, sleeping in tents, living in one set of clothing, cooking our own food and going without showers, Internet or Phones for the duration of the trip. I also bonded with mountain shepherds, and learned how to meditate and speak Hindi. The trip truly opened my eyes to the world."—Lauren Larrabee, Photo Intern

Trip Ideas sky grass outdoor mountain mountainous landforms Nature agriculture hill tree grassland field plain horizon cloud morning mountain range rural area valley landscape plateau aerial photography flower meadow Vineyard evening dawn dusk sunrise autumn Sunset overlooking lush highland
7

Tuscany, Italy

"After getting sick on my flight from New York to Milan and touching down in Italy nearly six hours late, I arrived at my rent-a-car company only to learn that the car I had booked had sold out. This could've been a nightmare, but instead, the place ended up hooking me up with a luxe Audi convertible! I remember driving Tuscany's winding roads with the top down and whizzing past the olive groves, vineyards, medieval towns and produce stands with my hair blowing in the wind. It was one of the coolest parts of my trip."—April Ellis, Photo Editor

Trip Ideas snow tree outdoor Winter weather geological phenomenon season freezing branch red spring skiing slope
8

Warren, VT

"This past January, I took a trip to Warren, Vermont with a good friend. After enduring a five- and-a-half hour drive through the snow and ice, we arrived at The White Horse Inn where we were greeted with fresh pastries, locally brewed beer and a crackling fire. When we weren't skiing, we explored the adorable town of Waitsfield, which was decked-out in lights and Christmas decorations. On the coldest day (-20 degrees), we went to see a movie at the town's theater, where we learned that the heat was broken. So we ordered mulled cider and watched the latest Hobbit movie in full ski gear. The trip reminded me of how lucky I am to have great friends, especially ones that are willing to brave negative temperatures with me. (And we're going again this year!)"—Lauren Dishinger, Photo Intern

Trip Ideas tree outdoor water River reflection waterway flower Canal tourism leaf Garden pond autumn
9

Los Angeles, CA

"I booked a trip to Los Angeles on a whim after my coworker found a $31 flight deal on JetBlue. It was a trip I had wanted to go on for a while, so finding such great airfare only sweetened the deal. I stayed in an adorable 1960s Airstream trailer that was covered in bright pink bougainvillea and located a short bike ride away from Venice Beach. While the trip was only 3 days long, I visited most of the spots on my to-see list, including The Getty Villa, the Chateau Marmont, the mid-century modern homes of Trousdale Estates and Malibu Wines vineyard, which has a tasting table nestled in the soft rolling hills of the Santa Monica Mountains."—Siobhan Reid, Editorial Intern

Trip Ideas outdoor elephant sky indian elephant mammal animal elephants and mammoths fauna Wildlife Safari mahout Adventure african elephant Camel
10

Chiang Mai, Thailand

"In February, I honeymooned in Thailand, Cambodia and Laos. The trip was incredible in so many ways, but a few experiences stand out: the giving of the alms (providing food to the monks) at sunrise on the streets of Laos, learning how to take care of elephants in Chiang Mai and touring floating villages where schools, hospitals and houses are all on the water."—Lindsey Goldstein, Senior Market Manager