Enjoy guest posts from IGE readers describing their best vacations ever while I’m away on mine! Check out my Italy travel page which I’ll be updating with links to videos, pictures & posts throughout my trip!
Florence & Rome
Who, what, where, when and why: Hey everyone! This past July I went to Italy for 10 days with my parents to visit my brother who was studying abroad in Florence. We stayed 7 nights in Florence and 3 nights in Rome with day trips to Sienna and Cinque Terre. I loved Florence so much. It is such a cool city full of art and history. It also wasn’t as overwhelming to me as Rome (huge city). It was hands down the best vacation I have ever taken and such a beautiful and amazing place to visit.
Colosseum in Rome
My favorite part of the vacation was: The food (!!!) and Cinque Terre. I literally ate pasta and pizza for two meals a day for 10 days straight and did not feel bad about it at all:). It was heaven. Cinque Terre was so gorgeous and such a unique place to see.
Pizza in Florence
My best travel tip for this location: Exchange your money to Euros BEFORE you get there…I have heard the bank is the best place to do this. We didn’t do this..mistake. Once you are there use an ATM…yes you get charged a small fee but if you do it somewhere else you get a horrible exchange rate. Also, we were told (and seemed true) the best restaurants usually close for a time during the day and re-open at night for dinner. It is the touristy ones that don’t close during the day.
Sunset in Florence
The thing you MUST do at this location: Florence – see the David and climb the Duomo for amazing views of the city. Rome – go to the Colosseum and the Vatican.
View of Florence from the Duomo tower
The thing I want to do next time I return: I would go back to Florence for sure and love to see other parts of Italy I didn’t see. In Cinque Terre I would love to hike all five towns. We ran out of time and only got to go to four. Overall such a great country and I recommend it to all!
Hiking in Cinque Terre
Cabo San Lucas
Name, Blog: Ashley
Who, what, where, when and why: My husband and I traveled to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico for a week last January with 8 of our friends. We just wanted some time away from the frigid temps of what seemed like the worst Iowa winter ever! And we also wanted to spend some time with friends we hadn’t seen for awhile since we all went our separate ways after college.
My favorite part of the vacation was: We went on an ATV tour that was the coolest thing I’ve ever done… ever! The guides made sure we knew how to drive the ATVs and then let us go. We could climb up the mountains, jump over sand dunes and ride along the beach. The views were beyond gorgeous!
My best travel tip for this location: Location is so much more important than having a high-class hotel room. We stayed at the Marina Fiesta hotel which was smack dab in the middle of the beach, marina and bar area. Um, unless you don’t like loud music at 3 in the morning… then you might want to stay somewhere else!
Another tip is to avoid the timeshare presentations! They’ll try to lure you with discounts, free passes and even tequila, but the 90 minutes they promise, turns into half of your day and it’s so not worth it. Just say no!
The thing you MUST do at this location: You MUST do the ATV tour! We also really enjoyed deep sea fishing and just hanging out at the beach. They have tons of entertaining activities that tend to be a bit on the provactive side!
The thing I want to do next time I return: I would do the ATV tour again in a heartbeat. And I’d maybe check into some of the other day trips they offer. But mainly I’d just spend some more time soaking up the sun on the beautiful beach!