Travel future

Travel plans for 2016

Travel plans for 2016

It’s the start of a new year, when a combination of the post-Christmas comedown and an empty new diary can only mean one thing – a serious case of wanderlust. This time last year I was planning on embracing spontaneity and seeing where I ended up. But I already have a couple of trips finalised for 2016, as well as some possibles I can’t quite talk about yet, and a whole host of other ideas. So – in order from the already booked down to the hopefully vague – here’s where the next year will be taking me.

Exploring the Baltics

In the last few years I’ve spent a lot of time in Europe, but one area I’ve not touched on yet is the Baltics. It’s time I put that right, so my first trip of the year will be to Estonia later this month. My mother-in-law has a significant birthday in January and wanted to celebrate it somewhere cold and (hopefully) snowy. After working our way through a few possibilities we chose Tallinn, so seven of us are heading out for a long weekend exploring the medieval old city and its Soviet-era history. Tallinn’s not my only Baltic trip this year either as I’ll be back in the region in August when two friends gets married near Riga in Latvia.

Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn in the snow – photo credit Paulius on Flickr

Third time lucky in Stockholm

Stockholm was 2015’s ‘almost’ city. I had two separate trips planned to the Swedish capital, but both fell through in the end – the first one changed into a trip to Copenhagen instead and the second one to Reykjavik. But I’m going to make it third time lucky for Stockholm by heading out there in July for the TBEX travel blogging conference. The dates coincide with my birthday so I will be celebrating with lots of old and new blogger friends as well as spending an extra couple of days exploring Stockholm. I’d love to make the most of the long summer days by getting out to some of the islands on the archipelago too.

Stockholm archipelago, Sweden

The Stockholm archipelago – photo credit Ola Ericson/imagebank.sweden.se

Edinburgh and beyond in Scotland

Scotland appeared in my 2015 travel plans too, but I didn’t get much further than a great weekend in Glasgow. I know I’ll be spending more time over the border next year though as my sister is moving to Edinburgh in the spring. So I’ll be monopolising her spare room and getting to know the Scottish capital better – the Festival, Military Tattoo and Hogmanay sound like a good start! I hope to use Edinburgh as a starting point to see more of Scotland too. Scenic train trips, the Highlands and islands are all on my Scottish wishlist – how can I resist stunning places like Shetland and the Outer Hebrides?

Calton Hill in Edinburgh

Views from Edinburgh’s Calton Hill

The USA by train

I’m always going on about how much I love travelling by train, but one country you don’t associate with rail travel is the USA – and that’s why I want to give it a go. There are some epic American train journeys out there, like the California Zephyr from Chicago to San Francisco through the Rockies and Sierra Nevada Mountains. Or the Amtrak Cascades up through the Pacific Northwest to Vancouver via Portland and Seattle. Narrowing down which to start with might be a problem, but I’m hoping to try at least one route myself and prove the train is the best way to travel – even in the world’s most car-obsessed country.

California Zephyr train, USA

The California Zephyr in Utah – photo credit Kabelleger/David Gubler

A mini RTW adventure

It’s been a long time since I did a trip longer than a couple of weeks, but I have big travel plans for next autumn – a mini round-the-world adventure. When I got married two years ago we never managed a proper honeymoon (mainly as we’d spent all our money on weddings and DIY), but now’s the time. The plan is a bit hazy at the moment but we have around six weeks to spare. Japan and South Africa have topped the travel wishlist for years so I’d love to fit them both in – a bit of a challenge as they couldn’t be further apart. I’ve been scouring flight schedules and coming up with ideas that stretch across the globe from Hawaii to Sri Lanka. So who knows where we’ll actually end up – look out for more details later this year!

Globe and camera

Can I go everywhere?

So those are my 2016 travel plans so far. How about you, where do you hope to visit over the next 12 months? Or do you have any tips for any of the destinations I’m planning on visiting?

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43 Comments

  • Reply
    Emily Ray (@emilyraylondon)
    January 3, 2016 at 1:31 pm

    Looks like an epic 2016 ahead of you, with plenty to satisfy your wanderlust before your amazing RTW adventure 🙂 Particularly love the sound of exploring USA by train. Last November I took the Coast Starlight (always call it the Starlight Express…) train from Los Angeles to San Francisco. It’s only a tiny portion of the whole line, but it still took the better part of 12 hours! It was one of the best journeys I’ve ever been on, taking in coastal scenes and mountainous regions. Would love to take on another USA train trip 🙂 Look forward to reading all about where 2016 takes you!

    • Reply
      Lucy
      January 3, 2016 at 1:42 pm

      The Starlight Express is such a better name! I’m such a train travel obsessive I thought it was time I tried it out in the USA – sounds like the coastal route might be a good one to start with. Have a very happy and travel-filled new year too, look forward to seeing where the year takes you!

  • Reply
    Heyjude
    January 3, 2016 at 2:29 pm

    I fancy the California Zephyr! I have done the Canadian from Toronto to Vancouver and that was brilliant. I’d like to do some train travels in Europe too. No travel plans this year so far as we are still hoping to move to Cornwall. Once that has been accomplished then let the travels begin! Meanwhile I’ll just hitch a ride with you Lucy 🙂

    • Reply
      Lucy
      January 4, 2016 at 1:07 pm

      The Canadian is on my train travel wish list too! I’ve done some long-distance trains in Australia and Asia but would love to see the Canadian landscapes from a train carriage. Good luck with the move to Cornwall, it’s a gorgeous part of the country!

  • Reply
    Kate
    January 3, 2016 at 3:27 pm

    It looks like you have quite the year of adventure ahead of you! I love, love, love the idea of train travel in the United States. I’m obsessed with train travel, it’s my favorite way to travel, but the rail system in the USA is seriously lacking. I love that you’re going to explore a few of the available routes and hopefully let us all know which routes are worth it! And an exciting mini RTW adventure? I can’t wait to hear what destinations you decide to explore 🙂 Happy Travels in 2016!

    • Reply
      Lucy
      January 4, 2016 at 1:09 pm

      Thanks – yes I am really looking forward to trying out the USA by train, I am such a big fan of rail travel and it seems like such an unusual way to travel in the states it’ll be great to try it out and report back! Hope you have a great and travel-filled 2016 too.

  • Reply
    jordanbeckwagner
    January 3, 2016 at 3:27 pm

    I love all of these! I have a huge trip planned through the Baltics in May. I also live in Edinburgh right now (moved there in September) so I plan on taking advantage of the Highlands, especially when the weather gets a bit nice. Would love to meet up when you’re up there! Totally agree with you about trains…I’d love to take a trip through the USA by train. I used to do it as a child with my family and really miss those adventures. Can’t wait to see all your adventures in 2016!

    • Reply
      Lucy
      January 4, 2016 at 1:24 pm

      Thanks Jordan! Enjoy your trip to the Baltics, it looks like such a beautiful and interesting region, I can’t wait to explore. Would be great to meet up in Edinburgh too! My sister moves in March so hopefully will make it up sometime in late spring but will keep you posted!

  • Reply
    Tricia A. Mitchell
    January 3, 2016 at 4:02 pm

    Lucy, Happy 2016 to you! It sounds like you have a diverse line-up of places to explore in the coming year. I’ve been to the Baltic region on separate trips and really enjoyed Riga, Tallinn and Vilnius. We didn’t have enough time to explore much of the countryside in any of the countries then, but that’s yet another reason to return. I also have ancestral ties to Lithuania, so that adds another fun dimension to any visit. Unfortunately, doing family research in Lithuania can be challenging – not only because many of the records are written in the Cyrillic alphabet, but also because documents are not readily available.

    I bet it will be considerably chilly – but beautiful – in Estonia in January; stay warm & happy exploring! 🙂

    • Reply
      Lucy
      January 4, 2016 at 1:28 pm

      Happy New Year to you too Tricia. I am so looking forward to exploring the Baltics, it seems to have such a different feel to the other areas of Europe I’ve visited so far. The wedding in Latvia will be especially interesting as the bride is Latvian so it’ll be great to see what wedding traditions they have out there. Lithuania may have to be one for for my 2017 list too. Good luck with your family research, it can be hard enough even in English let alone with the Cyrillic alphabet!

  • Reply
    The Vagabond Baker
    January 3, 2016 at 4:26 pm

    Sounds like an amazing year Lucy! Thank you so much for tagging my Shetland post, you really need to go there and fall in love with it!
    We are road tripping Scandinavia in summer and I’m hoping it times well with TBEX in Stockholm. When you are in Tallinn I shall be just across the water in Helsinki! I am thinking of taking a day trip over but not til much later in the month or Feb.
    Have a super 2016 and hopefully we shall cross paths again!

    • Reply
      Lucy
      January 4, 2016 at 1:18 pm

      Your pictures totally sold me on Shetland so hopefully I can make it up there soon! Scandinavian road trip sounds fantastic, and fingers crossed to see you in Stockholm for TBEX if not before. Enjoy Helsinki (if it’s anything like the weather in Tallinn at the moment it’s going to be a chilly one!).

  • Reply
    Katie MacLeod
    January 3, 2016 at 6:21 pm

    Happy New Year, Lucy! Sounds like an exciting year ahead! You’re brave taking on the US by train! I love train travel too – MUCH more so than driving – but it’s so complicated (and quite expensive) over here. I’ll have to get some tips from you when you go! I am also so excited that you might be visiting the Hebrides!! If you need any help at all, just let me know 🙂 And thank you for linking to my post too! x

    • Reply
      Lucy
      January 4, 2016 at 1:16 pm

      Happy New Year to you too Katie! I do love train travel and a travel challenge so I thought I’d combine to two in the USA this year! And I will definitely be in touch once I get some more definite plans for Scotland, so excited to have my sister up there and would love to make it to the Hebrides x

  • Reply
    Darlene
    January 3, 2016 at 7:38 pm

    Looks like some great plans! Enjoy.

    • Reply
      Lucy
      January 4, 2016 at 1:13 pm

      Thanks Darlene, and hope you have a great year too!

  • Reply
    Vlad
    January 3, 2016 at 8:35 pm

    Sounds like you have a great year planned, Lucy! I’m currently writing my 2016 travel plans post, but I don’t have anything planned after April yet, only a lot of ideas. Hope we can cross paths this year, my ideas include two stops in London (one for WTM) so we’ll see what happens 🙂

    • Reply
      Lucy
      January 4, 2016 at 1:12 pm

      I will head over and have a read of yours too! Would be great to meet in person in London along the way, I will no doubt be at WTM if not before!

  • Reply
    MS
    January 4, 2016 at 1:30 am

    Fun 2016 travel plans! One note for your US train trip, you should bring your own wine onboard and pack your own snacks.

    • Reply
      Lucy
      January 4, 2016 at 1:11 pm

      Thanks for the tip – I will make sure to go well stocked up!

  • Reply
    bevchen
    January 4, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    Hogmonay in Edinburgh is amazing! And I’m jealous that you’re going to Estonia – I’ve wanted to visit Tallinn for ages! We have no plans as yet, other than exploring more of Switzerland.

    • Reply
      Lucy
      January 4, 2016 at 1:11 pm

      Tallinn’s a chilly -13 at the moment so I’m hoping it’ll warm up a bit by next week! Enjoy your Switzerland travels, I’m actually heading over to Lausanne in January too for my trip that was postponed last year so look forward to filling up on chocolate and cheese!

  • Reply
    kashacapetown
    January 4, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    We started our year off with a Tallinn visit last year – you’ll love it!

    It looks like you have an epic year of travel plans on the cards; your American train journey sounds amazing. Can’t wait to read about all of the 2016 adventures on your blog!

    Love,
    Kasha.

    • Reply
      Lucy
      January 4, 2016 at 3:38 pm

      Thansk Kasha – I will head over and check out your Tallinn posts (have done very little planning yet, it’s totally crept up on me). Fingers crossed it should be a good year, and hopefully I will finally make it to South Africa too! Have a great 2016 x

  • Reply
    Jenn
    January 4, 2016 at 2:12 pm

    These are some great plans! Can’t wait to follow along!

    • Reply
      Lucy
      January 4, 2016 at 3:32 pm

      Thanks Jenn – hope you have a great 2016 too!

  • Reply
    lexklein
    January 4, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    I was in Tallinn last January and it was so cozy and fun. Enjoy!

    • Reply
      Lucy
      January 4, 2016 at 8:35 pm

      Thanks – it looks like it’s going to be a bit chilly but sure we can find somewhere to warm up!

      • Reply
        lexklein
        January 5, 2016 at 8:22 pm

        The mulled wine is a great help! 🙂

  • Reply
    MummyTravels
    January 5, 2016 at 11:38 pm

    The Baltics are somewhere I’d love to visit more, especially Estonia – looking forward to your photos of it.

    • Reply
      Lucy
      January 7, 2016 at 1:04 pm

      It does look lovely – though it’s ridiculously cold out there right now so maybe I should’ve waited until Spring!

  • Reply
    Shelley @Travel-Stained
    January 6, 2016 at 6:31 am

    Looks like you’ve got a fantastic year of travel ahead! I shall be very interested to see how you make Japan and South Africa work as an itinerary. 😉 Tallinn was one place that has pleasantly surprised us on our travels. Really loved wandering around the old town. Lots of great food to be eaten, but please skip Olde Hansa. It was such a tourist trap!!

    • Reply
      Lucy
      January 7, 2016 at 1:06 pm

      Thanks Shelley, yes that is going to be a bit of a travel challenge – the problem at the moment is too many options! Hopefully we will make it work though. Thanks for the Tallinn tips too, really looking forward to visiting.

  • Reply
    tea
    January 6, 2016 at 8:34 pm

    Yes! I was thinking about a USA by train trip last year, but too many other things came in-between – maybe for 2017. Looking forward reading about your adventure.

    • Reply
      Lucy
      January 7, 2016 at 1:07 pm

      So many plans it can be hard to fit everything in! Hope you make it in 2017 though and I’ll try to come up with some good tips.

  • Reply
    travel magnolia
    January 7, 2016 at 2:30 am

    You have some great trips on the schedule. I will be at TBEX, too and had a great time in Sweden last fall – there are a few tips on my blog but I know you have been there before. I love Japan and recommend Naoshima in particular but you can’t skip Tokyo or Kyoto.

    • Reply
      Lucy
      January 7, 2016 at 1:09 pm

      Thanks I will check out your Stockholm posts – and maybe see you at TBEX! Thanks for the Japan tips too, there are so many fascinating places out there I’m really struggling to decide where to visit.

  • Reply
    linziclark733253371
    January 12, 2016 at 1:16 pm

    Some very exciting travel plans for 2016! I’m also heading to Eastern Europe for a city break and hiking spree to Prague and the Bohemian Paradise and I’m, considering a trekking adventure either in Nepal or America……can’t wait……..

    • Reply
      Lucy
      January 13, 2016 at 3:02 pm

      Sounds like you have a great year planned!

  • Reply
    Heather Hall
    January 14, 2016 at 10:23 pm

    Tallinn is beautiful year round, but especially in the snow. And we’ve gotten a ton this winter! I live in Riga and it has been truly extraordinary, especially when compared to the previous year. I hope you enjoy your visit to both cities!

    • Reply
      Lucy
      January 18, 2016 at 10:04 pm

      I just arrived back from Tallinn and it was stunning (and had plenty of snow!) – really looking forward to seeing Riga next.

  • Reply
    Sarita Banerjee
    January 19, 2016 at 6:33 am

    Love your list of destinations to visits in 2016! The details provided about each of the places you plan to visit is is gripping. Thanks for sharing your travel plans with your readers.

    • Reply
      Lucy
      January 25, 2016 at 11:41 am

      Thanks so much, here’s hoping it all works out as planned!

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