2018-A Year in Review

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I love looking back at all our travels from the year and 2018 turned out to be a great travel year, with lots of last minute bookings! We visited 5 countries (Mexico twice) and 10 US States.  Last year, we saved all of Milana’s boarding passes and this year she wanted to collect hotel keys.  We didn’t keep them all as we forgot quite a few and some were mobile keys, but it’s still a good amount! Do you see a trend? We are loyal to Marriott and have stayed at quite a few of their properties this year.  As a result, I have the highest elite status with them and have gotten some amazing upgrades and perks all over the world. Want to find out how we find our travel deals? Check out my Finding Travel Deals post. Here’s our 2018 travel recap.



New Mexico

Late December-Early January, we visited New Mexico (Santa Fe and Albuquerque).  It was a fun (but cold!) trip and the perfect way to ring in the new year.



New Orleans

Later January-February, Milana and I went to New Orleans.  We had a lot of fun and discovered a family friendly side to the city that I didn’t know existed when I went with Dave many years earlier.  It’s a great place for a family getaway!




I took advantage of the SAS kids fly free deal and took Milana to Europe for spring break. Our first stop was Stockholm and it quickly became our favorite city in Europe! It is so family friendly with some of the best playgrounds in the world.  It was freezing in April still (20s!) but that didn’t stop us from exploring the city.  Kids were at playgrounds, despite the frigid weather and we had a great time!



Our 2nd stop in Europe was Copenhagen.  We flew from Stockholm (one hour flight) and spent a few days here.  Now I hate to say this, but neither of us really loved Copenhagen! I had really high hopes but compared to Stockholm, it was just meh.  I’m glad we got to see it but I’m in no rush to go back!




Our final stop on our European trip was Gdańsk, a quick hour flight from Copenhagen.  I was born and raised in Poland and have been wanting to bring Milana for a while.  We loved it here and it was nice not having a language barrier for once! All the signs made sense and it was easy to communicate with locals. I introduced Milana to some of my favorite foods and we explored the city. Unlike the other 2 cities we visited on this trip, it was warm and in the 70s here which was a great surprise!




Phoenix is a super short flight from us so we like to go there for weekend getaways.  There’s tons to do with kids and they have some great resorts if you want to just lounge, making it a perfect weekend escape.



In June, Milana and I went on another mom-daughter trip, this time to Denver and St. Louis.  She’s been to Denver before but it was her first time in St. Louis. She really wanted to see the arch and loved seeing it in person! The City Museum is also worth a visit if you haven’t been!



Every 4th of July, we go to Puerto Vallarta.  It’s become our tradition and Milana loves it!


A few days after coming back from Puerto Vallarta, Milana and I flew to New York City for a quick weekend getaway.



In August, it was another mom-daughter trip, this time to Coastal Oregon and another part of Oregon, where we rented a really cute Farmhouse AirBnB.


We combined our Oregon trip with Boise, which turned out to be one of our favorite US cities to date!



In September, we flew to Cabo for Labor Day weekend followed by Vegas to meet up with a friend that was visiting from the East coast.



October brought yet another mom-daughter trip. We flew to Indianapolis, the main reason was to see their children’s museum which didn’t disappoint!



Every Thanksgiving, we head out of the country and this year we chose Hong Kong.  I’m not sure why people call Thailand the gateway to Asia, since HK is super easy to navigate (I felt very safe navigating the city alone with Milana) and there was no language barrier since every single person we encountered spoke English, while Bangkok was quite the opposite-chaotic and crazy though we did love it too!  Hong Kong is a great place to go if you want some great food without too much of a culture shock, this was Milana’s 4th Asian country and by far the easiest to navigate!



Oklahoma City was our December destination, and I guess the theme this year was mom-daughter trips since most of them were just the two of us!  This was a surprise as I really didn’t expect much but we loved it despite it being freezing by SoCal standards!  Our hotel room was awesome and there’s lots to do with kids, even on cold days.  I would love to go back in the summer!


We took some local weekend getaways around our home (San Diego, Temecula wineries, Palm Springs) as well throughout the year.  What will 2019 hold travel wise? We have no idea! The only trip we have booked is Australia in April since we are more of last-minute bookers and most of our travel is booked just a couple of weeks in advance.  Follow our blog and our Instagram to see where our travels take us next!  If you want your own Frequent Flyer (or World Traveler!) shirt like the one pictured below, check out our Etsy shop. And if you want tips for traveling with kids, join my Facebook group!

What was your favorite trip of 2018 and where are you headed in 2019?





  • Jane Dempster-Smith

    Milana is definitely a frequent traveller – what a year. You travelled to many of my favourite destinations. I need to spend some time in Gdansk it looks amazing. Hope 2019 will be another good year of travel for you all.

  • our21stcenturyodyssey

    You and your daughter have had some amazing adventures together in 2018! That’s so special you got to have that time together. Keep up in 2019!

  • Anda

    Wow, you did quite a bit of traveling last year. This is an amazing list of beautiful places. I visited Stockholm too last year and absolutely loved it. I haven’t seen Gdańsk yet, but I hope I’ll get there soon. It’s a city with a very tumultuous history.

  • Cecilia Jade Kern Fix

    You go to Puerto Vallarta every year! You absolutely must give us some travel tips and must-do’s. What kind of foods do we have to try? Puerto Vallarta aside, sounds like you all had a fabulous and fun-filled year. May 2019 be filled with just as many adventures for you and your family.

  • shreyasaha1987

    Your daughter is lucky to have a mom like you who made her 2018 so travelful and adventurous. I wish you guys rock like this or more in 2019 too.

  • Soumya Gayatri

    Wow! You definitely had a great year traveling. 5 countries and 10 states – that sounds like a really good number. Mexico is a personal favorite and I can see why you went there twice. Happy journeys to you. And hope that 2019 is equally successful as 2018.

  • Rachelle Gordon

    Sounds like a fun and well-rounded 2018! I’ve been wanting to go visit New Mexico, but haven’t heard a lot about others making the trip as well. I’m glad that you had a fun time. I fell in love with Poland a few years ago when I visited Krakow, but I haven’t been to Gdańsk before. I need to add that to my list!

  • Bhushavali N

    Wow! Milana has had a wonderful year indeed. Good to know about the kids fly free deal. I’ll keep an eye out for it! A friend recently suggested Gdansk to Warsaw to visit in Poland. I’ll check your post too. Good to know she travelled 3 continents in a year!

  • Martha

    Wowza! I thought I had an eventful 2018, but look at you guys! That’s so exciting that you were able to travel to so many places together. Your daughter will look back on all these vacations and be ever so grateful that you took her. Milana has inspired me to finally visit Copenhagen!

  • The Passport Symphony

    Wow, seems like you had an amazing year! This is an amazing list of beautiful places. I hope 2019 brings you even more interesting travel adventures 🙂

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