Travel is a HUGE financial priority for me. Something magical happens when you decide something is a time priority and you consciously budget for it. This culminated in 14 magical trips in 2023. The only trip I regret: The 15th trip I didn’t take (Josh Groban was on Broadway and has no left — SO much regret not going to see him).
Trip #1: Aulani with the Kids ✅
My husband and I helped fund this one by not giving each other holiday gifts (honestly — this is new tradition and I LOVE it). We lucked out because our school district had a late start after the holiday break, so by missing one day of school, we were able to push our trip just barely past the busy holiday season and cut our flight costs in half. Best holiday vacation ever. I think Aulani is overpriced overall, but I justified the cost by saying I wanted to go once in my life and our kids were the perfect age: old enough to be good swimmers, but young enough to go to the kids club.
Trip #2: Disneyland for Son’s 12th Birthday ✅
I’ve talked about our tradition of taking the kids on 1-on-1 trips. Age 12 is when you get to go on a 1-on-1 trip with mom. My son LOVES Star Wars, so he picked Disneyland. As a wannabe driver and Star Wars fan, he wanted to bounce back and forth between Autopia (4 times) and Galaxy’s Edge — which worked because I only had one kid to please! His special upgrade was doing the Savi’s workshop to get his lightsaber. A pricey (but cool) experience. These trips are basically our kids’ chance to get spoiled like an only child. This was also my first time in Galaxy’s Edge, so I had a blast. Rise of the Resistance is legit amazing and everyone should go at least once in their life.
Trip #3: Las Vegas for Adele Concert ✅
If you called me between the years 2016 – 2023, you would’ve heard my voicemail greeting was Adele singing. Love her. So when I had the chance to buy tickets to see her in Las Vegas, I went for it. I was able to double-dip and make it a girls’ trip with my long-time friend Annie, who’s been one of my closest friends since I moved into her neighborhood at age 1.
Trip #4: Arizona Work Retreat ✅
I got to attend the Mama Ladder Spring Break at a dude ranch in Wickenburg, AZ. It did not not disappoint. We lucked out with a wildflower superbloom, so I fell in love with the beauty of the desert. These women at the conference were incredible. So many new friendships formed. If you don’t know me in real life and want to see just how tall I am, check out that group photo.
Trip #5: Hiking in Kauai ✅
The original intent of this trip was to hike to Machu Picchu, but political unrest caused the trail to close, so we pivoted to Kauai and I don’t regret it! This was my first time in Kauai. Amazing hiking, quiet beaches, good friends, and good food — what’s not to love?
Trip #6: San Diego Work Couples Trip ✅
This trip was technically in Oceanside and technically a “work” trip with Bryan’s work partners, but partners were invites, his partner group is full of fun people, and the dates coincided with our anniversary, so it was a blast.
Trip #7: Family Reunion in St. George, UT ✅
This was the most special trip of the whole year: My husband and I got my whole family together to celebrate my parents’ 50th anniversary. We had all 31 members of my family under one roof and it was spectacular. Everyone got along and had a great time. I can’t express how thankful I am for this experience. It meant everything to me.
Trip #8: England! ✅
I can’t say enough about this trip to England with my friend Cassy. I’ll give you the brief highlights: My first trip to the Cotswolds and staying on estates (Lucknam Park is a piece of heaven). London is amazing as usual and I got to see Six for the first time. We laughed all day, every day.
Trip #9: Family Trip to Utah for Wedding ✅
Love traveling the world, but home is where the heart is. A lot of my heart lives in Utah. Trips to Utah to visit family is also my kids’ favorite vacation.
Trip #10: Paris ✅
I had to use my flight credit for the canceled Peru trip, so somehow this trip turned into a solo trip to Paris. I was worried I’d be sad or over-traveled. NOT the case. Loved every second of this trip.
Trip #11: Beach Camping with the Fam 🏖️
One of my favorite traditions.
Trip #12: SoCal/Disneyland with the Fam ✅
We told the kids we were going to Santa Barbara (which we did). But we also surprised them with a day in Disneyland. I’m generally speaking “over” Disneyland, but it was a seriously magical day.
Trip #13: New Orleans 🎷
My second FinCon! I had such an epic experience at FinCon last year, but it was even better this year because now I have FinCon friends! This was also my first visit to NOLA and what a fun group to explore with.
Trip #14: Hawaii Platinum Run ✅
This trip turned into a chance to reconnect with my uncle who I haven’t seen since . . . 4th grade? He showed me some of his favorite spots on the island.
I can’t believe all that happened in one year. What an epic year of memories with family and friends. Memories pay dividends, too. And I’m investing in memories like crazy.