The Year of Travel

The Year of Travel

Sharing is caring!

I’m embarking on a year of travel! No, unfortunately, I’m not quitting my job to travel full time. Though, that’s a bucket list item for me. Someday… But I am starting a year (actually, a little more than a year) of intentionally traveling. We’ll be traveling to new locations about every 10 weeks through December 2020. And it started last week with Santa Fe, NM and Washington, D.C.!

This post will probably turn in to a series as I share our experiences of traveling the globe, not only on a budget, but also gluten free! I’m excited to see how the rest of the world handles food allergies and sensitivities. I have high hopes and have already been in contact with a few hotels and restaurants throughout Europe that specialize in allergies! 

I’ve developed a list of 12 items on my bucket list for the twelve locations I’ll be visiting.

Our locations include: 

  1. Santa Fe
  2. Washington D.C.
  3. Italy
  4. Austria
  5. Hungary
  6. Riviera Maya
  7. San Francisco
  8. Bali
  9. China
  10. Vail, CO
  11. New Mexico
  12. Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

My Bucket List items are:

  1. Travel along Route 66 in Santa Fe
  2. Visit the White House in DC
  3. Eat ALL the gluten free pasta, pizza, and gelato in Rome
  4. Sing “The Hills are Alive” in Salzburg
  5. Experience the lights of Christmas in Vienna
  6. Swim in the hot springs of Budapest
  7. Float down the longest lazy river in Latin America at Jungala
  8. Stand at the Gates of Heaven in Bali
  9. Eat dim sum in San Francisco
  10. Speed down the mountain coaster in Vail
  11. Ride a traditional Chinese junk boat in Hong Kong
  12. Get a massage on the beach in Puerto Vallarta.

Now, these items may adjust or I may add more but these are my top choices. Have you ever been to any of these locations? Is there something major that I’m missing and most definitely SHOULD be on my list? Comment below with any and all suggestions!

The Year of Travel: Santa Fe and Washington D.C.

Route 66 Santa Fe

Our first adventure for this “year of travel” was to Santa Fe and Washington, D.C. 

We checked the first two things off the list last week. It’s been a long time bucket list item of mine to travel along Route 66. We only saw a small part of the route. I would love to one day travel the whole highway, from Chicago to LA. But that’s a good 2-3 week road trip. Not in the cards for a while yet! 

We also finally got approval to tour the White House, thanks to our Congressman! My family LOVES D.C. (I would move there in a heartbeat) and this was our 5th time visiting the city. Well, actually, 6th time for me. I went on a work trip one year and got to tour the White House on that first trip but my mom had never been. We requested access each time we visited and never got approval. It was SO fun to get that acceptance email a few weeks ago!

The FBI building was also on our list. It’s been closed to the public since 9/11 and reopened in 2017. This was the first time we’ve gotten to see it as well. They did a great job with the tour and was definitely a highlight of our trip!

Our Hotel

Wyndham Old Town Alexandria

We stayed at the Wyndham Old Town Alexandria for this trip. My parents are owners with Wyndham Vacation Resorts and Old Town is one of our favorite locations! It’s (usually) an easy subway ride to/from the airport and directly into the heart of the city. This time around, they were renovating several metro stops and it was definitely not as easy to get around! But we made do and still had a great time! Having a full kitchen is always so handy when traveling with food allergies and I can’t imagine traveling without one anymore! 

The Food

What vacation isn’t complete without some amazing food, right?! And Washington, D.C. is chock full of amazing restaurants. We tried spicy Thai food at Sam Phao, gluten free pizza at Pi Pizzeria, NYC street cart food at Halal Guys, and incredible bubble waffles with dairy free ice cream at The Sugar Lab. But my absolute favorite restaurant in D.C. (and maybe, the world) is Zaytinya’s. Oh my gosh, the Brussels sprouts. Life is just not complete without Zaytinya’s crispy roasted Brussels sprouts. 



What I Learned

For this trip, I was testing out new luggage and snack ideas for our next trip. We’re headed to Europe in November and I needed to see what carry-ons and snacks might work for a long haul flight. Our plane ride from Denver to Rome is 12 hours so snacks are going to be VERY important! LOL. 

I bought this backpack from Amazon and as soon as I unwrapped it, I knew it wasn’t going to work for longer trips. We’re really trying to only bring personal items and a carry-on each to Italy so space is at a premium. While I really liked the pockets, the main compartment is divided into two with a very well padded pocket in the middle that cuts space considerably. So, it’s back to Amazon this backpack went and I’m now on a search for something different. Any suggestions? What do you usually use for a personal item on long haul flights?

P.S. I have a wonderful carry-on piece (though I wouldn’t mind one that had a built in device charger! 😉 ). I’m in search of a personal item sized luggage that fits under the seat on a plane. 

If you could only bring one snack on the plane, what would it be? For me, I’ve decided it’s Wild Garden’s hummus and chips snack packs. It keeps well, doesn’t need to be refrigerated and it’s filling! I like Veggicopia’s hummus snack packs too. I also like any and all Enjoy Life products for traveling and Simple Mills crackers! Yum! I packed all of these snacks in the pockets of my coat for the plane. That’s how tight I was on space this trip! 

Don’t forget to come back for part two of this series! We’ll be visiting Rome, Tuscany, Vienna, Salzburg, Budapest, and Prague! The year of travel is only just beginning!

Interested in reading more about Frugal & Fit’s travel adventures? Check out these posts!

Traveling Gluten Free in Mexico

Gluten Free on Carnival Breeze

Gluten Free at WDW