Win $1,000 for Travel in the Expedia Surprise Storybook Vacation Giveaway

Grand Solmar

Surprising my husband with a last-minute trip to Cabo San Lucas was a dream come true. When I told him to pack his bags at 7 p.m. on a Saturday night, he had no idea we'd be sipping cervesas on the beach in the Baja Peninsula less than 24 hours later. He was so appreciative of my efforts to create a wonderful romantic getaway for the two of us, and we both had a ball exploring a new-to-us destination. Now I want one lucky reader of The Vacation Gals to have the same opportunity to surprise a loved one with a dream trip, inspired by Expedia's Find Your Storybook campaign. That's right, I'm giving away $1,000 for you to spend at Expedia! All you need to do is enter via the Rafflecopter widget below, and next week--after the vacation giveaway ends at 12 a.m. in the wee hours of May [Read more]

Latest Posts


Super Surprise Getaway to Romantic Cabo San Lucas: Find Your Storybook from Expedia

Back in 1998, my then-boyfriend/now-husband planned a surprise trip to Mexico for me. I'd never been south of the border, and certainly never had a boyfriend secretly plan a romantic getaway--let alone an international vacation to [Read more]

Eiffel Tower and Seine River in Paris, France

Where to Stay in Paris for the First Time

"Where to stay in Paris" must be a common refrain for first-time France travel planners, even before thinking about other aspects of their itineraries. Somebody recently asked me that question about travel and Paris, and after [Read more]

Earth Footwear Fauna Shoes (Jennifer Miner)

Earth Footwear Shoes for Comfort and Style While Traveling

News alert: I’m short. I’m just under 5’4” which means that whenever I buy pants, either I need to hem them (failure, I can’t draw a straight line let alone hem one) or pay someone else to hem them, which adds to the total cost of [Read more]



St. Peter’s: Minnesota’s Oldest Catholic Church

On any given day drivers making their way cross the Twin Cities' Mendota Bridge might notice the classic church steeple rising above the trees lining the eastern edge of the Minnesota River. The steeple landmark, located [Read more]


Box #2: Stitch Fix Personal Styling for Travel Clothing

Don't worry! The Vacation Gals is not turning into a fashion blog. (After my earlier post this week about Aventura Clothing, and last month's post about Stitch Fix, it may appear that way.) But I've got new clothes on my [Read more]

Mira Hat and LIsbon Scarf in Gypsy Red

Casual Aventura Clothing for Travel

I've been a fan of Aventura women's clothing for a couple years now: Check out my past reviews of the eco-friendly items here and here. Now, I'm delighted to be one of the clothing company's ambassadors, which means I've [Read more]

honda o

Giving in to the “Minivan Mom” Title

Never say never. That phrase is one that I've learned to repeat over and over. No matter how stubborn I can be, life experiences tend to twist and turn my opinions, decisions, and plans as unexpected courses take place. [Read more]

My desk these days is covered in paperwork necessary for joining the SAS Summer 2014 voyage. (Not a bad thing!)

Semester at Sea: Logistics and Paperwork for a Summer Abroad

This morning I started filling out online forms to secure my family's tourist visas for Russia. Even I can't believe I'm writing that sentence. When I decided I wanted to be a travel writer about eight years ago, I [Read more]

magnum to mini Mouton Rothschild (Jennifer Miner)

Bordeaux Wine Tour of Chateau Mouton Rothschild

Young people — and by young I mean over 21, guys — tend to drink beer, tequila and that sort of thing when they choose to imbibe. I remember, when I was that age (yes, that was a long time ago, don’t rub it in) I thought [Read more]


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Berlin Bike Tour – Private Guided Bicycle Tour in East Berlin

East and West Berlin are, of course, unified. The Berlin Wall came down in 1989 and since then, the two formerly distinct cities have become absolutely easy to traverse — however, the two halves remain distinct and likely will remain so for the rest of our lifetimes. After all, West Berlin didn’t have a lot[Read more]

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The Most Romantic Resort in Playa Del Carmen: Viceroy Riviera Maya

When I first walked through Viceroy Riviera Maya in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico I was absolutely stunned by the lush, green growth that covered the property. Sidewalks twist and turn through the grounds leading to unobtrusive private villas, a serene pool area and breathtaking ocean views. The jungle [Read more]

Girlfriend Getaway at the Four Seasons Hotel Denver

In the heart of Denver’s downtown — steps away from a plethora of restaurants and nightclubs, and kitty-corner from the famed Denver Center for the Performing Arts — the Four Seasons Hotel Denver makes an ideal upscale destination for a girlfriend getaway. Sure, I’d be thrilled to bring my family here (the Four Seasons brand[Read more]

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Small Cruise Ships in Alaska for Great Inside Passage Travel

Small cruise ships in Alaska's Inside Passage are able to provide travelers with incredible, uniquely Alaskan vacations that the large cruise ship tours can only dream of. The southeast Alaska small cruise ship I experienced was, [Read more]

Renaissance Pittsburgh: A Family Friendly Hotel

I've always heard Pittsburgh was a "classic American town" with nice people, good food and the zeal for sports, especially football, is indescribable. If you read about my family's visit to Primanti Bros visit you already know [Read more]

How to Remove Cactus Needles from Skin

If you're heading to the desert any time soon, there is one question you may want to know the answer to: How do you remove cactus needles from skin? There is nothing quite like the glorious desert, especially Arizona's Sonoran [Read more]