The whimsical winding mountain roads and charming towns tucked in between offers fun, thrilling adventures, romantic nature hikes, cooling waterfalls, local winery’s, shopping and fine dining. Just a few hours south of Charlotte, NC, the Appalachian Mountains are home to the Great Smoky Mountains, Blue Ridge Mountain, Beech Mountain, Banner Elk/Blowing Rock (small towns) and Sugar Mountain. Located within 30 to 40 minutes of each other, you can visit each in just a few days, or take a few day trips.
Recently a good friend and I escaped to Beech Mountain. We enjoyed 4 days of mountain bliss. Beech Mountain peaks at 5,506 feet in elevation; the perfect dream location for skiers during winter. Beech Mountain is one of my favorite summer hideouts, so don’t tell everyone about it...OK? LOL… Right off Beech Mountain is a romantic little town, Banner Elk. Any given night you can find a great meal, the perfect bottle of wine, good people and local live music. For the art lovers, catch a professional performance at Lees McRae College, enjoy the local arts community or take a local pottery class; it's all within your reach.
The panoramic mountain views, refreshing breezes, and rejuvenating peacefulness is just what we needed. We took one day to advantage through the beautiful country side, traveling through the mountains taking in one winding road after the next. Being elevated brought clarity, joy and calmness I hadn't felt in some time. In life, we waste a lot of time doing and doing and not enough time enjoying the simple things life has to offer. High County living will defiantly give you a new outlook on life… Essential living at its best.
Visiting the beautiful mountains of North Carolina is a must. Here are a few Do's you should add to your travel itinerary we found to be worth wild.
Travel Tips For Friends & Couples
Traveling with great friends is an amazing experience when done the right way. Clancy and I have been friends since high school....don't count but it's more than 20 years. Our adventure through the High Country together was more than I could ask for. Traveling with friends or a mate is an art. Below are a few tips you should consider when traveling with your friends, a group or mate:
Know why You Are Traveling
Having a clear goal for your travels is by FAR the most important detail to discuss before planning. Wanting to travel to the same destination, does not always mean you desire to do the same activities when you arrive. This is where the art of compromise comes in. Essentially, the goal is to ensure everyone's travel needs are met. For example, Clancy and I were able to do everything we wanted for the time we were there. This made for an enjoyable time spent together.
Don’t be afraid to go in individual directions. It’s OK for you to take a day and go do you. After, meet back up with your travel companion/s over dinner and swap stories from your journey. This will make for great meaningful conversation. Time apart is key to traveling with groups, friends or mates. It’s wonderful and amazing to have someone to share your travel journey with and it’s equally important to set aside “me” time. Too much togetherness can put unnecessary strain on a group or couple trip.
If traveling with an introvert, it’s important to know they need quiet time to recharge. Don’t confuse this with anti-social behavior, everyone has different needs which shows up in different ways. Learn to go with the flow…
Money, Money, Money
Some people budget for travel, some travel on a budget. My advice, budget for your travel. It's much easier when traveling with others. If you want to travel on a budget, traveling alone might be easier. You never know what you are going to do or what you might want to buy when traveling. You only live once, so make sure to have a few extra coins on reserve just in case. It’s just money, you can make more, promise!
Talk About Everything
No matter who you travel with, communication is the key to a successful trip. Decide upfront who is going to do what. When traveling to the mountains, Clancy and I decided upfront who was going to do what, and it was the perfect balance to our shared experience. Between the two of us, we ate and drank whatever we wanted, took turns on the tab...it was a great time. The joy of traveling is found in how well you communicate, so set the standard and travel.
It’s true! When you travel with others, you are more likely to do things you never would do on your own. When your friend/s wants to do something and you don’t; most times you will do & sometimes you won't. Peer pressure can be good when it exposes you to something good. Again, go with the flow.
Getting to Know All About You
Traveling is a great way to get to know people. If you want to learn about some real quick; just take a trip. You are sure to observe and discover things about your friends or mate that you did not know before. Hopefully what you observe will make you appreciate them more, I know it did for me! Thanks, Clancy for a great time in the High Country.
Go with the Flow
Traveling with others requires patience and flexibility. You won’t get to do and see everything, and that’s OK. Remember, you can always go back. The important thing is to embrace your time with loved ones, connect and create life long memories.
Wooo Hooo... You made it!
I humbly thank you for your time. My goal is to make my travel blog worth your time. I enjoy sharing my experiences with you. I hope to inspire my readers to travel well and travel often. For some, travel is an unrealized dream but it doesn't have to be. For a long time, I allowed anxiety about being over-weight prevent me from traveling. After getting over myself, I decided to travel with purpose overcoming my fears & I have no intentions of stopping now.
It means a lot to have you join me in this quest. As always share, comment and subscribe.
Until the next time, travel well and travel often,
“It is better to have seen the promised land for yourself, hearing about it is for the blind”. – Kenyatta J.
Why Having a Travel Planner is Clutch -Everyone is talking about the boom happening in travel. 2019 was projected to be one of the busiest travel years and it has not disappointed. Along with the travel boom comes the price boom and predatory markups from travel agents which is why I decided to become a Travel Planning expert offering my clients the best in travel logistics saving them time and money.
Travel planners are passionate about helping people travel. My mission is two-fold. I encourage fat travel and I want my clients to enjoy the luxury of not stressing about planning their travel. When I started my travel planning business in 2017, everyone asked “What is a travel planner”? Simply, travel planners are hired to plan travel. We are responsible for travel logistics ensuring you travel well and know as much as possible before you travel. Check out why having a travel planner is CLUTCH:
1. Travel Can Be Complicated
Travel requires hours of dedicated research. If you are new to traveling, the hours you spend attempting to plan travel will be overwhelming. Travel planners have their ears to the ground and know where to look for deals saving you time and money. Have a professional travel planner to handle travel logistics will make traveling more enjoyable. It will also impact how much you spend how well you enjoy your vacation or getaway.
2. Travel Planners Know What You Do Not
Professional travel planners love what they do, or they would not do it! We spend hours researching, traveling and educating ourselves for the purpose of offering you the best in travel advise and planning. It’s our job to know things that will make your travel experience enjoyable. We learn tricks of the trade which we pass along so you are aware of what to expect. It’s really a beautiful partnership. Travel planners technically provide you a prescription for travel and it’s up to you to take the medication.
3. Save Time and Stress Less
Travel planners save you time and money, period! Reading about travel destination is fun, but planning a trip is hard work. It requires paying attention to details. It requires knowing the best way to travel. Small travel details and logistics can make or break your experience. Travel planners travel, observe, and find loop holes to help us better advise our clients.
4. The “Just in Case” Situations
Travel can sometimes be unpredictable. When things happen, your travel planner is there to save you time and offer professional advice about your situation. Travel planners are also trained to be proactive addressing possible issues they see before they reach the traveler. The perks are tremendous.
5. Travel Planners Provide Trust and Comfort
In a world with computerized everything, having a travel planner on your side will prove to be helpful. People do business with people, not computers or travel agents you may or may not know or see face-to-face. Travel planners are with you from day one, by your side, sending reminders, following up with fellow travelers (for those traveling in large groups), processing payments, offering advise etc. Unlike travel agents, travel planners offer the option of traveling with clients to ensure their group travel is flawless. Keeping up with a group travel itinerary will leave you exhausted after your "vacation" you intended to enjoy. The great news is travel planners are here to serve you before, during and on your vacation as needed.
6. Travel News & Updates
Sometimes travel destinations are hit with horrible weather making it impossible to travel. Your travel planner will keep you informed of any and all changes that might arise.
7. Save Money – Enjoy the Luxury of Not Planning Your Own Travel
Because travel planners are always looking for the best deals, you will save money.
Because travel planners know where to look, you will save money &
Because a travel planners goal is to save you money…you will save money.
8.Travel Planning Is a Luxury
It’s simple, you deserve to enjoy the simple luxuries in life. Long gone are the days where you work until you are too old or dead to travel. You work hard now…you should play hard now...and you don’t need anyone's permission.
Repeat after me: Vacation is not a luxury, it’s a lifestyle. The same way you plan to buy a new bag, shoes or outfit is the same way you purpose to travel. Travel planning is an inexpensive luxury you can’t afford not to invest in. The perks are more attractive than the countless hours you will spend only to end up where you started.
9. You Could, But Why Would You
So, I’m no fool…I know you are perfectly capable of planning your own travel. However, do you have the time, do you want to, are you great at it, and do you have the patience to do it? Why waste time planning when you could invest your time making more money, so you can travel. My suggestion, you keep your bags packed and let me do the planning.
What a trip...! This #girlstrip was one for the books. I've been to Myrtle Beach several times, this is the first time I think I actually engaged in what the area had to offer. This girls trip was fun and exciting. We were ready for adventure and that is just what we had. To just say we had a great, fun and relaxing time is a huge understatement. Here are just a few highlights from our trip.
We stayed 3 beautiful nights in Myrtle Beach, SC in a 2 bedroom ocean front resort. Between the five of us we split the cost of the trip and was able to enjoy a much needed getaway before the official end of summer. A summer without beach time, is not a summer... We ate until our hearts were content. One girl said she gained 5 pounds...LOL but I think she was just messing. Meals were a mixture of fine dinning and home cooked goodness. We cracked so many crab legs...We left when they turned the open sign off...don't judge us. We were trying to get our monies worth...ha ha!
Two of the meals we cooked were so good, we debated which meal was the best...Taco night or my famous rich and creamy grits? I think the group decided they were both equally memorable. Everyone went back for seconds...so I'd say it was pretty darn good! I slow cook my grits for over an hour...string often to ensure smooth slap yo mamma grits. Now... I can't tell you what I put in them...however I always make them for my #Kaycatioin crew when possible (smiles big)!
no more stranger danger
There are several advantage to traveling with people you don't know. Some people shy away from it but I say...embrace it, you never know who you will meet and how that person will impact your life. After all, this is why I started #KaycationTravel. I saw people's desire to travel more! Connecting with others who desire a traveler's lifestyle is a no brainier and who doesn't like traveling on a budget! Group travel offers everyone a chance to travel.
Bringing people together is what I do. It's a gift. Something magical happens when you allow yourself to meet new people and share new experiences. And let's be honest, most of the people in your regular circles aren't trying to travel. They are afraid of everything and the excuses they give about why they can't travel is nuts...LOL. But I know there are people who will travel if the price is right. When you travel in a group, you get the best of both worlds.
In a world full of hate it's refreshing to meet like minded people who love to travel, find power in being social and embrace new adventures. These two (below) just met on our trip...can you tell? They rode a banana boat...If that doesn't help you bond with people i don't know what will LOL. They made parasailing look easy. I think its safe to say they will be good friends long after their #Kaycation.
it's so hard to say goodbye
Leaving a great trip is always bittersweet. However, we went out with a Bang. We enjoyed a great meal, slamming drinks, a screaming boat ride and good laughs. Friendships were born, hearts were lifted, a birthday was celebrated and we all made it possible for each other to share in this much needed weekend.
Ill let the pictures do the talking. Thanks for taking time to read about our trip. Next up is Christmas in Las Vegas! You know what they say about Vegas...What happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas! Ha Ha Ha So, make sure you are there! Sign me up for Christmas in Vegas!