My 2018 travels: Israel, Savannah, Chicago, and more

Last year, I wrote a post detailing my 2017 travels and giving some travel tips. I enjoy looking back at the post (and hopefully some of you benefited from the travel tips, too?), so here's my post for 2018.

I didn't have a ton of work trips this year, but I did travel a lot on personal trips.

Here's a look at each of the trips I took this year:

Disney World castle

1. Disney World and Universal Studios: January 11-15. For my birthday, a friend and I decided to go to Disney World for 3 days and Universal Studios for one day. It helped that I had two free nights at the Hilton Bonnet Creek, too, since I had won a contest there during BlogHer '17; we stayed there for two nights, and two nights at Disney's Coronado Springs resort. This was an exhausting trip walking-wise, but a ton of fun, though I enjoyed Disney more than Universal Studios.

Indiana Convention Center, Indianapolis

2. Indianapolis, March 30-April 1. My boyfriend and I drove to Indianapolis for a long weekend, for the Indiana Comic Con, where I had media passes. The Comic Con had a great lineup of guests, including the Weasley twins from Harry Potter and the sheriff from Stranger Things, among others, and we attended a few great panels. Although Indianapolis itself isn't that exciting, their food scene is good, so we had some tasty meals here.

In-N-Out, Fort Worth, Texas

3. Fort Worth, TX: April 17-18. This was a very quick work trip for the opening of a new snack and bakery facility in Fort Worth, but I managed to squeeze in a dinner with a blogger friend. I may or may not have booked my hotel based on the fact that In-N-Out was a 5-minute drive away ... 

Chicago, Illinois boat ride

4. Chicago for an unofficial Yelp Spring Break: April 19-22. Yelp didn't do an "official" Spring Break this year, so Yelpers collaborated and came up with three different Unofficial YSB locations: Chicago, Savannah, and Reno. I was able to make it to two of them, and Chicago was easy because a friend and I took Amtrak there and Megabus back. It was fun to play tourist in Chicago for a change (I usually am there for work nowadays) and we bought a CityPass so were able to check out a lot of places.

Savannah, Georgia

5. Savannah for 2nd unofficial Yelp Spring Break: May 3-7. My second Unofficial Yelp Spring Break (UYSB) was only a few weeks after the first. It didn't take much convincing to get me back to Savannah, which I had visited back in 2014 or 2015 with a friend who at the time was living in Atlanta. Savannah is one of my favorite cities (it's so beautiful!) and this was a great trip as well.

Masada, Israel
The top of Masada ... getting up and down is hard, but the view was worth it

6. Israel for Birthright: June 9-18. This was a life-changing trip. Previously, to participate in Birthright, you had to be 18-25 years old; I had always wanted to do it while in college, but was never able to. This year, they extended the age cut-off to 32, and so I applied and was accepted for the trip. My mom and grandma had been to Israel when she was around my age, and I had always wanted to travel there; although it was an exhausting trip (lots of on-the-go), it was definitely worth it.

Hop & Vine Inn, Fennville, MI
Barn at the Hop & Vine Inn

7. Fennville: June 22-23. Four days after I got back from Israel, I was able to go to Fennville and stay at the Hop & Vine Inn for a blogger stay. The Hop & Vine is very pretty, and I was also able to dine at one of my favorite Michigan restaurants, The Southerner, in Saugatuck, and introduce my boyfriend to Grand Haven, my favorite Michigan city.

Rhode Island beach

8. Rhode Island: July 3-10. This trip was originally for a wedding, which ended up being canceled, but I decided to go anyways and stay with my aunt (the Delta change fee would have been $200 - yikes). I was able to get a blogger car for the week, too, which was a lot of fun, and I visited both my Rhode Island and Massachusetts relatives.

Moxy hotel, Chicago

9. Chicago for IFT: July 16-18. This was a quick work trip, in which I stayed at a very hipster hotel (The Moxy, Chicago). I was able to visit with a college friend and her kids, as well, and have a few good meals in the city.

Homemade cheese fondue! A la Melting Pot style.

10. Portage: August 3-5.
 Long weekend trip to visit college friends (friend + her husband), have some good food, and play board games.

Brucker Beach, Grand Haven
Brucker Beach, Grand Haven

11. Grand Haven, MI: August 10-12. Literally the weekend after Portage was my annual girls' trip weekend, and two friends and I drove to Grand Haven. This time we stayed at an Airbnb that was in Grand Haven but about a 5-10 minute drive from the city, and it was very convenient to everywhere that we wanted to go.

Titanic Museum, Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
Titanic Museum, Pigeon Forge, TN

12. Knoxville, TN: August 31-Sept. 3. My boyfriend and I drove to Knoxville over Labor Day weekend to visit his cousins who live there, and we also go to play tourist. I had never been to Knoxville before, and it was a fun time - we did a food tour (read more about that here), visited the Titanic Museum in nearby Pigeon Forge, TN, and went on a crazy outdoor roller coaster that rivals Cedar Point's coasters.

Chicago, view from McCormick Place

13. Chicago for PACK EXPO: October 15-17. I was pretty sick during this trip and any conferences always require a lot of stamina, so I mostly stayed in my hotel room when I wasn't at McCormick Place. However, I had a few good meals and also my hotel (Radisson Blu Aqua) was very nice. 

Where did you travel in 2018? If you went on multiple trips, which one was your favorite, and why?

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