It is now a little past June 1st, and we’ve officially made it to the summer (Memorial Day weekend in the USA marks the beginning). In celebration of summer, I’ve invited a group of very talented and interesting individuals to share on their favourite escapes for the season. I did this for two reasons, (1) these wonderful contributors have amazing stories to share and incredible insight on their destinations of choice, and (2) I simply haven’t been to enough places in the world to fill up an entire summer worth of posts.

Thus I’m unashamedly tapping into the wealth of experiences these well-traveled souls have had over the years, and I’m taking the opportunity to share them with all of you. The end goal would be to create a curated list of places we love to vacation at that we could share with each other and with all of you as well.

Of course, if you all just wanted to know more about a particular place, you’d go out and buy the lonely planet. A blog however is able to offer so much more than that. These posts are peppered with personal experiences and come with anecdotes and stories that make the readers’ experience that much more complete.

I strongly believe that sharing is caring, even if it is with seeming strangers, and I believe the places we know and love will do well in the long run if there’s word-of-mouth advocacy through a network of trusted friends who can be great guides to new and old places.

Some of the places you’ll have to look forward to this summer include San Francisco, Napa Valley and Oregon, Bali and Phuket, Cinque Terre, Sardinia and Lucca, Seville, Granada and Malaga, and many many more.

It is my sincere hope that you all will enjoy reading these posts as much as the writers have enjoyed putting them together, and if you do, I encourage you to comment because nothing makes us happier than constructive criticism, and knowing that our pieces are well received. If there are questions, fire away! We’re happy to respond because we care to share about the wealth of experiences we’ve had wandering the world.

With that, may I wish you all a fabulous summer season ahead!

xx ash

p.s. if you are keen on contributing, please email me at littlepplanes[at]gmail[dot]com
Image courtesy of Jcrew.tumblr


 by Ashley

Where I go: Bali.

When I get there, I always feel lighter, as if I’ve left all my stress behind on the plane. The smell of salt in the air and the feel of the sea breeze on my skin is positively intoxicating, and I love the way the waves sound crashing on the shore. The boy took me there for my birthday this year, but it’s always been a family favourite (we celebrated Dad’s 50th there with close friends and family a couple of years ago) and we’ve been going there since we were wee ones (back when my sister and I insisted on getting our hair beaded like Bo Derek every summer, I’m so very glad that phase is over forever). Continued


By Joanna

Where I go: Majorda, Goa

So I heard that Goa wasn’t “really India” but decided that my first foray into the unknown should be relatively tame. That said, I did try to mentally prepare myself for the onslaught and assault on the senses by venturing to Little India to change my moolah. And going to the Indian Embassy to arrange for a visa also felt like it could’ve been a visit to the subcontinent itself. There’s a certain headiness that surrounds India. The air gets spicier, the pace slower and I involuntarily find myself shaking my head when I speak. Preconceptions aside, I’d recommend Goa to anybody who’s working up the courage to set foot into India. Flew into Mumbai, was completely overwhelmed by the buzz, and being the absolute chicken I am, took the first flight to Goa. Kingfisher Airlines, by the way, is sort of the Virgin Atlantic of India, right down to the larger than life CEO. Also, I was suitably impressed by the hyper-efficient cabin crew who served and cleared not only drinks but a hot meal, and separately at that. All in the span of 45minutes. WOW! Continued.


By Ashley

Where I go: Maldives

Don’t go to the Maldives and expect to do very much. You drink, you dive, you spa (ideally not in that order, though no one would really attempt to stop you) then you rinse and repeat the entire process. A week-long stay would never suffice because the days turn into nights and nights melt into days and you just don’t know where all that time goes while you’re lying on a lounger soaking up the sun and sipping on some sangria and wondering why in the world you never seriously considered leaving your boring corporate job for the blissful island life. Continued.

Napa Valley

By Rachel

Where I go: Napa Valley

With its air of laidback romance, lush, dreamy landscapes and natural beauty, Napa Valley pools together everything that I love about California. Just a short drive away from San Francisco, it’s a perfect getaway if you’re in search of lazy afternoons or some peace and quiet in a postcard pretty setting. For my birthday this year, the boy whisked me off to Wine Country for four days of some wining, lots of dining and a bit of vineyard visiting. While part of our visit was somewhat marred by an unusual spell of rain (thus foiling our plans for hot air ballooning), it hardly put a dampener on our moods. At the end of it, Napa left us feeling restored and recharged, ready to head back to the madness that is LA (albeit with some reluctance on my part). Continued.

New York

By Cindy

Where I Go: New York City

My present physical state of limited mobility has left me hankering for Summer in one of my most favourite city’s in the world – New York, New York.

I want Summer in NYC and I want it NOW. I long for a particular stretch of 5th Ave between the legendary Museum Mile, a tree lined walk down the side of Central Park, all the way The Plaza Hotel at 5th and 58th, ending at a particular spot, home to one of the world’s foremost temples of luxury: Bergdorf Goodman.

I want to peruse the museums from the Guggenheim, to MOMA to the highly anticipated exhibition at the MMA featuring Alexander Mcqueen: Savage Beauty, which apparently is so remarkable, it’s likely to appeal far beyond the ranks of the designer’s devotees. Other lesser-known, but equally awesome and impressive museums which I have come to appreciate include The American Folk Art Museum and The Cloisters Museum and Gardens. Continued.


By Teresa

Where I go: Paris

The City of Romance invokes all sorts of emotions and opinions from all walks of life, but you cannot deny that there is a certain je ne sais quois to the city that eludes description even by the best writers. While others escape to a beach paradise, I prefer to take my chances on a train to Gare du Nord. Getting around in Paris is easy and efficient; just learn the three magic words and you’ll discover that you can communicate with most Parisians. The Metro/RER lines are an excellent mode of transport, but be sure to know whether your ticket allows you to ride on both. Continued.

Paris II

By Ashley

Where I go: Paris

For me, Paris will always be a city of smells. The flowers, the food, the freshly baked bread… and the unfortunate occasional whiff of piss from the paris metro. So you’ll understand why I’m wearing: Solid fragrances from Diptyque. I first discovered Diptyque candles back in 2007 and have been a devoted follower for a long time and when I finally, finally stood amongst the splendour of its wonderful fragrances it was an awe inspiring experience. All of them, combined, and it was incredible! Continued.


By Andrea

Where I go: Portland

When most think of the USA, New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Vegas immediately pop up. Not many would know of Portland, Oregon, especially if you are a non-American.  Frankly, if not for the fact that I travel frequently to Portland for work, it will probably not be top of my list as a place to visit for a vacation.

Portland is a city that grows on you. As one of my Oregonian friend says, Portland is one of the best hidden secrets of the United States. Indeed. I couldn’t agree more.  It has so much to offer – great food, tax-free shopping and the beautiful outdoors. Continued.


 By Drea

Where I go: Santorini, Greece.

Without getting caught up in the clichéd trappings of an enamored tourist, I’m going to stop short and say that there’s a good reason why Santorini is overrun by tourists. The landscape is beautiful, the weather is crisp, and on a clear day the sunsets look like watercolour paintings. I wouldn’t go so far as to say there’s something for everyone in Santorini. If you’re looking for a shopping adventure or buzzing nightlife (to Mykonos you must go!), or if you hate Greek food (shame on you) then only disappointment is in store. But if you’re set on a chill island holiday replete with little adventures, then believe me, there’s no better place. Continued.

San Francisco

by Amanda

Where I go: San Francisco

In my opinion, best city on the west coast. Think of it as a small scale New York with infinitely better weather. The traffic isn’t nearly as bad as New York or LA so you can cover a lot of ground even if you’re there just for President’s Day weekend. What’s great about it is how well you can get around if you don’t drive. The BART (Bay Area Rapid Transport) is super efficient and can get you to almost anywhere you need to go. Continued.


By Rachel

Where I go: Seattle

Mention Seattle and typically the first responses I’ll get have something to do with the city being the home of Starbucks/Microsoft or bemoaning the rain. Seattle is so much more than that, and no, it really doesn’t rain that much (and when it does, it’s light showers as opposed to heavy downpours).

The Emerald City in the Evergreen State is truly a gem. Grab a window seat on the plane and you’ll see what I mean. Miles upon miles of douglas fir trees, shimmering lakes and mountain ranges that encircle the city, their snow-capped majesty in full view on a clear day. And summer, without a doubt, is the best time to visit. Continued.