Destinations We're "Pinning" For

Here at Trip Styler, we always have our eyes on our next destinations. This summer we're looking at you, Italy and France, while gazing longingly at Texas and Germany. While we can't take you with us, we can share our inspiration boards to show you these jaw-droppingly beautiful and ever stylish locales. Warning: These Pins may cause you to book a flight across the globe to drink rosé in Provence, up your cool factor in Berlin, hop on a boat to a secluded cove for dinner on the Amalfi Coast, or swim in a three-acre outdoor pool in Austin.

Click the destination names for more pins!

Amalfi Coast

Amalfi coastline

Amalfi coastline

Positano / Road tripping

Positano / Road tripping

Locorotondo / Steps to the sea

Locorotondo / Steps to the sea

Hotel Saint Cecilia

Hotel Saint Cecilia

Barton Springs Pool / Hole in the Wall dive bar

Barton Springs Pool / Hole in the Wall dive bar

Hotel San José / Hamilton Pool Preserve

Hotel San José / Hamilton Pool Preserve

Holocaust Memorial

Holocaust Memorial

Badeschiff Pool / Michelberger Hotel

Badeschiff Pool / Michelberger Hotel

Clärchens Ballhaus / Capital Beach

Clärchens Ballhaus / Capital Beach

Lavender fields

Lavender fields

Calanque National Park / Gourdon

Calanque National Park / Gourdon

Avignon / Goult

Avignon / Goult

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This post is written by Trip Styler's Assistant Wayfarer/Editor Heather.

Films That Inspire Travel
Top 10 Instagrams to Fuel Your Wanderlust

[images via pinterest]

A Cinque Terre Adventure

[trip style = sightseeing]

{Editor's Note: My fellow travelista Bianca is serious about a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g Italian. She has a blog about Italy, has lived throughout the boot, and not surprisingly, shares her life with an Italian gent. She recently told me about an Italy-bound trip she's putting together this summer and I had to share it---and would go if I could! I mean, really: daily morning workouts with a fitness guru, personal shoot with Vogue Italia-contributing fashion photog, consult with a personal shopper, wine tasting in the Cinque Terre, and cooking classes in a 17th century villa...are you dying yet? If you're interested, she has three of 10 spots left.}

Where & When June 3-9, 2012 in the Cinque Terre, Italian Riviera, Italy.

Details Aa chance to go to Italy with the friend you didn't know you had. It's not a stuffy tour, but rather a get together on the Italian Riviera with a team of people to inspire, teach and entertain you in a relaxed and ultra-fun environment.

Cost $2470.00 {with a $200 early booking discount---otherwise $2670}. Details.

Includes Six nights in a boutique hotel in the Cinque Terre, daily morning fitness classes {or sleep in and drink coffee on your veranda}, six dinners with wine, six breakfasts, three lunches, photography session with Milanese fashion photographer, shopping trip with a personal shopper, Italian cooking class in a 17th century villa, guided market-to-table culinary workshop, wine tasting of the Cinque Terre wines with sommelier, wine cantina visit, day trips to Portovenere, Manarola, Vernazza, Monterosso, Levanto and Genoa, welcome cocktails, a farewell party, collection from the train station upon arrival in Riomaggiore, Cinque Terre park and trail passes, ground transport. *What's not included: Airfare to Italy, transportation to Riomaggiore, cocktails and alcohol beyond what is mentioned, three lunches, health and travel insurance.

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[photo credit: ho visto nina volare, Lomoody, MMChicago, Lomoody (2),kruder396, supermuch, Werner Boehm (3), Villanova (2), supermuch, Villanova, Werner Boehm]

Euro Month :: Venezia

venice in the fall = magic[trip style = sightseeing]

In Venice, there's a certain magic in the air; perhaps it's the pea soup-thick morning mist, the male model-like taxi boat drivers, the mystique of a city on stilts, or the serenity of water surrounding you on every side. What this tourist mecca lacks due its wall-to-wall crowds, it gains in romantic waterways, singing gondoliers and Louis Vuitton-clad gelato servers.

Getting There overnight train from Paris {We arrived in Venice via overnight train from Paris. This is my husband about to eat the breakfast they brought us on the train: packaged croissants, decent cappuccinos and orange juice. I was impressed by the coffees, and needed the caffeine boost given I didn't sleep so well on the rocking train.}

molino stuccy roof-top pool {After leaving the train, we took the public bus-like boat to our home away from home. Public transport boats are cheap and efficient. Although the gorgeous wood-paneled taxi boats with strapping lads/captains were alluring, the price was not: 75-100 euros one way. After a 15 min ride, we arrived at the Hilton Molino Stucky and were excited to have nice, newly renovated room (see my Trip Advisor review here). The best feature: the views from the rooftop pool!}

Eating There italian essentials {We heard the food in Venice was expensive and less flavourful than other parts of Italy--and it was--so we found a grocery store near our hotel to purchase a few essentials: prosecco, red wine in a box, white wine in a plastic bottle, water, cashews, cheese, crackers, choco cookies and strawberry-flavoured gummies.

quick coffee in venice {The Italian version of to-go coffee, drinking it at the bar.}

ink sauce {Indulging in a local specialty, squid in ink sauce. My husband said it tasted like tomato sauce, but I did not verify that claim because I couldn't bring myself to sample this charcoal-coloured local dish.}

harry's bar {This gorgeous hole in the wall, just off St. Mark's Square is rather famous. Harry's Bar is not only known for its bellinis, it's credited with INVENTING them, so, of course, we indulged, 30 euros later... Harry's is a must-see. This high-end bar and eatery is attended to by servers in white coats, the decor has a classy simple feel and the food is rumored to be very good--even for Venice. According to this month's InStyle, Vera Wang could eat a bowl of their spaghetti Bolognese every day.}

dinner beside venetian canal {Dining al fresco at a quiet restaurant beside an out of the way canal. As if the atmosphere wasn't already romantic enough, the sweet sounds of singing gondliers passing in the night always came at the right moment.}

Glamour Shots canal in venice

parked gondolas

restaurant nook in venice

dogge's palace

venice post box


grand canal


venice canal

City Life a garage in venice {A Venetian garage}

drying laundry in venice {Drying laundry, Venice style}

garbage truck in venice {Garbage truck boat}

venetian ambulance {Ambulance}

Related Content The City of Lights The Italian Riviera Tuscany’s Lucca

[images by moi]

Euro Month :: Tuscany's Lucca

tuscany lucca travel biking eating[trip style = sightseeing + wine tasting]

For our second installment of Euro Month, we're heading about an hour inland from the Cinque Terre to Tuscany. Tagging along with friends to the fortified city of Lucca, we discovered the joys of strolling through antique markets, winding our way into magnificent piazzas, eating out and trying our hand at cooking the region's cuisine and trying to burn off the calories biking!

For us, Lucca was all about activity and eating: biking and walking, followed by wining and dining. Even with the activity, I left a little plumper---not sure how Italian women stay so slender with croissants and pasta cat-calling them on every street corner. To compliment our immersive eating adventures, I wish I could say we actually went to wineries, which was actually part of the plan, but we didn't. After a long journey cycling along a busy road with huge big rigs passing us just a little too close, we opted for a safe type of wine tasting: with our meals at restaurants.

Biking biking in lucca {Lucca is a fortified city with a unique feature: you can bike, walk or run for approximately 4km along the top of the walls around the city}

lucca towers {Looking into the city from the outer walls ~ the towers are left over from days of old and used to be where prosperous silk-trading families took up residence}

lucca biking {More biking along the base of the 12ft fortified walls}

lucca looking inward {Typical scene from the top of the walls looking in}

biking lucca aquaducts {Biking outside the fortification checking out the old aqueducts}

Eating lunch in lucca {One of the most fun lunches while in Lucca: after biking for a few hours---and a fruitless non-encounter with wineries---we found a restaurant on top of the city's outer walls. There we enjoyed a long lunch with pasta, salad and wine, then got back on our bikes and kept on riding! In this pic: our friends and fellow prosecco-lovers.}

lucca food menu {I had to take a picture of this menu ~ see if you can spot the reference to "carpet-shells." I have no idea what those are, but perhaps the joke's on me?}

eating in, in lucca {Enamored by the throngs of fresh food shops, we decided to make use of our accommodation's mini kitchen and eat in one night. In this pic: naked ravioli awaiting its sauce. Soooo good.}

lucca restaurant {After our "home"-cooked meal, we went out to this picturesque locale for some prosecco...}

night in lucca {Open-air drinks in a restaurant mid-piazza ~ there were so many I don't remember which one this was...I think it was Piazza dell'Anfiteatro}

Out & About in Lucca piazza lucca {Walking into a Piazza}

lucca {Tall, colourful buildings tightly hugged all the walkways}

tuscany garage {Love Tuscany's version of a garage, it's like art}

streets of lucca {Just another day aimlessly walking in the beautiful and cozy streets in Lucca}

Related Content Euro Month :: Italian Riviera

Tourist Attractions - Worth It?

Whether it's the London Eye, Eiffel Tower or Empire State Building* some tourist attractions live up to their expectations and some fall short. The more I travel, the less I go near tourist attractions.  Yes, they have a time and place, but also have the potential of being traps, and even savvy travelers can sometimes fall prey.  Whether or not a tourist attraction is worth it, is largely a personal decision, therefore, I've put together a list for evaluating tourist attractions before you go to [hopefully] help save you time and money, the next time you're galavanting the globe and become tempted by attractions. Good and Bad Tourist Attraction Examples lucca bikingITALY - [trip style = sightseeing] In the fall of 2009 I stopped over in Lucca, Italy with my husband and two friends. One of the best days we spent there was an amazing afternoon biking around the fortified city's walls and randomly stopping for lunch at a restaurant that "looked good"--and it was. Rather than getting stuck in a tower or dungeon tour, we were outside, admiring the city from every angle, lunching at a local haunt and riding bikes like many of the locals do.

elephant orphanage nairobiKENYA - [trip style = adventure + safari] Also in the fall of 2009, before going to the Masai Mara, my husband and I spent 3 days in Nairobi.  We were there for a wedding. On day 2, we researched local attractions and found an elephant orphanage that was highly rated on Trip Advisor. We decided to go. Seeing the baby elephants paraded around, drinking out of giant bottles and cooling themselves in the mud was cute, and I was happy the entrance donation went to rehabilitating the little (big) "Babars", but I left thinking: "what did I just do, I'm leaving for the Masai Mara in two days to see elephants in their natural habitat."

limaPERU - [trip style = urban] Spring 2008 took my husband and I to Peru. While in Lima I was more impacted exploring and experiencing different neighborhoods on foot, than touring the city's nether regions (catacombs) gazing at age-old bone piles. In Lima, I preferred to stay above-ground, especially given the earthquake that happened a few months before we arrived.

Evaluating Tourist Attractions Before you Go

  • Will it enhance or deepen my destination experience?
  • Am I just doing it to pass time?
  • Am I going because I think I should do touristy things?
  • Is it totally different from what I'd experience at home?
  • Am I interested in the topic?
  • Is it on my bucket list or a wonder of the world?
  • Do locals do it too?  (This consideration is major because if locals do something, you know it must be an authentic draw.  Case in point, when I hiked a portion of the Great Wall of China, there were more nationals than tourists climbing the ancient, uneven stones used to construct the wall.)


*The London Eye: a cool way to see the city for first-timers, but not a must. There are so many other ways to see London. Only go to the "eye" on a clear day.  I even got a little motion sick, even though the gargantuan wheel only moves at 1km/h.

*The Eiffel Tower: ...the first time I went, it was sundown.  Seeing the sun set and the City of Lights illuminate in the evening was nothing short of spectacular.  The tower wasn't too busy and I spent over an hour at the top taking it all in.   A few years later, my second time was a bust.  It was so crowded, the line-ups were long and nor could you move or walk around freely. The best experience is during off-hours, or off-season. Get the full experience, before or after you ascend, bring a baguette, cheese and wine to enjoy on a blanket at its base.

*The Empire State Building: ...this NY mainstay is worth it.  Again, try to go in off-hours for full enjoyment.  Ogling at the NY skyline on a clear day or night is advisable.  Buy your tickets online to avoid waiting in line.