Choosing the Perfect Vacation Destination

Danielle Mone

Choosing the perfect destination for your next vacation can sometimes be a difficult task! Trust me I’m living in it right now. The husband and I are going to be taking a little less than a week in December/January for some quality NYE time and I’ve got a running list of destination I’m just dying to go.  Narrowing it down can be hard but when you’re looking at the right key factors it should become a bit easier! For me personally when narrowing down my destinations for our vacation I’m looking at a few key things; the Location, Things to do in that area and the Weather over the timeframe we’re looking to go (which then makes me think of the type of outfits I can put together!).


Coming from Orlando, looking at location when booking a vacation is something I value a lot because I want to be somewhere different than where I typically am. I want to be either on the beach (definitely not for my December/January vacation), in the Mountains or in a city that’s full of culture, history, great food and great shops.  I like to be in a location that makes me happy –that’s being surrounded by buildings that are beautifully built, Live music on every corner, great food and tons of history and enjoying time with my husband.  My list of destinations currently sits at about 6 with ; Nashville, New Orleans, Seattle, Charleston, Chicago and Denver!  With each of these cities I get a little something different.  Nashville gives me the experience of a city I’ve never been to with great food and what is said to be cultural landmarks all over the city. With New Orleans, although Jeff and I celebrated our engagement in what was said to be the coldest weekend in the city in 10 years we truly loved it! From the food to the architecture and the history we ran into on every corner, New Orleans is a place I’d go back to every chance I got! Now we’ve never been to Seattle and I don’t think either of us has ever been to the west coast but there is something about Seattle I find so intriguing and not just because the first Starbucks is there! There’s something for everyone in Seattle – what city can you visit that has access to mountains, oceans, city, desert and even a volcano?  Seattle is the perfect location for the couple who wants to see a little of everything. Looking at Charleston this is a place I always found beautiful and no not because of Southern Charm! A vacation in Charleston is said to be one of the most inexpensive vacation you’ll ever take and if that isn’t a plus then think about the history, the markets, the shopping and of course rainbow row (but we’ll revisit that in Things to do).  Chicago is high on the list because living in Orlando I really want to spend my NYE in a city that allows me to wear a real coat and real boots.  There’s no fashion like Winter fashion(especially in FREEZING Chicago).  I’m a city girl at heart and I would love to be in a location right in Downtown Chicago giving access to all the feels of what the Windy City has to offer. Lastly, there’s Denver.  Jeff has mentioned a few times that he wants to take a Mountain vacation and specifically wants to visit Colorado.  I grew up in the mountains in New York and can honestly say there is no Winter like a Winter it he mountains.  There’s something so beautiful and romantic about waking up, grabbing a coffee and sitting on your balcony overlooking the mountains. A little snowboarding is a good time too!

Things To Do

There a few things I absolutely love to do when I’m on vacation and those are; eat, shop, sightsee, (obviously spend time with Jeff) and believe it or not learn about the history and culture of where I am in at least some capacity. There’s something that fits each of these categories in each of the cities I listed out. When planning your next vacation you have to look at what there is to do in comparison to what you like to do!  I’m not so much of a planner in terms of creating a schedule for my vacation because let’s be real, that’s no fun.  However I do like to have some kind of idea of what’s in the area and things I would like to do.  Look at it this way; if I go to Charleston I know for sure I want to go to Rainbow Row and see all the colorful houses, If I go to Chicago there will most definitely be a photo taken by the bean!  In Seattle I want to check out Pike Place Market.  You have to look at things in the area and curate a list of restaurants you absolutely want to eat, places you definitely want to visit and overall things you want to do!  In Memphis, Jeff and I stayed right on Beale Street, we ate at Gus’s Famous Friend Chicken and we took a historic cruise down the Mississippi River. It was all great and we looked into these things prior to booking our long weekend there! I’m currently working on my list of things to do and places to stay on each of my 6 December/January vacation destinations to look at which location has the most to do for both Jeff and I and that will ultimately assist us in making our final decision on where to head next!


This last key factor for me may not necessarily be a key factor for you! I’m big on weather and I love putting outfits together for my vacations! Especially Winter Vacations.  I live for the opportunity to style sweaters, boots and coats and if I’m going somewhere in December/January that’s exactly what I’m looking for, a location that gives me all the feels of a real Winter Season – something we just don’t have in Orlando! I’ve had some people say well you don’t want to be too cold then you won’t enjoy yourself – Listen I spent NYE in Washington DC in 30 degree weather and I had a blast because you drive everywhere and when you are walking through Downtown and Georgetown you wear gloves, thick socks a scarf and a coat! It’s super easy to ensure that you stay warm you just have to pack for it.  If I were looking at going to South Beach I would bring a lot of sundresses, swimsuits and sandals it’s all about doing your research and knowing the weather.  Jeff and I made this mistake 2 years ago when heading to New Orleans and let’s just say for the most part we were ill prepared (but still had a blast)!  You want to know if there are going to be some warm days and some cool days, if you need to pack a raincoat and rain boots or not.  Weather for my personally plays a huge factor in where I go for vacation especially throughout the year and the different seasons.

What factor do you look at when planning your vacation?

xoxo DM

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HEY LOVES – I’M DANIELLE or DANIE – THE LIFE LOVING GIRL BEHIND XOXODANIELLEMONE! I’m currently 28 years old and I live in Orlando, FL with my husband Jeff + our fur baby Bleu (like the cheese), a Blue Nose Pitbull who you can follow on Instagram at @greeneyedbleu. I share our life together and my style here on XOXODanielleMone and on Instagram. I definitely love the colors pink, orange and yellow and all things style but I also love: a great cocktail, home decor, fresh flowers, and spending time with my family (hey mom!).

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