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Sunshine Blogger Award

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Sunshine Blogger AwardIn early November, I was nominated by Gabrielle at Up and Gone to receive the Sunshine Blogger Award. The Sunshine Blogger Award is a recognition given to bloggers by their peers, in order to recognize the great work that they are doing on their blogs! The award is a shout-out to blogs that are creative, inspiring, and positive; I was so excited to get a message from Gabrielle that she chose to nominate our site! Gabrielle wrote a guest post on Hamburg for us, and was awesome to work with. Gabrielle has moved around a lot, but now lives in Berlin! She writes about her travels in Germany and beyond, so you should definitely check out her blog for some awesome inspiration.

My Sunshine Blogger Award Answers

The below questions are those that Gabrielle wrote for her Sunshine Blogger Award nominees. I’m excited to answer them!

1. What is the best travel tip you can pass on?

Even if you don’t travel frequently, try to maximize points for those times you will get to travel! You can still earn airline miles from your purchases at home. Every little bit helps – before you know it, you’ll have a free flight or free hotel room for yourself!

2. What’s the first thing you do to prepare for your next trip?

When planning for my next trip, I always Google the place and see what the tourist sites are! I love visiting tourist sites – I can’t imagine visiting a city and not doing the typical “one thing everyone does” there. After checking Google, I’ll also try searching on Pinterest for blogs and inspiration.

3. What’s your favorite place you’ve been this year?

My family had a reunion in Canada last August, and after the reunion my husband and I were able to take a quick detour to Banff. It was absolutely gorgeous and we had so much fun! We stayed at the Kananaskis Mountain Lodge, which is a Marriott property that I used points for. Even though it’s an hour outside of Banff, it was so worth it. We had the free breakfast buffet with my Platinum status, and we also had our room upgraded to a gigantic suite. I cannot wait to go back!

4. Do you like to be plugged in when traveling, or do you use travel to unplug?

I am addicted to information and I am always plugged in. I like to be able to share my travels, and to keep in touch with people back home. Especially when traveling for work, I am required to be plugged in! If I am traveling for personal reasons outside the country however, I will not pay extra for service. So I can certainly unplug when I have to.

5. Hotel or Airbnb?

Hotel all the way. Since I travel for work, I am a Marriott girl and I always have enough points for a free night somewhere with breakfast. There are a lot of neat Airbnbs out there and we always use the site for group trips, but it’s not for me. I tend to always book the cheapest options, and with Airbnb you certainly get what you pay for. Why pay for a sub-par room when I can already stay for free?

6. What’s your favorite travel accessory?

My Away suitcase is definitely my favorite travel accessory! I try so hard to travel with exclusively a carry-on, just so I can use my adorable pink suitcase. I also love that it has the built in lock and phone charger.

7. If you had to describe your travel style in 3 words, which 3 would they be?

My travel style would be busy, photographed, and expensed! I do not typically have relaxing vacations – I love to see as many sites as possible when I am in a new place and take a lot of pictures, so I will definitely be on the go. I am also very fortunate that I get to travel for my job, so anytime that I travel on my own time I get the opportunity to use points, or sandwich my personal trip in with a work trip.

8. Do you bring anything back from your travels? If so, what?

I always bring back lots of photographs from my trips! I love taking pictures and having my picture taken, and photos are easily the cheapest souvenir out there. For a while, I was collecting postcards for a friend who is teaching and wanted to gift postcards to her students.

9. Spring, Summer, Fall, or Winter?

My favorite time to travel is definitely the fall. Airports tend to be cold, which conflicts with my habit of exclusively wearing shorts in the spring and summer. I prefer to travel wearing boots and leggings, and that is the easiest to do in fall. Winter is just too cold for me, and I can’t handle the airport delays due to the weather.

10. Where is your favorite place to write?

I actually write the best on the plane! I have a hard time sitting down and focusing on my writing, which makes it even funnier that I would start a blog. While I am on a plane I am too cheap to pay for WiFi, so I have fewer distractions and can write nearly the entire time.

11. What is one place you still want to go?

I want to visit Cairo so bad to see the pyramids! I love ancient and mysterious structures, and the pyramids are one of the few standing structures of ancient civilizations. Egypt is at the top of my list for sure.

My Sunshine Blogger Award Nominations

I am excited for the opportunity to nominate some of our wonderful guest bloggers! I couldn’t keep up this site without you all.

  1. Medha from My Travel Confessions: Wrote about Hyderabad and Koregaon Park and Camp Pune
  2. Kristin from Sippin Gypsy: Wrote about New Orleans and Orlando
  3. Eloise from My Favourite Escapes : Wrote about Brisbane
  4. Kimberly from  Travelling Around Spain : Wrote about Madrid
  5. Natalie from A Pair of Travel Pants : Wrote about Queens
  6. Elizabeth from Road Trips and Skymiles : Wrote about Seattle
  7. Ann from Eco Conscious Traveller : Wrote about Hanoi
  8. Iuliana from Authentic Travels : Wrote about Sibiu
  9. James from Travel Collecting  : Wrote about New York’s Financial District
  10. Nadia from Nomadic Nerd : Wrote about Kuala Lumpur
  11. Alexandra from Discover Aotearoa : Wrote about Auckland

The Sunshine Blogger Award Rules

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you in a blog post with a link back to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions the blogger asked you.
  • Nominate (at least) 11 new blogs to receive the award, and write them 11 new questions.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post or on your blog.

My Sunshine Blogger Award Questions

  1. How do you entertain yourself on the plane?
  2. What is your favorite food that you tried in a new city while traveling?
  3. Where do you get tips for a place you have never traveled to before?
  4. What is your worst airport experience?
  5. If you had to stay in one city for a month, which city would you choose?
  6. What is something that you always bring with you while traveling?
  7. What is your perfect trip length? (Two days? Two weeks? Two months?!)
  8. What was your favorite trip as a child?
  9.  You have $10,000 towards a trip. How would you spend it?
  10. Would you prefer an adventurous or relaxing vacation?
  11. What’s one place that you recommend everyone visit at least once in their lives?

Michelle Maraj is a consultant who frequently gets the opportunity to travel for work. Michelle loves pretending she knows how to use a camera, seeing new cities, and visiting touristy attractions. Michelle currently runs www.travelafterfive.com.

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