Best of 2018: Top 5 Travel Destinations of 2018

Throughout the month of January, I’ve had fun sharing some of the things you guys have loved on the blog over the last year [see your the blog posts y’all flocked to this most & the products y’all loved the most] and, today, I’m excited to round up the top 5 travel destinations that I ventured to this past year. While I realize travel seems like a far fetched thing or idea for some, I do hope you’ll aim to be intentional about traveling in even the smallest capacity this year. It really does the soul good to get out of your normal day-to-day to experience somewhere new.

And, if you can, at any point in time, plan a trip to one of these places. They blew my mind!


Budapest is a diamond in the rough. From the multiple styles of stunning architecture throughout the city to the traditional Turkish baths, Budapest is a destination not to be missed. I truly did not expect to love this city as much as I did. We only had a day and a half to explore, which I thought would be plenty, but we left wishing we had double that amount of time to do the city the justice it deserves! Highly recommend a stop in Budapest.

Check out my Budapest travel diary for more insight!


Portugal has been on my list for years and, to be honest, it always makes me nervous to go to places that I have built up in mind to be amazing. What if they aren’t as great as they seemed they would be on Pinterest?

Well, Portugal really is a beautiful country and I especially loved Lisbon.

lisbon, portugal

It’s a huge metropolitan city with plenty to keep you busy, but if you’re into day trips, you can’t miss Sintra with seven castles to explore with absolutely stunning views and interesting finds! [see above & below]

Victoria and I enjoyed gorgeous weather, the kindest people, delicious meals, bright colors around every turn and stunning sunsets in Lisbon! I highly recommend going in May or June as the later Summer months would surely make the hills you have to tackle around the city pretty brutal!

More detailed travel diary to come in 2019!


Seeing multiple cities in Vermont at peak foliage time might have been my absolutely favorite travel venture in 2018, which proves you don’t have to leave the country to have the best travel experiences. Planning a trip aiming to see the leaks at their peak is a bit of a gamble, with no easy way to really nail it, but if you’re down to take a chance, get started on your planning early and go for it! It’ll be beautiful either way!

Here are some of my favorite snaps from our trip!

There are so many that have yet to be shared so be sure to stay tuned for a more detailed post on traveling to Vermont in the Fall in 2019.


Like Budapest, Madrid caught me by complete surprise. Whitney and I planned it on a whim and, to be honest, and I hate to admit this, but I wasn’t super excited about it. It had never really been a place I had heard great things about nor had I come across blog posts that got me excited about the city. But, our first day in the city, I just fell in love with the vibe, the food, the grandeur architecture [I’m kind of an architecture lover, I’m not going to lie] and cute neighborhoods just waiting to be explored.

Madrid kind of proved to me how much of a city person I am. I literally come alive and feel so at home in them. But, similar to London, I felt a different kind of draw to Madrid than I have felt in other big cities so, there was just something special about it to me.

Being that Madrid is such a large city, it was absolutely impossible to really even scratch the surface of all that there is to discover and grow to love there but I am confident that the longer I stayed, the more and more I would toot Madrid’s horn. I hope to go back someday and spend at least a week there!

Small travel diary to come this year! Stay tuned!

Schloss Neuschwanstein

Out of all of the places on my lust list, I was probably the most excited to check off this one this year and, thankfully, it didn’t disappoint. But …

… it almost did!

Be sure to read THIS post I shared in early 2018 that shared how this day didn’t exactly go as planned and was a bit unnerving … in more ways than one!

Seriously, I am so happy I got to check this off my list this year. It really is extremely stunning in person. It almost doesn’t look real.

Thanks so much for stopping by today’s post. It was so fun pulling all of these images together. It was like I was reliving all of these trips over again. I have a busy travel schedule from February through May. Any ideas on where I’m headed? Where would you love for me to go to make your future trip easier? I’m always looking for great travel destination ideas!

I owe y’all quite a few travel diaries so I will try to get some of those to y’all soon! Paris is up next. Fingers crossed I can get it done for y’all by the weekend! Happy Tuesday!  xo.

Editor's Notes




  1. Roses for Fridays | by mia wrote:

    Beautiful photos … such a lovely place to visit!

    ??ROSES FOR FRIDAYS ??| by mia | A Creative Lifestyle Blog

    Published 1.29.19 · Reply
  2. Oh my goodness, this has given me so much travel inspo! I’m heading to Budapest in March and can’t wait already!

    Happy Tuesday!

    Published 1.29.19 · Reply
  3. Olga wrote:

    These all look amazing! I’m not too far from Vermont and have yet to see it in the fall! Looking forward to your post on that!


    Published 1.29.19 · Reply
  4. Keri wrote:

    Love your photos – thanks for sharing! I didn’t see the fur earmuffs from your Budapest photos linked. Can you provide the source? Thanks in advance!

    Published 1.29.19 · Reply
    • AlysonHaley wrote:

      They were no longer available when I posted the Budapest travel diary so I did not include the link. They were from LOFT.

      Published 1.29.19 ·
  5. These are some great places to keep in mind as I start to book up my year to travel! I am already visiting Germany and Amsterdam in March (it’s gonna be cold!), so I am excited to check off a few European countries off my bucket list.

    xo Amanda || Affordable by Amanda

    Published 1.29.19 · Reply
  6. Monica H wrote:

    Oh Haley!! What gorgeous pictures of Budapest. The last time I was there, it was still an Iron Curtain country. My grandparents owned a farm in a small village near the Austrian border. They are now in Heaven, but I would love to go back now that Hungary is free. Parliament surely looks beautiful without the red star! Thank you for sharing!

    Published 1.29.19 · Reply
  7. Nali wrote:

    Beautiful pictures! I was in Budapest for work a few years ago, but had to work 16-hour days and only had one day off so I didn’t get to explore the city much. I’m hoping to go back with my husband soon! Stowe is also on our list for Fall!

    Published 1.29.19 · Reply
  8. Natalie wrote:

    You take the most beautiful travel photos! My favorite is the red castle in Portugal with the coordinating red dress! How do you research or choose your photo shoot locations ahead of time? I know it’s no coincidence that you always coordinate with your background. How do you find instagramable or popular photo spots? You mentioned Pinterest, any other suggestions? Thanks!

    Published 1.30.19 · Reply
  9. Holly W wrote:

    Wow, all of these places look amazing and your photos are stunning! Now I have the travel bug!

    Published 2.2.19 · Reply
  10. Courtney wrote:

    Really looking forward to your Lisbon Travel Diary post! I’ve been all over Europe, but have yet to make it to Spain and Portugal. However, I’m finally going to Lisbon and Barcelona this summer! Wishing we could make it to Madrid this time around. Your pictures looked amazing in Madrid!

    Published 2.14.19 · Reply