Tell us about you?
Howdy, I’m Jessica. I’m a southern girl at heart, born and raised in Texas. My husband, David, is from Costa Rica, and we live in the DFW area of Texas.
I’m a marketer, a travel junkie, photography and art lover and blogger. When not traveling I’m working in marketing. I don’t consider my job work because it’s a passion. I’m also a pretty big yoga fanatic. I try to get in at least four days of practice a week.
I learned photography from my Dad – a skill that has been passed down for generations. When I’m not doing one of the above, you will probably find me gardening at my house.
Where are you now?
We are in DFW doing our job thing, but next week we will be in San Francisco, and we have a big trip that I’m currently planning in December. So stay tuned for that announcement.
Describe your travel style?
My travel style is trying to stay calm, enjoying the moments and have fun! I think my style is like many other Americans who travel. We take the time that we can get, and we try to do the most with it.
I certainly do a ton of planning for all of our trips, probably more planning than most. It’s why I started A Southern Traveler because I kept running into so many great blogs that helped me. I wanted to help others!
We are not nomads; we don’t couch surf, and we don’t do a lot of luxury travel. But, I think that’s what makes our blog and our style great, it’s so relatable. Also, I always over pack. It’s a thing. I try my best not to, but I always do.
What do you like best about traveling?
The thing that I like best about traveling is learning about different cultures and meeting people from all over the world. Experiencing new and exciting things to do as well as trying new foods.
You can read about places in the world and poverty in the world, but you never really understand until you come face to face with it.
Travel makes you realize just how many beautiful people are in the world. I believe travel makes you grow, and it’s a great way to bond with your spouse, friends or family.
The most memorable trip you’ve had?
This is a hard question because there are so many memorable trips that I have had.
My favorite travel experience was going to France, Italy, and the Netherlands over a three-week time span. I never thought I would be able to take a vacation that was that long or be able to go to three countries in one trip.
I work full-time, so for me, it was a unique experience.
City visited the most and why?
The city that we have been to most is San José, Costa Rica. We go to Costa Rica about every year, with and occasional missed year. My husband’s family lives in Costa Rica, and we visit them, while also getting in some adventure time for us.
Your favorite hotel, guesthouse, or hostel?
For sure it had to be Volcano Lodge and Springs in La Fortuna Costa Rica. The rooms were large, the location was fantastic, and the views were excellent! Also, you can’t beat having your personal hot tub on the porch outside.
What’s your backpack of choice?
I’m not a backpacker per say. The only reason I use a backpack is to shove my laptop in and because it’s easy to travel with it.
The Case Logic backpack I got from my company was free, and it suits my needs, but it’s certainly not a travel backpack for all my items.
What’s in your backpack?
I use my backpack for my laptop as well as headphones, a few books, a scarf to wrap up in on flights as well as a travel pillow. I also shove some snacks in it as well as my documents and a little bit of cash.
Which electronics and gadgets couldn’t you travel without?
I couldn’t travel without my phone. It’s my lifeline when traveling in the US and abroad. I also travel with my laptop as well as my camera.
How about apps?
I always have the American Airlines app as well as the Southwest App on my phone. It’s the two airlines I tend to fly with most. I frequent Marriott’s for company travel, and the app makes it easy to check in and out of my room.
Last product you purchased?
We just bought our first smart TV. We refuse to pay for cable, so it’s an excellent way of being able to watch Netflix without having to pay an enormous monthly bill. The more we save, the more we travel!
Any tips for traveling on a budget?
My first tip is to keep your dates open and travel in the off-season. It’s the best way to get cheap flights as well as hotel stay. Also, you will avoid the big tourist crowds.
For instance, in Costa Rica, the rainy season is a great time to visit. You might have a few showers during the afternoon, but the amount of money you save and the lesser crowds makes it worth going that time of year!
My second tip is to read blogs. Find out what their experience is in the location you are going. Many times I have saved money from reading others experiences on what to buy, where to go, and how to get there!
Finally, where to next?
We will be headed to San Francisco next week, and you will have to follow us on social media and check out the blog to find out where the next big location is. We are pretty excited about it!