In the last month I have had conversations with many different people about this blog and and our perspective on travel. I’ve gotten many questions about the logistics behind how we travel but the question that always seems to stand out is: Why is travel […]
A Second a Day This year I have been working on a project where I take one second of video each day. At the end of each month, I then combine the clips to create a video journal montage. Each second recorded acts as a […]
Last week we shared our highlight video from our trip to the Oregon Coast. Since we are all about inspiring AND helping you for your own adventures, below you will find details to make planning your trip to the Oregon Coast a little easier.
Where to Stay
The Oregon Coast is chock full of places to stay. I’ve seen a range from rooms for one person, to homes that will sleep multiple families. There were 23 in our group so we needed the latter, leading us to find the Sunset Bay beach house in Lincoln City. We enjoyed easy access to Lincoln City Beach, the ocean views, and lots of space for our energetic family.
If you plan far enough in advance, there should be no problem finding a place to stay that fits your budget and needs. To search for unique places to rest your head, try searching through Airbnb, VRBO, or Home Away. These are just three of many websites out there that give people the chance to rent out their extra space or property. Prices are reasonable and it is so convenient to be able to stay in homes. However, if that isn’t your thing, you can also find a great list of more traditional places to stay in Lincoln City on this website.
What to Do
We were traveling with a big family with a variety of ages and abilities, so the things we did had to fall under the following criteria: free/inexpensive, simple, and fun! Most of our outings were also within a 30 minute drive from where we were staying, making for easy access (not to mention a beautiful drive).
One side tip before we get to the good stuff, the winding roads on the coast did cause some upset stomachs, especially for those prone to car sickness. Kyle’s sister introduced us to the wonderful thing that is Dramamine, for kids and adults. After cleaning up way to many car throw ups this summer, this was a game changer! Take your dose a half an hour before hitting the road to help alleviate motion sickness. And now that you have prepared to prevent car sickness, on to what to do!
If you are looking for a short hike that will be doable for little legs, this it the trail! The hike itself is only about a half mile long, with little elevation change. The end of the trail is currently blocked off, which means you have to take in the falls from a short distance. But as it is the area’s tallest waterfall, you can still get a great view of the towering falls. On the way out, check out the hollow tree located next to the entrance of the parking lot. The kids in our family burned some of their energy climbing and playing in their “tree fort”.
If you are a fan of Tillamook Cheese, or cheese in general, this is a fun pit stop that will give you insight the factory and fill your stomach. Our group visited the temporary visitors center as construction is currently underway for a new visitors center. The new center will open in 2018. Rosalie loved the cows in the dairy farm exhibit, while Kyle and I enjoyed sampling their ample cheeses. There is also a cafe that is quite possibly a dairy lover’s dream. Hello giant ice cream cones and gourmet mac and cheese!
Proudly standing the edge of the coast, the Cape Meares Lighthouse The lighthouse is open daily for free tours to give insight into the functioning and history of the lighthouse. For safety reasons, children under 5 are not allowed into the lighthouse tower for the tour. The tour was fast enough that we could switch off who was hanging with the kids and everyone who wanted to could get a tour. While you’re waiting, enjoy the stunning view of the coast and make sure to look for whales!
A short walk inland from the lighthouse, you will find an unusually shaped Sitka spruce tree. According to local historians, this tree was shaped in Coastal Tribe tradition when the tree was young, then allowed to grow. The tree was a place for tribal rites and ceremonies, and has been deemed one of the modern Wonders of the World.
Parking fills up quickly, so it is best to get there early or plan for some extra time waiting for a spot to open.
At low tide, Cobble Beach in the Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area reveals numerous rocky tidepools filled with all sorts of sea life. In the time we were there, we found starfish, muscles, barnacles, anemones, crabs, and urchins in the tide pools. Outside of the tide pools, we were able to see seals lounging on their rocks and birds in search of their next meal. However, our favorite part of this stop was being able to see the blowing water from grey whales as we stood on the outlook next to Yaquina Lighthouse.
No trip to the coast would be complete without some delicious seafood. Newport Chowder Bowl definitely delivered. It is reasonably priced, has all of the classic coastal dishes, and able was able to serve our large group with ease. It was here Rosalie had her first taste of calamari. And she LOVED it! I wish I would have caught on film because she was hilariously fascinated by the little tentacles as she ate them. After eating, walk off your food coma around the nearby shops in Newport. It is a nautical lover’s paradise! There are also several sweets shops which served as the perfect cap to a delicious meal.
Catch a Fresh Crab Dinner
Though there are many places you could go to catch crab, we chose to get help from Dock of the Bay. This company does it all; the boat rental, providing the crabbing supplies, and they even cook the crab for you! For someone who knew little of the ins and outs of crabbing, this company was a great fit for our needs. We split the cost of the boat with Kyle’s brother, which made it completely reasonable. Before you go, make sure to get a licence to catch crabs. Anyone over 12 must have a license and keep it with them when going crabbing.
If you like pirates and freshly baked treats, Captain Dan’s Pirate Pastry is the wonderful combination of the two. Stepping into the elaborately true to theme decorated shop, you will find sweets from uniquely flavored turnovers to decorated ocean creature sugar cookies. It also made for a great bribe to get all the kids in our family smiling for a family picture.
The Oregon Coast has no shortage of beaches. Sure, the weather along the coast is cool, but that didn’t stop us from making sandcastles and splashing in the waves. You can do other things, too! Go on a run, meditate to the sound of waves, have a picnic, search for driftwood, build a mallow roasting fire, or take family pictures. All free and easy to do with your family.
As a three mile round trip hike with mild ups and downs, this hike is on the challenging end for little legs. But still completely doable! Our favorite part; the trail ends with flair through a suspension bridge providing a great view of the falls. Don’t be put off by fear of heights, the bridge is well built to prevent any problems while crossing.
What do you like to do?
We had a wonderful time on the Oregon Coast, and we hope these ideas will help you have a great time, too! Can you believe we have barely scratched the surface of what there is to do? That has us crossing our fingers for another Frederiksen family gathering here so we can explore some more! In the comments, let us know what is your favorite thing to do on the Oregon Coast.
The chance to explore a new place or travel to an exciting destination doesn’t always fall into your lap. But sometimes, it is looming right in front of you, waiting for you to reach out and grab it. Our Opportunities If I look through […]
Finding and purchasing flights has got to be among the top of the most deterring things about traveling. For some, even looking at the price of the flight makes them think they’d rather vacation on their couch in front of a TV. And, I don’t blame them! If you are just starting to learn the ins and outs of booking a flight, I can understand why you’d want to give up. There is so much information out there that it’s difficult to know where to begin.
I mentioned in this post that we found $350 round trip flights to Sydney, Australia. Normally, flights from the U.S.A. to Australia range from $1,300 to $2,000+ round trip. That price was a steal! But it would not have been possible without our favorite flight searching tools. Today I have gathered together our favorite tools to use when searching for flights. I think it’s safe to say that in the 50+ flights that we have been on as a couple, we have used one or more of these tools to help.
Search Engine for Flights
Google Flights is the ultimate search engine for flights. You enter in your starting point and desired destination, then the dates you want to fly. You will then be given a list of any airline (except Southwest), that has flight options within your specifications. You can filter by price, number of stops, airline, and times until you find the perfect option for you. If you have flexible dates, click on the calendar where you enter in your desired travel dates. The calendar will drop down to reveal the lowest price available on each day of the calendar. We like knowing that if we were to shift our plans a day or two, we would be able to get a less expensive flight.
Another feature we love is the ability to Explore Destinations (found on the right side of the screen). With this tool, you can look at the cost of flights all over the world based on the days you want to travel. This way, if you have already created your “To Explore List”, you can pick which location is the best price, but still a stop that you would love to see.
The cost of flights are constantly fluctuating. A flight to your desired destination may be at an all time low one day, and twice as much the next. This can be a wonderful thing or terrible thing, depending on what day it is. That’s where these tools come in handy, because these sites let you know when it’s going to be your wonderful day. The downside, you need to be prepared to act fast.
The Flight Deal
If you are looking for an exciting destination at a low price, The Flight Deal has got you covered. They find a selection of low priced flights and then provide links for you to purchase the tickets. The thing we love about them is that they are very particular on what they post. Their criteria for a post worthy flight is simple, the flight must cost no more than six cents per mile. So, it’s not just a decent price, it’s a jump-on-it-now bargain!
Be prepared to act fast on these deals. While they are accurate when posted, the flights may be booked solid or change within the hour. This is how we found our flights to Australia. Within a few hours the flights had changed back to the higher price. It’s a good thing we were ready to go for it! Subscribe to daily emails for that day’s best flight deal here. You can also get notifications from them on Twitter and Facebook.
Fare Deal Alert
Similar to The Flight Deal, Fare Deal Alert is a daily flight deal notifications, also fueled by the no more than six cents per mile criteria. Most flight deals start in one of the large airports, like New York or L.A., but if you don’t live close to those, you will end up paying more than the advertised price because of an extra leg to get you to the airport with the deal. In the end you may not pay any less than normal. However, this site looks for flights that depart from airports that may not be the main hubs for air travel.
If you live in a place with a smaller airport, your chances of a great deal may have just gone up. Sign up for their free newsletter to stay in the know.
Imagine that you had an assistant who was able to watch flight prices for specific destinations. ALL day. EVERY day. They would let you know when the price dropped and help you with the booking. That is Airfare Watchdog. They will keep you posted on a drop in price, you just need let them know what you are looking for. To set this up, go to their site and on their menu find Flights, and in the sub-menu, select Set Up Alert. Guess what? You just got yourself a watchdog that will notify you of deals on flights and hotels within your criteria
The vacation packages offered by many travel companies can be ridiculously high. It may be an easier route to book your flight, hotel, and transportation in one click, but realize that you will probably only be getting a decent price on one or maybe two of those options. So then you face the dilemma, do you want to go through the hassle of booking it all yourself to find the lowest priced options for all travel essentials, or do you just pay the higher cost?
That dilemma is exactly why we love European Destinations. They offer the best of both worlds. You give them when and where you want to travel, and they will provide a rough draft itinerary for you. From there, you can go through each part of your itinerary and customize it to your liking. Don’t like the flight time they suggested? They will give you other options. Do you want to splurge one night on a five star hotel and stay the rest of the time in small inns? You can choose how to splurge and save. This site is especially valuable for multi-city trips. We used this for a backpack through Switzerland and would love to use it again the next time we head to Europe.
Last but not least, we have Travelzoo! We like to use them when we have the urge to go somewhere, but aren’t sure where that somewhere should be. Travelzoo gives you the opportunity to find deals from travel and entertainment companies world wide. Companies do have to pay to put their information on the site, but the Travelzoo maintains that they thoroughly vet offers to make sure they are the best for their consumer. It even has seasonal travel opportunities, right now being the 4th of July.
One Final Tip
I had a good friend while at university who had a list of all the things that she wanted to do during her life. It was rather extensive, and as soon as one thing was checked off, another appeared. She had an urge to experience and do as much as possible, and currently continues to check off and add to her list.
Her enthusiasm caught my attention and the idea rubbed off on me. I soon found myself making lists of things that I wanted to experience. That only intensified when I met, dated, and married Kyle. He also had a list, though called a different name.
To Explore List
Life list, itch list, or wish list. what you call it doesn’t matter, it’s what’s on the list, and your ability to check it off. For us, we have deemed ours as the To Explore list. Like my friend, as soon as we check one experience off, another “To Explore” shows up. Some are small and easily accomplished things, while others will take much more time and money to check off. Among many other things, our To Explore List includes:
- Get to know the new city we are living in this summer: Cincinnati, Ohio!
- Road trip through the South Island of New Zealand
- Visit friends in Chicago
- Live abroad so we can get to know a new culture
- Visit every national park in the United States
Why is this important? Well, it is that list that has helped create our drive to explore. And I’m not just referring to this blog. If we hadn’t created our list, then we wouldn’t have traveled to many of the exciting places that we have. Our long weekend activities would be much less adventurous. And I don’t see us with the same passion for trying new things. In addition, I feel like our lives and time have been maximized through being able to experience so many wonderful things!
Do you want to explore? Do you want to be able to experience new things? Taste new foods? See new places? Write it down. Make your own To Explore List. Be as specific as you can. Then put your list on a place you can see often. The more you look at it, the more it will be an impetus to make exploring happen.