Simply Awesome Trips was born on a Wednesday morning while on a bike ride around the Cades Cove loop of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. We are friends who both enjoy hiking, biking, and hanging out with our families with good food and good brews. We also spend a lot of time bouncing travel ideas off each other as both of us are the self-appointed travel agents for our families and friends.
Travel guidebooks leave you with tons of questions.
How long am I going to spend on that walk? or at that science museum? Am I planning on a 5 mile trek here? or are these places relatively close together? Can I take a backpack with water bottles and fruit snacks into that museum? And most importantly, is there a playground anywhere around in case someone is over the tourist sights? (That last one is not aimed solely at kids--we know a few adults who can throw epic temper tantrums too and could use a good swing set and some alone time.)
Our itineraries offer these logistical details, because it’s what we always want to know and sometimes a little extra info can save big aggravations.
We obsessively research hotel and apartment listings, make detailed itineraries about what to see and do, and scout out the local craft breweries and places to eat. We love to narrow down the overwhelming amount of travel information to reveal the best of a place--not necessarily the ones found in the big guide books which are often not kid-friendly, too crowded, and sometimes don't capture the essence of it.
Our trips tend to include a little culture, good local food and drink (without being terribly expensive), and a lot of outdoors.
Our itineraries are comprehensive enough to stand alone but can also be just a great source of ideas if you are like us and use multiple sources from which to plan your trip. Our goal is to help simplify your planning by telling you what has worked for us in as much detail as we can.
A perfect itinerary doesn't try to pack too much into each day but allows the traveler to take time to experience a new locale.
We've been sharing these itineraries with our family and friends for years. Amy’s idea to finally put our itineraries together on one website made perfect sense. The nuts and bolts of the project took awhile but we enjoyed it all. It is a passion project for us, and we hope you enjoy our travels as much as we did. We encourage you to contact us with any questions or feedback.
A researcher at heart, I love planning trips. My world doesn't feel quite right unless a trip is on the calendar. Scouring guidebooks, websites, and vacation rental listings is actually fun for me. My trips tend to gravitate toward scenic beauty and local food- I seek out the best of both. I also prefer apartment and home rentals over hotels, and I don't like crowds (but put up with it when warranted). I've passed these tips on to you in my travel itineraries. My husband and two daughters have given these trips a "thumbs up" and I am happy to share them with you.
The traveling bug was caught at an early age. My mother is from Scotland so my summers were spent traveling around to every historic sight of her adopted country (at least it seemed like that to my brothers and me) or back in the UK visiting family. I was the only kid in my class who returned from summer vacation less tan than when it started. I love learning about new places and researching trips. I get piles of guidebooks from the library and spend an obscene amount of time on Google Earth. I get a kick when I can see an itinerary come together from ideas on a piece of paper. There is usually something touristy, something local, something outdoors and frequently, something small and offbeat because I find I often remember those things the most.