By Spencer Spellman, on May 2, 2014

Taking a storybook trip

If you could take one dream vacation anywhere in the world, where would you go? A safari through South Africa? A family vacation to Disneyland? A week at an overwater bungalow in Bora Bora? What about an excursion to Ireland to discover your ancestry? Dream trips—like the dreams that drive them—likely would differ for each of us. The common thread: Each of these once-in-a-lifetime adventures would have the potential to be transformational in a time-on-this-planet-will-never-be-the-same sort of way.

Stories often inspire these types of trips. Children’s books we read as kids, epic novels, suspenseful movies—whatever the genre, these works often move us to imagine ourselves traveling to faraway places where villages float on water, castles are houses, dragons lurk and giants stand tall. This is the basis for Expedia’s most recent ad campaign, dubbed “Find Your Storybook.”

The idea behind the campaign is simple. All of us have destinations about which we fantasize; these are the kinds of places about which our own personal storybooks would be written. (The United Kingdom is one such destination for Expedia; the commercial spotlights crossing the River Thames on the Westminster Bridge in London; strolling around Loch Ness and Inverlochy Castle in Scotland; and riding across the Cynghordy Viaduct in Wales.)

In my family, my parents’ storybook trip was the last vacation we took as a family before I graduated high school. The trip comprised 25 states in three weeks; along the way we covered 6,000 miles and saw Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo, Texas; the Grand Canyon; Badlands National Park; buffaloes in Yellowstone National Park, the battlefield of Custer’s Last Stand and Mount Rushmore. It was our version of The Great American Road Trip. And, to this day, sitting on my bookshelf at home are two large photo albums, organized by state, with photos and a detailed itinerary from that trip.

These sorts of journeys leave an indelible mark on each of us. They are the trips that stay with us through the years, the ones that spawn stories we retell to different friends during different eras of our lives. They also are the types of trips we want to do again—either for ourselves or for our kids or grandkids, so they too, can feel some semblance of what we felt.


This year, in an attempt to personalize the notion of storybook trips even more, we’ve asked all of the Expedia Viewfinder bloggers to make their own respective dream trips come true. We gave them travel budgets. We gave them a platform. Our bloggers embraced this challenge with panache. Some of our family travel bloggers will take their kids on trips to experience “firsts.” Other bloggers will focus on love, expressing newfound love and appreciation for their partners through travel. Still others will hit the road in search of discovering their roots. Like the dreams behind them, each of these dream trips will be different.

Over the coming weeks and months our bloggers will be sharing their storybook trips on the Expedia Viewfinder blog. We’ll chronicle their journeys here:

Family adventure in Yosemite

Surprise romantic getaway to Cabo

Girl-power storybook adventure

Romance rediscovered in Ireland

Epic adventure in Costa Brava

Sentimental journeys through time

Traveling to follow a passion

Falling in love again, in Sedona

Turning wanderlust into reality

Reinventing the storybook dream

We also will be giving you a handful of chances to take your own storybook trip. The first of those opportunities takes the form of our current “My Storybook Pinterest Sweepstakes,” in which participants have the chance to win a $2,500 trip or 100,000 Expedia Rewards points.

As we celebrate storybook travel over the coming weeks and months, we hope our dream trips jog your memories about great trips you’ve taken in the past, and inspire you to go out and book your own storybook journeys for the future. We’ll be sharing our stories with you. We hope you share yours with us, too.

If money were no object, what storybook trip would you take?