Francesca loves to travel – especially to castles and palaces! Despite having wandered around most of Europe, her lust for travel really began after her trip to Morocco last year. You can follow her adventures on her Instagram @the_darling_traveler. She is currently working on a blog so stay tuned for that!
Alex: Can you briefly introduce yourself?
My name is Francesca, I’m Canadian born but spend my winters in Florida. I mean who likes -40 degree weather? The Darling Traveler was born about a year ago, but I only started traveling full time last October.
Why do you travel? What are your inspirations?
I think that my love of travel really came from my love of history. I’ve always been fascinated with certain periods of time and to be able to visit the places that I’ve read and studied about is pretty surreal.
How do you organize your travel plans? Any travel hacks you can share?
I do most of my travel organizing on Expedia. I just find it easier to have all of my bookings in one place. My travel hack for you is: if you are a frequent traveler take advantage of rewards points. For instance, not only can you get points on Expedia for booking a flight – but you can rack up points on your airline points cards as well just by entering them into your account information.
Tell me about a person you’ve met or a memory that impacted you the most during one of your trips?
I was 11 the first time I went to England with my family. We were visiting the Tower of London, and I can remember so clearly how blown away I was. We had been studying Henry XVIII in school and standing there in the same room he had – I thought was pretty cool.
Aside from the basics, name three items that you always bring when you travel.
I always have Moleskin journal in my purse. I’m continuously jotting down what’s going on around me. Pictures are always great to have from a trip, but it’s neat to be able to go back and really get into the moment you were living in. A good book. I often travel alone, so when I’m eating in a restaurant it’s a great distraction. And lastly, photocopies of all my important documents such as my passport – just in case.
What is your motto when it comes to traveling?
As simple as it sounds – just go with the flow. Obviously planning is a huge part of the traveling process, but I’ve found that the more I try to stick to a strict schedule the more things go wrong.
The best and the worst meals you’ve ever had traveling?
While I was visiting Munich last fall there was this little restaurant that was attached to my hotel called P. Korn. The chef was from Austria and made this traditional Austrian soup. It was honestly addictive. I returned everyday I was in Munich for a bowl.
The worst meal I’ve ever had, had nothing to do with the food. I was in Paris with my sister, it was our last night of a two-month long vacation. When it came time to pay the bill neither of are credit cards where accepted nor did we have any money left. We were dangerously close to washing dishes all night before it was all sorted out.
Which city do you consider yourself an expert on? Can you share any hidden gems in that city?
The city that I’m most familiar with is Paris. However, I would hardly call myself an expert as there’s just so much to discover. One of my favorite spot less frequented by tourists is Marché aux Puces. I spend the whole day walking through the labyrinth of stalls finding hidden gems at the bottom of dusty old boxes.
What is your favorite travel song/album to listen on a trip?
It really depends on where I am. I tend to curate soundtracks that embody the city I’m currently in. When I’m in France I listen to a lot of Edith Piaf!
What is the funniest foreign swear word you know?
I don’t know if it’s so much of a foreign curse. But I’ve always heard that it’s bad luck to start a journey on a Friday. Regardless if it’s true or not I haven’t flown on a Friday since.
Follow Francesca on Instagram