For all the women loves to travel or not, this blog is something you don’t want to miss on! This week let’s meet Ashley Chalmers and Carolyn Godfrey of the popular blog, The Lazy Travelers. Ashley and Carolyn are two best friends from New York who have spent their nearly life-long friendship indulging their insatiable appetite for travel and wanderlust. They write a lot of useful travel guidelines about the destinations they have traveled and explored.
Here I interview these two best friends who have mastered the art of exploring a new city and stand proudly calling themselves professional bar hoppers, pub crawlers, and food testers!
1. What was the major driving factor behind starting “ The Lazy Travelers”?
We were both working in PR in New York, and we were feeling overwhelmed and exhausted by our jobs and our lack of work/life balance. We tried to convince Ashley’s husband to help us move to Ireland and start a pizza company/food truck? But… luckily he recognized that we were probably not cut out for that plan, so instead he encouraged us to start a blog.
2. What has been both of yours favorite memory on the roads so far?
Such a tough question! We’ve been really lucky to celebrate some major milestones together while traveling. Ashley and her husband got engaged in Santorini while Carolyn was living in Dublin (getting her masters degree, not operating a food truck…), so we were able to all meet up for 24 hours in London and celebrate before Ashley and Jeff flew back to the States. A few years later, we planned a long weekend in Paris and the Loire Valley while Ashley and her husband were living in France, and Carolyn’s now husband proposed at our apartment in St. Germain! We then got to celebrate in a chateau in the middle of the countryside, which was pure magic. More recently, Carolyn threw Ashley a surprise baby shower in London to celebrate her first daughter, in an amazing flat that overlooked Tower Bridge. But there have been a million memories in between and since, too. It’s definitely hard to pick just one.
3. Where was your most recent trip to?
We’ve celebrated American Thanksgiving together abroad for the past few years, and in November, we reunited for a few days in London for our traditional dinner, before taking the Eurostar down to Paris for the weekend.
4. What are the top 3 destinations that stands high on your bucket list and why?
Carolyn just visited Argentina and Antarctica, which leaves Asia as her seventh and final continent to conquer, so picking a place there is definitely on her list! But after our trip to South Africa together in March 2015, we’ve been dying to head back to sub-Saharan Africa. We’d probably say Tanzania, Zanzibar, and Botswana are our top three dream spot to explore together. We adored going on safari, and mixing in some of the beaches in Zanzibar would be extra dreamy.
5. How do you determine where to go next? what kind of places appeals to both of you?
We love city breaks, because we can be ultra lazy and not usually plan too much in advance. We tend to pick a general region, and then decide based on affordable airfare — especially since at least one of us is always flying long-haul when we meet back up!
6. Tell us about the most delicious dish you have tasted and from where?
Oooh toughie! We’re suckers for French bistro fare, and keep it pretty simple. Moules frites, soupe a l’oignon, steak tartare, duck confit… we definitely indulged when we were in Paris in November, and it was exactly what we wanted!
7. Let’s talk fashion, what has been your most stylish buy ever and from where?
Ashley bought a Bric’s Bellagio bag a few years ago that is aging really well and is such a timeless travel item. Plus, when you’re carrying nice luggage bag with you on the plane, it feels like you can get away with a little bit more as far as your actual travel outfit goes (looking at you, yoga pants and leggings…).
8. What are some packing hacks that you swear by?
Packing cubes, and roll everything! We’re not sold on it effectively keeping out wrinkles, but it does give you maximum space.
9. What are your 5 must have travel essential items that you can’t travel without?
An oversized scarf, face wipes with makeup remover for long haul flights, hand lotion/moisturizer because our skin always gets so dry on the road, chapstick for the same reason, and snacks! We get hangry pretty easily…
10. How do you manage to keep your skin healthy and fresh while traveling? What is your everyday beauty routine while travelling?
We try not to wear a ton of makeup when traveling, both to save room in our bags, and because washing off a full face after traveling all day is never fun — especially if you don’t have all your usual bedtime routine stuff with you. Instead, we really just rely on mascara, blush, and a bright lip.
11. How do you manage travelling to new places, not knowing their local languages? Share any experience you faced because of communication gap.
As Americans, we always feel like a smile goes a long, long way! But we’ve also heard that other cultures think Americans smile WAY too much, so we try not to freak people out, ha! We’ve also found that knowing the basics always warms people to you — hello, goodbye, thank you, excuse me. It’s also important not to get frustrated if someone doesn’t understand you. There’s nothing more cringe than watching a traveler get increasingly louder and more frantic when they’re trying to converse with someone who clearly does not speak their same language.
12. Do you follow travel blogs? If so, name some bloggers that you personally like?
We’ve been getting worse and worse about reading blogs lately! We pay a lot more attention to instagram, where we love @disastersofathirtysomething, whose captions are always hilarious and super relatable, @Jess_inLondon, who also has a great YouTube channel about living in London, and @dametraveler, because we love seeing girls kicking butt all around the globe.
13. How do you afford to travel? What is your daily budget whilst travelling?
We’ve always prioritized travel when it comes to how we spend our money. We budget accordingly each month, and we’re really fortunate to generate some income through our blog and related projects to fund a lot of our trips together. We don’t really set a daily budget when we travel, but we spend most of our money on airfare and accommodations. We’re not huge spenders once we’re actually in a destination — most of it goes toward food and wine! Now that Ashley has a toddler who joins us on all of our trips, we also tend to rent apartments and stay in at night, so grocery shopping on the road has definitely cut our costs WAY down.
14. Is there any travel tip you would like to share with us?
Don’t overthink it. We get so much more joy in traveling at a relaxed pace, and seeing where a trip takes us. Over-planning stresses us out, but even if you’re super Type A and think you’ll enjoy having every minute mapped out… try and leave a few hours each day to slow things down and relax. Get lost, sit at a cafe, lose track of time!
15. Let’s conclude off with a few favorites.
Brand- Tied for St. Regis and Four Seasons, have had our best stays at both!
Accessory- an over-sized scarf
Adventure sport- Does running to catch the last train home count?! Otherwise… the lazy travelers will pass on this one!
Love what you read and saw? You can follow their amazing travel stories and pictures through their Instagram page. @lazytravelers
Follow their blog page: The Lazy Travelers