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The Short Version: Jennifer Dombrowski and Tim Davis have seen the Northern Lights, taken an African Safari, been swimming with wild pigs in the Bahamas, and enjoyed red wine in Bordeaux, France. And they’ve done it all in style. The couple not only document their getaways to bucket-list destinations but also give plenty of advice to other travelers on their blog, Luxe Adventure Traveler. Jennifer and Tim provide tips on traveling with a smart mix of adventure and luxury. That message resonates with couples who love to escape with each other while also having experiences off the beaten path.
I’ve been a full-time traveler for the last four years, so I know the difference between luxury travel and adventure travel. I’ve hiked past volcanoes to see emerald-green thermal ponds in New Zealand while staying in cheap hostels and eating takeaway vegetable pies. I’ve also visited Mayan ruins on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico while ending my day at an all-inclusive resort with decadent food and spa treatments.
Both were great experiences, but I find the mix of adventure and luxury travel to be superior.
The reason I found myself booking hostel beds at age 40 — yes, I was usually one of the oldest in the dorm — was because I didn’t know how to book travel options designed for my needs. Jennifer Dombrowski and Tim Davis have been specializing in that hybrid kind of travel for nearly a decade on their blog, Luxe Adventure Traveler.
What started as a personal travel journal has evolved into one of the most popular travel blogs online. It’s designed for people who love to explore like kids but stay like adults.
“Tim is an adventurous, rugged, outdoor person, while I like a bit of luxury,” Jennifer said. “I like to go hiking and kayaking with him, but I also like a hot shower and a comfy bed at the end of it. Our blog came together as a compromise between those two different styles and interests, and we came up with Luxe Adventure Traveler to combine them.”
The blog began when Tim’s military service took him to Italy, and Jennifer decided to write a blog just for their friends and family.
“They didn’t read it, but other people did,” she said. “We took it from there.”
With the help of a friend who was involved in digital marketing, they shifted the direction of the writing and started to create informative pieces that served as guides, sharing itineraries and vacation ideas that people could follow when they planned a similar trip.
Readers relate to the couple because they’re not digital nomads who don’t have a home base. Jennifer and Tim have a home they enjoy returning to, just like most travelers with traditional jobs. That differentiates the blog from other sites designed for people who sell their belongings to travel the world.
“About three years ago, we focused on the blog, and it became a full-time job for me. Next year, when Tim retires from the military, he’ll focus on it full time as well,” Jennifer said. “We have 2 million readers annually, and about 50% come from the United States and 20% from the UK. Our readers are mostly between 30 and 50 years old. Since we’re in our late 30s ourselves, it makes sense that people who identify with us and our stage of life are our main readers.”
One reason the blog has become so popular is Jennifer and Tim offer personalized tips and show they care about their audience. Jennifer said they answer every email and comment on social media because they love engaging with their followers.
“If I had a question, I’d never email a large travel publication. But, with our blog, we are connected with our audience, and we take pride in the fact that we’re people, not brands,” Jennifer said.
Often, readers just want to confirm that they haven’t left any local spots out of their posts because they’re too good and the couple doesn’t want them overrun by travelers. That’s especially true for trips to Bordeaux, France, where the couple lives.
“A lot of people get in touch with us about planning a trip to Bordeaux because it’s our home,” Jennifer said. “We don’t hide any information or not share our favorite things, but sometimes people want to know even more. And when you email someone or have a conversation, you can feel their passion behind it.”
Luxe Adventure Traveler provides information on many types of excursions. If you want to plan a three-day getaway, check out all the itineraries Jennifer and Tim have posted to help you plan a long weekend. Bucket list trips are also featured on the blog.
“We go on three-day city breaks a lot or one- to two-week trips, just like people who have traditional careers,” Jennifer said. “We started those itineraries to correspond with how we were traveling, and anyone can see what we saw, stay where we stayed, eat where we ate. They can find all of those things right on our website.”
Jennifer also recommends that all couples travel together before getting married. The stress, uncertainty, and togetherness you experience with your partner during a trip can give you a preview of how well you’ll get along in life.
“It tests compatibility and how you problem-solve together. Dealing with different languages can be challenging and put stress on the relationships,” she said. “That’s something everyone should do before you plunge into marriage, just travel together and step out of your comfort zone and normal at-home life.”
After traveling together, many couples are better prepared to embark on a lifetime of adventure.
In addition to writing the blog, Jennifer and Tim are planning to expand their focus to include a specialized tour in Bordeaux.
“Here in Bordeaux, tourism has really started to emerge — and it’s all wine tourism. In the southwest of France, they pride themselves on enjoying good food, but no one is doing food tours,” Jennifer said. “That’s one of our favorite ways to enjoy a city, so we are planning a walking food tour in the city of Bordeaux.”
The couple is also looking forward to meeting more of their readers. One reader and her family decided to go on a cruise that she had been dreaming of and organized it with help from the blog. She contacted Jennifer and invited the couple on the cruise with them.
“At the end of the day, travel is something that is a luxury, whether you travel on a budget or not,” Jennifer said. “We try to help people to create those memories and those once-in-a-lifetime experiences that they can share together and pass it down to their kids. That’s what it is all about for us.”