My 10-year-old daughter Vivi thinks about Taylor Swift about as often as I think about family vacation ideas, which is a lot. On a recent school break, we worked together on a project that merged our two interests and came up with this list of places Taylor Swift might like to go on vacation. Taylor has been working so hard lately, she deserves a fun break. Here’s our list of vacation destinations we think she would love.
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1. Verona, Italy
Why Taylor Swift should go here according to my 10-year-old: “I played my mom the song Love Story and she said, ‘Oh, the name Juliet is from Shakespeare,’ and then told me the pretty weird plot of Romeo & Juliet. That play takes place in Verona. I haven’t been there but I have been to some other places in Italy and think it’s great there because of the good food and the old buildings and towns.”
My take: Verona is only about an hour from Venice and really leans into its Romeo and Juliet claim to fame, with popular tourist spots like Juliet’s House (and balcony), the House of Romeo, and the Well of Love. Verona also has deep musical connections, with an annual opera festival and beautiful music venues around the city.
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Why Taylor Swift should go here according to my 10-year-old: “I’ve never been to the Caribbean because it’s pretty far from where I live, but I’ve looked at a lot of pictures and it looks really nice and my mom says the water is warm so I bet Taylor would like it here. Also it looks like a relaxing place as well as an inspiration for music.”
My take: Anguilla is just enough off the beaten path to feel like a hidden gem, and it has a dreamy mix of gorgeous-but-not-ostentatious luxury resorts, powdered-sugar-fine sand, and warm azure water. Vivi isn’t entirely correct that she’s never been there, because I went when I was six months pregnant with her and found out first-hand that being a pregnant person in Anguilla basically makes you royalty, based on how incredibly kind people were to me.
3. Machu Picchu, Peru
Why Taylor Swift should go here according to my 10-year-old: “Machu Picchu is really inspiring and I know that Taylor is always looking for inspiration. Also there are dogs and llamas there, and Taylor likes animals, especially cats. I don’t know how she feels about scary bus rides, though. Maybe she could do one of those multi-day hikes like how she imagined herself while writing Folklore, and just skip the bus part.”
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My take: Vivi is not kidding about that bus ride. We have a few height-sensitive people in our family and they all made it, but there were a lot of closed eyes and deep breathing to deal with the steep and winding road.There are some amazing trekking tours to Machu Picchu though, including Evolution Treks, which has all-women tours led by women guides and porters (a big deal since nearly all Machu Picchu porters are men).
4. Alacati, Turkey
Why Taylor Swift should go here according to my 10-year-old: “I’ve never been here but when I asked my mom for an idea of a place that has a lot of music, she thought of a town called Alacati in Turkey. Since Taylor is so into music (duh), this would be a good place.”
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My take: When I visited Alacati last fall, I fell in love with the nightlife, which is essentially just a tangle of pedestrian-only streets lined in restaurants with outdoor tables and music everywhere. There’s live music, recorded music, people dancing, and this intriguingly Turkish mix of people in modest traditional dress and other people in tiny sequined things, so whatever Taylor is in the mood to wear will work here.
Bonus: There are also a ton of very cute cats in Alacati. Before going to Turkey, I’d watched the documentary Kedi about cats in Istanbul, and so every time I saw a cat in Istanbul and elsewhere in Turkiye, I felt a little star-struck. There’s also a nice culture of shared care for the cats (I walked past a lot of kids and elderly folks refilling food and water bowls tucked up against buildings on the sidewalk).
5. Tokyo, Japan
Why Taylor Swift should go here according to my 10-year-old: “My friend went to Tokyo and said there were really cool stores there and also good food. Taylor has good taste in clothes so she probably likes to go shopping, and also who doesn’t like to eat?” Vivi adds that her friend thinks Taylor would especially like the “giant shopping malls and cat cafes.”
My take: Tokyo feels like many cities in one, and one of the things I love about it is how equally the city embraces hyper-urban skyscraper districts and neighborhoods that feel like little villages. Another thing to love about the city is that many of its nicest hotels are on the upper floors of tall buildings, which means that rooms and suites offer some of the world’s best city views. And as Vivi’s friend can attest, the food and shopping alone is absolutely worth a trip.
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