Whether it’s by car or plane, there’s a sense of adventure for what is ahead — from the food we will eat to the places we will see. Going places is magical. At least, the idea of it.
But the reality? Travel plans always seem to spiral into some sort of stressful situation. Packing, planning, booking and everything else can be overwhelming. We want travel to be fun. So do you. Local Profile reached out to eight people in the Collin County community to get their take and advice on everything travel related.
January 2023 marks 10 years for Bethea with Visit Frisco. She started her career in broadcast journalism, writing and producing for two top seven market television stations. She decided to try her hand at hospitality, landing at Frisco’s largest hotel and conference center, then working her way from entry-level to the sales department in a matter of months. Since joining Visit Frisco, Bethea has been promoted to director of destination services and elevated her department to include a focus on community partnerships; serving her clients while also being a champion for all things Frisco.
Where is your favorite road trip destination in Texas?
I really enjoy taking my children to Frisco Commons Park in Frisco when we want a destination nearby. If we want that road trip feel, we head out to Dinosaur Valley State Park. They love to hike the trails and look for fossils.
What do you consider “essential” when packing?
A change of clothes. No matter what the weather apps say, always be prepared for anything.
What is your favorite transportation method?
Train. Visit Frisco partners with the Museum of the American Railroad and TrainTopia. Both attractions have given me a greater appreciation for railroads and what they mean to our nation’s history and growth.
How can you save money while traveling?
I have become a master at packing light and bringing only the essentials.
What do you look for when booking a vacation?
I look for a location that has a walkable entertainment area, a great place to take a stroll and take in the local culture.
What travel hack or tip do you follow?
If I am visiting a major attraction, I like to go as early as possible to avoid long lines.
What is your favorite road trip snack?
Gummy Bears! It was chocolate, but traveling with a candy bar in the Texas heat is nearly impossible.
What is your most memorable trip in Texas? Outside Texas?
I remember traveling to Houston on road trips as a child. My family would laugh at me as we passed by the Sam Houston statue. For some reason, I always referred to him as Colonel Sanders. Outside of Texas, we drove back home to New York pretty often when we were young. Tennessee was always the longest state to get through on our trips, but we always found the best off-the-beaten-path places there for meals.
How do you pass the time on road trips? On the plane?
I’m a gazer on road trips. I feel like I spend so much time looking at other people’s bumpers on my day-to-day commute. But, road trips give you time to relax and enjoy the scenery a bit. On a plane, I’m usually catching up on my reading or enjoying a podcast to pass the time.
Are there any hidden gems you’ve come across on a Texas road trip?
Limestone Quarry Park in Frisco is a favorite spot. For our longer drives, the kids love to stop at Wonder World Cave & Adventure Park. Once they go into the Anti-Gravity House there, it’s difficult to get them to come out.
How do you decide where to go?
At times, our road trip locations are decided by work — we just make the most of the journey. But, we’re pretty open once we have discovered we have a day or an afternoon free. The most important thing is to not let the opportunity pass us by.
Do you have any favorite camping or hiking destinations in Texas?
We really like visiting Lake Texoma State Park. It’s a quick drive and there are several hiking trails to discover throughout the park.
What time of year do you prefer to go on vacation?
I like to travel in the fall when things slow down just a bit. I feel like I have more time to focus on the moment and not worry so much about what work is waiting on me when I return.
Do you have any upcoming travel plans?
I’m excited to visit Calgary in the next few months for work. The family and I are also planning a trip to Spokane. We’ve never been before, but I hear it’s beautiful.
To find out more about travel in and out of Texas visit Local Profile’s latest issue.