How to Plan an Exotic Escape + giveaway!


As a busy mom, sometimes I have a hard time remembering to take time out for myself. Between taking care of the kids, maintaining the house, work and family commitments, and blogging, sometimes I feel like I’m burning the candle at both ends! Ideally, I would love to be able to hop on a plane and get away to an exotic location, but that’s really not feasible for me (financially or time-wise) right now. When I’m starting to feel tapped out, one thing that really helps is to have a friend or family member watch my kids so I can take just an hour or two to myself to recharge my batteries. I love being able to get out into nature and enjoy the world around me.

How to Plan an Exotic EscapeThere’s a beautiful little nature preserve just around the corner from my apartment, and it’s my favorite place to go when I’m feeling overwhelmed or stressed. I took a walk there last week when I was having a rough day, and it was just the getaway I needed!

How to Plan an Exotic Escape


I love that taking a walk through the nature preserve exercises both my mind and my body. I find that my thoughts are clearer after taking a walk and I have more energy to face the rest of the day. It’s a great time to think through any challenges I am facing and to brainstorm solutions. Even though I am only a short distance from home, it really feels like an escape!

How to Plan an Exotic Escape

There’s a little clearing in the preserve with a grassy area and some stone benches, and I love to stop there and have a little snack. It’s also a great place to do a little yoga and meditation when I’m feeling particularly stressed. This time I brought some Nestle Pure Life Exotics sparkling water to try, and it was the perfect addition to my simple picnic. It’s all natural, has zero calories, and contains no artificial colors or sweeteners.

How to Plan an Exotic Escape

I tried the strawberry dragonfruit flavor, and I loved that it was full of flavor and had the fizz of soda, but without any of the artificial additives. It’s the perfect alternative to soda or other sugar-sweetened beverages, and a delicious way to increase your water intake. I loved having a cold, refreshing drink that I could feel good about!

How to Plan an Exotic Escape

I also made some quick crunchy PB&J wraps for an easy snack on the go. They are one of my kids’ favorite snacks, and I love that they give me a little energy boost. Plus, they’re super cute!

How to Plan an Exotic Escape

Did you make this recipe?

Crunchy PB&J Wraps


1 large flour tortilla or wrap
1 banana
2-3 tablespoons peanut butter
2-3 tablespoons strawberry preserves
2 tablespoons granola


Spread the peanut butter and strawberry preserves on the wrap, leaving a one inch margin around the outside of the wrap. Sprinkle the granola over the peanut butter and preserves. Place the banana in the middle of the wrap and roll the wrap up tightly around the banana. Slice and serve.

All images and text ©

After a walk, a snack, and a little yoga and meditation, I felt much more energized and ready to take on the world. I was sent this gorgeous kit from Nestle, to assist me in taking my exotic escape, and you can win one too! It includes everything you need to take an exotic escape, even if it’s just in your own backyard.

How to Plan an Exotic Escape

Giveaway ($500 value):

How to enter: Leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite place to escape to!

Giveaway winner will be announced on this post on or before June 15th. Good luck! Edit: Our giveaway has closed, and our winner is #117, Hannah R.

Disclosure: This post was in partnership with Nestle. The giveaway package is also provided by them. All opinions are 100% our own. 

more by Alicia »


Hi! I’m Alicia and I blog at The Baker Upstairs. I am in love with all things food! I love to bake bread, cupcakes, cookies… you name it! When I’m not baking, I am running after my two adorable little girls, working as an RN, knitting, reading, and trying to squeeze in time with my husband every day. I’m also into photography and graphic design, and I love learning new things. I’d love for you to stop by The Baker Upstairs and say hi!

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128 comments on “How to Plan an Exotic Escape + giveaway!”

  1. Back home to Minnesota – land of 10,000 lakes.

  2. My favorite getaway is to go and stay for a week at a small sleepy town with lots of antique and thrift shops.

  3. my favorite escape is our family beach condo up north in Traverse City MI

  4. My favorite place to escape to is my family’s cottage on Cape Cod! There’s nothing better than an early morning walk on the beach with coffee in hand and the dogs running in the water!

  5. Actually we escape to our backyard a lot too!  We do have a lot of  nice parks in our area as well.  Though a beach escape would be really nice!

  6. I love going to the lake!!!

  7. We are back-yard escapers too! Our property borders a nature preserve that has a pond and a walking trail. So we can sit on our upper level deck and overlook all that nature has supplied us…the ducks, geese, trees, and once in a while a heron! We love to sit out there and share a meal with friends…or read…or surf on our laptops.

  8. The beach! 

  9. my backyard!

  10. Wow, what an awesome giveaway! And that reserve is beautiful! What a great spot so close by! My favorite place to escape to is St. Louis by myself! I sit at the old World Fair Pavilion and read or walk around the zoo!

  11. i love to get out into nature.  I wish we lived closer to a lake, like Lake Arrowhead!

  12. I love escaping to the lake.  The sound of water is so relaxing!

  13. melinda minier Reply

    our escape is to our camper every weekend, only 20 miles away from home, but we can leave all our worries behind for a couple days.

  14. I love going hiking in the woods near our home.  It so peaceful, the kids love it and so do we.  

  15. My favorite escape is Park City! It’s not far so it’s easy to get to any time, but it’s still different enough from every day life that it feels refreshing.

  16. My favorite escape is to the back of our farm by a little creek. 

  17. My favorite place to escape to is a local state park. They have tons of trails that I like going on.

  18. I love Southern California. So much to do and just so laid back

  19. The beach when I cam make it there. Otherwise, anywhere outside among the trees and fresh air.

  20. I don’t know if I have a favorite place to escape.  But I really loved this waterfall that I went to in the Philippines once.  It was magical!

  21. My favorite place to escape is my small, rural hometown. It’s nice, quiet and relaxing!!

  22. my favorite escape would be on a walk around our farm in the evening.

  23. Our hometown oyster house!

  24. My favorite escape is the library, bookstore, or a craft store. Especially if its kid free:).  I take my time looking for books or just  strolling the aisles. 

  25. I love the beach. It is so relaxing and calming. Thanks for the giveaway.

  26. I’m lucky in that I live close enough to the beach to make it my perfect escape!

  27. I love escaping to southern UT to do a little camping and hiking. Bryce Canyon is one of my favorites, also Capitol Reef is really pretty!

  28. Living in RI has its perks…it’s so easy to drive to the beach to escape it all in the summer! The waves and sand really clear your mind.

  29. I like going to the botanical gardens.

  30. I love to escape by going camping! Assateague Island is next on my list.

  31. I love escaping to my rocking chairs on our front porch. If it’s too hot for that, I relax in my sewing room.

  32. I love escaping from everyday life just by taking a long bath

  33. Loved escaping to Mexico last year without my sons! But that’s not happening again any time soon, so I’ll say I love to escape in a book!

  34. Any place where you can get in touch with nature is a place of escape and re-charging for me. I love the revitalizing sight of the sea as much as I do a tree-covered mountain.
    Thank you for a great giveaway!

  35. My farmhouse front porch. It’s crazy how a rocking chair and a good cup of coffee can do a soul some good.

  36. My favorite place to escape is just local here in town at a close hotel with a pool.  A place that is not too far so we don’t have to pack a bunch just to get away for the day or weekend.  It is so needed since i have been bedridden the past year with several therapies and treatments.

  37. I escape to a walking trail that goes around a small lake. It’s not far from where we live but it’s out in the boonies. Plenty of wildlife and silence.

  38. I love escaping to Existing Beach,  SC! We have a house there! There are no hotels on the island.

  39. I love to escape to my parents. My kids and I get to see family and friends. We also get to enjoy some outdoor activities we don’t get to do at home.

  40. Definitely the beach, or any place there is sun and water. :)

  41. My favorite place to escape to is our back yard on the patio! I love watching my kids playing outside! :)

  42. I like to escape to the beach very early in the morning.

  43. My favorite place to escape is the mountains! Nature is my peaceful place!

  44. Susan Baughman Reply

    For me, I don’t have a serene nature escape close by so I love to get in the car and roam the back roads with the windows down and the music up.  It just allows me to let my mind wander and clear my head.

  45. Give me a hike and I’m happy! I’m lucky my kids enjoy hiking as much as I do.

  46. I live at near the beach so my escape is the quiet of the mountains! The hubby and I can’t wait to get back to the mountains near the Blue Ridge Parkway in Va!

  47. I live about 40 minutes from the ocean, so I love to drive to the shore! I love to go to Asbury Park in New Jersey and have Korean-style tacos on the boardwalk with my family and some of our closet friends! It is a favorite place for us to meet.

  48. i love to escape to a place called Devil’s Lake (Wisconsin).  It’s such a beautiful place where I go hiking, enjoy the outdoors and just some quiet time.

  49. There is a trail about half an hour from my house that goes up a mountain. I love going there and taking a lunch and just eating it at the top. Makes you feel so free!

  50. Up north, about 6 hours away, to Lake Michigan.  Serene and gorgeous setting. 

  51. I love escaping to our State Park which is about 20 minutes away. I enjoy hiking, having a picnic and laying on a blanket and listening to music. 

  52. I love escaping to the shore.  It is the most beautiful place and the water is so calming.

  53. I love escaping with a good book in a long bath!

  54. I love to escape into nature also. Anywhere there are some trees. :-)

  55. Marilyn Coltran Reply

    Vermont.  My husbands great grandma owns 150 acres I love going up and turning off our phones.

  56. Due to some recent surgery, we will enjoying a staycation this summer.  Our favorite place to escape to is our screened porch.  When we built our home two years ago, we designed our porch to include a fireplace and a tv.  So, we have our own mini-oasis!

  57. My favorite place to “escape” these days, is the beach! A good book, umbrella and yummy cool drinks and I’m all set!!

  58. When I have frequent flier miles, I love Wyoming. Otherwise, I love going to our local antique stores. There’s not a nature preserve or really cool park near us. You are blessed!

  59. I love to go to the park!

  60. Andrea Johnson Reply

    I have a favorite glider, where I read and pray. With the sun returning to North Texas our hammock outback, with newly planted flower and vegetable gardens nearby,  is peaceful.

  61. We live about 45 minutes from the beach.  It is always a great getaway that is close to home.  It seems to melt any problems that we might be facing.  I’ve heard it said, “The worst day at the beach is better than the best day at work.”

  62. I love to go to the lake, the water is so calming!

  63. Avila Beach, on the central coast of CA is our favorite escape! Also love to retreat to my own bed with a good book!

  64. angie martinez Reply

    I like driving up to the mountains even if just for part of the day. I love the feeling of escape it can achieve even just minutes from home. I wish the forest here (socal) we super lush and green but I’ll sette if it means finding a bit of an escape. Thanks!

  65. My favorite escape is to Disney World.  I can only manage that once a year or so.  My second favorite is my bedroom, alone with clean sheets and netflix marathons.

  66. I have a small herd of cows and I love to escape to the pasture and watch the cows. It is so peaceful. It is fun to see all the little calves playing with each other. Many of the cows will eat right from my hand, I just love it!

  67. Colleen Boudreau Reply

    My favorite place to escape is Florida visiting my aunt & uncle.

  68. Ocean City Maryland

  69. We live in the country, so there’s nothing like enjoying nature on our front deck! Deer, pheasants, bunnies, owls, birds, coyotes and many more are within view!!! We love to sit on our swing and drink iced tea after a long rough day!!

  70. The beach or near any body of beautiful blue water!

  71. My favorite place to escape to is Cape Cod, MA!

  72. I love going to the lake and in the boat just cruising around peacefully!

  73. To the nearby Lake Michigan beaches near Holland, MI.

  74. I love to escape to the beach (but I usually have to settle for Target)!

  75. The beach.  Love to hear the waves.

  76. I love escaping to Palm Springs!

  77. My backyard… in my favorite lounge chair with a really good book.

  78. My family loves to visit Lake Michigan, especially South Haven!

  79. My favorite escape was to my grandma’s house in Bismarck, AR before she passed away. I always felt relaxed and had no worries there. Sure do miss her some days. 

  80. I’m actually about to remodel our backyard with some really cool handmade items like dyed and waterproofed curtains and little concrete firebowls. We really love to bbq and relax in our backyard!

  81. i love getting away to Colorado. I love visiting the mountains!!!

  82. I love to escape up north to Duluth, MN!  :)

  83. My favorite getaway is a beautiful wooden sing in Lewiston, NY.  My fiancée and I like to drive there after a good or bad day and just sit and talk.  Or just sit and stare at the water.  It’s a nice way to unwind.

  84. My favorite escape is a get away to the mountains of Torrey, Utah!

  85. I have three little boys, so right now I’m lucky if I can just have an hour of quiet time in my room.  ;)

  86. Heather Haugen Reply

    I love Long Beach, WA! :)

  87. Vanessa Joy Gonzales Reply

    Any place where there is a beach!!! =)

  88. My favorite place to escape to is always the beach!! Everything there is just so soothing and as soon as I smell that salty air it just immediately calms me. 

  89. we love going to the beach gulf shores or sea side, but honestly any vacation like camping is fun and worth it!

  90. My favorite place to escape to is Disney World!  I’d go there every day, if I could.

  91. I love the beach, but we can’t get there very often, so my favorite local place is the county park. We go there for picnics and to run on trails.

  92. I love to escape to a quick little nail spot.  45 minute pedicures are a life changer for me!

  93. Vanessa Joy Gonzales Reply

    Any place there is a beach! That’s where I am able to “center”.

  94. Vanessa Gonzales Reply

    Any place where there is a beach!!! That is where I always find my center. 

  95. St. Augustine, FL

  96. Definitely to the beach somewhere!

  97. I live in NH and luckily my own backyard is perfectly tranquil in every way!

  98. Our backyard, or a day hike somewhere close by. Once or twice a year to Glenwood Springs, Colorado. 

  99. Linda Mitchell Reply

    Thete is a beautiful dam about 2 miles from my house. I love to listen to the water flowing! Ot relaxes my soul.

  100. Kreed and Jenna Ziegler Reply

    Sedona. Beautiful, cool and close 

  101. My favorite place to escape is Disneyland. I know it sounds silly. But when my family and I all go we all have so much fun. The kids don’t fight. We talk and laugh while waiting in line. It’s our bonding time and I treasure every moment!

  102. One of my favorite places to escape is our city pool. Even just an hour after work during the summer feels like a mini vacation. I get to hang out with my kids, we usually take a cool snack, and I get to lay in the sun and enjoy a little down time.

  103. We have always loved escaping with my parents in their camper trailer. We bought one for ourselves but haven’t gotten to take it out yet because our truck started leaking transmission fluid when we did a trial run of pulling and parking the camper. Yikes!! Hope to go on our first camping trip in a couple weeks when we get the truck back. 

  104. I love escaping to my Grandma’s condo in Florida.

  105. I love an escape to the Smoky Mountains.

  106. Trudy Clockedile Reply

    Kentucky so I can spend time with my granddaughter.

  107. The ocean…10 mintues from my house, especially in the early evening!  Love the sound of the waves!

  108. My favorite place to escape is the beach for some quiet time and relaxation with the family! 

  109. There are many park areas near where I live.  I love to talk a walk or go for a run and listen to the birds. I love being outside and in the fresh air.

  110. I don’t travel a whole lot.  I like to escape to my backyard pool to lounge away a hot summer afternoon.

  111. In an ideal world, my favorite place to escape to would be to a nature preserve exactly like the one near you… it’s absolutely gorgeous!

    I also love the ocean at a time when it’s nearly deserted. I completely lose myself as I stare out at the horizon, mesmerized by the sound of the waves.

    But since neither getaway is possible right now, I am most at peace snuggled up in bed with a great book!

  112. My favorite place to escape is to the woods. I love nature and the peacefulness of being outdoors.  

  113. My backyard and garden.

  114. My favorite place to escape to is Agate Beach in Port Orford, Oregon. A little slice of awesome about an hour away from where I live. Thanks for the chance! :)

  115. Bed & Breakfast that’s about two hours away from home. Peaceful, serene and gorgeous all in one. 

  116. Up north to the Lake. 

  117. I love escaping to my porch in the evening. It is so relaxing.

  118. I like to escape to my little garden in my backyard.

  119. We have a pondless waterfall in a corner of our backyard with some beautiful flowers around it.  This is where I make my quick escape when I don’t have time to go find a nice quiet lake or river to sit by.

  120. Escape on a small scale: the beach, certainly, and just a drive away. On a larger scale, for a vacation, Italy. 

  121. Elizabeth Williams Reply

    I love to escape to my car. It works in all weather conditions and the music is always good.

  122. I like to escape to San Diego.

  123. I love to go to Stone Mountain, its close enough to take my dog and just get away! It has many quiet areas, I think I will take your recipe to try there!

  124. My favorite place to escape is a little city north of me.  I believe it’s the oldest city in the state.  It’s filled with very old buildings that have been restored and it has the best trails in which to lose yourself.

  125. Hi Alicia!

    Have you chosen a winner yet?

  126. We are lucky enough to live in beautiful Gloucester, MA so we live for the summers at home. If we want to get out of town, we love to jump in the car and drive north.   We have a tendency to stay on the coast and meander our way up as far as we as the day takes us. Life is good!

  127. Ellan Arlena Halsell Bonham Reply

    my favorite place to escape to is the lake to fish and enjoy nature

  128. My favorite place to escape to is my craft room.

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