active 4 hours ago

Lilly LeClair

I'm a freelance writer, photographer, and travel planner originally from Northern Michigan, affectionately known as 'Up North'. My first paid gig was through — a start-up travel site, now owned by TripAdvisor, who sent me to photograph and review hotels in the U.S., Caribbean, Central America, South Pacific, and South Asia. Since 2011, I've covered 500+ properties around the world.

During this time, I worked for's Personal Travel Planning team customizing honeymoons and family vacations for members of the site. Among other projects related to travel, I've helped open a restaurant in Chicago and a hotel in Brooklyn so food, wine, and hospitality are high on the list of things that make me smile.

How did you get involved in travel?

"I saved up funds and took my first round-the-world trip in 2006 — a three-month budget adventure through Australia, Asia, and Europe. To stay in touch with friends and family, I started a blog and became hooked on travel writing and photography. A few years later, I moved to London to attend journalism school and (no surprise) stuck to the travel industry. During the course, I completed internships with the London Times Travel Desk and the New York Times Frugal Traveler, which led to my first job out of college. From then on it's been all about travel and hospitality. "

Please share a unique travel experience you will never forget.

"After a long journey of two trains, three planes, and a boat to get to the Maldives to review hotels for six weeks, I should have gone straight for the shower. Instead, I pulled out my camera to take the first photos of the trip when a double rainbow appeared in the Indian Ocean. I sat in the sand and cried."

Featured trips & expertise

Dramatic hairpin turns on the Trollstigen Road.
Norway's Ultimate Scenic Road Trip - 14 Days

Starting and ending in Oslo, this wide loop covers a staggering variety of landscapes where'll you drive through three of Norway's official scenic routes. First, make your way to a former Olympic village and two national parks loaded with wildlife, then head west for hiking and boating in the fjords. Stay two nights in the art nouveau city of Ålesund before you swing back around towards Jotunheimen National Park. Finish in the alpine village of Lom with one of the best restaurants and bakeries in Norway.

Explore the region by kayak and look for dolphins.
Colombia's Wild Pacific Coast - 10 Days

South America's undiscovered region of El Chocó on the Pacific Ocean takes center stage in this unique 10-day itinerary. You'll begin (and end) the trip in Colombia's dazzling up-and-coming city of Medellín before flying to Bahía Solano where you'll explore the massive Utría National Park. Then fly to Nuquí for three days of canoe rides, hiking, cooking with locals, and soaking in hot springs, all the while looking for humpback whales, dolphins, and sea turtles close to shore.

A sample of Cartagena's beautiful colors and architecture.
Discover Colombia's Cities - 10 Days

Perfect for travelers who love urban energy and culture, this fast-paced itinerary highlights four awesome Colombian cities: Bogotá, Medellín, Santa Marta, and Cartagena — each with their own special qualities and vibes. Too much city? You'll visit a coffee farm in the Andes and hike through a rainforest for a dose of beach and Caribbean Sea to round out this fun adventure.

Hike and sunbathe in Colombia's Tayrona Park.
Explore Medellín & the Caribbean Coast - 10 Days

This cultural, yet outdoorsy Colombian adventure starts off in one of Latin America's most striking and up-and-coming cities — Medellín — safe for travelers after a turbulent past. Enjoy the constant spring-like weather while exploring vibrant neighborhoods by foot and gondola before flying north to the Caribbean coast. From Santa Marta, relax on the beaches and trails of Tayrona Park and then head for the cobblestoned streets of Cartagena's inner-walled city, oozing with Spanish colonial romance and history.

Bogotá, Amazon & Cartagena - 10 Days

In just 10 days, this exciting tour of Colombia covers a great deal of ground including four nights in the Amazon region, sandwiched between two world-class cities. You'll start off exploring the cosmopolitan capital of Bogotá before flying south to Leticia; from here, take part in a series of unforgettable days via foot, canoe, and other small boats in Colombia and across the border in Peru and Brazil. Then fly north to the Caribbean Sea and wander Cartagena's romantic inner-walled city before culminating with a speedboat ride to the Rosario Islands.

Spend a good portion of this trip exploring the Lofoten Islands.
Norway's Winter Wonderland Tour - 14 Days

Expect uninterrupted white vistas and Northern Lights sightings when you travel by train, coastal steamer, and rental car on this two-week winter adventure in Norway's Arctic. The trip starts in Tromsø, 'Paris of the North' — your base for several snow activities. Then set sail on the Hurtigruten to explore the Lofoten Islands before continuing (by sea) towards the city of Trondheim, a UNESCO-listed village called Røros, and finally a night in Oslo — Europe's fastest-growing capital.