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Does Everyone Do This Weird Thing on Vacation? | A Cup of Jo

Whenever Alex and I travel, we can’t help ourselves…

Two or three days into our trip, after eating at the neighborhood pizzeria and hitting up the local playground, we inevitably pull out our phones, scroll the real estate listings, and choose our “new” house. Money no object, of course — it’s all about how charming or cozy the place is. We get sucked into the fantasy of starting a new life in that town, imagining what our days would be like if we uprooted everything and landed right there.

For example, when we were in California, we walked by this gorgeous cottage, above, in Mendocino. The purple hydrangeas, the heart on the wooden fence… Pretty soon I could picture strolling to the bookstore on Saturday mornings, yelling after the kids to remember their bike helmets, and commiserating with the neighbors about the fog.

My friend Ben takes it a step further: “If I’m driving on vacation and pass an open house, I’ll always stop by. I’ll pretend I’m looking for a place.” I laughed so much when he told me — picturing this single guy strolling through bedrooms, checking the water pressure and kitchen appliances. “I love doing it,” he laughed. “It’s just one of those things.”

Do you look up real estate on vacation, too? Any other funny travel rituals?

P.S. The weirdest best part of vacations, and the #1 item you need for houseguests.

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