About Me

Girl in front of a lake with snow covered mountains and fog i nthe backdrop

My Story

Hi, I am Anu! A regular nine-to-fiver living in San Francisco, California, USA.

I am not a digital nomad, full-time traveler, or globetrotter. I am a regular working professional with family and work commitments.

I love to travel with my family every chance I get and explore new destinations and experiences with family and friends. My now teen girls have been traveling with us since they were babies, and some of our fondest family memories (both good and bad!) are from our travels and adventures.

I strongly believe that travel unites families by creating shared experiences, building memories, and strengthening bonds.

Everyone loves vacations, right? That feeling of breaking away from the routine, going someplace new, and experiencing new sights, food, and culture. Spending quality time with your loved ones and making new memories. I love all that, too.

 But what I love even more is the excitement of researching a new vacation destination and planning for our trips. I am obsessed with thoroughly researching new places and creating detailed itineraries. Vacation planning is a stress buster for me, and I look forward to it!

My travel blog has given me an outlet to put all my travel research and itineraries out there for my readers. When I am not traveling, working on my blog feeds my inner wanderlust and keeps me connected to my passion for travel.

Girl standing next to a red helicopter
Me taking a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon

Why read my Blog?

Traveling is my passion and what makes me feel alive. I am obsessed with travel research, exploring new destinations, and making the most of my time off from life commitments. 

But I understand that not everyone has the time, energy, or inclination to do research for their travels. I love travel research, but that doesn’t mean you love it too!

Or maybe you are looking for inspiration on where to travel for the next summer, winter, fall, or spring break!

With my travel blog, Destination Checkoff, I hope to –

  • Inspire people to travel and explore new destinations with my thoroughly researched travel guides.
  • Provide honest, practical itineraries and things to do for popular and off-the-beaten destinations.
Girl in yellow dress sitting on black sand at a beach
Me at a black sand beach in Hawaii

FREE Vacation Planning Timeline!

 My Travels

My goal is to see the world! And I am slowly checking off my dream bucket list destinations! My expertise lies within the following destinations that i have travelled to so far:

USA Travel

I have been living in San Francisco, California, for the last 20+ years!

California – Even though I love living in the San Francisco Bay Area, Lake Tahoe is my favorite place in Northern California and San Diego in Southern California. I have seen pretty much most places in California, but there are still some off-beaten places that I need to get to.

Girl standing on stairs with a lighthouse in the backdrop and ocean views
Me at Pt. Reyes Lighthouse in Northern California

Hawaii (Big Island, Oahu, Maui) – I have been to all three major Hawaii Islands, and I have to say its beauty is unmatched. Waikiki reminded me of Bombay in India for some reason! My favorite Hawaiian Island so far has been Big Island! Kauai is still on my bucket list.

Couple standing against ocean backdrop with lei garlands
Me and hubby enjoying a luau in Maui

Nevada – I love Las Vegas and all its glitz and neon lights. I have been there countless times with hubby and friends. The surrounding area has so many natural treasures to discover!

Oregon – I recently made a road trip through Oregon and loved every bit of it – the southern Crater Lake and Bend, the amazing waterfalls and Columbia River Gorge, Portland, and the beautiful Oregon Coast.

Girl standing at a white gate with lavender fields in the backdrop
Me at a lavender farm in Hood River, Oregon

Alaska – Denali National Park was a highlight, and so was seeing the glaciers!

Washington – Seattle’s Pike Place Market is my favorite area bustling with vendors. I also loved visiting the first Starbucks store! While I am a chai (“Indian milk tea made with ginger and spices”) drinker, when I am traveling, I look for Starbucks.

New York – NYC is truly a happening destination. I lived close by for a few months on a work project and took every opportunity to explore NYC attractions.

Pennsylvania – We have family living in Philadelphia and visit often. Took some time to visit Independence National Historical Park and Liberty Bell on my last visit.

New Jersey – I love the Indian Street here also called “Little India” on Newark Ave with all the yummy Indian street food!

Massachusetts – I lived in Boston for six months on a work project a while ago. It was so much fun to explore Boston with my roommate. Loved exploring Quincy Market and sitting by Charles River on weekends.

USA National Parks

Yosemite National Park – Its beauty takes my breath away every time!

Pinnacles National Park – I love the Talus caves here. Bear Gulch Cave hike is my favorite.

Haleakala National Park – Experienced the most amazing sunset at Haleakala summit with hubby.

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park – I was fortunate to see the Kilauea volcano eruption when we visited.

Lassen Volcanic National Park – Such an underrated park in California but has so much to offer.

Crater Lake National Park – Very unique! A lake inside a volcano crater fed by rain and snow melt. I did the boat ride and the epic hike to Wizard Island. One of my favorite hikes in Crater Lake!

Zion National Park – Even though I am biased towards Yosemite, I think Zion’s red sandstone cliffs took my breath away. So much beauty in this compact National Park.

Death Valley National Park – I truly felt I was on another planet when I visited Death Valley. Miles and miles of desert and other worldly landscape.

I still have a lot of National Parks to visit on my bucket list!


Alberta/Canadian Rockies – On our road trip through the Canadian Rockies, we visited Banff, Jasper, Lake Louise, Icefields Parkway, Calgary. This was one of my favorite road trips and the beauty of the Canadian Rockies is truly jaw-dropping! Walking on the 1000-year-old Athabasca glacier was a bucket list experience. I also saw several black bears and other wildlife on this road trip!

Girl standing on an ice glacier
Me standing on Athabasca Glacier near Banff National Park

Ontario – Visited Toronto, Niagara Falls, Ottawa, and Thousand Islands on our road trip from Toronto to Quebec City. It was an epic road trip, and planning this itinerary was so much fun.

Quebec – Loved visiting Montreal and Quebec City. Old Quebec is so charming and I loved strolling through the pretty streets.

Girl posing at a pretty street in Quebec City
Me posing at a pretty street in Quebec City

I love visiting Canada in the summer! British Columbia is next on my list.


So far, I have visited the below destinations in Europe. I have multiple future trips on my bucket list to cover a lot more countries in Europe.

Girl standing against the majestic backdrop of Swiss Alps
The majestic Swiss Alps behind me (Mount Titlis in Switzerland)

Germany – Munich

Switzerland – Zurich, Lucerne, Geneva, Interlaken, Bern, Zermatt

France – Paris

Austria – Innsbruck

Other Countries Around the World

Mexico – Cancun

India – Mumbai, Goa, Ahmedabad, Delhi, Kolkata, Bengaluru

*I lived in India first 25 years of my life!

United Arab Emirates (UAE) – Dubai

Couple posing in sand dunes at sunset time
Me and hubby in Dubai sand dunes at sunset

Where I’ve Been Featured

I take pride in my collaborations, and below are some of the many places where you can find me!

Business Insider – 9 expert tips for summer travel on a budget (Tip #7: Consider a summer road trip)

Best Life (bestlifeonline.com) – The 12 Best U.S National Parks to Visit Solo

Best Life (bestlifeonline.com) – 8 Most Thrilling Waterfalls in the U.S. That Will Make Your Jaw Drop

Best Life (bestlifeonline.com) – The 10 Most Underrated U.S. National Parks

GAFFL – Balancing A Full-Time Job And Jet-Setting: Anu’s Expert Tips For Travelers

Be My Travel Muse – 10 Amazing Places to Visit in Northern California

Uprooter Traveler – 47 Things to Do in Northern California

Bear Foot Theory – 12 Best Outdoorsy Things To Do In Los Angeles

East End Taste Magazine – Top 7 Outdoor Things to Do in California

Seasonal Cravings – Top 10 Things to Do in Hawaii

Moon and Spoon and Yum – Best Vegetarian Food in Disneyland

Nina Out and About (ninaoutandabout.ca) – Scenic Jasper to Lake Louise Drive via Icefields Parkway

52 Perfect Days – Central Coast California Road Trip 3 Day Itinerary

Mommy Travels – Top 15 Things to do in San Francisco

Wanderera – Things to do in Big Island, Hawaii

Fitting in Adventure – Travel Writers were Inspired to Travel by These Books

The Wanderlust Within – Most Underrated National Parks in USA to Visit

Explorers Away – Best Lake Towns in the US

Vagrants of the World – Warm Winter Vacations in the USA to Escape the Cold

Bridges and Balloons – Epic bucket list family vacation ideas

Our Escape Clause – Stunning Places to Visit in Summer in the USA

Blogger at Large – Epic things to do in Las Vegas with kids

Hope you enjoy reading my Travel Blog!