Well, here we are, less than 1 month away from embarking on the craziest adventure of a lifetime and we still have SO MUCH TO DO! Did you catch Planning a Euro-trip Part 1?
Here’s what we have done already
- We booked our hotels and hostels for June/July/August
- We booked an AMAZING flight deal! Thanks Triple A.
- We booked a balcony in Pamplona to watch the running of the bulls
- We started a spreadsheet about expenses, dates, who owes what & when its due
Here’s what we still have to do
- Book hotels/hostels in Italy
- Create a daily spending budget, to stay on track
- Exchange euros
- Practice packing
- store up about 3 months of medication that we take
- buy water-shoes hahaha
Tips on EUROPE PLANNING
Decide if you are going to ‘Wing It’ or ‘Plan it’
The reason we decided not to ‘wing’ the whole trip:
- It’s peak season- we don’t know if rooms will be available on demand, we know that prices are going to go up during the summer, and we don’t want to be stranded without a bus or a room.
- We are two girls- both of us have had bad experiences and safety concerns, so we don’t want to end up roaming streets looking for a hostel at night.
- All the crazy bombings and shootings happening all over the world- we would rather know where we are sleeping at night and where to hide out, if necessary.
I am all about spontaneity, but we wanted to have the bones of the trip planned beforehand (where we are sleeping and how we are getting from country to country.)
Getting around in Spain/Portugal is tougher than you would think!
We are traveling from Portugal to Pamplona and we have been doing a lot of research on the best ways to get there. Everywhere we have read, it seems like there is only one train that gets there, and it’s a longer duration than we thought! If you plan on traveling around Spain, especially for popular festivals, plan WELL in advance.
My advice is, research travel in Spain before you travel. Spain has a great metro system in the cities, but farther out gets a little crazy.
Be flexible- this trip isn’t the end-all be-all
I really wanted more time in Switzerland, but I had to concede a little bit because it is SO expensive staying out there. I do want more time in Italy, so I added a day there instead. This trip won’t be my only euro-trip, so I can always come back and spend more time in the places I love.
Don’t worry if you don’t see it all, start saving to go back! Write down the places you LOVED and would want to visit more in-depth.
Start thinking about your suitcase/clothes/medication
We are still deciding between using backpacks or rolling suitcases. I think it might be better to have a backpack since we will boarding flights, trains, buses, and even boats!
UPDATE: ROLLING SUITCASES WITH BACKPACK STRAPS EXIST! I bought one by LUCAS.
Asses the kind of trip you will be having. Is it a ‘riding transportation with your bags every day’ kind of trip? Is the trip where you ‘dump it all in the room for a month’ kind of trip? That will help you decide what bags to bring.
Write an ULTIMATE PACKING LIST of all the things you could possibly want to take. For two months, we decided to take 1-1 1/2 weeks of clothing with us, and wash it along the way. CRAZY, I KNOW!! Once you have everything written out, try packing it all. Take out any necessities you don’t need. (A curling iron AND a straightener? 4 boxes of tampons?! You can buy things out there, you know!)
We each have inhalers and allergy pills, so we needed to make sure we stocked up on our medication before the trip! Bring enough for the whole trip. You may be able to buy it out there, but don’t waste your time at a pharmacy.
- GET VENMO- amazing money-transfering app!
- Start paying off your trip BEFORE you leave, so you can relax & know how much you can spend on the trip
- Get to know any/all travelers before the trip
- Talk openly about what you want to see with your travel-mate
- plan a few solo days
- look up the weather during your trip
- get your medication ahead of time!
- Bring 2 power adapters
- Exchange your money ahead of time
- Look into getting travel insurance if you have your trip pre-planned
Sorry for not writing as much as before, but we have had a LOT to do! We have almost 20 days to go and will be jam-packing everything in before we leave. Hopefully we get some time to relax and spend it with family before we leave. Hope this loose-guide helped!
Spot you soon,
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