March 22, 2013

Euro Trip: Gathering Information

Journey to the Old Country.
I know I mentioned it here and here a while back, but I am SO excited about going to Europe this summer. I've never been, except for a layover at Heathrow on my way to Kenya, but I'm not sure that really counts. We had to take a shuttle from one terminal to the next and I remember it because the air smelled so sweet. Like honey. Like European honey. Even when I was 18, I romanticized the London air. Because since then I've heard that there is no unusually special scent. Whatever. I've been dreaming of going to Europe since I was about 15 and now, ten years later, its finally happening. And I want to do it up right.

Here's the deal. Thirty days. A zillion countries (I've gotta cut down the list.) 2 backpacks (small one for him, smaller one for me.) I'd like to stay, primarily, in hostels and castles. And I'd like to conduct extensive alcohol/cheese/bread research. While I stay in castles.

This Euro trip planning has been a jazzy experience thus far. This probably has a lot to do with the fact that I've been planning while streaming Justin Timberlake's new album for free (thanks, iTunes!) There is SO MUCH to prep and prepare for this trip, and there is more information out there than ever before. Forget those lonely planet books, there are so many blogs, websites and articles out there with REAL stories. And that doesn't include all the resources available on Pinterest. Check out my Euro trip board here. Here are a few of the resources I've compiled:

DreamEuroTrip: Travel like the jetset on a gypsy budget. This blog has been SO helpful!

How to Pack.
7 Things to Pack to Save you Money: This post by the Amateur Traveler is so helpful. I love my Nalgene, now I have a legit reason to bring it with me. Hydration is sexy.

Two Weeks in a Carry On: Thank God someone actually gave me packing photos. I need to know what GIRLS pack on trips like this.

How to Pack a Suitcase for a Month: Even more tips. For even more days.

Packing and Gear: Euros Ate My Dollars is such a funny blog. And useful.

How to Sleep.
Knock Yourself Out: Great tips on how to actually sleep through bumpy train rides and red eyes. I need one of those neck pillows!

Jaunted: How to appropriately beat Jet Lag. Because that's a real thing. And I don't want to catch it.

Get More Mileage Out of Your Wardrobe.
The Infinity Skirt: It might not be totally my style, but this could be a huge benefit when traveling abroad.

The Versalette: Interesting concept, not unlike the above suggestions.

Those Who Have Forged Ahead.
Andrew&Jenni: This couple did their Euro trip a few years ago. It is SO helpful reading up on their experience. They are precious.

Talk to Me.
I know many of you have been on backpacking trips through Europe. I welcome your stories and input! If you have any resources worth looking into or advice to share, it would be oh so appreciated. Share lots! Share often! Share with me!


  1. Oh travel plans so much fun!! Have a blast!

    1. Thanks Hope! It's getting surprisingly close!

  2. A really fun way if you want a little better than hostel staying is renting an room/apartment. Justin and I did this all over Europe and it was great. I use and to find either a room or a whole apartment. From living in Europe for the past 3 years I am sure I could give you some fun tips, but sometimes it is fun to discover it for yourself. If you are going to Germany I would go to the Rheingau and the Mosel region for wine. Plus Germany has great beer, but not as good as Belgium. Have fun planning! Let me know if you want any ideas for places to go. Sometimes the smaller towns were my favorite.

    1. Oh my goodness this is so helpful. Are you still living in Germany or back in the states? If you are still there we would love to see you! I've heard good things about airbnb, but I will have to look into wimdu! Thanks for the suggestions... I will probably reach back out when we start planning out specific countries :-) Feel free to suggest any and all your favorites!

    2. We moved to Hong Kong in August and have been enjoying an Asian adventure for now. My second job is travel agent (unofficially for Justin and I) and I am happy to give any suggestions. Rick Steves (think dorky American dad) actually ha some very helpful travel books. He even includes great walking tours on your own. We went through the Best of Europe and it is was a mix of big city and small town. Have fun!

  3. I am so happy for you.... I am so jealous for me... I am living vicariously through your lives of the "not so rich and not so famous... yet..." ;-)

    1. Oh Dad. Why don't you just come along?