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Round 1, Check

21 Dec

So last night Rose and I had a 4 hour hang out/planning session and it went splendid!!  We will book our airfare in January and then start booking our hostels and purchase our EuroRail Passes.

Here is our rough itinerary:

  • Fly in to Amsterdam, and spend 4 days with friends in the Netherlands
  • Travel to Paris and spend 4 days here
  • Travel to Nice and spend 2-3 days here
  • Possible one day side trip to Lyon before arriving in Nice OR a one day side trip to Geneva before entering Germany
  • Travel to Stuttgart, Germany to visit my family for one night
  • Travel to Munich and spend 3 days here
  • Travel to Berlin and spend 3 days here
  • Say Goodbye to Rose and then I get to figure out the rest of my travels with myself or my family.

Now we will focus on choosing the hostels that sounds the best and the sights we want to see.  We will for sure see:

  • The Eiffel Tower
  • The Louvre
  • Notre Dame
  • Anne Frank House
  • A beach on the Mediterranean Sea
  • Old Town

MUCH more to be determined…

FAQ that I need you to answer…

30 Nov

I think it is important that I post the things that I need to do for an international trip and allow you to guide me on how to get things done (cough..cough…talking to my international family/friends or avid travelers here).

  • What do I do about phone calls?  Should I choose a phone card or a cell phone?  I believe AT&T, my phone carrier, charges me even when I use a phone card.  Or just Skype?  DILEMMA
  • What do I do about health insurance?  I have HAP in the States, but do I need to purchase separate travel insurance?
  • MONEY.  Travelers checks are safe but cost more in service fees.  Cash is easy to exchange but scary to carry around.  My credit union does not allow my credit card to be used in some countries AND there are still ATM fees I believe.  Do I open a new bank account with someone else in the states?  Or do I open a bank account in another country temporarily?  Or do I become a gypsy and either beg or steal money?
  • I am not planning on bringing a laptop.  Is this a bad idea?  If I bring my smart phone, will my Wi-Fi work still and will websites be in English?  If someone gets me a tablet…
  • Do most train stations have lockers in case we arrive to a new destination before we can check into our hostels?
  • Backpack or rolling suitcase?
  • Any hostel suggestions for the Netherlands and France?
  • Any bars/disco-techs/tourist attractions we NEED to see in the Netherlands and France?  Rose wants to see a Castle, recommend us one here:
  • Tomato or Tom(ah)to?

Planning the trip shall begin shortly…

29 Nov

Welcome to a new travel blog that I hope to keep updated (this doesn’t seem to work out very well for me, but at least I keep trying)!  If you know me well, you know that I love to travel.  If I had the choice to spend my money on new technologies or to spend it on travel…I choose TRAVELING!  My dreams of traveling have been pretty much limited to going along with my parents on ‘their’ vacations.  Although I suppose I could have traveled solo, I have not and my friends do not seem to share the same passion and/or dedication I have for new travel adventures….

…until now!  Thanks to my buddy Rose Branstrom, who I met while I studied abroad in Italy last February (2011).  We are both blessed to have some source of income, families that support our travel desires, and jobs that will allow us to be absent for longer than normal periods.  For the time being, we also live very close to each other, and duh…attend the same school, which creates an ideal environment to plan this trip together (relatively easy).

Right now we have NO PLAN, but we have a FRAMEWORK for our planning session in December.  Let me share:

  • We will travel in May
  • We will fly to Europe in an airplane (versus swimming across the Atlantic)
  • We will fly in to Amsterdam
  • We will be travelling for at least 2 and 1/2 weeks
  • We will be operating on a shoestring budget
  • BUT we will NOT be couch surfing with strangers (thanks to Rose’s better life choices than mine)
  • We will NOT be driving a car (but a moped is not a car)
  • We will TRY to avoid hostels with bedbugs (but no guarantees here)
  • We will choose 4 places we want to go, cities, countries, museums, etc to discuss in December
  • We will communicate with each other our feelings and try our best to compromise with one another
  • We WILL drink espresso as much as possible without having a heart attack

To be continued in December…