Traveling anywhere for 35 days in Europe sounded scary…but this was 35 days through different European countries and cities, so I was filled to the brim with excitement and anticipation. I returned home at the beginning of October and I’ve had time to reflect on everything I learned while on that amazing trip.
- PACK LIGHT! – I can’t stress this enough. I had a small hard-shell rolling carry-on, plus a backpack. That’s it. There were others on my trip who had two large suitcases, plus a backpack. I can’t tell you how hard it is to travel between cities with all of that luggage…going up and down stairs, in and out of buses and unpacking and repacking every couple of days. Avoid it at all costs!
- Find a good, no service necessary navigation app – I downloaded the app HERE WeGo a few days before my trip and I was able to use it the entire time with such ease. You only need to use wi-fi or cell service to download maps of the cities you plan to travel to before your trip and boom they are available to you while you’re out an about in the foreign city. They even have public transit options making it so easy to know what metro line to jump on…easiest way I’ve ever gotten around Europe.
- Figure out your budget – Setting an exact amount you would like to only spend each day can be very helpful when it comes to a longer trip. Or at least have a general amount you’re ready to spend, but leave room for experiences. On this trip, in particular, there were many opportunities presented that I didn’t know about ahead of time, that cost extra money, but were extremely worth it. In the long run, is spending a little extra money worth the experience you gain from it? In my opinion, it definitely is.
- Prepare your immune system – 40 people traveled together on buses, slept in the same rooms and shared food and drinks and obviously, the majority of us came down with some sort of sickness. We were eating different foods, drinking alcohol and sleeping less, which wasn’t the best combination. Emergen-C and water became our best friends. Start prepping your system before you even begin to travel to be able to hit the ground running once you arrive at your destination.
- Be openminded – No matter how many times you’ve traveled, you’re always going to experience things you have never run into before. Some of your expectations will be met and exceeded, while others may fall short. Regardless of the outcome, it’s been my experience that it’s best to stay positive and try and find the light in the situation. When a French man is yelling at you in his native tongue…the best thing you can do is just laugh it off and keep enjoying your day.
- Fight the homesickness – It’s tough to be away from your home and your routine for any amount of time. Use technology to connect with your loved ones and carry a little piece of home with you wherever you go. For me, I have two phone backgrounds, one of my two dogs and one of me and my boyfriend. It was reaching into my pocket to take a picture several times a day and seeing their cute faces that made the distance just a little easier.
Travelling makes my life happier. I’ve met so many people on my adventures that I cherish to this day. The memories I’ve made will last me a lifetime. I hope I’m still traveling until I’m old and gray because I think it keeps people young!
Happy travels! 😊