Preparing for a Week in Europe

Wanderlust.

The core of my being.

Also the thing that has kept me anticipating my next adventure whether it is Santiago, Chile or Madrid, Spain. Europe won this round, but my Latin soul will surely take flight soon.

My feet have been planted in the United States for almost 5 months now, and as the end of this year nears, I am planning a week-long trip to Europe. I will be visiting France, Italy, and Spain, and because I haven’t traveled in so many months, I have refreshed myself on some of the important things to remember when planning a trip abroad.

  1. Don’t over-plan.  I know it might sound crazy, or even scary, but some things are better left to happen on there own.
  2. Check your flights. Be sure to double check your flights – time, terminal, and gate. All of those things are subject to change and you may find yourself (like me this summer) running for dear life across the Dallas airport with two suitcases and a backpack, dodging the oncoming traffic of people while hearing your name on the “last-call” from ten gates away.
  3. Know your transportation. The last thing you want to do when visiting a foreign country is arrive to the airport only to realize you forgot to search the best or most affordable way to get to your hotel – especially if you don’t speak the language. Take the time. Do the research. You may find a $50 difference between the airport taxi and the bus.
  4. Consider the location of your hotel. Whether you decide to stay in a hotel, hostel or Airbnb, you need to know where you’re staying. Are you close to the sights you want to visit? Are you close to public transportation? Are you close to the airport? Whichever situation fits best, think about the best location for your stay.
  5. Money. Before venturing anywhere, you should know the currency. If you will need to convert your money into Euros, Pesos, Colones, Pounds – whatever the case may be – you will need to find the best place to exchange your cash. Banks or Post Offices usually work best. Try to avoid exchanging money in the airport because the rate-of-exchange is outrageous. Also, you will need your passport when visiting these places so be sure to have it handy. One more thing – Don’t forget to tell your bank/ credit card company that you will be traveling to another country. Some banks require a signature and being on a different continent would definitely complicate things.

Of course there are several other aspects to traveling abroad, but here are some key things to keep in mind to ease potential anxiety, confusion and maybe even stress. Being prepared is always important, but don’t forget to enjoy the ride.

Riverfront Park
I thought I would share this lovely shot of Autumn in Arkansas.

One Comment Add yours

  1. Kyle Falbo says:

    This is some great advice – especially #1. While I too like to have all my “ducks in a row” before traveling (train tickets booked, directions to hotels, etc) I too try not to over schedule myself and allow myself time to get lost in the new city or place. The only things I plan are the places or things I HAVE to see. Other than those – I’ve found it’s just better to explore once you’re there.

    Keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

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