Friday, May 15, 2015

European Vacation Prep

Hey Everyone!
Shane and I are planning for our European adventure in a few weeks and I wanted to share a few things I have been doing to prepare. I have visited Europe in the past with my Momma on a few occasions. We did some really amazing things and I am just DYING of excitement that I get to do some of those things with my husband. He has never been to Europe so this trip is going to be truly memorable.

One of the first things I did after we started booking the trip was to head to and order Rick Steves' Guidebooks for Italy 2015 Rick Steves Italy 2015Rick Steves' Mediterranean Cruise Ports, and the Rick Steves' Pocket ParisHe has some of the best information on everything including: hotels, restaurants, self-guided tours, shopping suggestions {of course} and more. The Mediterranean Cruise Ports book has been especially helpful with planning our time in each port. We want to see as much as we can in a short period and this book gave great insight. In his guidebooks Rick suggests that you tear the specific sections you need out of the guidebooks and take them to a place to be bound. That way you don’t have to carry around the entire book. I plan on having this done soon.

After spending a few weeks reading the guidebooks I started to create our itinerary. I searched all over the Internet for travel itinerary templates and I did not find any that I liked. I am a mostly visual person so I want to be able to see each day laid out in front of me. When in doubt, create it yourself. So I did. Below I will show you an example of the template I created using Word. It was super easy but effective for what I want. I started the first draft with things roughly laid out based on the times and information I already knew. I printed a few copies and then went BACK to the guidebooks and filled in necessary information by hand. After that I went back into the Word document and typed it all in. I am planning on making the itinerary pocket size and laminating it before we leave as a quick reference guide. Like, “Where should you be right now?” I think this will be extremely helpful keeping us on track and ON TIME during our travels.

Shane and Alina’s European Adventure

Mon., 10/1
12:40 pm
Arrive in Rome at the airport
Transfer arranged by NCL: pick us up at airport and take us to the Hotel
Walk to the Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain

Welcome drink and a walking tour with NCL

After welcome drink grab so food and head to a selected bar/club for a drink


Tour Ancient Rome
-       Forum
-       Colosseum
-       Arch of Constantine
Arranged by NCL
- Capitoline and Palatine Hill possibly
Coffee at: Tazza d’Oro Casa del Caffe
After Dinner
Stroll the Piazza Navona
Pg 974 RS guidebook


Vatican Tour!
-       Sistine Chapel
-       St. Peter’s Church


Borghese Gallery (ARRIVE 30mins EARLY)
Book Online:
16 euro each



Shopping Day
Campo De Fiori Market

Transfer from Rome to Civitavecchia
Arranged by NCL

Above is the second draft of our itinerary. I still have more things to fill in but it is getting there.

Packing. Just the thought stresses me out. I am an over packing extraordinaire. But really, I am a miracle packer. At times it’s a problem. I have VOWED to not over pack for this trip. We are both bringing a suitcase and we are packing two empty carry on bags {for all the wine and clothes} for the way back. What makes packing for this trip a little difficult for me is that we will be staying both on land and on a the boat at different points in time and different locations. We stay in Rome 3 nights in a hotel then we get on the boat {as you can see above}. We are on the boat for 7 nights, then we head to Paris for 4 nights. There is also 2 days of travel. My wardrobe does include a few really great dresses from Lilly Pulitzer that I want to wear on the boat for dinners so I will be packing those. While we are in Rome and Paris I want to try and blend in and not attract too much attention by how we are dressed so I am going to be packing tons of neutrals. Summer dresses, jean jackets and flats will also packed. With ALL that said, I don’t have a specific packing list that I use. I am going to put together all my clothes as outfits {worn multiple ways} so that everything has a purpose.

Now here is some advice my Momma always gave me that we will be following. Always have multiple copies of your passport printed out since you won’t be carrying around the hard copy sightseeing. Register with the U.S. Embassy online so that they are aware you will be in the country. Better safe than sorry. Get a money belt! Rick Steves suggests these as well.

If you guys have any travel tips or suggestions I would LOVE to hear them. I will be sharing as many photos of our trip as I can on the blog and instagram so definitely follow along! Thanks for reading :). 

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