We are in the throes of planning an independent trip to Europe later this spring. You’d think this was our first rodeo!
We made similar trips a number of times over the years. We traveled internationally while we were both working fulltime + and when our daughter was too young to be left alone. And we always seemed to have a ‘high needs’ dog in the mix!
I can’t imagine how we pulled off time consuming trip planning, plus arranged a good spot for our daughter when we were gone and/or found a dog sitter, all while we were working!
Our 2022 planning is feeling like a fulltime gig for both of us. Can this too be blamed on the pandemic???
First the trip logistics:
- 4 international flights (with the help of AAA)
- 5 hotels in 4 cities
- Rental car
- Apartment rental
- Travel to and from airports
Then there is the pre-trip prep:
- Stop mail
- Stop paper
- International driver’s permits
- International cell service
- Register with the State Department
- Travel alerts to the bank
There is always miscellaneous stuff, such as:
- Museum tickets (story below)
- Prepping our house for our absence – computer, furnace, AC, indoor and outdoor plants
- Packing – which will deserve its own post at some point!
On the topic of museum tickets, we want to visit the Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam. It is a small venue so tickets are required. There is a convoluted system to get them. All the tickets for a given month go on sale the month before, the first Tuesday to be specific. Being all the way west in Pacific Daylight Time, is a bit of disadvantage. I got up at 3:30 AM Tuesday morning to secure our tickets. The ticket queue had over 800 people in it but I persevered. After two tries and two queues, the tickets were in my inbox 😊. By about 4:30 AM it was finally time to go back to bed!
I realize that even if we were joining an organized tour, we would still have trip prep. But after getting up at 3:30 AM, I am tempted to write a check to Rick Steves’ Europe so someone else can organize the logistics (and museum tickets) for our next European adventure!
And on the subject of packing…..
When preparing to travel, lay out all your clothes and all your money. Then take half the clothes and twice the money.’Susan Heller