I recently had the privilege of going on a two week whirlwind vacation through Europe. This was my first time traveling as an adult to Europe so there were a lot of unknowns. I thought I would write a quick blog post on some of the lessons learned and hopefully subsequent posts on each city.
The trip consisted of flying into Munich, spending two nights in the Austrian Alps, two nights in Venice, four nights in Florence, two nights in the Piedmont region, and one night in Milan.
Here are some of the lessons learned from the trip.
- Only spending two nights in a big city isn’t long enough. I wish I had another night in Munich, Venice, and the Austrian Alps.
- Almost everywhere took credit cards. Especially the restaurants.
- Schedule at least two hours between flights. This is more important coming back because you’ll need to clear customs. I had a short window between flights at JFK. Once the flight was delayed out of Milan, I knew I was going to miss the connection. It made a long day of travel even worse.
- Google Fi was a great way to get phone service in Europe. I had a Nexus 5x that I wasn’t using anymore so I signed up for Google Fi. The reception was great in every city. Google Maps was a lifesaver, as was Google Translate. I have Verizon and it would have been a $40 charge to use the phone in Europe and that only included 100 MBs of data. That would have been used navigating from the airport to the hotel.
- Google Maps and Google Translate are amazing. I don’t know how people traveled before without them. I used them both every day for so many things.
- Uber sucks in Europe. I tried Uber in Munich and there was only one car available. Then he couldn’t find me. After 20 minutes, I hired a cab, which is what I should have done in the first place.
- Pack a water bottle (or 2)! The Camelbak was a lifesaver. It’s hot in Europe in the summer and free water isn’t super available in Europe. Having the Camelbak saved a lot of money and kept me hydrated.
- The booze on the international flights really was free. I had heard rumors, but it was true on both Delta international flights.
- Hotels in Europe don’t use a cover sheet. It’s literally the fitted sheet then the comforter. Be prepared!
- We did laundry one day at a laundry mat in Florence, but we also brought Tide Sink Packets (Link) and a clothesline (Link) for laundry at the various hotels. They were the real MVP of the trip.
- Bring a good converter. I brought this one with 3 plugs and 4 usb ports. It did a great job.
If you have anything I’ve missed or any questions, drop a note in the comments below.