This ones long overdue. We went to Europe and it was amazing. We spent 10 days, starting in Copenhagen, Denmark and ending in Stockholm, Sweden with a stop to Paris in-between. We bought our tickets back in November on a whim from Norwegian Airlines. It’s worth signing up for their emails, we bought round-trip tickets for under $600. The low-fare seats were comfy, even though it was a ten hour flight. The cities we visited were beautiful and filled with kind people. We were warned that Scandinavian countries are crazy expensive, but we were able to travel and explore pretty affordably.
I’ve written some basic thoughts and shared our itineraries for each country already, so this is a little more advice for first-time international travelers, anxious type A planners & egregious overpackers (aka – me).
- Make sure your accommodations get better as you go.
Our trip had a lot of happy accidents – like staying in an incredible Paris neighborhood by chance. More importantly, our sleeping situations improved vastly from place to place. In Copenhagen, we stayed at Sleep in Heaven hostel, which was a killer price and pretty nice for a hostel. But, the beds squeaked and our bunkmates snored so we didn’t sleep much. When we moved onto Paris, we stayed at this Airbnb which was a vast improvement from the hostel. Even better, when we moved onto Stockholm we stayed at Motel L which was insanely luxurious after our experience in the hostel. Had we started at Motel L and ended up in the hostel, we would have been really cranky.
- Remember you’re human.
We hit the ground running as soon as we landed and didn’t really stop until we got to Stockholm six days later. By the time we checked into Motel L, Kent and I found food and then spent the rest of the day lounging in bed. We were exhausted, our feet were sore and we desperately needed the recoup. Had we paced ourselves a little more, we probably could have avoided this.
- Download TripAdvisor’s app!
We didn’t pay to have cell service/data in Europe, so we were at the mercy of WiFi most of the time. TripAdvisor’s app lets you download cities to access offline, which was a game changer. I got lost in Paris and had to hunt for a cafe with WiFi to access Google Maps to get me home, because I didn’t have Paris saved in TripAdvisor. *special thanks to Kent, Dan and Alexis for dealing with me calling WiFi “weee-feeeee” for ten days :*
- Europe isn’t cold in May.
This one is kinda embarrassing on my part, I saw it was high of 65 and my Floridian self kinda panicked. I thought I’d be cold so I packed a whole bunch of shit I didn’t need and ended up lugging it around for ten days. Our Airbnb had a washing machine so I could have cut down on what I packed and been totally fine. You can afford to skimp on everything but socks and underwear ;)