Day 0: The Prelude

FYI: This isn’t really one day.  We have been planning this trip since January.  But these are some of the major steps that went into it.  And, for it, I take VERY little credit.  Mrs. Desirée Daniels did a phenomenal job making this thing happen.  I just did what I was told.

The flight
Most important thing to a successful transatlantic trip is the transportation portion of things.  Without it, you’re dead in the water.  Desirée found round trip tickets to Amdterdam/out of Paris for around $400 per person through WOW air.  D*** good deal!  Usually, tickets cost twice that.

The lodging
Ok, I’ll take credit where credit is due.  I found our Airbnb place in Amsterdam.  She found the two in London and Paris.  (For the rest of this post on planning, you’ll notice that I take credit for the few things I did do but give her credit for the numerous monsters she tackled.)  I have used Airbnb quite a few times now and love it!  Only way to stay in my mind.  So, where as I discovered how great it was through my solo travels (taking credit), she made it work for 2/3 of this trip (giving credit back).

The money
Now,though the flight and lodging aren’t egregiously expensive, we did have to plan accordingly.  So we researched credit cards with no international fees and planned to utilize my relationship with an international financial institution to convert Euros to dollars at a reasonable rate of exchange.  A penny saved is a penny earned, right?

The packing
WOW air has great prices.  But with those prices come some stipulations, such as no free water on the flight and only getting a 15 kilogram (11 pound) carry on free.  My bag met that requirement. We are going to be paying a minor overage for hers though.  Biggest thing I can say is really only take whatever is necessary.  I have such little in my possession that I won’t really look like myself for the next couple weeks.  Minimal bottoms.  A lot of graphic tees.  Toothbrush.  Toothpaste, deodorant.  Sneakers.  Flip flops.  The lighter the better.  I am wearing my heaviest things in layers on the plane then I will strip them off and put them back into the bag.

The public transit
This is my baby!  I did not have a car for a high percentage of my adolescent or adult years.  But I spent so much time in NY and NJ that I wasn’t afraid of public transport nor walking.  So I have us hopping on bikes and subways across Europe.  We’re taking the Megabus and MARC from Durham to Baltimore.  These things are much cheaper than renting a car and driving around.  Plus they allow you to enjoy the landscapes as opposed to focusing too heavily on the road.

All things considered, I think we did a good job planning our first trip overseas.  But I guess the rest of these posts will tell how correct I am.

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