5 Things I Learned in Italy

Things I learned in ItalyPhoto of the ruins in Rome, Italy.

If you’ve been keeping up with this blog, you’ll know that I spent Spring holiday traveling around Europe with my best friend from back in the States. It was definitely a once in a lifetime kind of opportunity for the two of us, and we tried to make the most of it by visiting as many sights as possible as well as strolling around to see where the side roads would take us. Here are a few of the things that I took away from our adventures in Florence and Rome that I thought may be helpful to remember in the future!

1. Street Crossing-You know those little zebra crossings located in busy parts of the city? Become best friends with them! Unless you are super bold and are willing to risk your life crossing the street you might want to seek out a proper cross walk. Especially when trying to cross the road near a roundabout, and chances are you’ll encounter many of these. If you are feeling daring, you kind of just have to go for it and hope that the cars will stop, but please please be safe and just opt for the marked walkway.

2. Directions Please?-The cities we visited in Italy are not on a grid system like streets in the U.S. are, and often times the signs are tricky to find. For two girls who struggle with directions, you can only imagine all of the wandering around we did looking like complete idiots. If you have an idea where you are going beforehand this will save quite a bit of time, but just remember streets change into other streets and soon enough the city will have you walking in circles!

3. Food Glorious Food-Don’t be too quick to judge a place based on the prices, some of the best food we had was not the most expensive out there. Our Belgian friend we met in Prague advised us to find places far away from tourist attractions for the cheaper, most authentic options. As for the gelato, just because it looks beautiful doesn’t mean it’s the best. Try out a few places and see what you like! (But honestly, can you ever really go wrong with gelato?)

4.Tickets Anyone?-If you want to spend less time in line to see the sights of Italy, reserve tickets way in advance! We made the mistake of not doing this and I’ll just say that next time the minute I know about a trip I’ll be popping on my  computer ASAP.

5.Relax-Because there are so many tourists and people seem more relaxed, life moves a bit slower in Italy. Chill out and take a leisurely stroll to each venue. In the U.S and even in London, things seem more fast-paced, but sometimes it’s good to take some time to soak in all that a new city has to offer. When in Rome right?

Let me know what you’ve learned from your travels in the comments and any tips you have!

Until next time,New blog signature 2

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Bath Spa Travel Tips

Bath Spa TipsOver reading week, while my Brother and Dad were visiting me, we took a side trip to Bath, Somerset which is about an hour and a half away from London by train. Here are a few suggestions I thought I’d give for those of you who are interested in paying this area a brief visit!

1. When purchasing train tickets, I would recommend going to the ticket booth in person. This way you will have the opportunity to speak with a ticket agent in person who can provide you with the best available deal, especially when traveling in a group!

2. This may seem like a silly tip, but when on the train, try to avoid sleeping and take a minute to appreciate the scenery on the short journey to Bath. I’m a bit weird, but I always like to find a nice piece of music to pair with the trip as I observe my surroundings. After all, the ride is not long at all and it will keep you from waking up tired from the trip.

3. When visiting Bath, going to the Roman Baths is a MUST! Although you do have to purchase tickets for this tourist attraction, it is not only a beautiful sight to see but also provides a tangible look into history!

4. If you are interested in fashion I would highly recommend paying the Fashion Museum a visit. Not only is is very informational, but often times you can get a deal when visiting both the Roman Baths and this Museum.

5. When purchasing any tickets, always ask if they have student discounts. Most places do, and even if they don’t it doesn’t hurt to ask!

6. Take a free walking tour around the city! I enjoy exploring different cities on my own as much as the next person, but volunteers conduct free walking tours leaving from the bath pump rooms in the city center throughout the day and they are very educated about the history and secrets of the city. I walked away not only with a lovely tour around Bath, but also with information that I probably wouldn’t have known if I hadn’t taken this opportunity!

I hope that some of these suggestions helped and have a lovely time exploring the city!

Until next time,New blog signature 2

5 Tips I Discovered From Traveling by Bus

Bus Tips 2Reflecting on my trip to Amsterdam, I decided to come up with a list of five of my top tips I gained from traveling on an overnight bus for thirteen hours. These are some of the things that I thought would be helpful to keep in mind for the next time I embark on a long journey on the open road.

1. Make sure to leave enough time to get to the bus station. Okay, this may seem obvious, but it is definitely important to plan for any bumps in the road while trying to get to the station in the first place. (Here’s my story about that in case you missed it). Also, the sooner you get in line, the better chance you have to select a seat of your choice!

2. Know the luggage requirements/restrictions and have all of your travel documents both secure and easily accessible. This will be helpful when going across any country borders.

3. Bring a snack. Most of the time there won’t be any chances to get a quality snack during your journey, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll most likely want something to eat during the trip. Also, make sure to have a bottle of water to stay hydrated, the recirculated air on buses can be quite drying!

4. Bring a pack of tissues. This tip might seem a bit odd, but trust me when you need to go to the bathroom and you realize that all of the toilet paper is gone, you’ll be thanking yourself that you brought them! (Napkins work in a pinch too).

5. Bring something to keep you entertained if you have difficulty sleeping while traveling. Maybe a good read, something to write in, or music to listen to. I love music, so I created a playlist on my phone to enjoy during the long journey. (Don’t forget to turn your smart phone on airplane mode if it serves as your i-pod. This will conserve battery life and prevent you from racking up massive phone bills once you enter a new country).

I hope some of these helped! Let me know some of your travel tips in the comments.

Until next time,New blog signature 2