Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Travel Tips- As In I Need Them!

So my dear, wonderful, blogging friends I am in need of your help, advice, or just plain encouragement. I will take whatever I can get. I was planning on a trip to Europe in June. I'm thinking I can still manage to make this trip happen. Things depend on the tax refund. Anywho, I have friends all through France, one in Luxembourg, Switzerland, and Germany. I'd like to visit as many of these fabulous people as possible of course, but, how in the world do I plan for a trip like this?
I should give you all some background here. Though I have traveled some I am practically a virgin when it comes to planning a trip, especially one that could potentially involve train trips after landing. If I am to go, who would want to see me? Where would I buy the train tickets for a reasonable price? How in the world do I go about seeing my friends, but, not burdening them with my inexperience?
So if any of you have some advice to when is a good time to hop over the pond and go to Europe please share. Any information as far as what to expect cost wise (hostels and/or food), where to stay, what train(s) to take, and how to book all of this stuff please pass that my way. I think I can figure out how to get the plane ticket (looks like I'll be landing in Paris) it's just getting those other details figured out that I'm at a loss for. Oh and did I mention I don't even know how to make an itenerary?? Though, I'm sure you all had it figured out by now.
Also, if you wouldn't mind seeing me then please let me know. I'd love to arrange some meet ups!! Go ahead and email me if you're more comfortable with that and be prepared for questions on where to meet up, stay and cost. I'm kinda on a 'shoestring' budget so I want to make sure I have my p's and q's lined up. But, hey, if you are willing to put up with that then have at it. I will bring pretty things from the states too. I promise.
As you can plainly see, I need some serious help! Please give me some input if you are so inclined. I mainly need a starting point to build an outline of what to do and then I'll probably have some questions after that. I'm sorry to bother you with my naievity, but, anything will be a great help. Thanks so much!


The Pliers said...


I'm going to take you at your word and give you an off-the-cuff impression as well as a suggestion:

1. I have been reading your blog for a quite a while now and with respect to the "European Travel Dream" I am not getting a sense of why you want to make the trip.

If we stick strictly to the reality of the moment in your life today, the trip will be finite in time and cost a pretty penny. You will make the trip and then return to life as you know it in Tulsa--having had a good trip and being the poorer for it, with a need to return to work and to rebuild your financial base.

Consequently, as I see it, the most important thing is to clarify the purpose of the trip, in order to then create an itinerary that serves that--most important for you--purpose.

Exactly how long is the trip going to be?

What international airport is going to be your base and why?

Are you going to base yourself in one place and make excursions in and out of that place?

Or are you going to do 17 cities in 17 days?

Do you have solid commitments from individuals in strategic locations to host you?

Do you travel well alone?

In what ways will your past experience in Europe help formulate the trip that you take this time?

(I want to say that I am wondering about the wisdom of making such a demanding trip in the aftermath of the very serious eye surgery that you just had, BTW. I feel that June is too soon with respect to both your complete healing and the current stage of your itinerary planning. You need to be completely 100% healed having recovered the maximum sight that you can before embarking on such a voyage. The trip will be tiring and you are going to need all your reserves of strength and good general health.)

The one thing about coming to Europe, wherever, is that if you come alone, the people that you are going to want to see, if they are based here, will be on Europe time, working, rather than on vacation, and thus locked into the routine that you just left at home--commute, work, eat, sleep...

Your priorities and availability of time will be radically different from theirs. That is not an insurmountable problem but it has been my experience that it does have an impact on the quality of one's trip. So, once again, we are back to the need to clarify the "purpose" of your trip in order to plan how to best organize your travel to serve your purpose.

Don't short-change yourself by failing to reflect upon exactly what it is that you want to see, hear, do, taste, touch, and experience intellectually, artistically, and emotionally during your trip. Only you will be able to put your finger on those significant desires and then orchestrate a trip to satisfy them.

The easiest way to control costs will be to purchase a ticket, base yourself in a location such as Paris or another attractive metropolitan area, buy a transportation pass, get a museum card, and go out and soak up the ambiance.

You don't have to publish this comment, it's just for the purpose of supporting you in focusing clearly upon your fondest desires and planning for them. We can talk about this on the telephone if you like, or SKYPE.


annelise said...

How exciting!! I've not been to Germany before so I don't have any advice to offer but it's not that hard. I traveled alone and figured it out, I'm sure you and your mum will too! Brilliant, I'm so excited (and a bit envious) of you!

Clouds said...

how much time do you have? i'd try to spend lots of time in a handful of places rather than hitting 20 cities in 2 weeks.

i love france, of course. ;) you could rent an apartment by the week, which is lots cheaper than getting a hotel but just as comfy.

good luck and let us know how the planning goes. how exciting!