This grand adventure, I should count up the miles, it would be thousands (about 17680 or so give or take--I had to figure it out) and took 30 days. I've been in six countries and seen great thing after great thing.
So...what would I do differently? What great choices did I make? What mistakes?
Here are a few:
- If you're going to visit the Greek islands, do a cruise. Even though, I really don't like the cruise lifestyle, it was great to only unpack once.
- Renting a scooter on Rhodes and Santorini. So fun!
- Staying at the colleges. Even though Pollock Halls had the WORST mattress ever, the rooms were safe, clean and comfortable.
- Good shoes! I stumbled across a pair of sneakers at WalMart for $5!!! They have been wonderful and lightweight. Bad shoes will ruin a vacation!!!
- Umbrella, sunscreen and bug spray (for the Highlands)
- Leaving my luggage at Dublin airport. Too much, too heavy. I grabbed a smaller bag and left the big stuff there.
- Here's a GREAT choice. I brought a lightweight blanket and my beach towel. In Arrochar, the hotel gave me a comforter that didn't even cover me. I was glad for the blanket.
- Renting the car and driving out to Gallipoli. Just a nice way to start off the trip. And went very smoothly.
- Bringing too many granola bars. I just didn't have the discipline to eat them and they were heavy!!
- Brought two rain coats....one was a special riding coat which weighs 2.2 pounds!!!! didn't need, didn't use. The other was what I thought would be a great raincoat. NOPE...it soaked through and was quite heavy besides. Rolling eyes.
- a tiny fan that is a USB. The hotels in Scotland and Ireland were hot and my fan made them comfortable and made white noise so I could sleep more easily.
- A white linen shirt (which I overpaid for) in Ephesus....but I wore it EVERY day in Turkey and Greece and didn't have worry about sunburn. Soooo good!
- Spices in Istanbul. If nothing else, I kept thinking how much our daughter in law might enjoy them.
- Turkish Delight! REAL Turkish Delight! Yummy!!!
- Not pre-paying gas in my rental car. They wanted $50 pounds and I just didn't do that much driving around. I did, but they got great mileage. It cost me $33.15 to fill the car myself.
- Leaving my luggage at my hotel at the university and going to get my rental car THEN getting the luggage rather than having to drag it through Edinburgh.
- EasyJet. It was cheap and not bad. A long flight would not have been comfortable but funny basic “benchy” seats were kind of amusing. Just know you pay for EVERYthing. Even your dri
nks. (tap water is free).
- Bringing little anti-bacterial wipes for those occasions without soap. And tissues... but I got a bit excited about those and over brought.
- Phone!!! We changed our phones to have a Europe unlimited text and data. Well, the data didn't work. Ever! But oddly enough, I was able to text my children while out a sea...away from any visual land.
- My car was MUCH bigger than I'd hoped. Something tiny would have been less stressful. And I HATED paying $10 pounds a day for a satnav.
- Aer Lingus (like EasyJet) will give you a big discount on paying for luggage IF you book it ahead of time. Because I booked my flight with Expedia, Aer Lingus would NOT allow me to pick seats nor pre-pay my luggage. Sigh.