Traveling abroad…

Things I’ve been thinking about since I’ve booked my trip abroad…aka Europe.

  • Who came up with the word abroad?

Of course I had to google this one! Origin: First recorded in 1225–75, abroad is from the Middle English word abrod.  Figures…it’s old.

  • What do you need to rent a car and drive in Italy?

I will be renting a car in Milan, Italy so I can see as much of that country as I can in the few days I will be there. So, of course, I asked Google what is needed. Well, good thing I checked because what I found is that you have to get an international driving permit! This is quite the process! You need to get passport pictures taken, fill out the application on line, take a copy of your drivers license and sign that copy and write a check for $20 and whatever shipping and handling you choose…aka how soon do you want to get it. If interested you can find the application at http://aataidp.com/

  • How damn cheap it is to fly…within “abroad”?!

Ok, so I’ve been to Vegas one million times and the cheapest I got my airfare and hotel for 3-5 days was probably $375, and that was years and years ago! How much did I spend on the flight from Dublin to Amsterdam? $40 dollars…let me say that again…$40!!!! I’ll spell it out too just to make a point…forty dollars!

The flight from Amsterdam to Athens was a little more expensive…$76…seventy-six dollars. It’s unbelievable to me. Milan to Dublin…$40…forty dollars! I’m watching the flight from Athens to Milan, it’s hovering around $124…way too spendy for me…not really, but when you compare it to $40 it seems too high. and before you ask me…yes, this is all in american dinero. The Euro is worth more then the U.S. dollar right now, so those flight prices are cheaper if your paying in Euro’s.

  • How’s the weather going to be? Hot or cold, clear or rainy?

Unfortunately it looks like the weather in Dublin and Amsterdam is like here…raining one minute, sunny the next. Packing a rain jacket for sure!

Weather in Athens right now sunny and in the high 70’s, low 80’s…fingers crossed the weather holds for a month. Weather in Milan…raining.

I will need to pack for both sun and rain…and more damn rain. But at least I’m used to the rain from here so maybe I won’t look too much like a tourist over there.

  • How do you book a decent hotel from half way across the world?

I need to book a room in Amsterdam, and then in Dublin for the night before I fly home. I’ve been on Expedia looking at hotels not just for the price, but for the map feature on the app! I can put in a filter of prices and amenities I would like in my hotel (like free wifi and free airport shuttle) and it gives me a bunch of hotels that match my wants and wishes. Plus I can see where the hotel is in relation to the airport and the city center…centre.

Where have I been finding all these cheap flights you ask! And watching for some cheap hotels? It’s an app called Hopper! It’s an amazing app! Try it!!

For the hotel selection I have been reading the comments…all the bad ones. I’ve read some pretty bad reviews, especially in Amsterdam. The minute I see bedbugs in any of the reviews I delete that hotel from my list of maybe’s!

  • How do I deal with jet lag?

To be honest, I have never experienced jet lag. Probably because the longest flight I’ve been on is when I went to Cancun, Mexico and that was a direct flight from Vancouver Canada. Back then I took lots of drugs to fly, but usually they wore off after two hours. I took another dose and then woke up and still had some more hours until landing. If my then drug induced brain doesn’t deceive me, I believe I was on that plane for a little over 6 hours straight.

The flight from Seattle to Dublin (with a stop in Vancouver Canada) is approximately 10 1/2 hours…ugh.

I have heard about how to lessen jet lag from a few difference sources, online sources of course. All of the sources say no to sleeping pills, no to alcohol. On the way to Dublin I leave at noon from Seattle and arrive at 8:30 am in Dublin. Which will be 10:30 pm here. Then to Amsterdam by 1:45 pm…which is about 2:30 am here (if I’m doing the math right) then out to see the sites! I’m planning on both sleeping pills and alcohol on the plane…let’s see how this all pans out!

On the way home I leave Dublin at 10:15 am and arrive in Seattle the same day at 1:45 pm…that will be weird.

Little known fact…I’m afraid to fly. I don’t let it stop me from traveling, but I used to take drugs to fly. About two years ago I decided that I was going to face that fear and not take drugs. Don’t get me wrong, I drink like a fish before I fly, but no drugs are taken. I remember and am fully conscience of the full flight…in all it’s turbulent glory. I loved watching Sex and the City II where the girls fly to Abu Dhabi and they each have their own sleeping compartment and there’s a damn bar on the plane as well! They actually go have some cocktails as soon as the plane is in the air, and after that they go to their individual compartments and go to sleep…I want that!

  • What about cell service?

I do not know yet. I have it on my list to call my cell carrier. In my mind I think I can turn off my data and just use wifi when I have it…but I could be wrong. I’ll know more when I call AT&T!

  • Will ten days abroad be enough?

Nope, nope…nope. I don’t believe it will be long enough, but dammit I’m not going to be complaining. Not one bit of complaining from me.

This trip will be the taste of travel I have been so desperately wanting, and needing. I’ve not really traveled out of the state since January…feels like years.

I’m sure I will have many more questions and thoughts as I get closer to my trip…stay tuned!

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