My Dream Travel List – Oh! The Places You’ll Go

A few years ago I made a crazy goal of visiting twenty countries in under two years. I sat down with Antz and Liv and we looked through our MAPS book to decide which countries interested us most and what we would do in each destination.

I have the obvious must-see locations but I also wanted to challenge myself to see places that aren’t frequently visited. After reading about the rad landmarks and festivals across Europe I put together my dream list. In the back of my mind I sort of thought of it as a silly fantasy but now that I am actually living in Europe, it feels like we can certainly accomplish it!

The best part is since we are already  here, airfare and trains are a fraction of what it would cost flying from Los Angeles. YAY! After surviving driving in London, I feel brave enough to handle road trips so we can experience more cities in France. As long as we have reliable wi-fi and a clean/cool place to swap, I would love to visit these incredible destinations.

  1. France – Calais, Lille, Normandy, Cherbourg, Nantes, Aix-en-Provence, RouenRiems, Dijon, Poitiers, Lyon, Biarritz, Marseille, Brittany, Bordeaux, Deauville, Nice, Cannes, Strasbourg, Arles, Gordes, Montpellier,  Avignon,  Annecy, Alsace region Antibes and St. Tropez *quite possibly more cities!
  2. Italy – Rome, Florence, Pisa, Milan, Venice, Turino, Naples, Capri, Positano, Sorrento, Cinque Terre, and Sicily *Malta (technically not Italy but close)
  3. Spain – Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia, Málaga, Seville and Granada
  4. Portugal – Lisbon, Porto, Madeira Island and Sintra

    sintra
    Look at this colorful castle in Sintra, Portugal 

  5. Morocco – Marrakesh, Fez, Essaouira, and Casablanca *Rock of Gibraltar
  6. Germany – Berlin, Cologne, Munich, Leipzig, Bavaria, Frankfort, Heidelberg, Trier (to see the Burg Eltz Castle) and Saxony (Die Rakotzbrück/Devil’s Bridge)
  7. Ireland – Dublin, Cork, maybe Giant’s Causeway in Bushmills (Northern Ireland)
  8. England – London, Salisbury, Bristol, Brighton, Bath, Oxford and the Cotswolds
  9. Scotland – Edinburgh, Glasgow and the Lochs
  10. Austria – Salzburg, Innsbruck, Hallstatt and Vienna
  11. Switzerland – St. Moritz, Geneva, Zürich, MontreuxGrindelwald, Lucerne, Interlaken, Chur, Basel and Lausanne
  12. Belgium – Brussels, Brugge, Ghent and Antwerp
  13. Netherlands – Utrecht, Rotterdam Delft and the Hague
  14. Russia – Moscow and St. Petersburg
  15. Denmark – Copenhagen
  16. Sweden – Stockholm, Gothenburg, Gotland Island and Mälmo
  17. Norway – Oslo and fjords
  18. Finland – Helsinki and the Arctic Circle (My friend Aura lives there so I’m sure she will know cool places to visit)
  19. Poland – Warsaw, Krakaw and Oświęcim (Memorial and Museum Auschwitz-Birkenau)
  20. Czech Republic – Prague, of course!

 

Bonus Destinations

21. Japan – Tokyo, Kyoto, Hokkaido, Osaka and Yokohama
22. Romania – Bucharest (we are dying to see Dracula’s Castle)
23. Turkey – Istanbul
24. Croatia – Dubrovnik, Split and Dalmation Coast
24. Singapore (Antz has been 3 times!)
26. Faroe Islands
27. Australia – Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth
28. New Zealand – Auckland and Wellington
29. India – Agra, Mumbai and Jaipur
30. South Korea – Seoul and Busan

**Bonus: US – New Orleans, Alaska, Hawaii, Florida (for DisneyWorld and Harry Potter) and somewhere cool in Maine.

I have dreamed of seeing the world my whole life, so living in Europe feels surreal. We have so many beautiful and historic places right at our fingertips. I tend to get overwhelmed when I plan our trips because there is so much I want to see and unfortunately, we don’t have a limitless budget or time so I must contain our trips to weekends and school holidays. That’s always been the hardest part for me, waiting to find the best deal during the time Liv has off of school.

salzburg

This is the beautiful town of Hallstatt, Austria

Do you have any must-see places in Europe I have missed? Would you prefer visiting the city or the countryside?

europe-optimal-road-trip

Bon Voyage!

Packing for Europe

Our big trip to London, Paris and Amsterdam is one night away and I am so excited!

The husband finally finished packing last night. He’s always the last to pack but he’s the lightest packer. Everyone seems to think I’m over packing but even Antz couldn’t fit all his clothes and toiletries in his tiny carry-on. We were just about to buy this bag from Flight 001 *one of these days I hope to buy this guy* for him when he remembered I won a nice Samonite duffle bag from my old company at a Christmas raffle. At the time I won this bag, I was disappointed I didn’t win the ipod but boy am I happy we have it now.

Antz suitcaseThere’s a separate compartment on the bottom for shoes and it has backpack strap and wheels. I found the cute luggage tag at Target.

I bought a voltage converter so I will be able to use my flat iron *I am praying it won’t break* and Antz made some snazzy luggage tags for me.

Antz backpackHe’s such a minimalist

Herschel Supply Co Heritage Backpack

Homemade luggage tags *He designed them, printed them and I took them to Staples to get laminated, only cost $1.50 for 4!*

Apple iPhone/Apple Earbuds

Antz passport

Nikon D3000 SLR Camera

Gum *Olivia is super excited because she is allowed to chew gum during our flight so her ears don’t hurt from the pressure

Eyeglasses

Apple iPad

Ghirardelli chocolate *I bought some as a gift for the flight attendants

Aveeno Baby Daily Moisture Lotion *sometimes baby products work best for adults

My bag is also from Herschel Supply Co

I have a must-have list of items I can’t fly without.

Hand sanitizing wipes (as someone who worked for an airline before, wipe the plane’s tray before using).

Cozy socks so you can take your shoes off during long flights.

I can’t sleep without an eye mask (Target always has cute ones in the $1 aisle).

Aveeno Positively Radiant Face moisturizer

Travel size perfume Marc Jacobs Daisy rollerball

EOS lip balm (I like vanilla mint)

I always fly with a rosary (I’m Catholic so it’s obligatory)

I have this rad Rebecca Minkoff pouch for my makeup

Since I couldn’t fit the Nikon camera in my bag, I carry the smaller Nikon J1.

I packed a book I’m excited to read and a couple of travel journals for the long train rides. 

I packed my Fuji instant camera in my check-in suitcase, nestled in between my clothes so it won’t break (fingers crossed)

I don’t fold my clothes, I roll everything to decrease wrinkles and save space. I also make a copy of my passport in case my original gets lost. I’ve had these Streetwise maps for a few years and I finally get to put them to use!

I hope I’m not over the weight amount for my suitcase. I’m an over-packer.

Today I picked up our foreign currency at the bank so now I’m ready to make it rain in the shops!!

British pounds
Lizzie & Queen Elizabeth
 

I hope my talisman will keep us safe, I love mythical superstitions! Do you have any travel good luck charms?