Friday, 19 October 2018

THE ONE WITH || BACKPACKERS of EUROPE | BASICS


Ciao - Bonjour!! πŸ’›
Yep, this is me "flaunting" my 'not so good' Italian & French only and only because I made an effort to learn some basic words and sentences just so that I feel like a European for the days we were there!!πŸ‘½
YOU HEARD IT RIGHT! Dream come true bitches.. Our first tiny-tootsy footsteps to covering the whole of Europe was taken this June when me and Mr Tittleton (HUBSTER) planned a trip to Italy and France. πŸ’‹
Thanks to his work, he's always excused from planning our holidays (not the next one, which I'm adamant about) and the same happened this time 'swell. Knowing not a lot about the countries and how to go about planning this whole trip of 24 days did scare the shit out of me! But as they say, where theres a will- THERE'S A WAY! I knew a couple of people who'd recently made a trip to Europe and some particularly to the same destinations we were planning on visiting, so I got in touch with them and took out as much intel as I could. Everything that I felt was relevant and helpful for me to at least map the route and book the tickets and prioritise what to see and what to leave, I went ahead and asked. Also, before I go any further, I'd really like to thank Saanya from 'That Ordinary Couple' http://thatordinarycouple.com to be at my peck and call WHENEVER I pinged her.😘 She really did help me dust and make things less blurry! Anyway, after a lot of research and studying the flight-prices , I came to a conclusion that entering Europe via Italy was pocket friendly than of doing the same via France. Because I booked our tickets well in time, I got a great deal on our tickets which were refundable. While going, we traveled via Etihad Airways and while coming back, we chose to fly Emirates. 
(USE TRAVEL FARE AGGREGATOR WEBSITES TO STUDY THE PRICES BUT BOOK YOUR TICKETS FROM THE AIRLINES WEBSITE ITSELF. REASON: IF YOU'RE TO CANCEL YOUR TICKETS LATER, THE WEBSITE TAKES THEIR OWN CANCELATION CHARGES WHICH DOES PINCH THE POCKET!) 
Local flights from Italy to France are easy to book and there are a lot of budge airlines that fly across. None of these Local Airlines give Check-in Luggage along with the purchased ticket. One has to separately invest in the same. Airlines like AirFrance and Finnair might pinch the pocket. Luckily we got a great deal at EasyJet where our flight tickets with additional luggage of 25Kgs costed us Rs 8000 aka $100 (two tickets). So keep your eyes peeled and always clear your cookies before making the final bookings.
Our route was to enter Europe from Rome and return back home from Paris!
Now the problem was that I wanted to cover the maximum as its not everyday that you plan a trip to Italy and France! 
So, 
PLACES COVERED IN ITALY:
    • Rome
    • Naples
    • Tuscany (Florence)
    • Treviso (Venice)
    • Milan
PLACES COVERED IN FRANCE:
    • Paris
    • Nice
    • Marseille
    • Lyon
    • Colman, Ammerschwihr (Alsace)
    • Thannenkirch (Alsace)

Lets cover the basics first, shall we? ❤
So other that our return tickets and flight tickets from Italy to France, we did not book anything else, as we wanted to travel the European Style and knowing that the connectivity there is brilliant, we decided to do the travel bit - ON THE SPOT. Euro-Rail might be something that could suit the needs of many but it wasn't something we felt we couldn't do without.
Also, because there were a lot of places we were covering, Hubby Dear decided that we travel LIGHT and simply be TRAVEL-FRIENDLY. It was now that the "Rucksacks" were introduced! He's been backpacking since a long time now but for me, it was my first. I was a Rucksack-Virgin! HAH (LAME). So we got me a rucksack from Amazon https://www.amazon.in/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_1_6?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=rucksack+bags+waterproof&sprefix=rucksa%2Caps%2C293&crid=1EQ8FKDTKGBCY As a result, when we left, we had a total of 22 kgs (Two Rucksacks, a backpack and a handbag) IMPRESSIVE HA? πŸ˜‰
Also, because it was tourist season, staying in hotels wasn't economical. Plus it wasn't something we were up for. AirBnB to the rescue. Again, I finished all our booking 4 months prior. I stayed in touch with the hosts and to my surprise, each and everyone of them were a treat to speak to. They made sure that the route from the airport/station to the BnB was described properly. Some even shared screen shots from Google Maps. We were well informed and in return we did make sure that they were too. We stayed in BnBs throughout. But you can always try booking a hostel if you're a solo traveller or even a couple, they have great deals on private rooms. We stayed in a Hostel aka BnB in Rome and simply LOVED IT! https://www.zostel.com
Our stay of 24 days costed us a total of Rs 90,000 aka $1250 approx. 

One of the cosiest stays!


We got two Forex Cards (each to our own) and converted most of our money in Euros and the remaining in Dollars. We made sure the cards were pin protected and linked to our mail. 
We did not apply for a SIM card and trust me, Never did we feel the need to as well. Every place has internet and access to wifi. So spending there wasn't something we thought was required. (But there's no harm in getting one, always an add-on to being connected and in touch!)

WHAT TO WEAR: πŸ‘—
It was summers, month of June, so I took everything that was comfortable and cotton. Took a bikini and two shorts. But a lot of t-shirts and ganjis. Even though I DID carry my boots (God knows why) never did I once wear them! But I DID invest in a pair of Adidas Originals and made sure they felt comfortable AF (which My God They Were) because Europe = HELL LOT OF WALKING AND WALKING AND ONLY WALKING.😏 Packed a small little backpack for times in the city but was sticking to my handbag most of the time. Took a lot of funky jewellery because a girl can not do without the jewels. Right?





WHAT TO PACK: πŸ›…
Please don't bother with your Fedoras and Sun hats! Why would you WANT TO SHOUT,"LOOK AT ME, I'M THE TOURIST OF THE CENTURY!!"😢 When In Rome do like the Romans do ! So when in Europe, be like Europeans are! Heels, I mean, ladies! Trust me I get it, but rucksacks and heels- you're just increasing the load on your shoulders! Just imagine, you and your consort decide to walk around the streets of Paris right after a romantic dinner (where your heels were simply gorgeously apt) but just after a couple of 'miles' you're feet give up and all you could think of, would be ME YELLING, 'I TOLD YOU SO'!😼 So do yourselves a favour and pack a sexy evening dress and maybe some bellies and rock the look. I wore a darn dress with sneakers and ladies and gentlemen, I was proud! 
Much for the guys - a pair of jeans and couple of shorts and t-shirts- a ganji or two - pair pf comfortable sneakers. You are good to go handsome!😻
SHADES. PAIR. OF. SHADES!! TRUCK LOADS OF SUNSCREEN!!! I purchased one from Rome and that bottle was the only reason I survived a flaky skin-drome. Trust me, I've seen a lot of people suffering from a a bad sun burn. So Sunscreen! 😎
Forget your laptops at home please! It's a Vacay- Don't Decay! 😐 You Geddit. Just don't over load yourselves with valuables! (You already have an expensive DSLR πŸ“· ready to hang around your neck for the rest of eternity.) So do yourselves a favour and don't !
OH! never to forget your basic meds! Paracetamol and Allegra are how we survived. But do take some pain killers and a tummy-upset rectifier. πŸ™‡
Even though a lot of people asked us to carry some Ready-To-Eats, we did not as the two of us knew we were going to the 'Paradise of Amazing Cuisines."πŸ₯˜ But if you feel that you might crave for some Indian Food after a while, do carry! 
We did cook a couple of times and it was an experience we feel everyone should DO-DO as well. Going to the super market just to loiter around- choosing pasta from a trillion options never seen or heard before, with the best of the meat and cheese preferences. Not to forget the privilege of deciding which wine to pick from an aisle which simply says VINO 🍷and for nothing more that €4 (you can purchase a bottle of €50 as well but thats on you!!)




Last but not the least, please do your homework and go! Always make an itinerary. Not because its something every traveller needs to do (at times it isn't required) but a place like Europe, where the possibility of traveling again is less, definitely prior-prioritise and if some place required prior bookings, do so before hand. Like for every museum or historical place we visited, we never prior-booked but places like the monastery of Santa Maria belle Grazie and DisneyLand Paris, we got our tickets done before. 🎟
So if you feel you're to go see something where 'on the spot' tickets might be impossible to get, there is no harm in getting your tickets assured before.

This is it! All that I felt was necessary and might help some of you to plan a trip to Italy & France is up here.πŸ‘†




This post will follow with two more : My versions of Italy and France πŸ’• 
So stay tuned cus I've just begun to share our crazy yet dreamy trip to our Dream Land!

Till then 

XO
BG πŸ’–




*ALL OUR BOOKINGS AND TICKETS AND PASSES AND FLIGHTS WERE REFUNDABLE*





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