It has been a long time I’ve posted on here but for good reason- I’ve been backpacking and busing around Paris and London this week past week and a half! This is because it was our “holiday” which is the equivalent of our spring break! So Bailey and I planned this trip, packed our two backpacks and hit the road. Here is the journal about planning this trip, I will talk about the trip itself in two different posts as it would be WAAAYYYY too long for one!
Oh lordy, the inner planner in me screamed with joy at organising this. I took to my keyboard and scoured the internet. There is a travel company called Flixbus which is like our greyhound! Roundtrip tickets to Paris was 65 euros and Bailey had a voucher from a previous student so that one was paid for. Next, I found a company called Big Bus Tours per Trip Advisor which is a hop-on hop-off tour of all the major tourist traps in Paris. May I just say, TOTALLY WORTH EVERY SINGLE CENT. You get to choose when to get off, there is headphones you plug in to get a tour of each monument and the buses circulate to every stop about every 15 minutes. Absolutely stunning. Anywho, back to planning phase.
After that, I figured out the train system and we booked some tickets via the train route to get us to and from Paris and then to and from Disneyland. Yes, thats right. Disneyland. I can’t believe it myself. Disneyland… Okay, I’m good. Bailey found a good deal on tickets and we got two park hopper tickets for about $140 USD total. I then booked a hotel with a free shuttle service and va la, our transportation was taken care of!
I then applied the same train system to get us back to Paris and off on another Flixbus to London. It traveled via the English Channel and while I was asleep getting there, we took the same bus back and it was astonishing! For housing once we got to London, I found a hostel that was within walking distance and we spent about $220 for the both of us for 5 days and it was actually a decent hostel!
Alrighty. now for my wise tips from travel (if you can call it that):
- Figure out your budget before
going. Studying abroad is expensive enough so ensure that you know what you can and are willing to spend when you travel. I personally set aside a travel budget before coming here and stuck to that budget. I withdrew the cash I wanted to spend and brought my card because things always pop up ( and it did). Know what you have, what you have in case something happens and go from there!
- Buy experiences, not objects. I could’ve easily paid to tour the eiffel tower or buy a t-shirt but we decided to get a tour to gain that experience. We went to Disneyland and went on rides that aren’t available in the United States. We walked around London and saw a broadway show. Anything you can get where your from, don’t spend your money. Get things that stand out to you and buy memories!
- Be prepared for traveling! Each European country typically has a different charging port so get a universal charger (or find someone who has one.. Thanks Bailey!). Pack a towel, two changes of clothes, a rain jacket and a warm jacket. Pack your toiletries and some shampoo. Especially with backpacking around the cities, nothing is better than some small comforts of home away from home
- Bus travel- have a blanket and headphones. You will be cold, warm and frustrated at the two screaming children who take turns yelling.I’ll just leave that there.
- Hostels are not bad but get one that has breakfast! You are going to be spending enough money on your travels, get one that gives you a free meal and you can even snag some Nutella and Jam packets for quick snacks or quick sandwiches for lunch!
I have many more but I will leave it here for now. It was surreal and I will post much much more about it this week!