Wanderlust Tour

"He who would travel happily must travel light."

Ask me Anything

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 travelers wandering

infatuatedness asked: How did the phone situation work exactly? Did you already have an older iPhone and got it unlocked? Or did you just unlock your pre-existing iPhone?

I have an iPhone 4S and before I left I just called my cellular provider and asked them to unlock my phone, and they did it over the phone. And then when I got to Italy, I bought a SIM card with one month prepaid, and after that month I just left it in my phone. I couldn’t use it to call or anything, but it was nice because I didn’t have to worry about accidentally racking up charges on my cell phone bill back home.

I bought the SIM card because I originally planned on couchsurfing the whole time, and it would have been easier to have a working cell phone so I could call my hosts, but then I got too lazy to do couchsurfing and I didn’t need to have cell phone service if I was just staying at hostels. But I still have that Italian SIM card and I’m going to stick it in my phone every time I leave the country because its really nice not worrying about accidental charges.

indie---love asked: Hi, i'm planning a trip in Europe for this september and debating if i should buy an eurail pass. I'm not really sure it's worth it and a lot of people are saying it's cheaper to buy tickets once you are there. Considering the price for the global eurail pass is like 900$ i wanted to make sure it was worth it. What do you recommend ? Thanks :)

It depends on your itinerary I think. If you plan on going to a lot of cities in Europe in a short amount of time, it might be cheaper. For the most part, point-to-point tickets that you purchase at the train station don’t really change in price that much and most of them aren’t really that expensive. And there are other options for getting place to place like buses and low-fare airlines. If you mix it up and take trains and buses, it might be cheaper than a rail pass. But it really depends on your itinerary. What I did before I left was I went on the different country’s rail and bus websites and tried to get rough estimates of how much each train/bus ticket was going to cost, and then I compared it to the price of a rail pass. For me, it was cheaper to just do point-to-point.

Sorry my blog has been so lame lately…I still can’t think of the best way to show you all how to plan a trip. But when I do figure it out I’ll be posting more.

Anonymous asked: Just curious, what's your favorite place in Europe you traveled? And what's your favorite sight you've seen in Europe? I'd love to travel Europe, but I don't know where to begin!

This is always a difficult question, because I really loved it all, and I loved different places for different reasons. I loved Italy for it’s history, cities, and food. I loved Switzerland for it’s natural beauty and just overall awesomeness (I would love to live there). I loved Munich, and Prague, and Vienna. They were all beautiful cities. Amsterdam was one of my favorite cities and is one of those places that I’ll keep revisiting throughout my life. Of course Paris was amazing and I’ll also revisit it a lot. London is an awesome city as well. Edinburgh really took me by surprise, I’ll definitely go back there someday as well. And Istanbul was awesome and I plan on taking all my flights to Europe via Turkish Airlines so I can keep exploring more of Istanbul… So yeah. I loved it all. 
I know I’m biased, but I definitely recommend my itinerary for everybody. I think it hits up all of the major cities and a lot of awesome small towns and sights. Yeah, it doesn’t include Spain or Ireland or most of Eastern Europe, but Spain is a huge country and is a trip in and of itself. The rest of France has some stuff to offer, but France is huge too and you could do a whole trip just in France as well. Same goes for Ireland. One day I’ll definitely do a trip to discover all of Ireland in depth… But the route I took takes you through that compact part of Europe where you can travel quickly from country to country and see a lot of it in a relatively short amount of time. 

Anonymous asked: Hello, so I've just discovered your blog and I am also interested in traveling around Europe and other parts of the world. I was looking at you itinerary for Europe, and one thing I don't seem to comprehend is how did you get back to the USA? Did you fly back to Istanbul to catch a plane or did you fly back from the last location you were in? Thank you in advance.

I bought a roundtrip ticket from Washington D.C. to Rome on Turkish Airlines (which included a layover in Istanbul both ways). I did this because it was cheaper, and I didn’t mind having to go back to Rome at the end of my trip. I knew that I could always catch a cheap flight back to Rome via RyanAir or Easyjet or something, so that’s why I went ahead and booked a ticket in and out of the same city.

So my trip ended in Edinburgh, and from there I think I took RyanAir back to Rome, stayed one night there, and then continued with my original roundtrip ticket from Turkish Airlines, and they flew me to Istanbul and then back to DC.

I actually preferred it this way, because I didn’t really know where I was going to end up at the end of my trip. I was contemplating ending in London or Ireland but I didn’t have a definite idea. I didn’t know that I would’ve ended up in Edinburgh (I don’t even think it was on my original itinerary). So it was cheaper for me to book a roundtrip ticket in and out of the same city. So throughout my trip I didn’t know where I was going to “end” I just knew I had to fly back to Rome in time for my flight home. But since Rome is a big city with 2 airports, I knew I could find a cheap flight back there, even at the last minute and I was right. I think I booked that flight back to Rome maybe 1 or 2 weeks in advance. 

Today marks exactly 6 months at my job. I like it but at the same time I’m getting antsy to travel long-term. It’s all my friend’s fault. Last week she kept talking about how much she wants to travel and how we should travel together…And now I can’t help but to feel uneasy about living a boring old life. Haha. But my motivation to keep going to work is that you need money to travel and if I don’t work I won’t be able to travel. Ughhh, I need to win the lottery so freaking bad.

Anonymous asked: Hello. I just came across your blog! My main question I ask everyone, what was your budget like for traveling?

I had a budget in mind before I left of about $5000, and that’s exactly what I spent. 

xdirkcalloway asked: i'm studying abroad in vienna this fall. any tips on cheap mini trips i can take on the weekends? also your travel tips were a lot of help and brought a lot of things to my attention, so thanks!

Go to the Vienna State Opera at least once! Standing room tickets are ridiculously cheap. Budapest and Bratislava are short train rides away. Austria has a cheap train service called Westbahn, and you can go to Innsbruck and Salzburg for really cheap as well. Austria is in a great location, you could go anywhere on a mini trip. Venice, Prague, and Munich aren’t far either. And you can take a budget airline anywhere for very cheap as well. I’m so jealous. I wish I could redo college all over again and study abroad in Europe. Have fun!

Anonymous asked: I'm traveling to Europe for the first time this summer (I'm from the U.S.) and I'm SO happy I found your blog!!

That’s so exciting! I hope you have a great trip. If you have any questions, feel free to ask :)

Anonymous asked: Hi! I'm traveling to Europe this summer and I was wondering if you have/could make a list of do's and don'ts on any European styles you recalled? I'll be in Paris for a few days so if you observed any trends there that were significantly different from American trends that you could share that would also be fantastic:) I do know that Europeans don't wear running shorts or tshirts but I also read that shorts in general aren't really big there. Seems odd to me. I could really use your help!! xx

I’m probably like, the worst person to ask about fashion trends. But honestly, Europe in the summer is probably 25% locals, 75% tourists. So even if what you’re wearing isn’t typically worn by Europeans, you’ll be surrounded by tourists so you won’t be the only one dressing like that. In my opinion, I wouldn’t really worry about what’s in style over there. Just be you. Some obvious fashion no-no’s would be hawaiian shirts, fanny packs, cowboy hats, etc. Sometimes I’d see the occasional American backpacker that would be wearing a baggy t-shirt and colorful running shorts, which is totally normal summer wear in the US, but it definitely did stand out in Europe. So if you’re worried about standing out, I would avoid that “just left the gym/soccer practice” look. 

But as far as that my advice is to just be you. You don’t need to stress about having your outfits be on-point with current European fashion trends. Don’t stuff your backpack with 60 pounds of clothes so you can have a new outfit everyday. It’s not worth it. Packing a ton of different clothing items to be a fashionista, is not worth it. 10 years from now when you’re reminiscing about your trip, you won’t remember all the outfit options you had stuffed in your backpack, you’ll remember the pain and agony of carrying the backpack around in the hot weather. Packing light doesn’t mean you have to look rough everyday. You can still look cute, but weighing down your bag and stressing out is really not worth it. I brought 2 jeans, 2 shirts, 2 shorts, a chambray shirt, and a rain jacket that all mixed and matched with each other. It was plenty. And I only stayed in one place for an average of like, 2 days so it’s not like anyone noticed that my outfits all looked the same. haha

Anonymous asked: Hi! I'm planning a trip and since this is my first time I'm a bit lost on what to do, but your blog has really helped! But I was wondering what you did about hygiene stuff? I know most things can be found travel sized but what did you do about towels for showering, since those are pretty big and bulky?

I used a little tiny Speedo swimmers “towel” it was the size of a washcloth, but it absorbs a lot of water and can be squeezed out and then kept in a ziplock bag. I got it on amazon but you can also probably find them at sporting goods stores. It was a…unique experience showering with a tiny towel, but it did it’s job and that’s all that matters. I would dry myself off and get dressed in the shower stall. There are also bigger travel towels that are supposedly quick drying, but it would still take up a bit of room and would still need time to dry before you put it back in your bag. And no one wants to put a damp towel in a bag next to your clean clothes…I preferred my “towel”. Also I left home with my shampoo and conditioner in tiny travel bottles, but once I got over to Europe I found it was easier to get a small sized bottle of Head & Shoulders 2-in-1 shampoo. Travel sized bottles don’t last long and I just found it to be more convenient to carry a small, but normal sized bottle of 2-in-1 shampoo. I also had a bar of goats milk soap that I could use for my face and my body, so that worked well. I also filled one of those refillable travel sized shampoo bottles to put some laundry detergent in. All you need is a drop or two to do laundry in the sink. And that’s about it for hygiene stuff. Hope that helps! 

Anonymous asked: I really want to do backpacking in Europe after I graduate high school but my parents are scared of hostels. They're worried that it's not like the "old days" and that they're dangerous now? Any advice on how I can convince them that there are safe ones?

I don’t know what the “old days” were like, but they’re totally fine now. They don’t need to worry. Seriously. If you want you can lock your valuables in a locker. Most dorm rooms have doors that lock. You can stay in same sex dorms if they feel safer that way. Or if they’re really too scared to go, maybe go after college when you’re a little older and a little wiser. But seriously, they’ve not nothing to worry about. I feel like they’re even safer now because you can look up all the hostels you’re going to stay in ahead of time and you can read reviews to know that you’ll be staying in a safe hostel in a safe area. You can keep in touch with your family back home almost constantly because of wifi being everywhere. Hostels are really safe, in my opinion. And a lot of hostels that I stayed in have more of a hotel kind of feel rather than a seedy dorm for hippies and gypsies that you’re parents are probably envisioning. Traveling in Europe is relatively safe too. Just try not to stand out, and pack light. That’s my advice.

Lately I’ve been missing the freedom that I had while traveling. I could go anywhere and do anything at any time. If I wanted to go to Munich? I could just hop on a train and get there quickly. Or a side trip to Oslo? I’d just take a bus. If I wanted to have some delicious local cuisine? I’d just find a restaurant and eat there.

I feel so trapped in “normal” life. If I wanna do something 3 weekends from now? I have to check the schedule at work, make sure I don’t have to work that day, if no one else can work I have to work because I’m the manager…plans = over. If I want to go visit another city? I have to check flights, but they’re all too expensive and there’s no public transportation.  And even if there is I’d have to get someone to drop me off and pick me up the nearest major bus station which is like an hour away. And I don’t want to spend a ton of money on gas to go somewhere, so nevermind then. Plans = over.

Sometimes I wish I could move to Europe or something. You can go anywhere for really cheap, and in a short amount of time. We don’t have that luxury in the US. I live in Maryland near Washington D.C. so I’m more privileged than most with the cities and areas I’m surrounded by. Baltimore and D.C. is less than an hour away. Philly is like 2.5 hours. The beach is a couple hours away. NYC is like 4 hours. And all the other cool places are too far way to go for just a weekend. If I lived in Europe I could take a train, or RyanAir to some cool unique city like every weekend. Wahh. I need to start saving all my money so when I quit my job I can afford to travel long term. That’s my plan and I’m going to be intentional about all my decisions so I can do it.

Anonymous asked: I'm planning a trip to Europe for mid-November to early-January and am thinking of spending about a week in Switzerland. What would you say are must-sees for that area?

Definitely Lauterbrunnen and the immediate surrounding area. I don’t know if it’ll be covered in snow yet when you get there and full of skiers, but when I was there in the summer it was absolutely gorgeous. There are tons of hiking trails and beautiful scenery. But, if there’s snow the hiking trails will be closed and they will be ski slopes instead. But definitely go there! Bern and Lucerne is nice too.

It’s weird how smells make connections in your brain and bring back memories. I’ve posted before in one of my travel tips that when you go on a trip, buy a new perfume/cologne and only wear it on your trip. Then when you get home stop wearing it. Whenever you want to remember your trip, just take a whiff of that perfume and memories will come flooding back. Little random moments that you don’t think about or have forgotten will come back to you.

I used to hate the smell of cigarette smoke. I don’t have friends or family who smoke, and I’m pretty sure where I live the percentage of smokers is pretty low, so it’s not a smell that I smell very often (thank god), but now, when I do smell it, I love it. Europe is one giant cloud of cigarette smoke. Haha. The smell of cigarettes have the same effect as my perfume. It brings back random memories that I have forgotten, and I absolutely love it! Its weird, but I love it.