So Many Choices...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Planning a trip is a lot of work.  I spent probably two weeks researching plane tickets, trying to find the cheapest way to get to and from Europe.  While the tickets are extremely expensive I truly believe we could not have found much cheaper.  Unfortunately planes tickets are just expensive today.  Until I hit the "book flight" button it was still questionable whether or not we were actually going to do this.  Knowing how much money we were going to be spending and knowing that in a few months we would all be without jobs and without the security of being a student to defer loans it was very scary hitting that button.  In the end, however, it came down to one of those "now or never" moments.  I hope that whatever I do in life I will be able to travel, however at this moment I don't know what that may be.  This could truly be my last chance to really travel.  And, as much as I have traveled in the past, it has never been a really college-y experience.  I have always been with a group and a guide and have been told where to go and what to see.  As scary as it is to not have that I think that I need to experience travel without those cushions to truly call myself a traveler.

Of course now our plane tickets are booked which means there is no backing out... or at least no backing out without a hefty $1200 bill to pay for nothing.  The next step for us (I believe) is find places to stay.  To save as much money as possible we will be spending most of our nights in hostels.  For those nights not in hostels we will either be on night trains or (on our last night) in the airport.  This is hopefully going to be easier than finding flights however there are so many options and pros and cons to each hostel.  Not being familiar with each city we are traveling to makes it even more difficult to know how getting to and from airports/train stations/ and sites we want to see is going to go.  I'm using a combination of Hostelworld.com and Eurotrip.com to search for hostels.  While I do want to find the cheapest beds possible I am also aware that three young women should not be traveling to some areas of cities alone.  I want cheep but not sketchy.  Hopefully I can pull that off. 

Lisbon will be the first on our list to find housing.  Because there is only a $3 difference between some of the top rated places and what seem to be a little less than desirable places it doesn't seem like that difficult of a choice.  Of course now I am going through each hostel and debating back and forth because they all seem to be generally well liked and have roughly the same prices.  I hope this gets easier with each city...

Upcoming Travel Plans

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Well it has been a few months since my insane Alaskan adventure and I'm currently about a quarter through my final semester of college.  I'm still not entirely sure what I want to do after school however I do have a few trips planned... just to make sure I'm completely broke before I have to start paying off my loans.

My first trip planned is with my school's alternative spring break program.  I've been interested in taking part in this program since freshman year but it has never really been feasible.  It's still not really feasible but I decided since it's my last year I might as well do it anyway.  I will be traveling down to New Orleans to help build and repair houses damaged during Hurricane Katrina.  After the devastating earthquake that took place in Haiti recently it can be easy to forget the serious problems that still remain in New Orleans.  Even four years later there are still thousands without homes and thousands of homes too damaged for people to live in.  I've heard stories from others about how amazing of an experience this trip is and I am really looking forward to it.

Then, about a week after I graduate in May,  my friends and I have decided to take a backpacking trip through Europe.  This trip is going to be very different from every other trip I have ever been on because I am essentially planning all of it.  As of right now we will be flying into Lisbon, Portugal then taking a night train to Barcelona, Spain, another night train to Paris, France,  then to Venice, Florence, and Rome, Italy and then fly to Athens, Greece.  I am really just guessing on my planning but it is kind of fun.  We will be staying in hostels, living off granola bars, and hopefully having an amazing experience.  Anyone out there with any input I would gladly except it!

Finally, for now,  is a second trip to Alaska! My friend Kori, who I took my road trip with this past summer, will be getting married this August and I could not imagine missing it.  Luckily I have earned enough sky miles to get myself a free flight out there.  I'm still trying to figure out the logistics but I would like to spend more than a night in Anchorage this time!

So for now that is all.  I will be sure to update as planning moves along.