Surviving City Breaks: Euro Edition

We decided to use our short 2-week break to cover a bunch of cities in Europe and now we can share our experiences 🙂

What cities did we do?

  • Paris/Versailles
  • Barcelona
  • Brussels
  • Amsterdam/The Hague
  • London

It was such an amazing break! Even though we had been to these cities before, the experiences this time around were very different! You know when you explore a city for the first time, you might shove a bunch of touristy things on your to-do-list but the second time around you add a lot more social/cultural experiences to get a real feel for the place?

Or is that just us? 😛

We will be sharing insights on the different cities and things you should definitely try in subsequent posts, but for now, here are a few tips we recommend for surviving city breaks:

Travel light

  • Especially if you plan to use a budget airline for your travels, you don’t want to be forced to either throw things away or pay a hefty fee to check in your hand-luggage because of weight or liquid restrictions.
  • This also applies to emotional baggage! Try to leave all your emotional baggage at your departure gate and make room for new memories! You don’t want to ruin you trip or your group’s trip with issues from home. Free yourself up to meeting new people, experiencing new things.
  • Grab a map when you land especially one for the transport system otherwise check if uber works 😉

 

Find the best travel options

  • Use trains if possible! we tried flying from Paris to Amsterdam with a connecting flight! this was torture! it took 6hours in total to make a trip that would have taken 3hours max by train
  • For accommodation! explore and exhaust budget websites as well as airbnb’s to find the best for your budget – we got amazing hotels and airbnb’s for the different cities – if you are in a group, it works out cheaper to share accommodation 😉 find apartment hotels or airbnb’s where you can cook or microwave food (if you want to save on eating out)

 

Make a to-do-list

  • This helps before any holiday! we like to have a general list for a couple of things we definitely want to do as well as allow plenty of room for spontaneity.
    • Spontaneity would come in from locals you meet on your travels and their recommendations or random things you come across when exploring
    • Trust us, the best memories are usually ones flowing from random spontaneous adventures

 

Learn basic phrases in the language of your destination

  • In Paris, what definitely saved us was the fact that one of us spoke and understood basic French. Whilst this doesn’t say much in actual lengthy conversations, it shows effort and the people we met were more accommodating when they saw the effort to communicate with them in French.
  • Pack your travel dictionary so you can at least figure out what is being said! 😉

 

Change your money before travelling

  • It is definitely cheaper to buy outside the destination country. Always check the rate online to give you an idea of what is acceptable and what is extreme. The rates at the airport are typically higher than in the city.
  • It even worked out cheaper to withdraw money from your ATM cards than to change cash.

 

Be friendly but cautious

  • We’ve had phones stolen on travels (pick pockets) so be very careful when on holiday especially in big cities like Paris.
  • Whilst we advocate meeting locals, be careful too! Not everyone has good motives! Don’t be quick to follow strangers in the guise of “trying to help you”
  • Everyone loves sharing their adventures on social media, but be very careful where and when you do this, because often times pick pockets are watching and this is usually how they mark people to follow and steal from.
  • Keep your passport/travel documents somewhere safe, there’s nothing more annoying than being stuck in a foreign country with no way to leave.

 

Feel free to add to our list in the comments from your experiences

Be adventurous

xoxo

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2 thoughts on “Surviving City Breaks: Euro Edition

    1. I would have used the train but by the time I decided on Amsterdam the fares were crazy high so flight fares seemed logical 😂 clearly the transit and airport torture isn’t worth it

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