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Anniversary in Europe: Planning Our Trip

June 13, 2016
Kelly Zugay - Best Wisconsin Lifestyle, Beauty, and Wellness Blog - Beautycounter Consultant Eau Claire Wisconsin - Photo

Next month, Ben and I will be heading to Münich, Germany, Salzburg, Austria, and Prague, Czech Republic to celebrate our 3 year wedding anniversary! Although I have been so happy to travel for business to San Diego, Washington, D.C.Charleston, Ames, and soon, Denver – I’m really excited to travel for fun! As Ben and I prepare for our trip, I’ll be sharing all about our planning process, packing process, travel tips, and more – so if you’re planning a trip to Europe, I hope these posts will be super helpful for you, too!

Planning a Trip to Europe

How did we begin?

We began with a budget! We knew exactly how much we wanted to spend on our vacation, and we worked backward. I created an Excel spreadsheet with the following columns: Day, Activity, and Details. Then, I added additional columns for cost: Transportation, Lodging, Excursion. By organizing and planning for each day of our trip, we were able to determine how long we could go on vacation, where we could stay, and what we could do while traveling.

How did we decide where to go?

Ben is a huge German soccer fan, and Germany is a place he has always wanted to travel to. I visited Germany with my brother in 2012, so I was really excited to visit once again and show Ben all of the places I had come to love. I also studied German for 8 years, so Germany is a place I feel comfortable traveling to, language-wise!

From Münich, Salzburg, Austria is an easy train ride away. Salzburg is so beautiful, historic, and so worth visiting – so we planned for a day trip from Münich.

Finally, we wanted to find a balance between Western Europe and Eastern Europe — so we added Prague, Czech Republic to our trip. Neither of us have visited Prague, so we’re really excited to explore and learn together.

How did we decide where to stay and what to do?

With Münich and Prague as a base, I spent a million hours on TripAdvisor, reading reviews and learning about peoples’ favorite places to go within each city. I also made sure to build a “free day” in for each city, so we’ll have an opportunity to travel freely within each city. Although I won’t be sharing the precise details of our trip (hotels and excursions) for safety reasons until after our trip, I’m really excited to share bits and pieces of our trip between now and then.

How long are we traveling?

We’re traveling for 14 days! It’s going to be a long trip, but because we’re visiting 3 countries, I think it’ll be really fun — a balance of exciting and relaxing!

What Resources Did We Use to Plan Our Trip to Europe?

If you’re looking forward to planning a trip to Europe, here are my favorite resources for getting started and creating a plan for your trip:

  1. FareBoom: This website is a lifesaver. While searching for flights, you can choose from a variety of variables to ensure you’re securing the best rates possible. In addition, FareBoom offers a calendar that shows when rates are cheapest; for visual people like me, the calendar is super helpful. If your travel dates are flexible, FareBoom is a total lifesaver!
  2. TripAdvisor: TripAdvisor is not only a great resource for booking hotels, but it is also a great resource for reading peoples’ reviews and reading about peoples’ experiences. TripAdvisor helped me to find the best hotels — and best locations — by reading honest reviews.
  3. Viator: While I’m so excited to explore Münich, Salzburg, and Prague independently, I also really love guided tours. Guided tours are a great way to explore each city in a new and fascinating way. Viator is a great resource for really unique tours and excursions.

With these 3 resources, I planned our trip to Europe from beginning to end. While it was not a quick process, I feel confident knowing I explored a wide variety of options before choosing our hotels and excursions. I hope these resources are really helpful for you, too!

Next up, I’ll be sharing our strategy for creating an itinerary! Stay tuned!

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