22 Days and Counting!

Something incredibly exciting (for me anyway) is happening soon…in 22 days actually.  I’m going on my very first international trip ever – well other than Canada.  Does Canada count?  It’s almost like going to North Dakota.  No offense to my favorite Canadians OR North Dakotans.

I’m heading to London for 2 weeks before a few days in Amsterdam and Paris.  London is a dream trip for me. I’ve wanted to go for years.  In fact I was supposed to go as a “chaperone” for the marching band’s trip to London when I was a senior in high school.  Why a high school senior was deemed to be responsible enough to chaperone, I will never know.  But the point is “moo” as Joey from Friends would say.  The trip was cancelled over terrorism fears.  This was back in the early 90s right around the time of the first Gulf War as well as, I believe, possible IRA led bombings in the London area.

So here I am….a “few” years later finally getting to go!  So 22 days….so soon yet so far and so much to still get done!

The passport is ready to go, the flight has been booked for months, the flat has been rented and paid for, the power adapter arrived today, the “schedule” has been booked with activities and things to do and see.  So what else is missing?  I have to find a proper outfit to wear for high tea as well as a tour of Lloyd’s of London.  I need to find some American things to put into care packages to take to London for some of my friends from Australia and Portugal.  I need to find a way to pack all my crap into one suitcase (I fear I will need to ship things back from the UK).

How does one prepare for a long trip in another country?  What am I missing?  I am looking for any and all suggestions on how to survive the 8 hour flight, what I absolutely must bring with me as well as things to do and see in London and Amsterdam.  My stay in Paris will consist of a day and an evening.  I’m not sure what I can fit into that short amount of time.  I’m having a hard enough time as it is fitting in all the things I want to see in London alone.

So, world travelers that might stumble across this blog post, please enlighten me.  Share your words of wisdom. Help me to become the world traveler I already am in my mind!

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8 Responses to 22 Days and Counting!

  1. Pingback: 22 Days and Counting! | JimsBox.com

  2. Servetus says:

    You will be happier the less stuff you bring with you because schlepping things around Europe is a pain. re: 8 hour flight / jet lag, my essentials are a book, headphones / mp3 player, candy to suck on, and those goggles you put over your eyes to black out the environment. I try to reset body clock before I get on plane, i.e., get on plane exhausted so I fall asleep right away. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate while you are in the air — most important factor in your wellbeing once you arrive. If you are tall you may want to try to purchase an economy plus upgrade. Take a small cash reserve for exchange (say $100) in case you get stuck in a situation where you can’t use a credit card or cash machines are down and make sure you have a photocopy of your passport in a safe place (separate from passport) in case yours gets stolen. Take everything out of your wallet that you will not need in Europe and leave it at home.

    Essentials for me while in foreign country — umbrella, raincoat (important in England), two pairs of shoes and one must be waterproof, jammies or comfort sweatshirt for a snuggly day if necessary. Don’t forget adapter if you are taking your laptop. Also, b/c apparently now they are not letting people back into the US with uncharged US phones, i.e., you will need to charge your phone while abroad whether or not you use it.

    My London faves are British museum, Fortnum & Mason, V&A, at least one fish and chips visit, Portobello Market, but the best part of London is just wandering around through various places and people watching and seeing big monuments.

    • triski says:

      Thanks for some of the excellent advice! I appreciate it! I did get an wee upgrade for a seat on the flight over to London (not luck on the flight back from Paris) that allows me to recline a bit more….even if I’m not that tall! 😉 I did get the adapter, but I don’t even think I have a rain coat anymore! Umbrella will definitely be a must.

      Luckily we should be able to wash clothes in the flat, so in theory won’t need to pack that much when it comes to clothing…although I will need at least one dressier/businessy outfit (high tea and Lloyd’s of London “dress code” and all). Otherwise I’m anticipating jeans and tshirts for this girl most days!

      We have so much planned at this point. One traveling companion is an uber planner/scheduler and the others (being Aussies) are more laid back and all, we’ll see what we feel like that day. I’m looking forward to exploring our neighborhood and more of London, just seeing what lurks around the corner!

      • Servetus says:

        I spent most of my free time in the last week in London sitting in two or three cafes on one street, watching people go by, and having conversations. It was fantastic!

      • triski says:

        See that’s exactly what I want! Yet one of my companions is the planner and I just have to have some free time for exactly that!

  3. april73 says:

    Have a nice trip. Are you going to see some musicals, theatre play, maybe “The Crucible” with Richard ? 🙂

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