Finally… a vacation has been booked! This year has been a little bit stressful with lots of ups and downs especially in the last two months, so to be able to go on a long much needed vacation is such a dream come true. Jacob and I just booked a two week trip to Italy and Paris later this year!
I’ll be traveling my way through Italy again (Yay!) and getting my first taste of Paris (double Yay!). We visited Italy in March 2015, and it was such a fun adventure! Two weeks traveling the country taking in the sights of Rome, Florence, Cinque Terre, Venice and a few day trips to a couple of other towns was such a blast and a very neat experience for us since we don’t travel outside the US very much. It was so much fun and a bit of a culture/food shock for me, but I really cannot wait to go back. There’s things we missed seeing the first time, and there’s definitely places I can’t wait to visit again.
I know a lot of people only take a vacation once a year, but this girl loves multiple vacations a year (you know, just two or three… I’m realistic, right?!). Who doesn’t want more than one vacation a year? Our last trip was NYC in December, which was nice. I need to share more about our NYC trip soon… what we did, where we ate, why I was a bit of a let down for me (thanks, Hallmark movies), etc, so I’ll try to find the time to write a few posts about that.
Back to Italy… We first started looking at a trip to Colorado for a week because I just love it there (I seriously want to live there one day), and Jacob has never been. After quite a bit of researching (I research everything to death which you’ll soon discover), it looked like it was going to be a bit pricey for a week-long stay in the mountains. Plus, the time we wanted to go didn’t really work out with his work schedule. I was a bit disappointed, but I figured we would go another time or find somewhere else to travel to for a mini vacation.
After we figured out about how much it would cost for a trip to the mountains, we decided to just look and see how much Italy would be. When we went the first time, we spent about $8k and didn’t really skimp on things too much (hello bottle of wine just about every night), so this time we’re hoping to really cut down on the extra things we don’t need in order to keep the “budget” in check.
Jacob had a lot of frequent flyer miles, and I had a few, so we were able to book our flights for only $800! That’s such a good deal just by itself! Next, we briefly discussed where we wanted to go and looked up hotel prices just to get an idea of how much it would cost. And after some quick researching, we decided to book our trip! Woohoo! After we booked it, it was kind of like an “ummm… should we really be doing this?” moment, but it’ll all be fine and very fun!
Over the weekend, we planned out which cities/towns we’d like to visit, looked up weather (you should do this first before you plan a trip) and made of list of things we wanted to do. Well, due to our planning on a whim, we quickly realized that the weather is not the greatest time to go. It’s cold and a bit wet, but I’m hopeful that it won’t be too wet and rain the whole time. It rained a few times last March, and we survived, so I’m sure we will this time as well, and it’ll be less crowded, so that’s a big plus!
When we figured out the weather wasn’t the greatest for our trip, I kind of panicked a little bit. I mean, I can wear coats and sweaters all day long (I LOVE them), but rain and having to deal with all of that is not my favorite. I was bummed for a little bit, but I know it’ll all be fine, and maybe it won’t rain at all. Who knows!?!
So our original plan was just Italy. Paris was not included on our list; however, once we realized that one of the places we really wanted to revisit, Cinque Terre, might be closed down due to weather, we had to change our plans.
First, we looked into Switzerland because it’s close, but the weather is about the same there, and I didn’t really read any positive stuff on businesses staying open during that season, so I got worried.
Then, I suggested Paris. It’s a bit further away, but I really doubt that city would shut down due to the weather, so we looked up flights. And guess what? The flights are super cheap from Milan to Paris, and they don’t take very long either, which means we wouldn’t spend all day at an airport… bonus! Paris is definitely a bit more expensive to visit, but I think it’ll be worth it to stretch the budget just a little.
So, here’s our plan:
We fly to Rome and spend 3 nights there, and then it’s off to Florence for 3 nights with a day trip to Siena. After Florence, we head to Milan for 1 night, and from Milan, we fly to Paris for 3 nights. Finally, we end up in Venice for 3 nights and fly back to the states from there. Our schedule is a little odd, since Paris is in the middle of our Italy trip, but we had already booked our flight before we figured out the weather issue, so take note in case you plan a trip on a whim!
Milan and Paris are completely new to use this time. We’ll be gone for two whole weeks, and I can’t wait! I’ll try to share the highs, lows and everything in between when we get back.
The end of this year is shaping up to be very busy and very fun. I have a Bachelorette Party in Galveston coming up very soon, my dear friend’s wedding in Dallas, and this two week vacation. Plus, Thanksgiving and Christmas, which are my two favorite holidays, especially for decorating! Now, I’m off to look for cute rain boots, a stylish camera bag that’ll hold up in case of rain, and how to try to make myself pack for two weeks in a carry-on bag (more on that challenge later).
Have you been to Paris? What do you recommend to a first-timer in the city? I’d love to hear your hits and misses!