I'll be the first to say that I've planned some trips that definitely went outside of my budget and I'll also say that I don't regret it one bit! I frikin live in Europe! Soon, I may never get this opportunity again- shoot, I may not even see tomorrow so I would be lying if I said every single one of my trips were "cheap".
For the most part, I do my best to plan cheap trips by snagging those under 50€ RT tickets from RyanAir, staying at cheap home rentals, or if I'm traveling alone I'll stay in a hostel, I'll go on free walking tours, cook my own food, etc.
But if you're traveling with other people aside from yourself, especially if you have a larger family, traveling can get expensive! If you're trying to travel cheapER, I may be able to tell you why you're probably not getting those cheap trips:
My everlasting love for Garmisch-Partenkirchen and its surrounding areas continues to grow immensely. My husband and I make it a point to visit at least once a month or so to get our Garmisch "fix" and boy, does it give us a rush! We're about 3 hours away from the sweet ol' town but that doesn't stop us from enjoying a blissful weekend in our favorite spot in Germany. This place has got it all, for us at least; high snow-capped mountains, lots of outdoor activities, things to do when the weather isn't so great, and the true Bavarian culture comes out whenever we are on our little getaways.
I want to share with everyone some of my favorite things to do in each season while in or around Garmisch-Partenkirchen. It's very simple to distinguish the best times of the year just by checking out the colored asterisk next to each point. Blue is Winter (*), yellow is Spring (*), green is Summer (*), and orange is Fall (*). Some things are often great all year round but some outdo each other depending on the season. Let's begin with my number one favorite thing to do in Garmisch:
I'm trying to bring humor into this journey by referring to my experience as the title of this post. This is clearly not your typical travel post but this is still part of my Everlasting Voyage so you're either with it or not!
I'm not sure if I have any men who read my blog posts but you're more than welcomed to leave if this makes you feel uncomfortable or disinterested in reading but if you have a loved one who may be in a similar situation, keep reading!
Although a bit different than most of my weekend adventures, last weekend the husband and I went to Portugal and spent some time in the majestic region of Sintra! I'll get to why it was different than most of my weekend trips later but this one was still one for the books! It was my husband's 30th birthday weekend so we had to make a trip of this occasion, as usual.
Sintra is located less than a hour West of Lisbon and was mentioned by Lord Byron as a "glorious Eden", which this hilltop town certainly is. What was once a traditional summer retreat for Portugal's kings is now a fairy-tale setting of rolling green hills and impressive palaces. Sintra is a great day trip from Lisbon but we decided to actually stay in the Sintra hills which was better than I imagined!
Castle ruins, tiny traditional villages, and beer that’s nearly free – A short description of what this past weekend looked like for me as I embarked on yet another short weekend adventure here in Europe. Working the whole Monday through Friday gig leaves me having to do frequent short trips that usually last 2-4 days depending if there is a Federal holiday or if I have any leave saved up. As much as I wish I could travel slower and stay longer, I find that weekend trips can fulfill my wanderlust as well. Also, traveling is not free, at least for me it’s not! So I’ll need to keep up with my work schedule if I want to continue traveling around Europe and beyond.
Yesterday, I was on board the Glacier Express from Chur to St. Moritz, Switzerland and I want to give you guys some tips and share some notes from my experience of the world's slowest fast train! First off, I want to warn those who haven't been to Switzerland, it can be expensive. You can be resourceful and use tips such as bringing your own food (if you can), buy a discount card, or grab food and drinks at a local grocery store but it will still cost you an arm and leg to just exist in this elegant country! (Ok, I'm exaggerating) I guess beauty will come with a hefty price tag here, but it's definitely worth checking out because the views are pretty much that amazing!
I get it, you've been dreading this time of year and now that it's quickly approaching, you're starting to feel the blues. You're also feeling discouraged about traveling during Winter due to the low temps and slippery roads. All you can think of is staying inside and bumming it out because it's too cold to do just about anything during this time. Staying inside is just not what the locals want to do, even if the weather seems too intimidating to explore outside.
From the notorious Oktoberfest to the charming Christmas markets (and all of the other fun fests in between), Germany is known to have some of the best traditional events. One event that gathers thousands of spectators 5 times each year in different towns along the Rhine River, from May to September, is Rhein in Flammen- Das Original (or Rhine in Flames- The Original). Rhine in Flames' main feature is the fireworks display that illuminates the beautiful Rhine River.
Each of the 5 towns (Bonn, Ruedesheim, Spay/Koblenz, Oberwesel, and St. Goar/St. Goarhausen) perform a different show with its own characteristics which will make you want to go back each year to see what the next town over has to offer.
As the night becomes dark, the street lights dim, and the castles begin to appear as if they were "burning", all that's left is the pitch dark river and the stars above. Moments later, a narrators voice appears and echoes across the valley as the Rhine river begins to appear in flames. At this time, viewers alike reach for their cameras and cell phones (including myself) and their eyes seem to lit up as they watch this stunning performance.
Other than a traditional New Years firework display, you won't see anything like this during the rest of the year in Germany. Of course, there are also other towns that have replicated this event, but it doesn't come close to being at a "Night of a Thousand Fires" such as the one in Oberwesel!
Maybe I jumped the gun on this one, but I was really curious about doing the Hammam on my girls only trip to Morocco. This curiosity stemmed from my desire to experience the culture in the countries that I travel to. The Hammam is similar to a Turkish bath where you are in a sauna like room while someone bathes you. As part of Moroccan culture, locals routinely go to the Hammam as a cleansing ritual. I am not sure how or where I first learned about the Hammam but what I did research on was not enough for me to fully grasp the experience. Here's why: