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my passport is screaming to be stamped!

Packing in only two backpacks to go on a trip for 32 days to over 15 countries is not something easily done. It's almost as easy as planning a trip for 32 days to over 15 countries! 

When I was quite young, my older sister had been on a trip to Europe, and I remember thinking that one day I wanted to see the Eiffel Tower sparkle in the night, and I wanted to eat chocolate in Switzerland, or ride in a gondola in Italy. 

When I informed Mike about this dream, his response was simply, "lets go". We booked our first plane ticket in the beginning of January, and that is when this dream slowly began to become a reality. 

Planning for our trip was about a six month process since we decided to go to so many places, and we have been updating our itinerary on a spreadsheet we created. This document includes date and location, as well as what sort of meals we are planning on having, what activities we are doing, where we are staying that night, what sort of currency is being used, what time zone we are in, and any sort of transportation notes we might need. Check out a small preview of it below:

We also have another document dedicated solely to food (because anyone who knows me knows how much I love food). This includes what country we are in, the type of food we would like to try and a description of what the food is, and where to find it. Here is a snippet of what that document looks like:

Our trip begins with a five hour American Airlines flight to London for four days, where I am so excited to meet up with my old princess pals, Amy and Vicki. I won't give away all the things we plan on doing there just yet, you will have to wait for the blog post, but I will tell you where we are heading next. From London we fly Ryan Air to Athens, where we stay for three days before sailing on the Blue Star Ferry to for a very quick one night stay in Santorini (which I think I am most excited about). From here, we fly with Ryan Air one more time to get to Rome where we stay for 3 nights. After Rome we will have our first Eurail experience.

 We bought the Eurail Global Pass about two months out from when we planned on actually using it to make sure it would have enough time for it to be mailed to us. We have used our Global Pass to book some of our train rides ahead of time, and thus far it has seemed to prove useful for our trip, but more to come on that in future blog posts once we actually use it. From Rome, we take the Eurail to travel to Pompei for 2 nights, then Pisa for one night. The nice thing about the Eurail is the ability to book a layover between stops where you can actually do something. For example, our next journey is Pisa to Venice, however, we have a nice long stop over in Florence first to explore a bit during our journey. We stay in Venice for two nights before saying goodbye to Italy and hello to Switzerland. 

We Eurail from Venice to Zermatt for a night in our first hostel of the trip. For the first leg of our journey we are staying in Air BnB's, which we chose because they were cheaper than hotels, but also, the hosts have been incredible with helping us plan ahead of time. We chose which place we wanted to stay about five months out from our travel date to ensure we would have ample choices, especially in regards to price and location. I would highly recommend staying in Air BnB's for your next trip, stateside, or internationally, and as a gift from me, here is $40 off your next stay at any Air BnB: www.airbnb.com/c/cassidyt122

After Zermatt's hostel stay, we Eurail to Geneva, where we are really only staying for the night to get to Chamonix for a night. Once we say goodbye to Switzerland, we fly Air Berlin to our next country, Munich, Germany!  We stay in Munich at another hostel for three nights, before taking the Eurail to Brussels, Belgium for 2 nights. The very last Eurail trip is from Brussels to Paris, France, where we stay in an Air BnB near the Eiffel Tower for Bastille Day and two other nights before taking the metro to our Disneyland Paris reservation at Vienna House Dream Castle in the Rapunzel Suite. 

So, as you can see it is going to be a huge adventure, but I am sure you are now thinking, but how does one pack for all of this?! Since we are flying with so many different airlines, and the guidelines for baggage are all different, we decided to stick to carry ons, and these backpacks seemed like just the trick.

The one on the left is the North Face Surge Backpack, which we picked because it has lots of pockets, especially ones for technology, it was lightweight, and well padded to protect our items. 
The one on the right is the Osprey Farpoint 40  which we chose more specifically for clothing since it was about as large as you could get to still be considered a carry on. We also plan on bringing a spare packable bag to use for day trips.

Some of the other space savers we decided on can be found below:

I was really against packing cubes when we first started planning, but in the end, I gave in, and we bought these Amazon Basics Packing Cubes. I am looking forward to using them in order to keep Mike's smelly laundry away from my clean clothes, and saving space while doing it! 

The other super important thing we knew we needed to bring were outlet converters. Since we were going to so many different countries, all with different outlet types, it made it tricky to decide which would be the best. In the end we decided on TESSAN because it had an option for the countries that we needed as well as a power strip with multiple charging ports including USB ports for both of us to charge at the same time.

Some additional space savers we also purchased were the fast-drying packable, Sunland microfiber towel from Amazon, and bathroom toiletries bag and waterproof document protectors from WAL-MART.

So now that we have purchased all these space-savers the only left to do is actually pack! We did have a few loose ends to tie up here first, though.

Before heading out of NYC, we did a few more bucket list items here like seeing the Tony Nominated Musical Groundhog Day (going backstage and secretly fawning over how close Andy Karl is standing to you)....

going to a Yankees game at Yankee Stadium (which ironically Andrew Call, who performs in Groundhog Day was singing the National Anthem at)...

(this popcorn is literally the size of my head)

gotta have a hot dog at a baseball game!

Royal Palms Shuffleboard (even though we didn't end up playing shuffleboard)....

the live taping of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (which turned from a 1.5 hour experience to a five hour experience since they decided to rewrite the show while were sitting there waiting for the filming)...

and getting to catch up with my niece, Ailey who was on her school trip!

I can not believe we leave for our trip in less than a week! Make sure to tune in, in order to receive the latest updates about our journey.

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