Featherdale Wilderness Park is like a zoo in that it's a park with some animals in enclosures and some animals that are able to roam more freely. The location is about 45 minutes northwest out of Sydney, so you'd need to get there via car or tourist shuttle. It's a quite inconvenient getting there by public transit.
The entrance fee was $32 in Aussie dollars (discounts available for students, children, seniors). If you want a professional photo taken with a koala, it's $25 per session (they'll also take extra photos on your phone if you want them). The photos the park takes are printed instantly: 1 large photo + 2 smaller photos + digital copies online, so I felt like it was super worth it. Lastly, you can feed some of the animals (like kangaroos) by purchasing a cup of food for $2. We probably spent a totally of 2.5-3 hours there, which felt really worth it for us, especially most of the animals were Australian animals I'd never see otherwise.
For the Koala photos, I'd recommend checking in as soon as you get in the park since the queue can get long. We lucked out since there was no one in the queue when we got there.
They also have a gift shop for souvenirs. :)
which animals did you see?
Most of the exotic Australian animals you'd think of, I got to see:
Traveling internationally is such a privilege that we take for granted in this day and age. We have the technology and means to get there quickly and to travel alone with all the apps on our phones. Yes, it's a great opportunity to see and experience all that the world has for us, but it's important to understand that we Americans don't really have the best rep when it comes to respecting other people and their cultures.
Wherever you are, know how to say a couple of lines in their language. The last thing you want to do on your travels is to be lost + piss off the locals because you don't know how to speak their language. Speaking in a broken accent is better than not trying at all. Usually folks will appreciate that you're even trying to communicate in their language.
Read up on their history and culture if you have time. I know this is a lot to ask but it does bridge the gap between cultural barriers and understanding why things are the way they are. What is the cultural etiquette? For example, in Italy, everyone is expected to cover their legs at the churches; in France, people greet one another with kisses on the cheek; in Korea, there is a specific etiquette in drinking settings. Learn some of the more essential cultural differences so you don't look ignorant. ;)
things to consider...
What am I missing? Comment below and let me know!
Some of my most recommended and favourited apps:
FlightStats - most recently downloaded app but not sure why I didn't download this earlier! You can look up your flights and it'll tell you the terminal, gate number, baggage carousel, and any delays!
Guides by Lonely Planet - itinerary planning app. You can download guides by city plus offline maps. Solid app if you're looking for things to do or eat.
Google Maps - OK this is any smartphone standard app. I use My Maps a lot so it's helpful to visually see all the places I have pinned on my phone.
Lyft - best app to get around. Click on the link to get a $10 credit
Google Trips - helps with itinerary planning. It's extremely limited though- I think they're still working on it but there's a lot of improvements they need to make. The high advantage they have is that it integrates with gMail so they have tickets on file but there's no feature to search certain restaurants or places like you would on Google Map so you're limited to starring places they feature.
TripIt - I'm currently in the market for a good travel journal app so I can record what I've done on my trips. This one seems OK so far, probably the better free ones in the market. It lets me record my activity by day and time, and I can add photos and notes, which is nice. The other really nice thing about it is that it integrates with my gMail so it automatically records tickets for concerts, shows, and flights that I have. However, I wish the mobile app was as good as the desktop web version, and I also wish it was more integrated with other apps like Google Maps so I can see all the places within that city I've gone to, or be able to star different places that I'd like to go to.
PriorityPass - keeps your membership card stored (although most lounges require your actual card) + tells you which lounges are in which airport with super specific info like terminal, nearby gates, hours and amenities.
AirBnB (link gives you $40 off your reservation)
Units Plus (unit converter because America doesn't use the metric system while everyone else does)
Skype - to make international calls + if you want to subscribe to an international callback number
flight price tracker apps
Choosing A Device AND plan
If you haven't read my general post about wifi eggs, click here. We say 'hotspot' here in the States, but a lot of people use 'wifi egg' outside so I'll be interchanging the two, but they mean the same thing.
I did some research on which company I should use to rent a wifi egg in Europe. After reading reviews and comparing prices, I decided on Hippocket. To be honest, the prices didn't differ as wide a I thought, but some of these companies operate in various countries so the pick up locations were in their home country, or else you had to pay a hefty shipping fee (and return fee).
Since I was in France and the UK, I'd obviously want to be able to pick up in the first country I'll be in, return in my last country, and be able to use the device in every city I'll be in.
HIPPOCKET seemed to have great reviews and decent prices, I could pick it up from the airport I arrive in, it worked in all of the countries I was in, comes with charger, we can connect multiple devices at a time, and a return label for me to easily drop it off at any post office when I'm done.
Their Europe plan is now unlimited, meaning, it doesn't cost extra for extra data- the data comes unlimited so you never have to worry about usage.
During The trip
Using the wifi egg in France was a piece of cake. Never had any issues with it except it running out of batteries and us being on top of charging it. Probably lasts a good half day if everyone is connecting and using data frequently.
When we crossed into the UK, we noticed the device wasn't working at all. We had to email support about it and they sent us a PDF on how to make it work (something to do with international roaming), but because our plan was unlimited, whatever that roaming cost was on them; not us. Not something you really have to worry about since they're responsible for covering it all. The only hassle was finding free WiFi to email support, waiting a full day for them to reply and figuring out what to do about wifi in the meantime.
This actually happened twice in the UK so it was a bit inconvenient but it still worked out.
Our flight back to the States was out of Paris, which is where we landed, which is also where HIPPOCKET is based out of. Since they included a return envelope + return postage, returning the device was super easy. I put the device in the bag they gave me, put the bag in the return envelope, and dropped it off at a post mailbox at the airport. Easy peasy!
The Bottom line
Choosing which company to go with really depends on which countries you'll be visiting and which ends up being most cost efficient for you. In my case, definitely worth since it was the best option. Hiccups here and there but not anything you can't work with.
If you do end up going with this company, comment below or let me know and I can send you the PDF they sent me regarding roaming so you don't have to wait for them to reply with the same file.
It's a week before your trip and you don't know how to plan for spending money there... What are your options?!
You should have both cash and card options with you during your trip as a precaution (but not too much cash cus you'll get mugged).
I highly recommend carrying some local currency with you since depending on the country, you'll need to pay restaurants, taxis, tips, etc. in cash. However, make sure you have two separate stashes: 1 for day to day spending, meaning you should only keep maybe $20-50 worth of USD in youor visible wallet so people think that's the only cash you're carrying. The other stash should be a secret stash of the rest of your cash. It's more of a safety tip than anything else.
When I went to Paris, I needed to buy train tickets for my family but the machine kept declining my card. All the other places I used my card was totally fine but for some reason it wasn't working, so I ended up using my card at a service booth where a real person helped me buy my tickets. Had they not had a booth, I would have needed to withdraw some cash and pay for the tickets via cash.
I'm finding that it's getting harder and harder to exchange cash beforehand at bank. My dad went into his local bank and asked to exchange USD for Yen and they said it'd take up to 6 weeks... HA! Ain't nobody got time for that. Your other option is the post office, which can sometimes be cheaper than market rate.
Your worst (but sometimes only) option is exchanging at the airport. They always have high market rates, and sometimes a service fee depending on where you go. Nevertheless, you'll always get the short end of the stick there so avoid it if you can.
Of course you can be super prepared and exchange currency beforehand, but what if you need more cash in that country? My advice is to check which international banks your home bank is affiliated with. More often than not, your banks will have a partnership set up so that you're not charged an extra fee if you withdraw from those affiliate ATM.
I have Bank of America, so my international affiliate banks are:
Please note that they call 'ATM' something else in every city. So typing ATM in Google Maps in England probably won't work... You'd have to search for 'cashpoint.' I'd also recommend looking into maximum amounts, and any other fees that you may incur on your bank's websites.
Withdrawing cash from an affiliate ATM will not charge an extra withdrawal or foreign fee, but the cash will be exchanged at the rate that the bank charges, which in my opinion, is still worth it. For me, this has turned out to be the most convenient option when traveling.
SUPER IMPORTANT: You should ALWAYS notify your bank(s) when you're traveling so they don't mark it as fraud!!!
If you don't have an option to go to an affiliate bank, then be warned that you will incur a fee every time you withdraw. Depending on your bank and account, that amount will differ. I believe the standard is something like $5 per transaction.
For ATMs that try to get you with the 'FREE WITHDRAWAL' sign on the machine, be warned that though they may no charge you for using their machine, your bank might.
And of course, if this wasn't obvious, use your debit card when withdrawing cash. ;)
Paying With card
If you travel enough, I HIGHLY recommend getting a credit card that benefits international travel. The one benefit you probably want to look for is that they don't charge for foreign transaction fees. I don't know too much about credit cards and it's a game I'm learning myself still so I can't recommend any specific cards, so... go to CreditKarma & the Points Guy and do your own research :P
I can only speak to the one card I have, which is the Chase Sapphire Reserve and it's pretty freaking bomb.
ANYWAYS get a card that will benefit YOU, meaning, you can hear what your friends and experts say, but ultimately the decision is yours and you need to find a card that will benefit you in the ways you need your card to come through.
Some of the benefits might be: no foreign transaction fees, points towards travel, some kind of travel insurance domestic and international, an international concierge number, roadside assistance, lounge membership, or reimbursement for Global Entry.
It will make your life easier knowing they have your back (like I do, heh).
You get to your destination and you arrive at the baggage carousel but you can't find your bags. After some time waiting after you've convinced yourself it's probably at the bottom of the pile, you see a rep from that airline slowly approach you with news you can read on her face: your bags didn't make it.
What now? They probably gave you a website with a case number and a number you can call which is basically a support number where you're put on hold for ten minutes before talking with an actual person. So now you wait. You wait for your bags to be delivered, or an update on your case.
The exact thing happened to my family and me on our way to Paris. Our first flight was from LAX to JFK where we were supposed to have a layover a little over two hours. That flight was delayed (that's another story for next time), so by the time we made it to JFK, we had fifteen minutes to get off the plane, take the shuttle to another terminal, go through TSA check and run to our gate. Fortunately, my family made it to the gate, but as you can probably guess, our bags did not.
An Air France rep met us at baggage to us know that our bags didn't make the connection, but that it was already on its way to Paris to the other main airport, where they'd deliver our bags to the doorsteps of our Airbnb. We were disappointed but not too upset because they offered to deliver it to us. They gave us an ETA, a case number along with a link, and a phone number.
We went to our Airbnb and waited all day for our bags. We originally had plans to tour the city since our time in Paris was already limited, but ended up scrapping it to make sure we were home when the delivery guys came. We expected them to come around 2PM, 3 at the latest. Fun fact: They never came. I bought international credit on Skype to give the airline a call. Every time we called , they gave us the same answer: keep checking the website for updates. I did, and found nothing.
The next day, we headed over to Versailles Palace since we bought tickets beforehand. We at least got to enjoy the Palace for a few hours, and headed back to the city where we visited the Arc di Triomphe. We enjoyed the sights for a minute, and then spent over 3 hours shopping on Champs Elysees because we still haven't gotten an update on our bags and were starting to assume the worst. The next morning we were headed to London so if we didn't get our bags by that day, we weren't sure when we'd ever get them. Post-shopping, my brother and I took turns getting our calls dropped by Air France. They're really really terrible at answering their phones... When we finally got a hold of someone, they admitted they weren't sure where our bags even were, which was reassuring. We had to prepare for the worst and bought clothes to get us by through the trip, and a new suitcase for all this new luggage we just bought.
Towards the end of the night, my mom looked at us and said in Korean something along the lines of "it's time to take matters into our own hands." She sent my dad and brother to CDG airport where they claimed our bags would be. My dad and brother were rerouted to several people until reaching the correct person where they had been denied access because that department was about to close and asked that they return the next morning. Obviously, I can only share what my brother shared with me since I wasn't there myself, but this guy was had absolutely no sympathy and was rude AF. After some time of arguing with this man, his supervisor finally came and spoke with them. After some more time of arguing and trying to convince them, she gave my dad access to the Air France luggage storage room, where all unclaimed bags go with a very limited amount of time to find all of our bags. Since everyone had packed their own bags, my dad wasn't sure which bags belonged to us... But, my dad being my dad, was finally able to find every one of them. They took an Uber back to our Airbnb with 4 suitcases in hand.
My dad described the luggage storage room being this crazy huge room filled with bags, and I thought of all other people who had their luggage delayed and never got a chance to actually go inside that room to find it. Due to airplane policy, I'm sure a lot of these people's bags were just marked as "lost" after 21 days when they could have gone and found it themselves. The system they use to track baggage is tragically faulted and hugely lacking. The people working with this system appear incompetent because of the lack of information they're even given. There is too much room for error and miscommunication that nothing gets done. I think often of what would have happened if my dad and brother never went to the airport themselves. Air France would still claim they don't know where our bags are, and probably wait to mark it as "lost" and just pay us the minimal fee to compensate for it, while we would have to compensate in other ways.
Since, we've filed a claim to Air France asking them to reimburse us for all of the clothes and toiletries costs, which we're still waiting on. Lucky for us, we bought our plane tickets and the new clothes with my Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card, which I'll be filing a claim for if Air France does not reimburse everything, so I'm confident that everything will be covered. However, no money could cove the cost of our time in Paris. We didn't get to sightsee because we were busy waiting for the delivery guys, or out shopping for new clothes; and we were stressed for those two days wondering if we'd ever see our bags again. They won't be able to reimburse us for that time. It's a crappy situation and not exactly how you want to spend your trip.
If there's anything I would have done differently: It would have been to subscribe to an international France number from Skype so I could have given it to Air France to call me when they arrived. Sure, they would never have called, but at least I could have spent the day touring the city until they called, and for me to call them periodically so I could at least enjoy some time there rather than worrying theh entire time.
Once I got back from Europe and told this story to my friends and colleagues, I heard too many stories of how the airline lost their bags or didn't track it correctly, leading to a ton of problems. Again, I was lucky enough to have my Chase credit card willing to cover whatever the airline didn't. But I would HATE for this to happen to any of you! Do yourself a favor and make sure you take protective precautions in case something like this happens to you!
Context: I'm traveling in the U.K. with my family via rental car. We've finished our morning in Cambridge, spent the afternoon in Epworth and was on our way to Manchester.
We were driving through this tiny town near Epworth on with tiny road alongside what used to be a river which is now is basically a drain ditch. The road is much too narrow for two cars to fit. My brother was driving- he'd done his best to slow down and move to the edge so when an opposite car came speeding down (for some reason cars zoom down this road regardless if there's a car on the other side or not).
There happened to be a car opposite of us who didn't make the effort to drive along the edge for both of us to fit. One thing led to another and our car ended up skimming off the road against grass and gravel, not too far off the ditch. Our car was at an angle which made the situation quite dangerous, and our car was stuck, unable to get it back on the road. I was in the passenger seat, on the ditch side (since the roads and drivers sit at the opposite side in the UK).
A man in a truck, two cars behind us stopped in front of us to help. He inspected the situation and tried to help us get it out. Our best bet was to first get this car back on the road and off this dangerous angle. As my dad and this man prepared to push this car out of the ditch, another car stopped behind us, where another man got out to help push. Both of these men, who didn't know us, didn't know our names, didn't know our story, pushed this car with all their might without question. Once they finally got it on the road, the man who came latter literally got back in his car and drove off like it was no one's business.
Our car came out with minimal damage to the exterior, but the two tires on the left were both punctured completely. The first man man who came to help advised we find a tire shop (or 'tyre' as they say) + tow truck to get the tires replaced. He called a bunch of places for us. Both tire and tow shops closed between 5-6 and it was nearing 5pm already so we were getting really anxious. (Side note: Most memorable thing about him is that he either started or finished his sentences with 'mate' or 'love.' It was oddly endearing.)
We found a tire tire shop willing to wait until we got there but still needed a towing company. The places we called were either closed, didn't take care, couldn't process our card correctly, or would take too long to get to us. Most of these places were crazy expensive as well. After about 20 minutes trying to make phone calls with us, the man who helped needed to leave. We asked how we could repay him. We wanted to offer him some money or pay for a meal, but he insisted that we not, and that it was no problem at all. He drove off leaving us completely dazed of his kindness and willingness to help. My biggest regret is that I didn't even have a chance to ask him his name.
I bought some credit on Skype to make more calls to find a towing service. After many calls, I found a tow truck who was closer and cheaper than all the other places we called. They even called ahead to the tire service for us letting them know we'd be on our way since they had a good relationship. As you know, a tow truck only fits about 2 passengers, so the tow truck man had his son bring another car to escort my parents to the tire shop. Surely enough, the tire man was waiting for us, not at all bitter or grouchy that we made him stay half an hour passed closing. We put on some used tires and was on our way.
The entire incident probably lasted 2.5 hours but felt so much longer. It was such a shitty experience but I've decided to focus on the good because:
I know they'll never read this, but a huge shoutout and thank you to the men who helped push our car out, the tow truck family business that was willing to stay open and help us, and the tire shop man who stayed open for us as well. <3
Shit happens. 🤷🏻♀️ At least this is an experience I will never forget.
I took a solo trip to Chicago, although I did get to spend a chunk of my time with my friend, who also hosted me! I remember the weather being cold and windy in the morning, and warm during the day (but still a bit windy) so the best way to cope is to come prepared in layers so you can + or - a layer throughout the day. Then very cold in the night again.
I got to spend about 2 full days in Chicago, which isn't much. I ended up not going to places that would cost money and decided to go to free stuff + roam around the city on my own. I purchased a transit day pass to make it easier on myself. I've always found it less stressful for myself to buy a day pass for a new city vs per ride.
I started my trip by taking the Chicago Architecture Tour via boat. It was a great experience, informative, and it's always fun to be on a boat as long as you don't get boatsick. I will say that the ticket price was a heftier than I expected, and it was freeeeeezing.
I mostly spent the rest of the day walking around the city, getting to see the sights, and just being able to experience Chicago.
Of course I visited the Bean in Millennium Park, as well as the Chicago Cultural Center, which was pretty stunning. It's open to the public and it looks like they have rotating social art/education installations, and some events.
Portillo's gave me the chance to try an authentic Chicago hot dog, but I didn't like it. Call me Californian, but it wasn't my cup of tea. To be fair, I'm not a huge fan of hot dogs in general, so, there's that, too.
For dinner, my friend and I made reservations for Girl & The Goat, which ended up better than I expected! Their dishes are meant to be shared so we got their Roasted Cauliflower off of their veggie list, the Wood Oven Roasted Pig Face from their meat list, and the Confit Goat Belly from their goat list. Three dishes was for sure enough for the three of us. All three dishes were incredibly delicious, but to our surprise, the cauliflower was our favourite!
I expected it to be super pricy because it's a pretty high end restaurant with an impossible reservation calendar. We ended up paying about $100 for all three dishes + a glass of wine each, and tax and tip.
My friend and I took the bus to Lincoln Park and visited the Lincoln Park Conservatory. They have really wonderful volunteers to give free tours, which was a special treat. It's a great place to spend a half day since the conservatory is part of a park, and at the other end, they have a farmers market (at least on Saturdays).
The best part of the greenhouse was a room full of hydrangeas, which are my favourite flowers! <3_<3
We for sure spent the most time inside that room taking pictures and taking it all in.
I was really set on trying Au Cheval but was very quickly discouraged by friends about how long their lines were. I compromised and went to Small Cheval instead in Wicker Park. I ordered the burger as is and it was GOOD. Solid burger. Probably not the best burger I've ever had but really solid and thoroughly enjoyed my experience eating it.
Walking through Wicker Park was really pleasant. It's a hip with a bit of grungy in it, but you can tell a lot of newer and hipper stores are coming in to replace the old. It reminds me a lot of Melrose Ave. in LA if you've ever been.
Later in the evening, I went to watch a show at Second City(we watched Best Of, which is a hybrid of written sketches + improv). The experience itself was really nice. It's first come first serve in terms of seating, and you can order food and drinks at your seat with your server. It's definitely worth going to, but to be completely honest, I think I enjoyed Second City shows in LA & NY better, but I believe it's because the shows I watched in other cities were pure improv the entire time.
Dinner was saved for an authentic taste of some Chicago deep dish @Lou Malnati's. We probably waited a solid 45 minutes (spent most of that time at a McDonalds about half a mile away, which was super bougie by the way). A lot of Bay area friends warned me that I'd be disappointed. I don't think I was necessarily disappointed per say, but I will say Bay area has pretty comparable deep dish, which is more of a compliment to these pizzerias, than a diss on Chicago.
Afterwards, we went up to the top floor of the John Hancock building and went to the restroom (apparently that's the best place to take photos and enjoy the view). It was really a beautiful nightview and I'm glad I made myself go even though I was tired and freezing.
Fair warning: there is a sizable line going up and especially going down.
I for sure did not have enough time to do everything I should've done! Here are some things I have on my list for next time:
Here's my Google Map of Chicago if you wanted some suggestions (thanks for my friends who gave me suggestions as I put this together)!
This isn't for everyone, but I thought it'd be nice to talk about souvenirs- not the touristy ones you buy for your friends (although it can be if you want it to be), but souvenirs for yourself to make your memories a little more special. They can be physical items, or they can be photos! Personally I don't particularly enjoy taking selfies, and it doesn't help that I'm terrible at taking them, but I still want to make my photos more personal so they don't look like everyone else's.
Some simple ideas:
Find something quirky that isn't what everyone else is doing. They'll also make for a great conversation starter and story!
jeany's travel souvenirs
1. I found Hugo at a souvenir shop in Costa Rica in 2014. I've taken him with me wherever I've traveled and make sure to take a photo of him in front of a popular site. Follow #hugofollows to see where he's been.
2. I started collecting mugs from the Starbucks Relief collection. They don't have them in every city I go, but I'll go out of my way to find them when I know they're there. I prefer them over the regular Starbucks City series. My photo only shows 5, but I think I actually have close to 13.
Go out and find your souvenir & give your travels an extra touch. (:
For some, AirBnBs have become the default option of housing when traveling. I wanted to add some considerations since I see certain trips where hotels might be a more convenient and desirable option. This post is only to help you decide if you should book a hotel or AirBnB when you travel. I'll also be doing a future post on Couchsurfing vs. Hostels, as well as things to consider when you're looking to book a Hotel or AirBnB.
Front to back: bag pouch, medium duffle, large duffle.
It's a three-in-one weekender pack. Both duffles fold into smaller pouches that fit inside the bag pouch... AMAZING RIGHT?
My aunt gifted me this set knowing that I love Cath Kidston + I love to travel. Oddly, Cath Kidston has stores in Korea, but not in the States. I couldn't find this item on their main site, but I did find it on some random shopping site.
why i love it
why you might not
When traveling internationally, you might want to consider renting a wifi egg aka mobile hotspot device, especially if you don't know the language, aren't familiar with the area, are addicted to social media, or traveling alone.
Of course you can find wifi pretty easily these days at establishments like cafes, stores/malls, and museums, but it's more of a convenient factor to have wifi on hand should you need it. I wouldn't consider it something essential to your trip, especially if you'll be visiting areas that are quite technologically developed.
When I went to Korea last year, I used Pocket Wifi Korea. It was convenient, decently cheap (especially if you're sharing with a friend), and I'd for sure rent one again the next I go. I'm actually renting one when I go to Europe next month so I'll probably update this post once I come back with my thoughts on how it worked in Europe vs Asia.
In Korea specifically, I noticed a lot of AirBnBs let you rent one for free, which is a crazy great perk, but obviously only for the duration of your stay. So if you're staying at multiple AirBnBs/hotels, you'll only be able to use it during your reservation.
uses for wifi egg
Most devices should...
The only CON I can think of is that it heats up easily!
How to choose
Companies vary in product and plan. To find the right one for you, consider these questions:
wifi egg vs. sim card
I used a SIM card during my trip in Australia for the first time. I used my friend's old Australian phone, went to a local grocery store to buy a reloadable card, activated it online, and then started using it. I bought 10 GB worth of data for $30 (it was either that or $10 for 2 GB or something similar). 2 GB still would've been enough for me since I was there for only 4 days, but the offer enticed me.
I also had my phone and didn't want to use her phone to log into all of my stuff so I used her phone mainly as a hotspot to have data on my phone.
The phone I used was an iPhone 4 so the battery died quickly, and it got so so hot. Even after I connected hotspot to my phone, if it was idle for like 15 minutes, I'd have to reconnect it again if I wanted to use it.
Now that I think about it, I think the policy nowadays is that your network provider will unlock your phone for you but it's something you'd have to go into to do, and not sure if there's an additional service charge for that.
My advice: if your phone is compatible with international SIM cards and you don't mind the trouble of going into your provider's store, and buying a SIM card when you get there, then by all means, go for it. It ended up being about the same price in my experience. I think after experiencing both, I prefer renting a wifi egg at the airport, making it simple and easy!
Below is a post that might be helpful if you're considering which to get.
Some essentials that are in my purse while traveling:
Your travel buddy/buddies can make or break your trip!
Anecdote about how a buddy made my trip: I spent an entire summer in Europe with one other person, who I didn't know very well at the time. We both thought it would be OK/awkward, or worse case scenario being we would not get along... To our surprise, we traveled really well together. We had tons to talk about as we got to know each other, and realised we had very similar travel styles. We butted heads from time to time on money-related issues but they were pretty minor issues in the scope of the entire trip. Towards the end of our trip, the one thing I NEEDED to do in London was watch Les Miserables the musical, and told her I'd meet up with her after the show because I had wanted pretty good seats, which could be costly, but she was down to join me. If you're traveling with someone, and you have a 'must see/do' list, make sure your buddy is okay with tagging along, or okay splitting up and meeting later.
It's always better to over-communicate than not. <-- can be applied in most situations; that's some life advice for you, on the house ;)
Take my quiz below to see if you and your buddy would be a good fit:
I went to Italy back in 2014 for about a full week, exploring Rome, Florence, Venice, and Cinque Terre. Below is a rough guide I put together for some friends who went the following year. It's a bit outdated and may have some grammatical errors but the general information should still stand.
Also super important to note: I didn't have a ton of time to see everything so my mentions are actually pretty limited. Please do check other people's suggestions and itineraries to get better insight. :)
NOT IN THE DOC
The Italian government has launched a free wifi app called Wifi Italia. I don't expect it to be great Internet, but it's free + I'm sure the government will work on making it better and faster in years to come.
Comments are open for suggestions and discussion.