Travel Tips from our First International Trip (Together)

We survived our first major trip together! Our Eurotrip consisted of 4 countries and 5 cities in 11 days. We’ll be sharing more in the days and weeks to come, but we wanted to kick off our series of travel posts with a few lessons learned. All things considered, we were pleasantly surprised that the list of eff-ups/general annoyances with each other wasn’t longer. And bonus! Now that we know we travel well together, we can plan more trips!  Without further ado, here’s a few of our tips and findings:

Don’t be morons: exchange currency anywhere besides the airport. We know, this is probably the number one travel tip you read anywhere you’d go to look up travel tips, but we realized that Denmark favored Krone to Euro in the 11th hour, and we weren’t left with much of a choice. When we questioned how much the guy at the currency exchange booth was taking as a fee, we were met with a very dry “I mean, you’re in an airport. What did you expect?” You’re right sir, this was our bad.

Have enough money for wherever you are going. This one is a pretty basic need/was a definite oversight on our part, but largely because of the currency faux pas listed above, about half of our meals in Copenhagen were purchased from 7-Eleven. On the bright side, we’re pretty set on bringing French dogs (sausages stuck into baguettes) back to the states.

Try to not save packing/planning until the last possible minute. Mandy is usually good about this, but for this trip, things got more last-minute than she was comfortable with. In an Uber on the way to O’Hare, she realized she forgot her hairbrush, and then the next day in Amsterdam, her trusty hair straightener bit it. Not wanting to get a hair tool with a European plug, her mane powered through the trip on Morgan’s comb and some attempted styling, but this potentially could have been avoided with a lower-voltage tool made for travel.

Sleep when you can, and power through when you can’t. A screaming toddler on a red-eye is neither something you can plan for nor really do much about. Unfortunately, this was our reality on our initial trip across the pond into Amsterdam. Once we got to our Airbnb, Morgan was adamant about enjoying the afternoon/evening without a nap, and even though it was hard, it was definitely for the best.

Live like the locals. And stay with the locals. We went all in on Airbnb with this trip and we were so glad we did. Each place we stayed and its respective host(s) gave us special insights we wouldn’t have gotten to know otherwise. We also attempted to try all of the regional cuisine we could. We enjoyed most things we tried, and even if it wasn’t our favorite, we were always glad we gave it a shot.

And lastly, if traveling as a pair, complement each others’ strengths and/or weaknesses. We do a pretty good job of this in everyday life, but traveling can surely bring out anxieties or stresses that wouldn’t be as prevalent in everyday life. Keeping these instances at bay and trying to go high if your partner is going low (or vice versa) seems to work very well for us. It’s not always easy, but it’s a good thing to keep in mind when exploring new things and places together.

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