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Tuesday, 30 April 2013


7) If you can- cook your own food!

Personally, I got all giggly at the thought of cooking across Europe. I couldn't wait to fill a shopping basket with fresh, accessible ingredients from all the local markets and then cook them up in my little Tuscan villa and enjoy a bottle of Vin Santo for dessert. Obviously, it's not quite like this, there turns out to be a lot of eating Philadelphia out the packet, 'Bolognese' crisps for dinner and platform McDonald's. There was also a hilarious incident in Paris, whilst attempting to be all 'French' we bought a mystery cheese and a baguette. Needless to say, the cheese smelt funny and ended up out the window. But when you can cook your own dinner- or can be bothered to, I really encourage it! There are loads of great places to buy food and it doesn't have to be too complicated. And of course, the most important thing is that in the long run it's a lot cheaper to cook fresh. So when looking for hostels; go with ones that have communal kitchens.


8) Take a backpack. Or Two.

This may seem obvious, but when planning our Eurotrip one of my friends asked if a suitcase would be suitable? The answer is no. Suitcases don't travel well on cobbled streets in Florence. They're also very unhelpful when trying to cross the road in Amsterdam; think cyclists, an army of them. They also don't fit into overhead compartments on trains and it's unlikely you'll always be able to grab that end of train luggage holder. Lastly, if you did want to take a mini flight to a Spanish island as we did (flights cheaper than ferries), Easyjet will make you pay for that fat suitcase. Which is why I come to my second point; the second backpack. A very useful item for day travel, carrying those important maps, cameras and tupperware lunches. If you can get a collapsable/foldable backpack, it doesn't have to be too big and then it can easily fit inside your main backpack, say inside a side pocket.

The trusty second backpack.

9) Be Prepared for ALL WEATHER

Aside from snow, we experienced pretty much everything else. I'm talking scorching, skin burning heatwaves in Rome, hail and thunderstorms in Berlin and torrential rain and wind in Antwerp. The general rule is that when you move away from the Mediterranean, things seem to get a bit more British, and can go from beautiful sunshine to grey skies of evil in a split second. So, in my mothers best tone, don't forget the following: sunscreen, sunglasses, a massive bottle of water, a raincoat or poncho, a waterproof bag protector and a sun hat! I'd stress the importance of the water and the sun hat the most, I fainted in the Vatican City and it wasn't from a holy experience either.

Grey skies in Belgium!

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