Central Europe March 2007
The Apple Strudel Tour;
Budapest, Vienna, & Prague
Note; this trip was created in a different version (older) of this blog, so the links above will take you to those pages. If you’d like to leave a comment about this trip, you can do so at the bottom of this page.
Introduction & Planning
This trip began as one of those discussions with my mother always does:
“I need a vacation”, she says.
“Ok”, I say, “where do you want to go?”
“I don’t care” she says. “Anywhere. I have enough miles for two business class tickets to anywhere”
“I’m in.” I say.
And it goes from there.
We take turns calling United, trying to get two seats to “Anywhere”. First China, then we decide against it with all the construction going on for the Olympics in 2008. Then Italy, but there are NO seats any time between March and June. Finally, I suggest Central Europe since neither of us has been before and I’ve always wanted to go. Small problem- the only tickets we can get are in March when it’s cold. Oh well. It’s done.
February 2007- Cool websites for Budapest
I just found a really neat website for planning travel to Budapest.
What I like is this; click on one of the categories like “restaurants” or “sightseeing” and it gives you a bunch of selections to choose from.
Then, select one, and it gives you all the details, hours, location etc.
But here’s the best part; click on the button that says “add this record to my notes” and you create your own mini-guidebook which you can print or email. What’s fantastic is that you don’t have to register or give any personal info.
Some other great Budapest sites: www.chew.hu– Fabulous Hungarian Food Blog
Budapest Tourist Guide – Good info on sightseeing, expecially the various markets and thermal baths
Tech Toys for Travel
I admit it, I love travel gadgets and tech toys. Those of you who know me, know I’ve been traveling with a digital camera, and sometimes a laptop for almost 10 years.
This next trip, I’ll be taking the Lifedrive, a wireless keyboard and a digital camera. I also recently bought a new toy, a USB card reader for SD cards. With this, I can take the card out of my camera, and (hopefully) plug it into any USB port in an internet cafe where I can send emails with photos or update here. Or, take documents off the LD, put them on the card, to access them in internet cafes. I can also take that same card, put it into the LD and send emails from there with photos if I have wi-fi access. This would also be a good option for people who want to off-load or save photos from their cards to a photo website.
The PDA is loaded with music, audio books, my complied travel notes for the current trip (restaurant recs, sightseeing), Metro software, money software, checklists, etc. The calendar has my itinerary and I can access the internet if I can find wi-fi. This PDA thing is new to me, so it will be interesting to see just how “paperless” I can be.
Packing it in…
My plan is always to do carry-on. I just don’t like to give over my stuff if I can avoid it. Plus, once on the ground, it’s much easier not to be dragging a ton of luggage around. Here’s my process…
Start by laying everything out. Of course it’s different for South East Asia than it is for Europe in winter.
Ok, somebody stop me. There is such a thing as being over-prepared, right?
I tend to gather lots of information before I go somewhere. I put it all in a Word file and print it out before I leave. It’s my own personal mini-guidebook of sorts, heavy on the food info.
Add to that print outs of train schedules and let’s not forget copies of all the hotel confirmations.
This time, I’ve put it on the Lifedrive, printed out copies of each city for my Mom to carry and e-mailed copies to myself.
Did I mention that each city’s notes was packaged in it’s own labeled (“PRAGUE”) zip-lock bag?
And then I wonder, should I give her the hotel confirmations? Can I trust her not to lose them?
Seriously. What is wrong with me?
Next, I printed out a copy of my passport and a list of all of our hotels to put in an outer pocket of my suitcase, in case I have to check it and in case it gets lost. Plus a copy of the hotel list for Mom’s suitcase too (her luggage does have a tendency to get delayed).
The travel tyrant is rearing her ugly head again.
36 hours and counting.