Summer of ’17 Plans
I recently stepped away from work so that I could focus on some personal matters that have long been neglected. It’s been a really productive break, and has reinforced my belief that now, more than ever, it’s time to get out there. Myself and my family are at our best when we’re out there exploring together….and life is way too short to squander this valuable time. My son is 8 years old, and it’s probably not too far off that hanging out with his parents will be super uncool . So, better take advantage of our time while we can!
After spending a month in Italy and Malta in the Summer of ’15, we realized that there is SOOOO much to see and do in Europe. One month wasn’t even close to enough time…..so, we’re headed back! I’ve spent the past couple weeks pulling together an awesome itinerary, and I’m really happy with the final plan…It’s a really nice mix of classic European cities and history, with lots of Mediterranean beaches and Alps mountains mixed in. We’ll spend the first 3 weeks checking out Greece and a couple of the Greek Cyclades islands (Naxos and Santorini). From there, we’ll fly up to Prague for a few days to check out the city centre, spires and baroque architecture. Oh, and we’ll celebrate my sons birthday there too! After Prague, we head South to Dubrovnik, Bosnia and Montenegro. Can’t wait to explore this area….seems like so many hidden little gems here! From there, we take off for Barcelona to spend the next few weeks in Spain. As usual, we’ll spend a smaller amount of time in the city, and then maximize our nature/beach time in the Canary Islands (Fuerteventura and Lanzarote), and then over to the Balearic islands (Menorca primarily)….I call this the “Oneea effect.” After lots of island time, we head North for a 3 week stay in the French Alps. Chambery will serve as our home-base (thank you homeexchange.com!), and we hope to take our 8 year old to all the big, iconic mountains in the area (Mt Blanc and the Matterhorn for sure) and visit the quaint towns of Annecy and Bonneval Sur Arc.
A few thing I learned planning out this trip:
– Airbnb has some incredible places for reasonable prices. We are using Airbnb’s for most of the places we’re staying (with the exception of Naxos, Fuerteventura, and Chambery). The reviews are glowing for each apartment we’re staying at, so hopefully they’ll live up to their reviews.
– Second, the flight over to Europe is expensive, but I was able to find some decently priced flights on British Airways by using Skyscanner, which is an awesome site. It will scan whole months to identify the cheapest days to fly. Once you’ve zeroed in on the particular flight, look for coupons or promotions online. I literally did a BA coupon search on google, and ended up with a 10% off coupon that I could use when booking directly on BA’s website. These little extra steps ended up saving me thousands. Once you’re in Europe, you’ll find that it’s incredibly cheap to fly around. Many of our flights were 100-150 euros pp…which is why we’re able to cover so much ground during our time there.
– And finally, during all my research of places to visit, I uncovered many more places that we won’t unfortunately have time to visit on this trip. So I’m already seeing another European Summer adventure in our not too distant future. Just goes to show how big this world really is!
To say we’re excited about the trip would be a massive understatement…..Looking forward to putting my camera to good use and blogging our stories from the road this Summer!