Preparing for a European Trip

Last week, I posted ideas for preparing small children for a big trip, but there are also things we tend to do to prepare ourselves as well. Besides all the physical and obvious preparations (accommodations, transportation, itineraries, etc.), there are lots of little things that help keep us excited about the trip (as if we really needed anything to sustain the excitement!).

1. Find books to read for the flights, trains, etc. I know that I am really weird about this, but I don’t like to read anything “scary” while I’m on vacation. Normally, I love a good vampire novel or a good historical fiction novel, but I don’t like to read anything too heavy while on vacation. I normally go for something that I can go back to and not have to remember a lot to jump back in. I never know when I will have a chance to read, especially when the kids are with us. A lot of times I end up with Chick Lit or “feel good” books. Anything with plane crashes or terrorist attacks are off the list!

2. Don’t watch any movies with scary plots. This means no plane crashes, terrorist attacks, or people being kidnapped or imprisoned abroad. (Basically, no Brokedown Palace or episodes of Locked Up Abroad.) I know this might seem silly but I really don’t want to watch movies about people catching a nasty virus on a plane or a plane being shot down right before I’m getting ready to get on one!

3. Peruse the forums and look at pictures. Nothing gets me more in the mood for a trip than reading others’ trip reports and questions/comments and seeing pictures of the places we are visiting.

4. Read books or watch movies that take place in or near the places you will be visiting. This is, of course, as long as the movie isn’t about how terrible and corrupt the city is!

5. Walk. A lot. We’ve been walking with the kids in the double stroller, as well as walking with Felix in the Ergo and Anya walking with us. She walked almost 2 miles the other day! It doesn’t seem like a big deal but I think people do a lot more walking in Europe than most people do here, at least where we live. We always try to make sure we are in decent shape when we go so that we are physically able to do the things we want to do.

6. Read about the sites you plan to see. I find that if I know more about the sites we plan to visit, it is much more exciting when we actually get there because I understand what it is I’m seeing.

7. Look up food to try while you are in Europe. Some cities have food they are known for, so we like to have a short list of things we definitely need to try. Langos in Budapest are a must, as are tapas in Spain!

8. Check the weather. As we get closer to our trip, I’ve been googling the weather in each of the cities to get an idea of how hot (or cold) it might be so we know how and what to pack.

Preparing for a Trip

This time around, there will be two little ones in the picture!

So I know a lot of these are probably overkill, but I get so excited when we get closer to the trip that I need something that helps me to contain the excitement!

What do you do to prepare yourself for a big trip?



  1. Echo says:

    You give some of the best tips!

  2. Rebekah says:

    For trips we like to pack as much food as possible. So a few days before we go I make a list and bake and prepare. I like hummus and veggies, cookies, bars of some sort, pancakes. I love the money we save and our bodies like homemade food much more than fast food.

    • Rachel says:

      Great idea;) Not sure we could use it for our trip to Europe, but we usually do stuff like that when we travel in the US and are driving.

  3. Angi says:

    I’ve never thought about it, but I do all of these things to prepare for a trip. Now it’s even easier since I have a Kindle and can download a bunch of books without the weight of carrying all those books.

    • Rachel says:

      Yep! This is the first European trip we’ve taken that I’ll actually have a Kindle, and I think it’s really going to save us room.

  4. Amber says:

    Sounds like you guys are going to have a ton of fun! I wind up doing the same thing lol. I like to find things that keep me busy before a trip like that because if I didn’t, the time leading up to leaving would seem like it was moving at a snail’s pace 🙂

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *