So we packed our bags yesterday. Was quite surprise that I did not overpack this time like how I usually do! Was quite surprise myself! And finally my Ripcurl softcase luggage got to retire! The Ripcurl luggage did lasts me for 8 years! It was just the time to replace. Alhamdulillah, American Tourister was on sale so got the Large Suitcase (75cm) for $160! Really wanted the white one! But I chose practicality over fashion and got the black one instead!
American Tourister Bon Air Spinner
And how great that the Global Gig Sim Card arrives in the mail on time! It’s awesome, so far our research goes, we hardly use text or call credits when we are overseas as we mostly use Skype to call, Whatsapp to text and Social Media. So after comparing a couple of the global sims (which are ridiculously expensive!) We decided to go with GlobalGig! 3Gb for $50/Mth or 5Gb for $70/Mth for anywhere in Europe and USA. I remembered I paid for 3Gb for $40 with AT&T when I went to the US. I purchases the AT&T new sim card from Ebay and just top it up online before I leave! That was great and very convenient! Cuz we needed a US number as soon as we touch down to call our AirBnB Host! Overall the best thing about Global Gig and AT&T you can even use it as a hotspot and share the data with your partner! So you don’t have to get 2 sim cards! Well at least that’s what I did!
I usually use and recommend comparethemarket.com.au for my insurance needs. Be it health or travel insurance. Indeed they are great and suits every traveller’s budget! So we got the Travel Insuranz Premiere for $136 for us, couple! I can’t default it. It did save us a lot of money.
It was a nightmare exchanging money in Melbourne. Wanted to head down to KVB as they are trusted to have good rates, however, they ran out of Euros! Booo so I headed to my next trusted and best rates United Currency Exchange! And they ran out of Euros too! Nonetheless, I manage to haggle and negotiate with one of the Stores and got my Euros! So lesson learnt, exchange your money to Euros at least a week before you depart! Guess it was just my luck but Alhamdulillah!
It is definitely going to be a long day at work today. And we are finally leaving tonight! Too excited 🙂
The husband was half hearted when i mentioned that we should carry forward our EuroTrip to April instead of September. But Alhamdulillah we did! Since we missed the Europe Travel Expo last November, we were lucky that the Global Travel Expo was on in February. We did thorough research on the prices of flights prior to the Expo and had our minds made up on a budget.
This was our second flight purchase from the Travel expos that were organised by Flight Centre Group. You do need to look around and know where your budget is. So far the prices were cheaper than what we expected. Europe is by far the trip that scares us the most, the expenses, the people, the language barrier, we just don’t know what to expect!
We got Emirates flight going from Mel ✈️ Madrid 🚆 Barcelona ✈️ Manchester 🚌 London 🚆 Paris ✈️ Venice 🚆 Maranello 🚆 Pisa 🚆 Rome ✈️ Mel. This is definitely going to be interesting! We booked our Trains in Spain (Renfe) and Italy (Trenitalia) in January/February and got really cheap early bird fares! They usually open 120 days prior to your travel dates. However Virgin Trains and EuroStar opens 90 days in advance! We missed out on Virgin Trains as Manchester – London earlybird train fares was sold out pretty quickly. I guess it was due to the soccer match that weekend! Of course everyone will be rushing to get £15 tickets as compared to £80.60! Oh wells!
I highly recommend the app/website GoEuro to get the cheapest transportation fares in UK and Europe! And what i did was to go on the train/airline/bus website and book it directly. If you book it from GoEuro, you couldn’t choose your seats. We learnt it the hard way! Let’s see if we can negotiate with the train conductor if we can swap seats! lol
Seat 61 will be another website you would want to bookmark! A guide to travelling around Europe/UK (worldwide actually!) by train, including how to buy cheap train tickets! A site worth to visit! Another site worth looking at is Mozio it helps you with Airport transfers! Going to and from Airports is a breeze with Mozio, I’ve got quotes from quite a number of Operators (Cheapest, €65) for my transport from Kyriad Disneyland Hotel to Paris Orly Airport early morning. So far Mozio has been the cheapest (€51). The same for our Madrid Airport to AirBNB apartment in Madrid City. Taxi Fares are €30. At Mozio, I am paying about €21. Well, we shall see how reliable they are in a few days!
Once we got the transportation settled, we started looking at hotels/airbnb! Our budget for accommodations are $100 a day maximum! Alhamdulillah we manage to keep it all under budget! Besides AirBNB, We looked at Hotels combined, Trivago and Expedia. If you found any accommodations listed cheaper (on the sites) as compared to Expedia, they will be able to price match and in return put $50 forward to your next hotel booking! I did that for a couple hotels and its worth it! For hotels in Spain and Italy, you are better off booking directly through the hotel as they do more discounts/freebies as compared to the websites above! Usually, you’ll pay for the rooms upon checkout! So its pretty great! I reckon!