Feb 06

One Bag . . .Countless Adventures!

by in Europe, Global Students

The Rick Steves books and DVDs are strewn everywhere.  I wake up in the middle of the night to check one more thing or make one more note.  The energy is infectious . . .we’re vagabonding again!  This time, it’s a spring thaw adventure:   a transatlantic crossing to Europe, exploring northern Italy, an Adriatic Sea and Greek islands cruise, then Austria and southern Germany by train and car.

Traveling with children, I’ve concluded, is something like cooking with them.  It’s a hands-on, messy, eclectic, run-with-it-and-see-where-it-goes adventure.  Every great dinner party starts in the kitchen, with everyone pitching in, tossing the salad, adding their own special touch.  Travel — done well — is, for us, a global feast.  Our Vagabonding trip book is coming together, with Sacagawea and Dundee researching the cities and writing one-pagers on the history and sites, exploring the streets via Google earth, building word search puzzles for our destinations, and creating journal pages for us to capture the magic on the ground.

Our new mantra:  down-sizing!  Disciples to our packing lists, we’re in constant search of ways to eliminate, reuse and recycle.  This trip, we’re committed to 51 days with one carry-on bag each, nothing else.  Between airline bag fees and train station mobility, it’s the only way to go, and now, it’s our challenge.  The wheeled bags are being replaced with backpack convertibles; schoolwork is all going digital; our books are on our Kindle; and our wardrobe, basic and interchangeable.

It’s also about organization and planning . . . making the most of the days on the ground means getting it together before leaving home.   Guide books and DVDs, travel sites, travel blogs, and web tools like www.tripit.com put us on the ground, organized and focused.  I love letting travel take me where it goes in the moment, and I believe the best way to do that is to have all the logistics and basics in place and out of the way.

For those that might be interested, some of my favorite sources of travel insight and info include TripAdvisor (the spot for great tips on lodging and restaurants, and also guides, things to do, out-of-the-way spots, etc); www.onebag.com (for packing lists and tips); Cruise Critic for the cruising portions of our trips; TripIt (mentioned above, for itinerary management); BootsnAll, Independent Traveler, and so many others for inspirational insight on the destinations; and of course, Rick Steves for all things Europe.  Want more specifics?  Just let me know and I’m happy to share!

Stay tuned!

2 Responses to “One Bag . . .Countless Adventures!”

  1. From Bill Craig:

    do you know about Slow Travel. http://www.slowtalk.com is where I spend more online time than I should…although lately I’ve been absent from most websites. I am Fibonacci on slowtalk.com and I have mainly contributed to the Italy section of the forums, although I am becoming a info-seeker about France and Prague for our trip this year.

    Posted on March 1, 2010 at 9:20 am #
    • From Nellie Bly:

      Great tip! I hadn’t seen the site previously, but am diving in now. Great stuff! I rely on several good independent traveler sites, including BootsNAll, Independent Traveler, and Rolf Potts Vagabonding materials. We’re headed to Italy soon, so today’s assignment is to find the details on Slow Travel and figure out if you are my new source. :) thanks for the tip!

      Posted on March 13, 2010 at 6:14 pm #

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