Traveling in Two’s (or Three’s, or Four’s…)
Written by Caroline October 24, 2017
Ciao! All is well here in Paderno del Grappa, especially because our week of classes has ended and we are soon to depart for our first extended travel weekend. The Cimbians are going to various different places—Barcelona, Amsterdam, and Corfu. I am heading to Florence, and I could not be more excited.
We have successfully completed two weekends of travel so far. I first spent a weekend in Verona, Italy, which was absolutely enchanting and relaxing. Last weekend, we picked up the pace and went to Oktoberfest in Munich. Both trips were very different from one another, but I loved every second.
If I’m being honest, traveling was one of the things I was most nervous about coming here. I’m a self-proclaimed travel expert in the States, but European travel is a whole new domain. There are several steps to planning and executing a trip I had not thought of before I arrived here, and it was all quite daunting at first. But, with only two trips under my belt so far, I already feel like I have learned so much about travelling in Europe, more specifically, traveling with others. Here are some thoughts and tips I hope are helpful:
- Find your squad and keep it (somewhat) small.
Your travel crew does not need to be the same each weekend, but be wary of travelling in huge groups. Making reservations and bookings for groups larger than eight people gets complicated. If several people want to go to the same city at the same time, that’s great! Just split up for accommodations and understand that European restaurants are not very keen on serving large groups.
- Ask for backup.
I love being a planner. It feels good to have complete control over the where, how, and when of a trip. But, it’s really hard to do it alone. There is no shame in asking your travel squad to help with the planning. My friends and I have found it helpful to split up responsibilities with one on transportation, one on accommodations, one on activities, and one to keep track of spending and logistics. Put on some good music, get your laptops out, and make a night of it. It can be fun if you let it!
- Make plans, but not too many.
During the last meal of each trip, my friends and I sit down and share our favorite part of the weekend. At the end of our Verona trip, we all said our favorite parts were when we had no plans, stumbled upon random cafés, and people watched for hours. Had we planned too much to do, those special moments would not have happened. Be sure to allow for time to soak it all in. No plan can often be the best plan.
If you get hungry while exploring, say so! If you need to take a break, just ask! Travelling with a new group of people for the first time can be intimidating, but the more you and your companions communicate about what you need, the better your experience will be. And, trust me, someone else in your group will always be hungry, too.
That’s all I have for now! I’m looking forward to discovering another piece of Italy this weekend in Florence. Happy long weekend to me!
Ciao from PDG,
CIMBA Café Hack: For a breakfast sandwich that rivals the ones at Starbucks, grab a roll, a hardboiled egg, and some slices of cheese (all are available every morning!). Slice the roll in half, peel your hardboiled egg, put the egg and cheese in the bread and voilá! A perfect way to start the day.