Review, Sightseeing, Transportation, Travel

Thinking of going on a cruise? Here’s an overview and reasons why you should go!

If you love to travel to many countries in one trip, or you want to start traveling and get a feel of a few different countries, then cruises might just be the way to go! No matter what your age, a cruise has a lot of perks. When you’re on a cruise, you don’t have to worry about unpacking and packing every few days, which makes it even better than booking a vacation with tour company like Trafalgar or YMT. Similar to a typical tour, when you book excursions, you have an informative guide who fluently speaks a country’s language. Plus, when you book excursions with a tour group, the ship will not leave you at a port if you’re running late. I’ve done tours with both companies, and now a cruise with YMT, and I think I prefer cruising the best. I really enjoyed living on a ship!

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You’ll visit so many cities on a crusie, and even if you’re there less than a day, you do get an overview of all the city’s highlights. Usually there is a walking tour around the most touristy places.

The YMT tour I booked is the 18-day, 8-country tour called the Grand European Cruise and Tour. We flew into Milan, Italy and from there went to:

Savona, Italy

Marseille, France

Barcelona, Spain

Lisbon, Portugal

Vigo, Spain

Le Havre, France

Harwich, England

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Berlin, Germany

Stockholm, Sweden

If you are worried about spending so much time on a ship, you needn’t worry. I would say about 90% of the time, it didn’t even feel like we were moving. Out of the all the sailing days, there was only one evening where I felt a little seasick, and that was at the beginning of the cruise  as we approached Marseille when the sea was quite rough.

Our ship was the Costa Luminosa and it was humongous, yet very stately.

YMT_Cruise_Ship

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Paris in Boston at Home, Style, Transportation

The perfect rose gold bicycle

I was walking along Newbury Street one day when I happened to see something that so perfectly captured “Paris in Boston” I literally stopped in my tracks. What’s more “Paris in Boston” than a rose gold bicycle? Maybe one with a wicker basket attached that’s carrying a baguette, Camembert, and Rosé wine! Talk about a perfect summer day 🙂

I’m very glad I didn’t end up buying a bike in Canterbury, because now that I know that rose gold bikes exist, I’m setting my sights on getting one for myself.

Paris in Boston Rose Gold Bike
If I bought a rose gold bike, this is the perfect “Paris in Boston” inspired outfit I’d pair it with:

Well, I can dream 🙂 Off to research rose gold bike prices!

*This post contains affiliate links
Review, Saving Money, Sightseeing, Transportation, Travel

Traveling to 4 countries in 1 day: Is it worth it?

Need a new travel challenge? I definitely felt that way after experiencing most every possible travel situation: traveling with family, friends, and solo; traveling using tour companies; and traveling while planning every detail myself. Luckily I had some adventurous friends who were feeling the same way, and we decided to challenge ourselves and have each meal in a different country!

Our day’s itinerary: breakfast in Switzerland, lunch in Liechtenstein, a snack in Austria, and dinner in Germany. Not only that, we wanted to incorporate different types of transportation, including a bus, train, and a ferry. Read on to see if it was worth it or if everything felt too rushed!

St Gallen Switzerland city centre

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Review, Sightseeing, Transportation, Travel

Let's visit the Warner Bros Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter!

Harry Potter London Tour Double-Decker Bus with Harry Potter Design

For fans of the books and films, there’s no better and unique place to visit than Warner Bros Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter. I’ve been to this studio tour twice, once when it first opened in 2012 and once again in 2016, and both visits were absolutely magical! There’s so much to see for both kids and adults, even if you’re not a fan of the series.

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Accommodation, Review, Sightseeing, Transportation, Travel

Solo holiday in London: Food & museums in Covent Garden and Kensington

London Covent Garden Balloons
Clusters of clouds at Covent Garden

Sometimes when I feel like traveling but don’t have enough money or time, I like to go to TripAdvisor, pick a city I want to visit, and look at the hotel rankings for that city. Maybe it’s my researcher side, but I like to see what hotels have available rooms for a timeframe I wish I could visit, like near my birthday or for a long weekend, and then research online to see if I can find the best prices. It’s kind of like when people use pretend money to invest in stocks, sometimes you win or lose money, but it’s all pretend.

However, there are times where I’d find a great deal on a nice hotel, but the flight to that city might be too expensive, negating any savings I might have had with the hotel deal. But on the rare occasion when the hotel is within driving distance, I might throw caution to the wind and say “why not?” – and I’d book the hotel for a much needed escape!

This is exactly what happened when I was feeling mentally drained from my PhD. I had just submitted my PhD thesis and was now in the middle of studying for my viva, which decides whether or not I earn my PhD. To take my mind off my stress, I went to TripAdvisor and looked at the top hotels in London just to see if there might be any good deals. Well, lo and behold, that day I found one!!

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Saving Money, Sightseeing, Transportation, Travel

An inexpensive (yet comfortable) way to travel around the UK, specifically South Kent & London

When I’m feeling stressed from working on my PhD, I like to take a break by walking around Canterbury’s City Centre and browse the shops, get a snack, or read in a lovely park. Sometimes, though, that’s not enough and I need a proper mini-holiday away, or at least get away from Canterbury and any reminders of my studies! Since I don’t drive in the UK, I have to rely on public transportation. However, since we’re in the UK, forget about any misgivings you may have about traveling by bus. In the UK, the buses are very clean, on time, AND they’re mostly double-decker! The British might be used to these factors, but to me, it made traveling a little more fun.

Paris in Boston Canterbury Stour River
Stour River in Canterbury

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Sightseeing, Transportation, Travel

Epic road trip along Ring Road, Iceland’s main route: Part 2

Continuing my Iceland road trip from Part 1, we’re heading to Hvannadalshnúkur to see a completely unique landscape.

Here, you can see the beginnings of the ice in the distance.Paris in Boston Iceland

But we’re not stopping on this road trip! Next, we’re driving by the Skeidararsandur region.

Paris in Boston Iceland

 

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Sightseeing, Transportation, Travel

Epic road trip along Ring Road, Iceland’s main route: Part 1

The most convenient way to explore Iceland is to rent a car and use Iceland’s Ring Road. This national highway connects many of the most popular tourist destinations in Iceland, including Reykjavík, the Seljalandsfoss and Skógafoss waterfalls, and Jökulsárlón glacier lagoon. Even more attractions are accessible using Ring Road, making it easy to be a tourist in Iceland.

Iceland Ring Road Trip

Even if you drive in a complete circle on Ring Road and never stop to visit these destinations, you’d still see some pretty stunning scenery. In this post, let’s take Ring Road  (and maybe make some detours) to see just how Iceland’s scenic highway differs drastically from the sights we usually see on highways! Stay along for the whole journey to see some amazingly different scenery changes.

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Accommodation, Restaurants, Review, Transportation, Travel

Vienna Beyond the city centre: Advice, advantages, & reviews

I have to be honest, when planning a trip to Vienna, Salzburg, Prague, and Budapest, I was least excited about visiting Vienna. It was time to plan a summer trip to celebrate my submission of my PhD thesis (Finally!!!) and a friend’s PhD graduation/last big trip before she left Iceland so we tried to think of cities neither of us had been to but wanted to visit before we had to move back to the states.

We decided that Vienna, Salzburg, Prague, and Budapest were all close enough that we could travel to all of them in a little over a week. In our research, it looked like Vienna was the best option for traveling to and from the other cities. For me, Vienna was essentially the hub that would take us to more exciting destinations – boy, was this mentality totally wrong!

Vienna Schonbrunn Palace
Schönbrunn Palace & Gardens in the summer

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Transportation, Travel

Traveling ON your birthday

Many of us travel to celebrate special occasions, especially birthdays, but what if you had to travel ON your birthday? As in, spend most of the day on a bus, train, and plane? Sometimes the need to save money and book flights with optimal departure and arrival times results in spending a significant time traveling on one’s birthday. This is exactly what I had to recently consider when I was booking my trip back to the US from the UK. So what was it like spending my birthday basically alone, taking on various modes of transportation, and traveling over 3,000 miles? Join me as I relive this not-so-bad day!

Heathrow London to Boston Map
Just over 3,000 miles to get home! (image source: Google Maps)

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