A Quick Tip About Train Travel in Europe

A Quick Tip About Train Travel in Europe

Europe is a continent well-connected by train, making it easy to hop from city to city or country to country. Between IC trains, locals, high-speed rail or Eurostar trains, you'll find yourself fairly spoiled for choice when it comes to riding the rails. It's also a great way to catch the scenery if you aren't in a massive hurry. 

That being said, if you've never travelled by rail in Europe before and embark on this adventure, there's one quick tip I wanted to share that seems so simple on paper but can be totally overlooked.

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Why I'm Cutting Back On Chasing Frequent Flier Miles

Why I'm Cutting Back On Chasing Frequent Flier Miles

Manufactured spend. Churning cards. Sign up for X card for Y bonus miles. The game of leveraging mileage earn and using miles is known as "The Hobby" to travel hackers worldwide. Countless travel blogs will cite card deals or best cards to sign up for (that they usually get an affiliate cut from) or ways to fake spend to meet card spend minimums for miles, promote mileage buying deals, etc. etc. For the past two years I've drank the Kool-Aid the Hobby is often serving and while it did get me a reduced cost trip to England and a few other places, it also helped put me into $20k of credit debt.

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How to Pack Light (And Still Feel Like You Have Everything You Need)

How to Pack Light (And Still Feel Like You Have Everything You Need)

I had asked on Instagram what followers would like to see as travel topics for future IG Stories, and my friend Marni of the excellent baking blog Happy Go Marni commented she would love to see the topic of how to pack light and feel like you have all the things you need. So naturally, as this topic is near and dear to me, I jumped on it and thought not only would it be great for a quick IG Story, but also a great blog post.

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Meandering In Munich (Germany Diaries Pt 4)

Meandering In Munich (Germany Diaries Pt 4)

We arrived after our brief Alpine adventure to Munich, staying at Schiller5 Hotel, a rather great and affordable option on a side street across from the main train station in an area that is, frankly, not great. It's just a bit shabby and a bit too modern is a brutally ugly way. But needs (and budgets) must and despite the neighborhood not being utterly idyllic, the hotel itself was really nice and the staff really friendly. So if you're looking for budget, convenience to public transport (which LOL WE WILL GET TO IN A BIT), but without sacrificing quality, then Schiller5 is a good bet.

Anyways, I'm not sure what I expected of fair München. Maybe it was being based in a less historical, kind of iffy neighborhood. Maybe it was that Rothenberg, Heidelberg, and the Alps were so freaking charming and quaint, but I found myself a bit disenchanted with Munich, maybe unfairly so.

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Afternoon By the Alps (Germany Diaries Pt 3)

Afternoon By the Alps (Germany Diaries Pt 3)

We departed lovely Rothenberg after a brief overnight and decided to help for the Alps to go look at the very famous Neuwanschtein Castle. My bestie is a big Disney fan, so really, when in Germany...you take the Romantic Road there of course! Maybe it's hyped up marketing, maybe it's cliched, but I liked the drive as we buzzed along surface roads and took a break from the Autobahn. 

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Hello Heidelberg: Part 1 of the Germany Diaries

Hello Heidelberg: Part 1 of the Germany Diaries

It was, literally, planes, trains, and automobiles for me to get from San Francisco to Heidelberg. After some mixups with Air Berlin where they had eliminated a leg in my outbound itinerary and never actually told me, I changed my routing and instead of landing in Frankfurt and taking an easy train ride or hour-long shuttle, I ended up landing in Dusseldorf and taking 3 train connections without a seat. Fun times! 

But getting to Heidelberg was worth it. Once I got to the main station and on the bus taking me the short drive over to the Aldstadt area, I was pleased to find the routing takes you along the Neckar River. Once I got off the bus, I was in love.

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Postcards From Germany

Postcards From Germany

I went to Germany for the first in the end of May, visiting the college town of Heidelberg, the super charming, fairy-tale town of Rothenberg ob der Tauber, a quick afternoon on the Romantic Road down to Schwangau, and then ending in Munich. I wasn't sure what to expect from Germany, and a few very minor language barrier issues and my awful pronunciation of käse aside, Germany proved to be pretty incredible although not without a few frustrations with some rental car woes (always check if there's a deposit hold when using a debit card and always take photo and video of where you parked when you return the car). But that aside, me and my best friend saw and experienced some awesome things.

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Monterey Bay Aquarium In 4 Pictures

Monterey Bay Aquarium In 4 Pictures

Lately life has been so busy that it's felt a bit like struggling to keep my head above water. So when feels like they're drowning with the everyday pressures of life, what better way to destress than take a plunge under the sea? I don't know about you, but it's hard to be completely full of despair in the face of otters being cute and adorable. 

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Disneyland Festival of Holidays

Disneyland Festival of Holidays

Disneyland's first Festival of Holidays is well underway and appearing at California Adventure through January 8th. As a fan of Epcot Food & Wine at Disney World, I wanted to see how these holiday booth small plate offerings compared to the ones at International Showcase.

There are 14 booths featured in the festival, all with different holiday-themed foods and some featuring special cocktails and wines. They're laid out over one stretch of walkway just past the entrance of California Adventure as you walk towards the direction of Paradise Pier. And don't worry, a big sign for the event will make sure you know where it is.

So is this new offering a success? Well.....yes and no. Disneyland has some things they need to tweak if they want to do future holiday festivals like this. But first, the food.

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Airlines: The Ones That Haven't Totally Sucked For Me

Airlines: The Ones That Haven't Totally Sucked For Me

There are a few basic things I see as "must-haves" for me flights: in-flight entertainment, comfortable seats, and reasonably available food options. It also doesn't hurt if the flight crew are sympathetic humans and not just phoning it in (hey there, United!)

So here are, to me, the airlines that haven't totally sucked for me and that I would recommend flying.

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5 London Travel Tips

5 London Travel Tips

With round two of London accomplished, I thought I'd share my Top London Travel Tips for those who might be first or second-time goers to this amazing town. It might be some familiar bits for the veteran world wanderers, but hopefully there's a few nuggets of wisdom you might not have heard yet or will inspire your future travels to what is, basically, my current favorite city in the world.

Before you think about dropping a lot of quid on a black cab, or think you absolutely must fly into London Heathrow, take a pause and read on, because you might not necessarily require either things for a great trip, but you should probably still bring an umbrella.

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When In Rome

When In Rome

Once, it was the most powerful and important city in the world; before New York, before London, and and anywhere else, Rome was a bonafide powerhouse. From its fabled beginnings as a town formed by two brothers nursed by a she-wolf, this settlement along the Tiber river soon grew into the epicenter of one of the most sprawling empires the world would ever know. Kings gave way to Emperors, a Senate was born, and much of current practices, law, business, and governments to name a few can be tied back to to this place and its people.

As they say, when in Rome. 

With the weather hot and this ancient city before us, it was time for Roaming Holiday to finally have a Roman holiday.

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A Renaissance City: 3 Days In Florence

A Renaissance City: 3 Days In Florence

When you think of Florence, it's impossible not to think of the beautiful, massive Duomo and Cathedral Santa Maria del Fiore. Of Ponte Vecchio and Piazza della Repubblica. Of Uffizi Gallery and all the lingering presence of Renaissance Tuscany. These are the familiar touchstones for tourists flocking to see pieces of beautiful history and perhaps imagining just for a moment that at any moment they might pass Michelangelo in the streets. 

It is a city easy to see in a single day, but worth spending more in. 

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Visiting Positano

Visiting Positano

John Steinbeck said it best in a 1953 Harper's Bazaar article:

“Positano bites deep. It is a dream place that isn’t quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone’. And later in the article, ‘In a few days we became aware of Positano’s greatest commodity – characters.”

As you descend upon this Amalfi Coast town, through winding mountain roads high above the deep blue sea, it feels like stepping out of reality and into a tranquil oasis forged atop hills and spilling out to the volcanic rock beach below. This is not a town for a busy pace, instead you move to its slower ebb and tide and you will find yourself happy to be at the whims of its pace.

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Via Italia! We've Made It To Italy

In the land of art and pasta.

 View from Villa Palumbo

View from Villa Palumbo

After a long bit of travel to get here, we've made it to our first stop in Italy: Positano.  AKA land of OMFG so many stairs. 

Make sure to follow me on Instagram for up to date travel Italy photos, @roamingholiday 

PS- the jetlag is so real right now, been up since 3:15am trying to go back to sleep. Oh well. 

 

 

 

You're Never Too Old For Disneyland

You're Never Too Old For Disneyland

When I was five, we went to Disneyworld and I barely remember it outside of riding Haunted Mansion the Dumbo ride. Since then, I hadn't set foot in a Disney park for twenty-five years. I'm a bit terrified of roller coasters, and just never had time to go back. Also, Florida is crazy humid and I do poorly in humidity for too long.

And then three years ago I went to Disneyland for the first time ever, and fell in love. It really can be the happiest place on Earth and from the moment I walked onto Main Street with it's quirky, bright small town feel, I was in love. And that was before I had even tried the wonder that is Dole Whip! 

Disneyland makes you feel like a kid again, and really, you're never too old to visit.

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Confessions Of a Part-Time Traveler

Confessions Of a Part-Time Traveler

There are some amazing bloggers out there who seem to be traveling 27/4, and more power to them because that's pretty adventurous! And then there are the bloggers like me, the part-time travelers, who have one foot on the ground and the other inching towards some new destination. Here's what I've learned so far in my journey as a part-time traveler and blogger. 

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