Every trip is unique but this one is truly like nothing else we've ever done.
If you've been following along on our social media channels, you'll know we have been stirring the travel pot and have a big trip to Europe in the works. And I mean BIG! This is officially the longest amount of time that we've been on the road together. Five weeks is nothing to sneeze at!
Long time readers might remember that we talked about doing this trip back in the fall of 2015 but for a number of reasons we just had to postpone things. They might also remember that the letter "S" figures prominently - Sweden, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland! We swear, this is just a coincidence (...... or is it......?)
As we make our way through an alphabet's worth of countries, we can't wait to have you all along for the ride. Here are five neat things you need to know about our five week trip.
It's not quite five weeks.
Our path to Europe isn’t exactly a direct route. First, we're going to be doing some Canadian road tripping! We'll be visiting and writing about New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and then we have a glorious day in London to enjoy a long layover before finally boarding our flight to our first "real" European destination: Stockholm. And of course we have a similarly discombobulated route to get back home! So we have to beg a bit of forgiveness when we keep referring to our five weeks in Europe - it's really more like a month in Europe and five weeks total on the road.
Having a layover in London isn't a mistake or the result of a bad flight - it's by design. Layovers are a key component of how we travel on a budget and we’ve had amazing travel experiences all around the world in short bursts of time. In fact, it’s how we first became acquainted with Stockholm! Speaking of which....
A special reason to be in Stockholm.
We’re not heading to Stockholm just because it’s a great travel destination. We’re also there to attend the Travel Bloggers’ Exchange (TBEX) conference. It’s a wonderful opportunity to connect with other bloggers from around the world and to enjoy a motivating learning environment.
We’ve previously attended TBEX conferences in Toronto, Dublin, and Athens and each conference has brought incredible travel opportunities. So stay tuned for a lot of pictures from the great conference events and parties and to see a different side of Sweden. As part of the conference, we’re also heading up to Lapland - truly a once in a lifetime travel opportunity to visit the Arctic Circle!
Choo-choo’sing the train.
Way back in the fall of 2014, while we were attending the Athens TBEX conference, we won an amazing prize draw - Eurail passes! Finally, after a few delays and changed plans, we’re going to take advantage of them in full.
We’re hoping to recreate our version of the classic European grand tour, stopping in a multiple of capital cities and seeing the scenic countryside from the comfort of the train (maybe sipping some wine as we go!). Slow travel this isn’t. We’re talking multiple one day stops and quick visits and covering a lot of territory in a short amount of time. But this isn’t borne from a desire just to cross countries off a bucket list, collect passport stamps, or a belief that certain cities only warrant a short visit. We’re inspired by our mode of transportation and the chance to recapture the glamour of yesteryear’s travel.
A blogging trip is a unique trip.
Traveling and blogging at the same time is a unique experience. We’re fortunate to be working with many tourism boards, hotels, hostels, and service providers throughout our trip and we’re extremely grateful for their assistance.
Accepting media access and prices is always a double edged sword. We appreciate the support and opportunities but we also recognize that these relationships can influence our objectivity. That's why when we participate in an activity we absolutely love, we say why we loved it, why the experience was right for us - and also why it might not be a great fit for other travelers. And when an experience is less than ideal, we write fair, honest, and balanced stories that focus on solutions instead of dwelling on problems.
And rest assured, every time we are given special access or a reduced cost, we will always let you know. (You can see how passionate we are about this on our fancy disclaimer page!)
We’re going to be traveling just like you do.
While the TBEX conference might not be in every traveler’s itinerary, I have no doubt the rest of our trip will look very familiar to you - from the pre-departure road trip to the cheap flights with multi-city layovers to the early morning wake ups to catch the train. Our new Save, Splurge, Steal series (see the first post, about Kauai, here!) was inspired by this upcoming trip. We're going to be telling you what's worth an indulgence, how to save big money, and what's the best bang for your buck.
All the tips and tricks we’ve accumulated over years of travel - and share on the blog - will be put into practice to help us save more and travel further. Usingyard sale money to help fund the trip? Yes. Whipping up meals in a hostel kitchen? Absolutely. Free museums? 100%. These are the practices that have helped us see the world and we aren’t going to give up on them now on what will be our longest trip together.
We’ll be blogging about the trip as we go, as well as sharing more posts when we get home. Just don’t expect the posts to be in chronological order! We’ll be writing as we’re inspired, with an aim to provide diverse content that keeps you coming back for more. We hope this trip will give us stories for months and even years to come - and that you’ll keep coming back for more!
Follow along our route!
Planning a trip to Europe yourself? Here's all our articles about every European destination we've previously explored.