A Travellerspoint blog

August 2014

Our First Post


So it is finally happening!! We have both the left the security of our jobs. Our house in Auckland is packed up. Trips to all of our favourite places in Auckland have happened. Our journey is nearly here! :D
We have been at home for a week doing the final prep for our Trip of a Lifetime as well as trying to fit in seeing everyone! …Needless to say things have been chaotic! Packing has involved A LOT of eliminating. Who knew that we both (yes both) had so much stuff. But we have both managed to stuff and squeeze our packs closed and they are under weight for the flight :D

The months of planning is finally come to fruition. Our map details our trip and where we plan to go for the first phase of our Trip of a Lifetime. We have opted for a rather ambitious planned trip rather than a 'plan as we go' trip so that we get to see as much as we can in the three months our train passes last for. After the three months phase two sets into motion and we hit the UK (exact location unknown at present) to find new jobs and experience a different life to here in New Zealand. It’s exciting times for us two Kiwi’s who haven’t been past Australia before.
Our trip planning began well over three months ago and has involved many evenings of discussions and calculating sums, trying to figure out the best option for ourselves. I have to say we have learnt a lot while figuring everything out.
Our trips itinerary has been based on including our Intrepid Travel trip through Eastern Europe in the middle of our three months away and being in Hungary in time to make the tour. We also have been trying to make our schedule so that we avoid the cold where possible (which isn’t really going to be possible considering we are going into winter but still). Hence the more northern locations for the first half of our trip prior to our Intrepid and then the southern locations (Spain, Italy, Southern France) for the second half of the trip after our tour.
-We have opted for an Intrepid compared to a Contiki/Topdeck tour as we wanted a tour that had a smaller number and was more likely to give us an authentic European cultural experience; we wanted to see more than just the tourist sites. We have also booked most of our accommodation through AirBnB for this exact reason. Our hope is that with using this form of accommodation where we stay with locals in their home that we will have an additional cultural experience and an even better experience. Discovering some of the secret local hot spots will also be a bonus :D We plan to review of our AirBnB experiences while on the trip. We're sure there will be some duds but my hope is the experiences with our hosts will outweigh this and we will have trip to remember. Another bonus of AirBnB is that you pay in NZD so have no conversion fee when booking and you have so many reviews to base your choice on.
- Eurail pass brought in New Zealand is cheaper even with seat reservations than booking train tickets in advance (this was discovered after a long evening of calculating both options). Especially considering we got a discount when we brought the train passes. The thing about the rail pass is the seat reservations are UBER expensive in the France and they only allocate a certain amount of seats to people on a rail pass so even with the pass you need to book early. We miss Greece on our trip (Dunno where we would have fitted it in!) as the trains aren’t really running on the rail pass when we started researching due to the Greek economy.
-We have based our trip on 200 euro a day including accommodation and expenses for the two of us. We figure that this will give us enough to do what we want and have good quality meals yet be affordable. This has come from what others tend to spend in the same places.
-As we are travelling in Autumn and Winter we have to pack for all seasons. (We arrive in Paris to approximately 27degrees to freezing points at night when we are in Hungary and Romania). We have tried to pack a little bit of everything to allow for these change of seasons. (Lewis will post about what we packed in the not so distant future).


Leaving has made us think about a few things we will miss about New Zealand:

1) Family and Friends (Of course! Please all keep in touch xx)
2) Auckland Foodscene (Big J’s, Milse, Sal’s Pizza, Chocolate Botique, Food Truck, Giapos, Thai Yum, Platter to name a few)
3) New Zealand’s beautiful and vastly different landscapes
4) PS4 (well for one of us :p )

I’m sure while we are away this list will increase and change (Olga your emergency first aid kit will definitely come in handy at these times!). Please keep in touch everyone. We will miss you all. xxx

Posted by chellebelle 04:06 Archived in New Zealand Tagged europe planning airbnb railpass Comments (6)

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