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Over a year in planning and now down to 8 weeks before I leave for my 19 day trip to Fr/Ge/Au/&Sw. Hotels and B&B's are booked, night train is reserved, Band Of Brothers and Amer Tour booked with Battlebus. Figured out how to get around in Paris to Bayeux and back to Frankfurt. Bought a dell mini 10, Skype is loaded and working. Two debit cards, 2 credit cards, plus some € in hand. Packing list almost complete but no white sneakers on list. Been working on German for 6 months and fairly good but French still poor but have phrase book. Flip Mino video camera and digital w/2 chips. Anything I missed or helpful hints appreciated. Will Sept ever get here?

Posted by
3237 posts

Sounds like you're ready to go!

Most important--don't forget your passport and call your bank/credit card company to let them know you'll be using ATM's and credit cards in France, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. September will be here before you know it!

Posted by
8760 posts

Travel medical insurance? Plug adapter or converter? A good book - Band of Brothers perhaps? Or the Greatest Generation? Breaking your shoes in before you arrive is a good idea.

Posted by
320 posts


I envy you right now - Isn't the countdown a great feeling? What I do the last few weeks before departure (and after all the planning has been done) is read. A lot. I search the internet for tidbits about the areas I am visiting. Read the on-line English language newspapers for those areas. I read books - fiction and non-fiction to get the sense of "place". For instance - nothing beats "The Longest Day" by Cornelius Ryan to get that sense of the D-Day battles.

The last things to remember to take with you are a great attitude and a willingness to adapt to the local culture and customs. Have fun.

Posted by
421 posts

Awesome enjoy!!!
the countdown is fun...and it helps you get through the days of your Normal life...having something to really look foward too.
I am starting my countdown soon.

Posted by
12040 posts

Most important thing- relax and enjoy your trip.

Posted by
80 posts

I too have 8 weeks to go.. I am so excited I cannot even talk about it without getting stupid!
The planning & anticipation is phenomenal and Tony, once it gets here just enjoy every millisecond!

Have a great trip ...

Posted by
2023 posts

I too am on a 2-month countdown to my 8th trip to Paris & 3rd to London. I'm going with a couple of people who have never been to either city and I'm excited for them, and looking forward to playing tour guide. Planning and anticipating a trip is almost as much fun as going!

Posted by
208 posts

Has been lots of fun planning. I'm a big WWII history fan and have read many of the books but first trip to Normandy. Will see some of the places my dad fought in WWII. Even paid for two people in order to get the Band of Bros tour unless someone else books for the same day. Also get to spend some time with Jo in Frankfurt which will be a high point. Banks will be notified twice before I leave, copies of important stuff has been done, so many of the hints, ideas, and required things found on this site have been done or will be done. Looking for trip insurance now.

Posted by
213 posts

Like BG and Joanne, I, too, am only 8 weeks from flying over the Big Pond. What--no white sneakers? ;-) Now you're asking, "Will Sept ever get here?" Before you know it you'll be asking, "Where did September go so fast?" Remember to take a few deep breaths every day between now and your departure. Enjoy your travels!

Posted by
32103 posts


Awesome! It sounds like you're ready to go.

When I get that close to departure, I usually find waiting to be the hardest part. Go back over the packing list, double check all the arrangements and remember to leave the white sneakers out of the pack!

You'll have a great time on the BattleBus Tour! The guides are incredibly knowledgeable, and their tour was one of the highlights of my visit to Normandy. You'll not only learn a lot, it will be an enjoyable day. On the Band of Brothers tour, you'll probably visit the small Church at Angoville au Plain. I found the story of the two Medics to be a very moving experience! It will be interesting to find out which Guides you'll be travelling with?

Happy travels!

Posted by
2349 posts

Isn't it nice to have this site to turn to? Trust me, your family, friends, and co-workers do not want to hear about your trip, or the dilemma you have about the blue sweater vs the tan fleece jacket. This site sure beats pacing the floors for the next 8 weeks.

Got your duct tape?

Posted by
2621 posts

Tony, You are my kind of traveler. Recently I read a post from someone who was leaving in 6 days and didn't even know where they were going yet (beyond a general idea of what countries they wanted to visit). It's fine if that's the way you like to do things, but it is so foreign to me. I enjoy planning, and I don't like to waste one precious second of my vacation trying to decide what to do or where to stay. (I am flexible, though.)

I am leaving for my trip to France in 9 weeks. I am going on the same Battlebus tours that you are -- in the second week of my trip. So I guess we won't be on the same tours. I hope you have a great trip!

Posted by
8760 posts

Tony, you are so funny. I doubt that coffee with Jo is going to be a high point compared with your Battlebus tours. I am just not that special!, but thanks for the mention.

Posted by
16 posts

I like you're planning style too - you're good and ready I think! Please let me ask you - how do you plan on using your netbook while you're there? I just bought one too but I am really waffling if I should take it on our upcoming 14 day Ardennes Forest (including Spa-Francorchamps Formula One race weekend)-Paris-Amsterdam-Brussels trip. Do you have a broadband modem to use there or will you just use available wi-fi? I could use my modem but Verizon will charge an extra $60 for the privilege. What do you think you will do with the computer, what is making you think it's worthwhile to carry around? I'd appreciate your thoughts, thank you and very very happy travels! (p.s. I've done several work trips to Vanderbilt U and Nashville this year, really enjoyed visiting your city and doing some honky tonkin' too:)

Posted by
208 posts

Jo, just meeting you will be a highlight as you put so much good info on this site for everyone. Always helpful to anyone needing info for Europe that you have knowledge on. Thanks from so many of us. Coffee in Europe a highlight, coffee in Europe with Jo, PRICELESS!

Gail, I will use the netbook everywhere I can get connected. Will use it to do my trip journal, and keep pictures. Also loaded SKYPE on it to call several people while there and of course e-mail updates. I established a g-mail account also as Comcast does not seem to work well to or from Europe.
Nice to be able to ask a question on this site and get an almost instant answer so many who travel this site.
Nashville is a great city and so much going on here. Glad you enjoy it.

Posted by
208 posts

Karen, in Ft Wayne, I think you are correct about family & friends, or co-workers not caring or showing interested in your trip. Most are usually jealous and sort of just say, that's great. Then they pack up and go to Florida for a week and spend $850 or more for a condo for a week and several hundred more for food and whatever they do down there. Would rather spend my $ and enjoy Europe and the memories of this trip and other trips.This is the 1st time I have taken more than 10 days for a vacation in many years but 19 days this time will be wonderful.
Yes, I have planned and enjoyed it and am still doing so. Funny thing is I am staying @ Logis Les Remparts B&B in Bayeux. I reserved the attic room and later found out that Jo from Frankfurt and her husband stayed in the same room when they were there last year. How Funny!
And yes, Karen, this site does give those of us who love to follow what goes on this site,to post, ask, reply, or whatever, to so many who also love Europe.
I would hate to think I lived my life and never travelled to Europe. I am amazed at how many people have not hardly been out of their state or their area of the country. None us who follow this R/S site can be accused of that. We travel and we ROCK.

Posted by
43 posts

My first trip to Europe is in 50 days. I'm not quite as prepared as you are though! Still need to get the second debit card and adapters, and do a little brushing up on my French. Hotels are booked, train passes and reservations are done, know how to get from the Zurich airport to our first hotel...still seems like a lot left. I can't wait.

No white sneakers on my list either.