A Travellerspoint blog

February 2014

Stomach flips

It's two full days to go til my flight, and I've barely packed anything. I was supposed to pack today, but I got side tracked by the various meetups with different groups of friends. It's like I'm never coming back.

So interesting how we all take leaving so seriously, here in Singapore where going on exchange (for a mere 5 months - think about it) or actual overseas study usually draws a small knot of friends and family to the airport. Compared to the US where it's normal and expected, sort of, to go away to college at what, 17?

I mean, yeah, it's only 5 months, but I'm still freaking out about how I won't see my family and friends for pretty much 5 whole months. And how I'm gonna have to survive on my own and -gasp- make new friends. And also whether I've brought enough food, clothes, toiletries, entertainment, sporting equipment, medicine, emergency number lists, money etc.

Okay that's part of life, part of growing up.

Goodnight, need to collect my visa tomorrow. Pray that I'll pack whatever needs to be packed.

Posted by seaskimmer 10:22 Archived in Singapore Comments (1)

Sharing the Usefulness

sunny 32 °C

Obviously this list isn't exhaustive, but here's some of the most useful websites I've come across while researching for Europe. Note that I haven't actually left on my pre-trip adventure yet, so these aren't exactly 'field-tested'. Use at your own discretion.

General Research
- google.com my best friend
- maps.google.com my other best friend (for checking whether possible stops would merge into a good route)
- travellerspoint.com shameless advertising, but use this to bookmark stuff for each stop
- opentravel.com has some good things-to-do lists
- tripadvisor.com has reviews for each (most) attraction, browse according to city

- seat61.com tells you practically everything you need to know about train travel, including the cheapest and easiest ways to get across different parts of Europe. Extensive and informative, highly recommended to be read through completely.
- bahn.de for most trains around Europe
- b-europe.com
- eurail.com

- skyscanner.net searches for the cheapest flights on a whole bunch of different providers.
- tuifly.de I heard it's good but haven't actually used it

- eurolines.com probably the best overall bus website for Europe
- alsa.es/en for buses in the Spain and Portugal area, but especially within Spain
- movelia.es for buses in Spain (okay obviously I've only really looked into buses around Spain)

- couchsurfing.org a popular way to meet locals (and also get a free bed)
- airbnb.com like couchsurfing, but you pay, and local interaction is not guaranteed
- hostelworld.com for, well, hostels. You don't meet that many locals, but you'll meet other travellers
- hotel.com for hostels and hotels, no cancellation fee

Note that websites like skyscanner and bahn.de sometimes don't get you the best connections, so once the initial search is done, and connections are undesirable, you could book tickets from original company websites for a better deal.

Posted by seaskimmer 22:42 Tagged prep Comments (1)

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