Ready or Not… Italy Cometh….

Well my dear readers, it looks like I’m off!  
Thanks to:
Francesco Campari and his beautiful family in Milan, 
my dearest friends, 
my family (that includes you Jenna!) 
and loved ones–(you know who you are!)
I am off.   
Well… I’ll be off tomorrow…  I realize tonight, there is nothing I can do to be more prepared.  Not one little thing–except maybe packing the suitcase and making sure my passport, money and tickets will not be left behind, but other than that, this Galavant Girl just has to…. go.

Everyone always asks me how I pack for a trip lasting one month, so I thought I’d tell you a very brief description of how I do things.  If you’ve got more questions, feel free to ask.  I love helping others become travelers. 

I’m taking with me clothes, my camera (of course), my computer, some good tunes, a few books, gifts, an Italian cell phone and drugs… well, not the illegal kind.  Many people need some type of sleep aid when they travel to help with the jet lag (I like Melatonin and Valerian), and some Airborne for being in an enclosed space with lots of folk. Two great things about airplanes:  You get to go over 200 miles per hour with an amazing rush at take off, and you get to cross oceans in hours.  Two crappy things about planes:  Canned air with everyone breathing into it, and plane food.  I can’t wait until someone figures out how to do this better.  

I usually take one bag to check, and two carry-on bags.  One of the carry-on bags is completely squishable, and has just a change of clothes, a toothbrush, and usually gifts I am bringing hosts if they’re not liquid.  If somehow I lose all that I “own” in route, I will at least have a change of clothes (and be giving!).   After I arrive and make sure I haven’t lost my luggage, I put the squishable sack in my suitcase.  Now I have only two bags.  Another important thing that makes travel easier, is that when I’m on a trip for one month, I only pack for 10 days. It’s lighter, and trust me, there are laundromats in Italy and most parts of the world.  When I return home, I’ve got that extra bag for bringing gifts from my travels.
I’m flying Aer Lingus, an Irish airline, first into Dublin and then down into Milan.  They are cheaper in fees as it relates to changing your itinerary.  Everyone should check them out if you’re traveling to Europe.  I’ll be in Milan for two days, staying with friends before heading to Cinque Terre by train. There I will be on my own, but thanks to the generosity of Felicina at the Hotel Pasquale in Montorosso Al Mare, I will have a person to reach out to if I have any issues.  
Milan is important.  This is where I get my footing in my new home of Italy for one month.  Thanks to friends I will have a soft landing.  It is during this time that I wear down the left over “chicken” within and get over the jet lag.  It will also be in Milan where I make a few purchases.
My most important purchase will be the right type of internet usb card for my laptop without spending a grand. (Literally.  I’m not kidding. It can cost a grand, because with some plans you have to pay the entire year, even if you’re there only a month.)  

Lastly, I still gotta change my American funny money into good hard Euros.  I’ve been told that to get the best rate, I should make the exchange in the country to which I travel.  At least the exchange rate this time is not dollars to pounds… whew!  By the way, could I get paid in pounds??? That would be awesome.  (Click here for some info on exchanging money.)

Here we go!  Let the adventure commence–no more stats, it’s time for the action.  I’ll see you all, my bee-you-tea-fulls, on the flipside…. 
Much love to everyone. Ciao Bella!!

Elise

a.k.a.  The Galavant Girl
Picture by Elise McMullen:  Limoncello in Florence
Coming up next:  See this Galavant Girl live–almost. Stay tuned!

1 Comment

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