We got the rest of the travel booked for this year’s Europe trip earlier this week – yes! For me, that’s another one of the little milestones in the travel process that makes the trip feel that much more real because we know how we’re getting from A to B (and B to C, C to D…you get the idea 🙂 ).
Depending on where you’re going in Europe, you have a number of options to get around. Obviously there’s flying, but that’s not always practical if you have to make connections (which can make the process unnecessarily long). Taking a train is a very popular option because the rail network around Europe is pretty vast and it’s also generally easy to use. If you’re feeling really plucky, you could even rent a car and drive! And in some cases, you could use a boat/ferry or a bus. So many choices! We’re availing ourselves of a few modes of transport on this trip:
- Budapest to Berlin – easyJet flight. Inexpensive and not a bad airline, especially considering they’re a budget airline. We flew them once on last year’s trip and the experience was great!
- Berlin to Prague – train with DB Bahn. This is the German national rail company. Although we’ve never used them before (because we’ve never been to Germany), we’re looking forward to a good experience!
- Prague to Munich – bus with DB Bahn. Apparently DB Bahn also operates busses in some instances. Although I’ve taken busses for day trips, I’ve never used one in place of a plane or train to get from one city on my itinerary to another. A new experience!
- Munich to Zurich – train with, yep, you guessed it – DB Bahn. With as much as we’re using their services, I hope they’re good!
In doing some research about DB Bahn online, I found at least one instance where someone from the US said the tickets they printed at home (on US-standard 8.5×11″ paper) weren’t acceptable because they were supposed to be printed in the much more common size of A4. That didn’t seem to be the norm for most people, but to be safe, I opted to spend the extra €3.50 (about $4.75 USD) on each order to have our tickets mailed to us. I already received one set, so I’m sure the other two will arrive in the next week or so. I’m not convinced it was necessary to have them sent to us, but since the person who said they’re tickets we’re accepted also said they had to pay hundreds of euros to buy new, full-priced tickets on board the train, I figured I’d play it safe. Paying under $15 for some piece of mind is fine by me. If anyone out there has taken DB Bahn trains or busses, I’d love to hear about your experiences!
We’re just about in the two-month-out window for this trip – woohoo! Since we have all of our travel and apartments booked, the only things we need to look at now are day trips and must-see sights. Because this trip is shorter than last year’s, we don’t have as much time in each city, so we likely won’t do many day trips (probably two at most). As with previous trips, I don’t have any desire to map out everything we see and do, but I do want to make sure we have an idea of the sights so we don’t miss anything critical.
Is it August yet??