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So as you may know by now, B and I are heading to Europe for our honeymoon, or as I call it, the familymoon since his parents and brother are coming too! I get along well with his family so I am not worried about anything. I am sure many of you think I am crazy! The trip has been planned for a while and since we got married much sooner than we planned, we rechristened the trip to our Familymoon! We are both so excited to celebrate with his family and each other. I am so excited as I have never been outside the US besides Mexico and Canada! It will be so much fun and we are going to England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales and are gone for a total of 18 days. We are going with a tour group so we don’t miss any super cool spots and since none of us have been there we figured it would be better to see the sites with a tour guide first, instead of throwing us all in a van on the wrong side of the road, becuase that would be nothing less than complete chaos. Here’s a map of where we are going:

I am so looking forward to the trip and seeing so many cool places that I never even imagined that I would see. Though I must admit, I am at a little bit of a loss with a few things.You’re advice is much appreciated

1. WHAT THE HECK TO PACK? I get one suitcase. less than 50 lbs. I’ve already made the (horrific) decision to not bring my straightener, for the fact that it might explode and that mama is pricey. So it’s braids and buns and messy hair for me. The weather is suppose to be pretty cloudy, rainy-ish and humid while we are there. I don’t have many dresses.. so jeans and shorts? I’m also going minimal makeup. Hey, we’re married now, he can’t leave me! HAHA

2. I HATE FLYING. It’s true, I HATE flying and this 10 hour plane ride to London is a making my heart pitter patter. How do you deal with flying? We are taking a red eye there on Virgin and back as well. What do you do to not stress out?

3. SHOES. So I assume we’ll be doing a lot of walking. Should I just take running shoes and flip flops. (I wear flip flops EVERY DAY)

4. BUYING RANDOM CRAP. So have you gone to another country and bought a bunch of stuff and regretted it? What would you recommend when buying things abroad. I am really a scrooge when it comes to money and I don’t want to go over there and regret not buying anything but I also don’t have unlimited funds to bring back everyone Waterford Crystal. What were some great purchases that you made on vacations that you loved… or some that you got home and though ‘why the heck did I spend 200 dollars on a stuffed cactus?!’

Any other advice you have about being careful over there, and what you loved about over seas travel or tips is seriously greatly appreciated!

I’m so looking forward to seeing Stonehenge, the lake where the loch ness monster lives and so many castles! I cannot wait!



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  • Reply eca

    Your trip sounds amazing! I went to Ireland a few years ago – here’s what I learned…

    1. Bring jeans and shorts, and be sure to have a couple cute shirts for when you want to look nicer. But when we were outside looking at castles and stuff, you can only see a jacket in the picture anyways.

    2. Hopefully you’ll get lucky and have your own personal TV. We had that – they had a ton of movies (new-ish ones!) and episodes of TV shows. It kept me entertained the whole way.

    3. Yes. That should be perfect.

    4. I purchased a necklace for my own souvenir at a small, local silversmith. I love that necklace and it always reminds me of Ireland. Also, I made a poster size collage (with Snapfish) of Guinness signs around the country – great way to show the pictures and pretty inexpensive!

    August 2, 2011 at 11:12 am
  • Reply Danica

    I’ve never been out of the country besides Mexico as well, but I recently got back from taking a 5 hour ready coming home from Hawaii and my BIGGEST piece of advice is to go out and buy one of those travel neck pillows. The little “pillow” they provide on planes did nothing but take up room and I was so uncomfortable for most of the flight. I was jealous of every person I saw sleeping comfortably with one of those little half-circle pillows.

    Have fun in Europe! I heard Scotland is amazing and has some really cool tours of underground tunnels and stuff.

    August 2, 2011 at 11:14 am
  • Reply Danica

    Oops I meant red eye not ready.

    August 2, 2011 at 11:15 am
  • Reply Lauren

    1. Whatever you’re comfortable in is best. Even with those tour groups it’s a LOT of walking so be comfortable!

    2. I hate flying too. I usually try and take something to knock me out so I sleep most of the way.

    3. Perfect!

    4. I always buy something to wear and something for the house. I really love these prints of the city that Marko bought when he was gone so you should see about that because it will be great to frame and have in the new house. Most countries have some places where people are painting them at a little stand but they’re cheap and small and easy to bring home.

    Have a great time!

    August 2, 2011 at 11:21 am
  • Reply Raciel

    AWESOME tour map!

    The general advice would be: always watch your stuff and don’t let your guard down! :) There are gypsies in touristy-areas preying on, er, tourists, so it would suck if one of you were robbed. :( LOL soz I guess I sound like a paranoid mother!

    On a less stressful note, bring your digital camera battery charger, a blank memory card and extra battery! Electronic items are pricey in the UK and the last thing you want is run out of room for the fab photos or battery dies within the hour of your tour.

    RE: Shoes. Flip flops might end up being messy, given the wet weather; but wellies would be too cumbersome to pack. So perhaps closed-toe shoes for those wet days? And cute sandals for the (rare) sunny ones.

    RE: Flight. Hopefully, you won’t sit behind a stinky fellow but you might want to take some perfume (or wipes) to help mask the smell on the 7th hour.

    And stay hydrated throughout the trip! :D

    Can’t wait to see the pics.

    August 2, 2011 at 11:23 am
  • Reply Rachel

    1. Pack light. Especially if you are going to be moving around alot and will have to drag your luggage with you. Make sure it has wheels so you don’t have to lug that thing around on your shoulder the whole time

    2. Luckily you are flying on Virgin – which I’ve heard is a GREAT airline. Bring LOTS of stuff to do on the plane in case you can’t sleep. Oh and be prepared not to sleep AT ALL. I can’t ever seem to sleep on planes even if it is the middle of the night. Bring an inflatable neck pillow and eye mask so you can relax even if you aren’t totally asleep.

    3. Sneaks and flip flops will be your best bet. Maybe one pair of “nicer” shoes so you and the hubby can have a nice date alone at some point on the trip.

    4. Only buy it if its special and you know you have a place for it back home. It will be easy not to buy a ton of crap because you know you’ll have to carry it around with you and find room for it in your luggage. If you find something giant you can’t live without, ship it home so you don’t have to worry about it for the rest of the trip.

    Hope that helps! Enjoy your travels!!

    August 2, 2011 at 11:25 am
  • Reply michele

    Yuo’re going to have sooo much fun!! I backpacked through Europe, so packing was slightly difficult. We planned on washing clothes in sinks and doing a load in paris. I always buy too much crap and regret it later, so just becareful and think about what you buy. Pack/wear comfy shoes. Tons of walking. I actually got my 1st shin splints while I was there. Mostly importantly, have a blast and take a ton of photos!

    August 2, 2011 at 11:46 am
  • Reply Megan

    Some places in Europe have dress restrictions (can’t show shoulders, must wear dresses, must cover legs). You might want to make sure that the places you are going don’t have those. I remember in Italy several of the churches we visited had restrictions.

    My Granny’s travel rule is “Never pack more than you can carry.” When you can’t carry what you pack someone else has to…and we all know that is annoying! :)

    August 2, 2011 at 11:49 am
  • Reply Anne

    Being from Europe, here is some advice from this side of the pond:
    – a crossbody purse to stay safe
    – layers, i.e. basic tank tops, cardigans, a water-proof jacket and some accesoires to change looks (scarves etc.)
    – comfortable shoes – don’t you have Toms?
    – concerning souvenirs: I often brought handmade bowls, glasses, cups, something along that line – you use it and it reminds you of the places
    – bring something to read and your ipod for the flight
    – don’t forget to stay hydrated!
    And most importantly, enjoy your trip and the newlywed bliss!!!

    August 2, 2011 at 12:03 pm
  • Reply Naomi

    1. Pack layering clothes. When I went to Europe I thought it would be cold but it was really hot. And the packet of toilet seat covers – they don’t have those there.

    2. A neck pillow, eye mask and Ambien. Take the ambien after the meal and you wont wake up till you get there.

    3. Pack walking shoes. Most of the streets are cobblestone streets and it’s hard to walk on them.

    4. I usually try to buy one nice piece of artwork (that’s packable) and/or jewelry. But other than that, I just get a magnet from every city I visit. Also, find out your clothing size in European sizing in case you see anything cute you may want.

    Have fun and take lots of pics!

    August 2, 2011 at 12:07 pm
  • Reply nicole

    Ahhhh have so much fun! I say you’ll be fine with everything you have packed! Make sure you take lots of headbands though!!!! I miss you!!!

    August 2, 2011 at 12:19 pm
  • Reply Kristin

    1. Pack as light as you can (I use the list here: I’d really recommend using a camping backpack if you can, since wheeled luggage on cobblestone is horrible, but either way, try to bring clothes that can easily mix-and-match, so you don’t end up carrying too much weight. Also, Europe tends to be slightly dressier than the US. I lived in England for a year, and almost never wore jeans, although I don’t think anyone would look down on you if you did. Even though it’s summer, definitely bring a rain jacket/windbreaker and at least one sweater. It gets warm and sunny there, but it’s rarely as hot as it gets in the states, so you won’t have much need for shorts and tank-tops (except for running, of course!).

    2. Ugh, flying is the worst, and 10 hours is just terrible! Virgin is wonderful, though (think nice little package with toothpaste, sleeping mask, and earplugs, even in economy). I’ve never done it, but I know some people swear by taking a sleeping pill or two before the flight (for jet lag, some people swear by melatonin, but I’ve always found that staying awake & busy when you get there, and getting plenty of sun during the first day or two works like a charm). I also always try to “pack a lunch” from the shops in the airport. Makes things much, much more enjoyable.

    3. Running shoes should do it, though for wet days, your toes might get a little chill in flip-flops. I wore Croc’s “Alice Work” shoes (basically, plastic mary-janes) instead of Wellies, and they worked great. Plus, they look cute with a skirt!

    4. I tend to over-buy, thinking, “I’ll never be here again!” and even usually pack an empty tote or backpack so I have extra room on the way home. Unless you collect something specific, or need a cheap gift for someone back home, I’d say staying away from tourist shops is a good idea. Once you get in them, it’s hard not to think, “I NEED a London mug AND a London t-shirt AND a London ashtray, even though I don’t smoke.” Instead, before you go, focus on a few quality things you’d really like to get, and then make finding them into part of the fun. A knitted Irish sweater? Sterling silver from Sterling? Maybe a new dress from TopShop? Knowing ahead of time what you’re okay splurging on makes it easier to say yes, and no, to purchases.

    5. Most important – Have a wonderful time! The British Isles are a magical place, filled with history and natural beauty. The first time you step in a building that was built before the US was discovered, you’ll feel something special, and that moment is better than any souvenir you could buy. Enjoy your familymoon!

    August 2, 2011 at 12:19 pm
  • Reply Mike

    My wife and I once went to Europe and wound up bringing back a Grandfather clock from the Black Forest. Talk about the ultimate souvenir!!! We couldn’t afford it but splurged thinking when else are are we going to have the opportunity!!!

    August 2, 2011 at 12:22 pm
  • Reply Laurel

    I went to Ireland last fall, so my advice may be for a slightly colder climate, but here goes:

    1. Wear outerwear on the plane. I say you can’t go wrong with a lightweight fleece and a water-repellant jacket. If you have a voltage adapter and a plug adapter, your straightener should be ok (mine was, even though it buzzed every time I plugged it in). Maybe buy a cheap one to take over there?

    Also, if there’s any article of clothing you won’t keep for much longer, take it on the trip and then leave it at the hotel when you leave. Frees up room in your suitcase.

    2. I love flying, but even 8 hours on a plane gets to me. Bring lots of books, a sleep mask, a neck pillow (you’ll look like a dork but at least you’ll be asleep). And watch the movies and people watch. I was surprised at how fast the time went by.

    3. If you have room, pack rainboots. I wore mine a few days (even thought it only rained once, it was still muddy) and they’re comfortable to walk in and keep your feet warm (again, it was October, so this was necessary). I justified taking the space up by stuffing pjs and socks into the boots in my suitcase.

    Also, a sporty pair of walking shoes are a good plan. I called mine “old lady walking shoes” even though they’re not. Something that doesn’t make you look like you’re on the way to the gym and scream “AMERICAN TOURIST”.

    On that note, no fanny packs :-)

    4. I don’t like to buy things that say “Ireland!”, I’d rather buy something I like and remember taht I got it in Ireland. That being said, I did buy a wine-stopper that said Ireland, but I always need those. But my favorite “souvenirs” are a top I bought at H&M and a canvas I had made in the U.S. of a photo I took of the Cliffs of Moher.

    Can’t wait to hear about your trip!

    August 2, 2011 at 12:42 pm
  • Reply Bonnie

    I emailed you! :)

    August 2, 2011 at 1:03 pm
  • Reply Brandy

    I’ve been all around all of those places and all in August so here is what I recommend!
    1. Definitely bring comfortable shoes! The ones I found that work best are lightweight mesh shoes that will dry quickly because of the rain. It usually rained a little bit almost everyday we were there but it would rain for like 15 minutes & then be sunny the rest of the day so no worries!
    2. Absolutely bring a hooded rain jacket. Lighrweight will do. It was the best thing I took! My mom had taken an umbrella but the hood worked out so much better. It poured down rain when we were at the Cliffs of Moher and I was so glad I had that hood!
    3. You’ll be able to leave stuff on the tour bus and it will be totally safe so I usually took a bigger bag w/ my jacket, bottle of water etc. and then a small purse to carry my money & stuff when we got off the bus. So you have everything you’ll need but don’t have to lug it around with you all day!
    4. I recommend layers. I took a lightweight blazer that worked perfect with t-shirts and scarfs. And I just wore jeans everyday because of the packing limitations. I never had any issues with wearing jeans anywhere we went.
    5.Don’t plan on sleeping on the bus because you’ll miss out on so much! My favorite parts were seeing the countryside and all the little places we went. Scotland is absolutely beautiful! Edinburgh is my favorite city and St. Andrews is absolutely gorgeous!
    6. Buy things that you’ll have for a long time. I never buy touristy junk. Plus the dollar sucks there so everything is expensive. On my last day in Ireland we were lucky enough to go to a store that happened to have one of the Waterford designers there signing pieces so I broke down & bought one. He engraved it w/ the date & signed it and it’s one of my favorite things I’ve ever bought.
    You’ll have so much fun! I’m so jealous! Let me know if you want any tips on particular cities because I’ve been pretty much everywhere you are going & would love to share!

    August 2, 2011 at 1:05 pm
  • Reply Bonnie

    Oh–and definitely what Nicole said. I agree that Europe is dressier. I really regretted not bringing more dresses. Even in the smaller towns/cities, the men might wear jeans but the women generally were dressed to the nines, especially at night–and we felt like the American tourists that we were.

    August 2, 2011 at 1:06 pm
  • Reply Jessica B.

    Whenever I go to Europe I leave the straightener at home but buy a cheap one when I get there ($20 or less). Saves room in the suit case and you can use leave it behind when you leave to make room for souveniers(I can’t spell today) Otherwise I wear my hair up a lot.

    August 2, 2011 at 1:09 pm
  • Reply Jess

    Earplugs for the flight. I randomly had earplugs in my bag one flight, stuffed them in and could, for the first time, sleep well on a flight! It turns out that (for me) the noise of the airplane is what makes it hard to sleep. Try it (and just get the cheap foam earplugs from the drugstore).

    August 2, 2011 at 1:09 pm
  • Reply Bonnie

    I’m laughing a little because I have a travel feature on my professional blog for all of September. Here is a few of the items I suggest:
    I’m not one for specialized gadgets that can only be used for one task. My house is way too small for that. However, I have a few items that I use only when I travel and I wouldn’t travel without them. While there are more than just these, Iwill go over three today.

    The first is my jewelry carrier. It protects my jewelry while I travel and things arrive untangled and unbroken. I don’t have to worry about losing an earring or a bead being broken when I arrive at my destination. It also gives me a place to put things back into while I’m in my hotel room. I know that at the end of each day I travel, my jewelry needs to be returned to the case. It also gives me peace of mind.

    The second item is a travel door stop alarm. While I don’t worry that much about my hotel room being broken into, I do sleep more soundly at night knowing that I would be alerted if someone should enter the room. The alarm is inexpensive and lightweight. I do suggest putting a piece of tape over the on/off switch so it can’t become accidentally turned on in travel. I tested the alarm part once and its LOUD!

    My final favorite thing for travel is my travel scale. If you are checking luggage there are weight limits and there is nothing worse than getting to the airport and having to reconfigure luggage or be faced with a fee. The travel scale allows you to determine just how much your stuff weighs BEFORE you leave the house.

    I love buying things that are simple and understated like a piece of jewelry or something to hang in the house. I avoid tee shirts, or other useless items.

    Get a blanket for the airplane. Seriously. The one by Yala is amazing and worth the price.

    Bring lots to do. If you can buy wifi, do it. The time flies.

    I love to travel in tee shirt dresses and skirts. They can be dressed up or down. I’m in love with the ones my Lole.


    August 2, 2011 at 1:19 pm
  • Reply Melanie

    Hey girl, I’ve traveled through the UK with a group and alone over the course of 3 trips so here’s my two cents:

    1. Leaving the straightener at home is wise… I took mine once and it wouldn’t even heat up hot enough anyways with the converter. You won’t find washcloths in the hotels over there (they don’t believe in sharing those) so if you use one for anything, take a few old ones so that you can use and throw them away. I also packed old socks and underwear and just threw them away each day. Pack each outfit in a 1-2 gallon ziplock bag and then squeeze all the air out, and you’ll be able to fit a ton in your bag and have ample room. I still took my makeup so I’d look good in pics. I pretty much only wore jeans and capris when I’ve gone in June and July. I took lightweight t-shirts and then had a jacket and a rain jacket. You can always take a little handwashing soap and wash undies and shirts in the sink and hang them to dry to wear again.

    2. I don’t mind flying, but it’s a long time to be on the plane. I use either melatonin, drammamine or tylenol pm to get sleepy and attempt to sleep.

    3. I’d just take some sneakers. You will walk more than you even think is possible, and your feet will not be happy in flip flops. Trust me. :) I hiked around for 17 days on one of my trips, 10 on another and 8 on another and always just stuck to sneakers and still had achy feet.

    4. My souvenir of choice when I travel is magnets because they’re cheap, small to travel with and don’t take up a lot of room once I get home. I got one in each of the three countries. Then, I watched out for anything else unique that I knew I wouldn’t eventually toss in the yard sale… avoid buying shirts, but if you see a cool and unique piece of clothing it’s fun to wear it later and then say “oh yeah, I got this in Edinburgh” when someone compliments you. Things with England plastered across it will irritate you once the novelty of the trip wears off. I bought some earrings in a little town once. Another time I bought this cool glass thing that I now have sitting on a shelf. Look for things that make not say the name of where you went, but that look cool and could make for a unique focal point in a room or in a cabinet or something… then you’ll always know you got it on the trip.

    I hope maybe this helps a bit! Take lots of pictures… in the end, you’ll treasure those more than anything you buy. I’ve done my bedroom in black and white and printed all these pics from my trips to hang in my frames. And if you can, keep a journal… just sit down for 10 minutes each night and write about all you did that day. It’ll be a whirlwind, and having that journal will help you bring back the memories later.

    August 2, 2011 at 1:26 pm
  • Reply Lauren @ Sassy Molassy

    That sounds like an awesome trip! I would say, pack less than you want to because you’ll have to be lugging it around here and there. Also, on the shoe factor, you’ll want to bring some cute, walkable shoes (Toms, converse, Nike frees, etc). Some days are filled with a lot of walking and flip flops aren’t always enough. Think layers when packing for clothing.

    As for buying stuff, I barely bought a thing on my 3 week jaunt to Europe. The only thing I wanted to buy (but didn’t find the right thing) was some cool jewelry or a top/dress. I figured that the thousands I was spending on my travel was buying me all my great memories and photographs. :)

    August 2, 2011 at 1:53 pm
  • Reply Jamie

    Your trip sounds great. I just got back from Spain, France and Italy. It was amazing.

    As for flying-I believe they always say sleep as much as possible on the plane. I’ve taken Advil PM to help and bring the eye covers to make it as dark as possible.

    Jeans and shorts are great and tanks are great for layering. I re-wore a few items and packed febreeze with me to hang clothes up when possible.

    Bring shoes to walk in and flip flops-I switched back and forth each day and coordinated it how much walking I do each day.

    Souvenirs-I always buy postcards and shot glasses. They are great for showcasing the places you’ve been and if you like shots-it reminds you of the place. Since this was my first trip out of the country-I picked up patches for each city/country I was in.

    Have so much fun!!!

    August 2, 2011 at 2:29 pm
  • Reply Jen

    Your route is awesome. I live in Bristol, about 45mins from Bath – So I know you are going to some great places!

    1. The weather is cooler here, but not as much as you would think! I was in shorts, flip flops and a cute shirt today, but it does get much cooler at night. I love layers, with cute cardigans and pashmina type scarves that double as a shawl/blanket. For reference there is NO air-con. We just don’t need it – Apart from on some coaches and in some supermarkets! So layers are the best plan! Lots of them. A raincoat is a good idea or I would just use a small travel umbrella.

    2. Virgin is one of the BEST airlines. TVs on the back of seats, your own choice of films, games console on the back of the seat, your own eye mask and socks given to you. I SHOULD sleep, but always get too excited about the films and don’t! Opps! The time will go so quick – don’t worry!

    3. I live in flip flops here, then if it rains it is not an issue as they just dry. I did chuckle when I saw lots of people suggesting trainers! I love visiting the US and traveling around Europe but my American partner and I can always spot an American tourist – It is the more casual clothes and the trainers! :o) But then you are super comfy so it is a good plan!

    4. When I bring my relatives presents from the UK, it always involves some kind of chocolate, normally Cadburys, or a selection box like Celebrations or Roses. People love it when I bring what we call biscuits, but really are different types of cookies! You can buy variety boxes of those too. I love buying clothes – It always seems so much cooler when people ask where something you are wearing is from and you say somewhere foreign like Italy or something – People are always jealous! :o) Good UK clothes shops, (in price order high to low) Topshop, H&M, Primark. I think collecting beer mats from pubs you visit is cool, but then I am a geek like that. Definitely don’t fall for the tourist stuff!! I find that is easier said than done. I do collect a magnet from each place I visit, and put them on my fridge as a memory of all my trips – Which I hope doesn’t look too tacky! Lol.

    I don’t know what your food options will be like… Make sure you try true fish and chips, a proper pie with mashed potatoes and mushy peas, a really good roast dinner with Yorkshire puddings, a full English breakfast with sausages, bacon, eggs, baked beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, toast! Many may recommend Black pudding – I wouldn’t, I am not a fan! :o) Also haggis is typical Scottish… We love a good curry or a kebab after a night out – Again not sometime I would get, I would get a pita with salad and humous! :o)

    I agree that you should bring a MASSIVE memory stick and a charger for your camera. I am sure your travel people will tell you but to enter the UK you need the address of where you are staying to get through immigration. My relatives forgot to write mine down and got stuck for a while in immigration.

    Whew, that was a lot! You will have a fantastic time. Enjoy it!!! I can’t wait to see all your photos! :o)

    August 2, 2011 at 2:51 pm
  • Reply Julie (A Case of the Runs)

    I have no travel experience, but have fun on your honey/family-moon!

    August 2, 2011 at 3:31 pm
  • Reply Tiffany C.

    Your trip sounds amazing! I’ve not been outside the US except for the Caribbean. I’m reading the book series Outlander By: Diana Gabaldon. Her books take place in the Highlands and around Europe. I definitely recommend the book! I think it would be neat to read on your European trip!

    August 2, 2011 at 4:15 pm
  • Reply Sarah

    You will have so much fun!

    I agree with so many others above on:
    -travel – eye shades, a blanket, a pillow, and ear plugs. Try to sleep as much as you can overnight. Virgin is a great airline and I don’t think you’ll have too much trouble relaxing.
    – shoes – wear whatever is comfortable during the day but pack a non-sneaker pair of shoes too, like ballet flats, in case you need them. Locals won’t wear sneakers or flipflops.
    -Packing – will you or anyone in your party have a converter? I did bring my iphone all around Spain a few months ago, because I’m obsessed, and I could get free wifi in a few places and check email. (Just keep your phone on airplane mode and you won’t get any charges) Also, don’t forget to call your credit card company and let them know you’re traveling overseas. Even if you don’t plan on using it, it’s good to clear it ahead of time – you never know if something will come up and you’ll need to access money or make a charge.

    Have a great time!

    August 2, 2011 at 5:45 pm
  • Reply Stacey @ Starpulp

    Wow forgive me if I should know this but I own and travel everywhere with my treated blue solano flat iron. My hair is about 5x thicker than most girls head of hair. I buy draino in my weekly shopping trips and cheer when the drains clogged bc that’s one less clump on my head….so that leaves me with – why would it explode?
    Am I missing something missing?

    August 2, 2011 at 8:16 pm
  • Reply Sabrina

    Hey Danica,

    I am one of your European/German followers and love, love your site, your spirit and how you help me to run better. As for Europe: Don’t bring too much stuff. You totally have to go to Top Shop and Camden Market and Oxford Street in London and SHOPs :-)

    Have a great trip, happy to welcome you to Europe.


    August 2, 2011 at 11:49 pm
  • Reply Fiona

    Hi Danica

    After years of lurking, my first ever comment– and it has nothing to do with running! I’m from the UK so I have some thoughts for you. Your trip looks wonderful! My advice is don’t buy anything in London if you can help it– way too expensive. Save your money for further north. If you can go the the gingerbread shop in Grasmere, get as much gingerbread as you can carry; that stuff is heavenly. I used to buy it by mail order when I lived in CA. I also agree with several people who have suggested buying jewellery. It doesn’t take up too much space, and Scotland and Ireland have some beautiful traditional shapes and patterns that make for gorgeous necklaces and earrings. Bring an umbrella or a rain jacket with a hood. Not cute, but in August it might be hot or it might just pour with rain the whole time. I agree with the advice about trying traditional British food: not only fish and chips, maybe afternoon tea and scones in Bath or Chester? Or a Shepherd’s pie or Cornish pasty (even though you’re not going to Cornwall). If you can read on a coach without getting sick, bring a good book for the journeys. In England, at least, you’ll probably be on motorways most of the time and there won’t be much interesting scenery to look at. If you tend to get headaches and need tylenol, bring your own because it’s expensive in the UK. I had a giggle at one of the comments above that said most of the roads are cobbled. Ehehehehe, and we all live in castles and fight dragons! Still, closed shoes will do you better than flip flops or sneakers if it rains a lot. Finally, good choice for flying Virgin. I used to live in San Francisco and whenever I flew back to the UK I’d try to fly with them. They tend to be generous with the wine so if you have trouble sleeping get a good half pint of vino and you’ll be off to sleep in no time (of course, drink loads of water too because booze+ plane= headache if you’re not careful). Oh, and try to get the cabin crew to say ‘pasta’ and ‘rubbish’. That will make you smile.

    Congrats on your marriage and have a wonderful honeymoon in my country. I hope my people are nice to you! (Don’t be offended if people seem ‘cold’ or don’t wish you a nice day… it’s just a different culture, they’re not really being rude). Safe travels!

    August 3, 2011 at 1:17 am
  • Reply Christina

    1. Your straightener might work with just a plug adapter- check on the straightener to see if it’s just 110V or if it’s 110/220V. If it’s dual-voltage then all you need is an adapter (often more expensive straighteners are dual). A hair straightener won’t take up too much space if you really like having it. I travel cross-continental every 6 wks and one of my biggest regrets is not bringing enough, I think oh I don’t need that extra outfit or those extra shoes and I always wish I had brought them. Plus, with the exchange rate from euro or GBP to dollars you might hesitate to buy something to replace an item you decided to leave behind.

    2. You must bring a travel pillow. I highly recommend the Nap pillow from Brookstone, it’s only $25 and super comfy on a plane/bus/car. Ditto on the ear plugs, makes sleeping so much easier.

    3. I say defi bring running shoes/sneakers plus your flip-flops. I’m an American expat living in Paris and I used to be paranoid about wearing sneakers because people here never wear sneakers and only ballet flats, then I realized it was silly to be uncomfortable just to “fit” in. Yes, I too can always pick out the American tourists but it’s because they look comfy and wear appropriate foot ware for doing touristy things i.e. walking for hours and hours. I usually wear my comfy sneakers on the plane and pack the flip-flops.

    4. Ditto to bringing back chocolates as gifts. Or for girl friends a European makeup product. Boots in the UK has fun products.

    August 3, 2011 at 1:23 am
  • Reply Scallywag

    Hey lady! Firstly can I just say that your dress looked AHMAYZING and I actually think its lovely that both your parents are going- your all the one family now!

    Im from the UK so I feel like I have the right to answer these!


    The weather in Scotland this year has been warmish but its still gonna rain a butt ton, so be casual. I would defs go for jeans, shorts that dry fast, walking trousers if you have them (Rohan sell flattering, closer to leg ones). Also someone mentioned maybe needing to be covered up for religious reasons? The only place where that may apply is in some london cathedrals- nowhere in scotland will enforce this!

    2. I HATE FLYING TOO. I take my iPod, games players, books and attempt to zone out. I can never sleep sadly. I also take someone whose hand I can hold ha ha.

    3. Wellies are actually so uncomfortable to walk in so dont bother! I would say lightweight active shoes.

    4. Buy stuff that will actively remind you of being there- Ihave a butt ton of postcards cause theyre so cheap but good memories!

    You’ll only really need to watch safety in london, and watch for pickpocketers. London is really dcool, scotland beautiful, grreat running too!

    August 3, 2011 at 4:04 am
  • Reply Amy Brich

    I don’t know if you follow the blog Peanut Butter Fingers, but she did a great post on packing for Europe. She also went with a tour group and had a suitcase limitation.

    August 3, 2011 at 5:53 am
  • Reply Glenn Jones

    Have fun Danica!

    August 3, 2011 at 6:51 am
  • Reply Emily @ Sweating Sugar

    That is very exciting. I would urge you to bring some shoes in addition to flip flops. Not everyone considers those shoes and you will be happy to have at least one dress and closed toed shoes when you go to dinner. I have ones similar to these, I know they are not cool but the can be worn with a dress or jeans and are my Europe travel shoe of choice:

    I know they are not super cool, but I bring them everytime I go to Europe. Mine are slightly different and are slip on with no back. Hope it helps.

    Oh, and earrings make up for wearing the same outfit in most of your pictures!

    August 3, 2011 at 8:47 am
  • Reply Sarah B

    Love,love,love Europe! Have fun. I would say bring flip flops AND running shoes. I wear flip flops ALL the time too and you will be doing a lot of walking so stick on the tennis shoes when your feet get sore. I usually take a couple pair of jeans and a pair of shorts and just stick some cute tops in. And I am not big into buying “stuff” so we take TONS of pictures…those are the best keepsakes. And my hubby and I always get a coffee mug with the city on it. Lastly, I love Virgin Airlines…most of the time you get your own TV so remember your headphones and I also take some kind of drug …Tylenol PM or somthing that helps since I get headaches on planes. Good Luck, have fun, take pictures, and Congratulations on your marriage!

    August 3, 2011 at 9:07 am
  • Reply LA

    Ahhh…finally I get to give some travel advice/hints. First of all congrats on your marriage, I stumbled across your blog earlier this year and have enjoyed reading it. I too am a runner, but shorter distances, and love reading about your races.
    This summer I took my first trip out of the country, went to London, Paris, Lucern and 3 stops in Italy. I was worried about what to pack and ended up doing well.
    I agree with leaving the straightener at home. I blew up my hairdryer the first morning in London, luckily everywhere we stayed had on in their bathroom. I took pieces that could be combined, skirts/shorts and tops, a few dresses for nice dinner (only wore one though) and a rain jacket and a sweat (I traveled in June/July). I invested in two pair of Mephisto sandals, which were still “cute” but also functional. And my feet never hurt. I did wear a pair of Dansko clogs on the flight over and back to have in case of rain or cooler temps (plus they were my heaviest shoes so I didn’t want them in my checked bag). I carried a backpack on, with a pair of sandals in it to change into after landing and for the first day of sightseeing. We opted halfway through the trip to not do an excursion but do laundry instead. We had packed the 3 in 1 sheets to use and made sure ahead of time that our hotel had laundry facilities. It was kind of nice to have some down time in our room while the clothes were washing and drying. I also took a roll of travel toilet paper and yes, we all used it on one stop!
    For the flight, I watched movies, brought my kindle and tried to sleep. the flight back wasn’t as bad as we had uploaded all of our photos to 3 different ipads and spent a lot of time looking at them. Also we all were much more tired and slept better on the flight back.
    As far buying, I didn’t have a lot of money either. We all agreed to buy on “splurge” item (something to remember from the trip) and then the rest was unique jewelry, tshirts, etc. My 15 year old daughter “splurged” alot. So did her aunt, but the other 3 in our group didn’t.
    I can tell you it was a trip of a lifetime, we were on a tour group too and it made travel so much easier. No major decisions to make, we had a deadline to be up and ready by so very little missed time and we made some great friends in from other countries. I hope your tour is just a good. Can’t wait to read your updates!

    August 3, 2011 at 9:29 am
  • Reply Meagan

    Another long-time lurker, first-time commenter! My husband & I took a trip to England in March…you are going to absolutely LOVE it!! I don’t mind flying, but my husband does…sleep aids don’t really work for him, so he stocks up on good books (start em before your trip, so you’ll be hooked & can’t wait to get back to reading) and watches ALL the movies, hehe. Virgin is the BEST airline! As far as packing…I agree with all of the other comments: layers are best. That way you don’t have to pack too much and can mix & match and still look fresh! Gap tank tops are amazing for traveling; $10 a pop and they don’t stretch out! I would also bring one dress, in case you go to a nice place for dinner…one that will also work well if there is a really hot day! As far as shoes, bring sneaks, flip flops and either ballet flats or wedges/something to go with aforementioned dress/other dinner attire. I don’t think you’d regret it!

    We didn’t really buy much (we were also really worried about packing/fitting everything!) but our last night in the lake district, one of the bartenders at our favorite pub gave us a pint glass to take back with us! That’s something we’d use at home all the time! Also, after visiting the Imperial War Museum & liking a LOT of the war-time posters, we went on the website when we got home & ordered one and had it shipped to our house. I think those are neat momentos from your trip that will fit into your new home!

    Have a fantastic trip…can’t wait to read all about it!!

    August 3, 2011 at 9:49 am
  • Reply Jill

    ok i can help on these questions! my husband lived in wales for 8 years and we are heading back there in a week and i go though the same stuff! but first make sure just in case you have a connecter for european outlets, some hotels have both but i learned the hard way lol. second bring a cute light coat and all your pictures will look great like you tried to dress up lol. me and my hubby have tennis shoes that we refer to as “dressy tennis shoes” which offer support (not like running shoes) but good that look nicer, mine are pumas love them! or toms work well too. jeans are always good bring a pair of dress pants too so you can dress up and still be warmer, if you go to dinner or what not. slip on shoes will work for dinners or dressy times (dressy flats). shirts and others keep them simple so you can mix and match things. oh and a good scarf is a must. as for hair since of course straighten before you go and they make this great leave in that is made by Keralyze and it’s anit frizz smoothing called rose blowout the tinest bit will keep the frizz under control i swear by it when i don’t have a straighter. One of the gals did say that girls dress up this is true but you can use dress pants and a nice shirt and be good, depending on where you are. As for buying i always say buy something you can’t get at home on the internet. lol the more unquie the better. i love pendents like cheaper ones for 15, 20 dollars always a great thing to take home. oh and the travel space bag is the greatest thing ever invented! have sooo much fun!

    August 3, 2011 at 11:13 am
  • Reply Larinna @

    You should get the Keratin treatment done on your hair before you leave! You can wash your hair and it air dries straight! It’s also nondamaging b.c it doesn’t use harsh chemicals

    August 3, 2011 at 11:32 am
  • Reply Kate

    (1) Pack lots of light layers – Ireland in the summer can still be damp and cool, while London will be very warm. Flats will be better than tennis shoes for “blending in” but definitely pack sneakers for walking tours!

    (2) Virgin is a CUSH airline! You will not be disappointed! There will likely be personal TVs for you to watch movies / shows on… and there’s complimentary wine! Have a few glasses, pop an Ambien and sleep!

    (3) Ireland has gorgeous textiles – think: wool scarves and pashminas / embroidered linens, etc. It’ll be easy to find packable souvenirs there!

    August 3, 2011 at 12:57 pm
  • Reply Meghan

    1. Pack stuff you can layer (cardigans, tank tops, cute t-shirts) and stuff that will hold it’s shape and not show dirt. You can always bring a scarf and some fun earrings to dress things up. When I went to Europe, I wore my Reef flip flops a ton. I wish Toms had been around last time I was there! I went to Europe in September and jeans, cardigans, and a light jacket were fine in London. North Face has cute rain jackets with hoods that pack super light.

    2. Flying- ditto to what people said about a mask, earplugs, and travel pillow. Also make sure you are dressed warmly enough as planes can be freezing!

    3. What about Toms or Puma flats? (I just saw some at Nordstrom)

    4. I love buying unique art in Europe- even if it’s just a print! Easy to carry around and a fun reminder if your trip.

    Lastly, I would say to just be aware of your surroundings and bring a purse with a cross-body strap. Have a GREAT trip!

    August 3, 2011 at 3:21 pm
  • Reply Christina

    I feel bad I just realized I was focused on giving advice and I should FIRST had said congratulations on the wedding I am dying to see more pictures!!! I am going to have my friend record your episode for me so I can see it!! The one picture was beautiful it must have been an amazing day. Have a wonderful time on the honeymoon and can’t wait to see all the pictures when you are back! PS a long time ago I asked for your advice about the K Swiss recovery shoes, I finally got them and I LOVE THEM.

    August 4, 2011 at 1:23 am
  • Reply Brittany

    I’m so excited for you!! I just went to Europe for a month, and LOVED every minute of it :)
    Ireland and the UK WILL be rainy, a lot of the time…haha. Just have an umbrella with you for those pop-up rain showers! I brought a lot of dresses, but I did bring a pair of jeans because the weather is SO unpredictable. I also wore flip flops a majority of the time, but I brought a pair of ballet flats and running shoes as well. After walking for pretty much a month straight, I realized that ANY pair of shoes would hurt my feet after a while! haha

    I hate flying too, but we also flew Virgin Atlantic, and it was a great flight. Plenty of entertainment to get your mind of the flight, plus the flight crew/attendants are so nice and accommodating!

    I hope you have a great and safe trip…enjoy it! :)

    August 4, 2011 at 8:26 am
  • Reply Stephanie

    I was tying to read others advice to not repeat, but there are too many!!

    I live in England, in fact 30 minutes from one of your stops – Chester, which is beautiful. You should know, we don’t have a climate, we have weather. Embrace the unpredictability or you are shunning part of what it is to be here.

    I believe you are a bit of a cold hater, so i’d advise only one pair of flip flops and bringing something summery but more covered, if you get cold feet like me.

    Layers are key. It can be chilly in the AM, warm right up and get a big humid and be quite cool in the evening. Cardigans and summer scarfs/pashminas are a must. A tiny umbrella will be useful i’d guess and save you from having to wear/carry a summer coat. It can rain and be warm, like today, but now its sunny again but a bit cooler. Jeans, shorts – but not daisy dukes, skirts, leggins and dresses all appropriate as long as you follow the above advise.

    Nowhere you are going make me think that you should be concerned about your bag being nicked. Your tour guides will keep you in the nice parts of town. I wouldn’t fear one ounce.

    As for things to buy. I love getting fridge magnets when i travel (even around the UK!) – they are little reminders that are easily kept in your life, on display and you can get them everywhere for not a lot of money.

    As for flying, if you have recovery socks i’d advise wearing them as soon as you get on the plane. I wear comp socks as my feet always swell and i can’t get my shoes on when we land. I have de-planed many a time in cotton socks till i started wearing them.

    Have fun, you will love it.

    August 4, 2011 at 9:52 am
  • Reply Emily (The Culinary Couple)

    WOW! This itinerary looks so amazing. I’ve been to almost all of these places, and the Scottish Highlands top my list of favorites. So beautiful.

    I don’t have many tips on packing, seeing as how I’m not very good at it myself. But I recently found THE most comfortable pair of shoes: Crocs flats (,default,pd.html?cid=001&cgid=women-footwear-flats). I have them in two colors and wear them pretty much all of the time.

    Have a blast on your trip!!!

    August 4, 2011 at 10:28 am
  • Reply RoadBunner

    Have fun! I studied abroad in Edinburgh and LOVED it!! You’re going to some awesome places. As far as souvenirs, I’ve learned to buy stuff you can keep. T-shirts — cool for a bit but they won’t last forever. Stuff you can use to decorate your house for the rest of your life is stuff I look for now.

    August 4, 2011 at 7:18 pm
  • Reply Michelle

    Sounds like an amazing trip! I went to England and Ireland back in September/October of 2010. Make sure to bring rain gear. Also, bring clothes that you can layer so you will be ready for any type of weather. Finally, for the souvenirs my favorites are always things you can’t get anywhere else plus they have to be things I’ll use or display…not something to throw in a closet never to be seen again!

    August 5, 2011 at 1:36 pm
  • Reply Laura Georgina

    You are one lucky girl! Scotland, Ireland and Wales will be gorgeous at this time of the year.

    I lived in England for four years and the weather is UNPREDICTABLE–and unpredictably wet–so make sure you take some comfortable closed shoes (comfy flats) and a few layers to take on and off (because the temperature changes by the hour). Good frizz products are a plus with the humidity–oh, and a light rain jacket and umbrella. And a few nice tops to go with jeans should see you through most occasions other than a super fancy dinner.

    You will LOVE it!

    August 8, 2011 at 2:44 pm
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