Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Our Europe Trip!

I was trying to think of the best way to write out all of our Europe adventures, and I figured the best way would just be country by country. This is just the introduction with no pictures or anything interesting, just text. So if you are here for the pictures stay tuned for the Copenhagen post.

While in Hawaii my dad got a job to help with the scheduling for the Rome temple. I decided from then on that I was willing to splurge a little and go to Europe since I'd have the apartment paid for in Italy and most of the food, so I'd just have to pay for the plane ticket. Well, turns out that flying to Italy is expensive! So I started searching for budget airlines with really cheap tickets. I found out that once you get into Europe you can fly for almost NOTHING. As in $3-$20 !!!!!

The cheapest airline that flew to and from the United States though is Norwegian Airlines. Totally underrated in my opinion. Just praying that their rates don't climb too much. The cheapest flights out of the US are usually from JFK, Fort Lauderdale, Boston, or this itty-bitty one in New York that is super hard to get to probably (but now that I'm thinking about it, Allegiant might fly to it for only $50 so that might actually be the best one). The problem/nice thing about these airlines is that the basic price covers absolutely nothing. You can bring a carry on bag that has a pretty strict size and weight limit, and a little purse or bag. I think together they have to weigh less than 20 pounds. So in that picture, that is all the stuff we packed for 3 weeks in Europe. And honestly it was pretty refreshing! I even felt like I overpacked a little! And I was actually under the weight limit the whole time. Norwegian is an even better airline if you are willing to pay $500 a ticket one way (still a steal), because you will pretty much be flying 1st class. You can go to the specially place in the airport (lol can't remember the name. Pretty much like the concierge lounge or 1st class...room?), get seats that recline to almost laying down, get a 3 course meal or sometimes dinner and breakfast, have higher weight limits and I think you can bring more luggage. Idk, it just works out for everyone! 

Anyways, overall, we spent around $600 for tickets. We could have saved even more if we had booked earlier, but we waited till about 2 months before. This price included Boston to Copenhagen to London (Stanstead not Heathrow) to Barcelona (an exciting little surprise we got to take!!!) to Paris to Rome to Fort Lauderdale. Our flights from KC to Boston and Fort Laud. to KC were free with our Southwest miles. Some of our flights in between countries in Europe were as little as $17 because we used budget airlines. Specifically RyanAir and Vueling. Two VERY common and safe airlines that all Europeans use! They even have flights for $3 on their site often. You do have to know though, that often a lot of the cheapest flights are at AWFUL times as in leaving at 6 in the morning or 11 at night. So we did choose to spend the night in the Barcelona and Paris airports to catch 6 am flights and there were lots of other college aged to mid 40 people doing the same thing and it was pretty clean and okay (not nearly as bad as out experience sleeping in the Seattle airport on our way to Hawaii!!). Also when flying these airlines, sometimes the airports they fly to in BIG cities like Paris and London are the smaller ones further away where you might have to take a one hour train to get to the city. We had to take the Stanstead Express when we flew to London and round trip it was about $30 and took an hour each way, but it was super soothing and cool to see life outside of the city. Also it was clean, had outlets, and was cheaper than say an Uber.

So I guess we can start our journey and story? 

So May 16th (Tuesday) we started off in KC. Our flight was delayed a little, but we eventually got to Boston and then had a 5 hour layover. We had planned it out so that we would fly overnight from Boston to Copenhagen so that we could arrive there around 9 in the morning and have a good full day there. We were a little nervous flying on this relatively small airline flight and my mom was super scared we got scammed, but I was pretty confident it would be okay. The flight didn't show up on the screen in the Boston airport until exactly 2 hours before boarding so that was a little sketch. As in, no one could even CHECK IN until 2 hours before. So make sure you are first in line!! We were literally the first in line and they weighed all our stuff, and mine was fine, but my mom's was way over so she put on her 5 jackets (no joke, and it ended up being warm our whole trip...) and stuffed her pockets with stuff to get under the limit. The guy at the desk was SUPER nice and said he could put us almost anywhere we wanted on the plane. We were pretty hesitant and scared he was going to charge us extra, but he ended up just being super nice. I think most of the plane had just purchased the dirt cheap priced option so there were plenty of seats with extra room that were actually taken. So he gave us extra leg room and had us sit together on a row all to ourselves! 

The plane ended up being brand new, with inflight entertainment screens for everyone--but unfortunately we had to sleep instead of use them. I DEFINITELY should have brought melatonin and taken it in Boston because I could barely sleep at all. But we got to Denmark with no problems and it was such a smooth flight!

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