Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Planning a One Year European Adventure

By Claire
Many people have asked me how we got started planning this trip. My recommendation is to start by getting two very helpful books:

Road Trip Europe

Europe Through the Back Door

From there I graduated to reading lots of blogs by other people traveling through Europe for extended periods of time. I learned a lot about where to go and what to see and do. I was shocked to learn about the Schengen Agreement which requires us to be out of the member EU countries for 90 days in every 6 month period. This means that we will travel around for 90 days and then we have to find a non-Schengen EU member country to stay in for 90 days before we can re-enter once again. Fortunately, winter will be approaching when we need to leave for our first 90 days out so what better place to go than Turkey for two months and Egypt for one? Our last 90 days out will be in the UK, summer of 2010. And just so you know, Americans do not need a visa to stay in Europe for up to 90 days. For more information on this go to: Schengen Agreement

Travel blogs that were helpful and fun to read:

Rob & Wendy's Travel Blog
Slow Travel
Papillon Travels
Soul Travelers 3
MagBaz Travel

Two years ago or so, Chuck set up a Wiki* that we could both access from either of our computers. It was a place to start organizing the planning with lists of things to do, things to take, things to find out, etc. The Wiki turned out to be a bit cumbersome so we switched over to Google Docs. The next thing I did was to make a folder (we're talking computer folder here) for each country. Within each folder I created one document for "sites to see" and another document for "campgrounds". Whenever I found a great campground mentioned in a blog or from searching the internet, I added the information to the campgrounds doc for that country. The same goes for interesting sites to see. These documents are on the computer and do not require an internet connection to view them. The hope is that all this information will come in handy and be easily accessible as we travel along.

For those of you who like to listen to podcasts, I highly recommend:

Amateur Traveler

A Year in Europe
Rick Steves' Radio

*A wiki is a website that uses wiki software, allowing the easy creation and editing of any number of interlinked Web pages, using a simplified markup language. Wikis are often used to create collaborative websites and to power community websites.

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