OK, I've gotta say, I am SUPER excited! I can't freakin' wait for this trip. I am pretty sure that I am driving my friends and family up the wall because I talk about my upcoming trip almost everyday. The current countdown is at 35 days until I depart for London!
I am still kinda freakin' out about the money because I really want to be able to go through this vacation without having to watch every single penny I spend. Apparently, Contiki suggests that you bring somewhere around 70-100 Euros per day and that includes the optional excursions and buying souvenirs (which I am not that into, I'm going more for the experience rather than crap that is going to sit in boxes when I get home.) I also have earned $150 dollars in Contiki Optional excursion vouchers by attending webinars and such.
I have been buying some clothes before the stores get rid of all the spring stuff for summer because it is supposed to be a little cooler than Georgia's May. I am still trying to figure out how much dressy clothing/comfy clothing/casual clothing I am going to need for my trip, but right now it looks like I am going to be bringing, a few cotton spring dresses for exploring the cities, 2 pairs of jean, some casual shirts, a few t-shirts, and at least one dressy dress.
One of the big questions now is whether or not to take my laptop. On one hand, I am very attached to my laptop and I use it every day to check facebook, email, twitter etc. I can also store pics on it so I wouldn't need multiple memory cards, I could charge my itouch, I could update this blog, I could manage my money through online banking, watch movies on the bus, etc. However, the downside to taking it is, I have to lug it around, it takes up weight/space in my luggage (contiki has a strict limit) and MOST of all, I have read on the Contiki message boards that people have had the laptops stolen out of there hotel rooms or they have damaged them. What I am thinking about doing instead of taking my laptop is taking my itouch, since it can get online, and using it to check email/facebook/twitter, do short updates on blogs, listen to music/watch movies, and manage online banking. I can also get a outlet plug to charge it and it is small enough to carry in a purse. Also, heaven forbid I DO lose/get it stolen/break it, it isn't nearly as expensive to replace.
I was reading a book about women traveling solo and it suggested that you do some things before you go to prepare for the trip so it isn't so scary and such a shock being in an unfamiliar place. One of the top things it recommended was doing things solo such as movies and going to restaurants. I have always been a pretty independent person and I do have what my family calls an "internal compass" meaning that I am pretty good with finding my way around unfamiliar places. Thankfully I only have two days in London before my tour begins so I am hoping that by the end of the 17 day tour, I will be a little more comfortable with my surroundings and ready for the next 8 day that I have left to travel before heading back to the USA!
I still have a little more to say but since I am technically at work, I guess it should maybe...idk...work a little bit lol.
Post more later!