The first part of a series of posts in which I share the planning process of our Costume & Fashion Museum Tour through Europe! Here, I talk about deciding to make the trip and share the various travel resources I've learned about that make traveling truly accessible!
I have never traveled abroad.
Visiting Europe has long since been a dream of mine. I've been enamored with the culture and rich history for as long as I can remember. And for almost as long, I have felt that traveling there was a pipe dream. Each time that I've even toyed with the idea of making a trip out there, something has come up- overbooked schedule, lack of funds, work, etc. More often than not, however, the thing that got in the way most was myself.
A few weeks ago, I finally decided to stop making excuses and to just make this trip happen! My first step was to figure out exactly where I wanted to go. I knew that I wanted to visit as many fashion and costume museums as possible, so my best bet would be to build my own trip as opposed to finding a travel agency or tour group. I also looked up "fashion museums in Europe" to find which cities had the most and would therefore be the most valuable to visit. This post from A Fashion History gave a lot of great insight and helped me decide on my top destinations- London, Paris, and Florence.
Next, I took to Facebook and Instagram to seek the advice of friends and followers! Where could I find the best deals on flights? Which landmarks should I visit? What about hotel and sleeping accommodations? In summary, here is what I learned:
Hopper- travel app/website that allows you to search flights and watch them for price changes.
Kayak- another similar app/website that allows you to watch flights and keep track of the best deals across various airlines.
Norwegian Airlines- suggested by a friend who travels to England regularly where her husband's family lives. She shared that she always purchases from them on Black Friday for great flight prices.
Travel Zoo- deals on trips all over the world that include flights, transportation between cities/countries, and hotel accommodations. The trips are also customizable, allowing you to rearrange the order of cities, add or remove destinations, and opt in for tour groups!
Rick Steves': Europe Through the Back Door- a book and website with key info to avoid tourist traps and enjoy local experiences
Groupon- who knew?!
Google Flights- offers flexibility in flight searching, showing you the cheapest airline and dates while looking at a map. Flights are shown up to 6 months in advance.
Hostel World- allows you to search though hundreds of available hostels (basically a dormitory for travelers), with option to filter results by price range, facilities, ratings, and more. Listed results also show prices per night to stay in one of the shared spaces or in a private space.
Airbnb- true, I've known about Airbnb for a while now, but it is definitely one of the top resources I plan on using! I love that all of the homes you save get automatically grouped into their prospective cities, which makes reviewing options so much easier.
The best thing I've learned from looking into all of these resources is that traveling abroad does not have to be as daunting as I've always imagined and it certainly doesn't have to break the bank! If you've been hesitant to start planning your own trip, I hope these resources can get you set up for an amazing adventure!
Over the next few posts, I'll be sharing more about the travel itinerary I'm putting together, finding a travel buddy, and everything else as I continue to build this Costume & Fashion Museum Tour through Europe! #AnInvincibleDesignGoestoEurope is officially a go and you'll be able to keep up with all of the adventures right here!
If you are excited to see this trip happen and are interested in helping us get there, please consider donating a small amount to the Go Fund Me we've put together. Funds will go towards all of the wonderful museums we'd like to visit and any activities we hope to accomplish while abroad. All donors will receive a shoutout on the blog and Instagram and will also receive exclusive updates.