As of today, Spencer and I have been back in the good ole US of A for a whole week, and it really is nice to be home! For those of you who were following along on Instagram, you’ve seen a few bits and pieces of our honeymoon (my dream trip spent in Paris and London), so here are a couple of new photos plus some tips for planning your first excursion as husband and wife! (And by tips, I mean apps–I found the best apps for everything you need on vacation!)
Highlights from our magical honeymoon
The Hall of Mirrors at Versailles. Check out Instagram for our mirror selfie!
View of the Eiffel Tower from the Arc du Triomphe
Spencer, trying to be really cool outside Notre Dame
The gorgeous building that is the Louvre Museum
Amazingly inspiring clock “window” at the Musée d’Orsay
The Tower of London! So much more than a simple tower.
Selfie with the Tower Bridge #honeymoonofselfies
Lunch at Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant – The Narrow: Limehouse.
Obligatory photo with one of London’s iconic telephone booths
One of many photos taken in Hyde Park!
Alright, now that we’re done with that, let’s start planning your magical honeymoon to make it the most wonderful period of time that you can imagine.
I’ve always loved planning vacations because I’m such an organizer, and I’m really good at visualizing things, whether it be the trip from the airport to the hotel or the restaurant where we got lunch reservations. It’s why I love my Google Calendar. I can use color to visually see when we’ll be busy throughout the day, and it’s really simple to add, delete, or move any appointment.
However, when I started to plan the honeymoon, I didn’t just want to see when we would be doing things; I wanted to see what we would be doing and where it would take place. Enter, TripCase.
TripCase was invaluable because I could put an event, restaurant, attraction, hotel, flight, etc. on our itinerary and then scroll through the day to see how I liked it. You can use the app, which is super helpful when you’re actually abroad because it automatically brings up maps of where you’re going (when on a wifi connection), but I found the plain old website to be the best way to enter our experiences and change things around beforehand.
Also, you can input your flight and hotel reservations, meaning it will automatically tell you if your flight time changes, if you’re at a different gate, when your plane starts boarding, and all that other good stuff airlines like to do. Did I mention TripCase is free? You have no excuse to not try it out!
City-Specific Public Transportation Apps
If you’re going to a city, I would also definitely suggest downloading an app to help you out with subway routes, bus times, etc. I had two different ones when we went to Europe: one for the Paris Metro and another for London’s public transportation systems. The Paris Metro RATP Map and Route Planner app was an absolute godsend! It was simple to use, totally comprehensive, and didn’t require a wifi connection, so if our plans changed during the day, I could simply input where we were and where we needed to go, and it would tell us which Metro lines to take. I adored the Paris Metro and this little app!
I have less enthusiasm toward London’s Underground system. It was incredibly crowded the entire time we were there (yes, I realize it was the holidays, but honestly), and there were a lot of line closures that were a real pain in the butt for us. Also, it’s a bit of a haul between lines even within the same station, but maybe we were just spoiled by Paris’s public transportation system. I used the NAVITIME Transit – London UK app, which was great when I had wifi but less than helpful when I didn’t. It was nice being able to see the maps whether I was on wifi or not, but I honestly spent more time using Google Maps while in London than this app. Wherever you’re heading, make sure you have some kind of map on you, paper or app. There’s nothing worse than being lost in a foreign city!
My last tip has nothing to do with technology! Although I suppose it could, if you wanted it to. Spencer and I were given a travel journal by one of our favorite high school teachers, and I wrote in it every single day. I even included our favorite things from each day (although mine were more sentimental, and Spencer’s were more “that awful ‘Asian’ food we had a Wagamama”).
I can’t wait to have a book filled with all of the places we’ve visited as a couple ten, twenty, even fifty years down the road! We luckily had room to carry the journal in our luggage, but if you’re looking for a more technologically savvy way to do it, why not try Evernote? I just started using it a few months ago for everything from blog to work to wedding, and I am obsessed!
What are some of your favorite travel apps, either for planning a budget-friendly trip or using on-the-go in another country?
P.S. If you’re looking for the best apps to use specifically on a trip to Japan, I’ve got some opinions on that, too!