Wednesday, January 19, 2011

3 Day Wander in Florence, Italy

I've had a soft spot for Florence since I did my semester abroad there in 2002. At first glance, it's not many people's favorite city in Italy - it's crowded, rather industrial, and, well, kind of dirty. But once you get past all that, it's a place unlike others in Italy - a city, but with a small town feel. We'll only be in Florence for two nights, but there's a lot we're going to pack in!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

4 Day Wander in Siena, Italy

We'll be in Siena for three nights, including for our friends' wedding! I cannot WAIT for this portion of the trip - just to be in Italy with so many friends!

- arrive in Siena late afternoon (bus from Rome is approximately 2.5 hours)
- meet up with friends, check out Siena, wander around

Monday, January 10, 2011

3 Day Wander in Rome, Italy

To keep myself excited about the trip and avoid thinking about the budget, I've been putting together some rough outlines of potential itineraries for each of the cities we're going to visit on our Italy trip! Here is the one for Rome - we'll arrive on a Thursday, and then leave for Siena on Saturday late morning-ish.

- arrive in Rome in the morning to early afternoon, depending on which flight we actually end up getting
- get settled into our hotel, then walk the main touristy area, checking out both the Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain, which both warrant more than one glimpse (Trevi Fountain is particularly cool to see in the evening/at night)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Travel accessories, LL Bean style.

BF and I both received gift certificates for LL Bean this past Christmas. It was an incredibly nice gesture, but our first thoughts were 1) we've never, ever shopped at an LL Bean before, and 2) where the heck can you find a LL Bean store? Turns out, we'd never shopped there before because there are no stores in California!

Fortunately for us, LL Bean has an extensive, easy to use website, and while checking it out, we discovered several things that could come in quite handy on our impending trip!

Here is my current wish list of travel accessories from LL Bean.

Balanzza Luggage Scale - $25

With all of the charges associated with luggage these days, it seems like this would be super useful! (Especially as a woman who has had to pay "heavy luggage fees!")

Friday, January 7, 2011


A good friend of mine passed along an article as a comment on my last post that got me stressing a little about when to buy our plane tickets for this summer.

This Jaunted article warns about ticket prices going up exponentially because of rising fuel costs.

Now the economy is slowly recovering, and so oil prices are threatening to shoot back up. Oil import costs have skyrocketed roughly 300% over the last few months, and of course those costs get passed on to the companies that use fuel, at which point they get passed on to the rest of us. In the airline industry that means not just higher ticket prices, but also higher luggage fees and—just to make up for lost revenue—higher penalties.

Hmm. I think that we may have to get our plane tickets sooner rather than later at this point!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Ticket price puzzle: Part 4

Wow, just like that a whole month has gone by!

After the crazy holidays, I'm back in full planning mode for our trip! I can't believe it's already just 6 months away - time flies when you're trying to save money, no?

I'm changing it up a bit for this round - I'm going to use our actual dates, and I'm going to add in a few options I was thinking about today - going to Ireland before the wedding in Italy, etc.

Prices, as of 8/4/10:
- LAX-Rome, Dublin-LAX: $1332.52

Prices, as of 9/21/10:
- LAX-Rome, Dublin-LAX: $1331.62
- LAX-Rome, Venice-LAX: $1418.51