Okay, so here is the beginning of our “to do” list for getting ready to travel off to Europe… (I cannot wait!)
- Set a monthly budget
- Figure out best way to fly – once we are there it looks like there are pretty inexpensive flights to different countries
- Plan a loose itinerary – we want to be able to make changes if necessary but understand we should book lodging and air
- Car rental
- Animals (European Pet Passport)
- Cell phones and internet
- Storage costs for our furniture and cars (should we sell a car or two?)
- Travel and health insurance
- Set up all bills on electronic banking
There will be more things that come up, I am sure, but this is what I have for now. As we go through these items I will blog about how we work it out.
We are planning on visiting several countries; France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Germany, Austria, Czechoslovakia and England.
I feel so lucky that I have a chance to do something like this, oh boy! Here we go….
Well, we are going for it! There is no better time for us to take an extended tour of Europe and we are jumping in. We are going to head out this fall and travel through the following spring. There is a ton of stuff to do to get ready so I plan to blog about the preparation, just in case, anyone else out there might be wanting to do the same thing. We will be homeschooling our two girls (they will be in 4th and 6th grade) moving and living in several different countries and having the time of our lives.
One of our biggest concerns (besides missing our family and friends) is our animals. We have two cats, two small dogs, two fish and two birds, sort of a Noah’s Arc around here… We love our pets and have struggled on what to do with them. We think we have some wonderful temporary homes for most of our animals and are contemplating taking our dogs with us. France, being such a dog loving country, could be fun. I have memories of being in French cafes with pooches sleeping under their owners table in fluffy dog beds. It would be thrilling to have them join us on our journey.
I have been researching about a European Dog Passport which is needed before you bring your dog into Europe. In order to get this passport your dog must have a microchip, be vaccinated for rabies and have a “vet check” to make sure they are healthy. Your vet will need to fill out the necessary paperwork to prove that your pet has a clean bill of health. Once you have your pet passport it allows you to travel between many different EU countries. It is important to make sure your dog can handle such a journey. My dogs are great travelers and would rather be with us. Saying this, I know it is a big deal to travel with them so far and I do not take this lightly. We have to stay in pet approved places and make special arrangements with the airlines. It is a lot but I cannot imagine saying goodbye to them for 7 plus months, it is hard enough leaving our other animals. We will definitely look forward to our whole family being together again upon our return.
So this is the beginning of what I imagine to be one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. To travel with my family and teach my children the love of travel and the joy of exploring different cultures will change their lives forever. I cannot wait!