Planning a Weekend in Europe

Green Door in Dublin by Natalie Parker

Spend a long weekend in Europe!  When I talk about this, it’s pretty high on people’s list of “you can’t do that.”  It can be done.

If travel is important to you, you can do this.  We live in California, which is pretty much the most extreme location to just hop to Europe from.  We’ve done a weekend in Paris three times.  This year we changed it up and did a weekend in a city we’ve never been to: Dublin.

Thinking about making the leap and taking a weekend trip to Europe?  Here are some things to keep in mind:

Planning a Weekend in Europe

Where can you go directly?  If you live in a major metropolitan area, understand what cities you can fly to directly.  Layovers really add unnecessary travel time on such a short trip.  Plus, if you miss your connecting flight, you don’t have much time to get there later and make it worthwhile.  If you don’t live in a major metro area, consider driving to the closest one, or narrowing your options to where you can fly with one short hop to the metro area.

Stay close to the action.  We don’t waste our little time in a city commuting.  Mr. P researches the best neighborhood for us to easily walk to at least some sites.  If a centrally located hotel is expensive, consider renting an apartment, as we did in Dublin.

Understand that you can’t see everything.  This is a big one.  A weekend away is no fun if you run yourself into the ground trying to see every “must-see” thing.  We’ve done it to ourselves.  Take a look at what matters most to you and do those things.  Don’t be hard on yourself that you spent $x to get out there so therefore you have to see every attraction Rick Steves says is worth seeing.

Have a plan to deal with jetlag.  I talked about our jetlag strategy here.  It worked well on this trip — we did lunch and a nap after we arrived and had dinner reservations.  We ended up finding a pub with Irish music and stayed out until after midnight.  Mischief Jetlag managed.  We took melatonin the entire time.

I’m excited to share all the details about our Dublin trip!

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