What Mistakes To Avoid...When In Rome

In August of 2010, I went on my very first EuroTrip.  

First stop Rome, Italy.  At this point my family and I had gone through the entire continental United States and Alaska but we had never taken a transatlantic flight and I quickly realized they weren’t my cup of tea.  (Update I’m still not very fond of them but a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do). The moment we landed in Rome, the excitement was real and we headed off to go visit the Vatican. We were in Italy for only 5 days and we made the common mistake most tourists make on their first visit to a new country, which is we think we’re never going to come back.  I’ve been back to Italy 6 times since then and Rome 3 times.  I constantly tell my clients is to relax and slow down that way you’re able to enjoy it more.  

Italy Europe 2010 (265).JPG

As jet lagged as we were, we went ahead and toured the entire Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel.  After the tour we roamed around a little bit and then headed back to our hotel.  #1 mistake we made was to do such an intense tour the moment we got off the plane. 

 I recommend this tour 100% of the time to all of my clients however, getting off such a long flight to jump into an extensive tour was a mistake. We were cranky tired, hungry and we weren’t able to enjoy it to the max.  Also, I’ve learned that planning a tour the day you arrive is not a great idea because nothing is guaranteed and 1 delayed flight can change anything.

Another mistake we made, which I’ve prevented a lot of my clients from making, is fitting everyone into the room to save money.  That’s something we can easily get away with in the states, but in Europe it isn’t allowed.  We stayed at the Rome Cavialleri and were quickly told we had to rent 1 more room.  After our tour of the Vatican we went and took a dip in their amazing pool and ate at the restaurant.  Well those who were able to stay awake throughout the meal did and we were introduced to authentic Italian cuisine and I’ve been addicted ever since.  Let me tell you jet lag is real! Since this trip I’ve done things differently or at least I try to.  This hotel was the best first experience abroad however, it did spoil me a little.  We had free Wi-Fi which back in 2010 was unheard of, we had breakfast at this enormous round table every day, the rooms were incredible and I can’t even explain how great the views are but a picture can speak a thousand words.  

Italy Europe 2010 (241).JPG

Another must do in Rome is to spend some time in the Colosseum.  We did a quick and easy self-tour with an audio guide and it was definitely more than enough. This way you’re able to tour it at your own pace and once you’ve toured it you can go on with the rest of your day. After touring the Colosseum we went ahead to visit the Spanish Steps and the Fountain of Trevi and the rookies that we are we drove there, we never found parking so we had to park far away. On the bright side, we got to walk the streets of Rome and enjoy the city at night. 

Italy Europe 2010 (218).JPG

A Look At Antigua

28685115_1839017866150797_1261892912043018132_n 2.JPG

Have you ever been to place and the moment you entered you knew you were going to love it?  That’s what Antigua was for me.  

I had heard great things from people about Antigua before I got there so I knew I was in for a Caribbean paradise.  Our day in Antigua was something close to magical even a little bit of rain couldn’t stop us from enjoying our perfect beach day.  

            Throughout the island of Antigua there are 365 beaches. We definitely had a decision to make early on.   We took a tour with a private cab driver for about $20 and he took us around the island for an hour and a half.  After our private tour he took us to the Dickensen’s beach and once we were done he took us back to the ship.  


  The island of Antigua is rather small and fortunately wasn’t affected by the hurricane.  Barbuda was badly affected and I hope that they are able to get back to normal soon.  The majority of these islands rely on tourism as their major source of income and with the hurricanes causing so much damage it has been tough for them to recuperate. 

28685493_1839017939484123_2501184668173883260_n 2.JPG

                       Dickensen’s Beach was definitely the best choice for us to spend the day.  We got some amazing weather on a semi-private beach.   For the few minutes that it was raining we were able to hole up at Coconut Grove Restaurant, which is conveniently located steps from the water.  After we were done with our beach day we decided to walk around the beach to the other resorts that were also on the beach.  

                        The main thing I enjoyed about Dickensen’s Beach was the floating bar they had a few miles from the shoreline.  You can swim or take a small boat to the bar and as soon as you’re done with your drinks you can dive right back into the ocean.  

            Antigua was a day in absolute paradise.  The only negative thing I would take away from our day is that Antigua is known to be rather expensive.  Especially if you’re staying on the island the restaurants around there tend to be more on the pricier side.