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.
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.
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.