Welcome to the summer holiday!
For those who are living in a tropical country, maybe summer holiday is definitely not a special thing to do, simply because we have the sun all year.
But not here in France. Since I am living here, I found that holiday is very very important for French people (or European in general), especially during summer. Usually, they already plan a few months ahead to plan for summer holidays, either they will travel around France or overseas.
And this year will be the first summer holiday that I will spend with my husband and his family. Although, this is not the first vacation with my husband, because this past few years we spent the holiday together in Indonesia. What makes this summer holiday feels special because we will do our first road trip to several cities of France and Switzerland, by using train and bus!
What I mean with a road trip here, it is not like what Keluarga Belo did with their campervan (For those who did not know, they are Indonesian Youtubers, if only you watch their Youtube channel), we are not that rich anyways, but we will visit some cities where our friends and family who lives both in France and Switzerland.
Maybe some of you already know that in 2016 I lived in Geneva for 3 months for my fellowship. Since then, there is always a love and hate relationship with this city.
Well, anyways. In this blog post, I would like to share with you things that we have to prepare for our summer road trips! Since we will leave our apartment for one month, so we have to be prepared more.
What do you mean prepare more? Since we live in Rouen only two of us, no maid, no family, having friends and neighbours are very important! Why I said that? You will find the answer below.
Disclaimer. Even the title is about the holiday, we will still keep busy with our works. My husband will keep busy working on his thesis and I will keep busy with editing videos for vlogs (subscribe to my Youtube channel), writing on blog post also writing on my special project.
Can we do it all during our holiday? Bismillah, let see!
So what we have to prepare?
1. Decide which transportation will you use? Book and buy!
First thing first, either by plane, train, bus or car, you have to decide which transport you will use during the holiday. But in our case, most of the times we both always prefer to go either by train or by bus, so we can enjoy the scenery. Since we will travel to some cities in France, before we will go to Geneva, we are checking which train and bus will be cheaper to go to the destinations. Most of the times, we are avoiding to buy tickets during the weekend (to go or to return), because usually, it will be more expensive. The same as the bus, during this trip, we will try to go by bus which will be more than 3 hours drive, which is challenging! But the good thing using the bus in France (or Europe) for a long trip, they have pretty comfortable bus seats (spacious space, socket and WiFi!).
The best thing to do in advance is also to compare the ticket price either by train, bus, hitchhike car or plane before you go.
2. Where you will go and stay? Draft your itinerary!
Since most of our trips actually to visit friends and families, so we do not have to worry about a place to stay, except our destination to Geneva. We will stay in my husband’s friend place in Dijon, the grandma in Nouan-le-Fuzelier, in the villa booked by my mother-in-law in Bretagne and in Geneva, we have found our host to live few days from Couchsurfing!
Been a long time since I join with Couchsurfing and I was stopped to use it for the past few years, finally, I decided to re-active it again (and changed the name with my husband) and also open request for the traveller who needs a place to stay in our apartment (say Hi to us here!).
Drafting itinerary always fun for me! But we will only draft an itinerary maybe for Dijon and Geneva, because the other places are planned by the grandma and the mother of my husband, so basically we just need to enjoy and relaxing. But for those, who love surprises and challenges, you may also can do or go to some places which not in your itinerary or plan yet.
So do what is good for you and your partner (or friend)!
3. Check which places you want to visit
Wants to go to museum? Park? Hiking in the mountain? Check places you want to go through the internet first! So you know which day they usually open, what time they will open and close, how much the ticket price, etc. Because some of places, either in Europe or France, will close every Monday or Tuesday. So, check it carefully and decide where to go with your partner, prioritize which places you really want to go first, how long you will stay there and… ENJOY!
Even sometimes weather forecast not always right, but at least it’s good to know the temperature in places you will visit, whether it will be very hot, raining, windy, etc. Why? So you will know what kind of clothes that you will use and bring to that place. Whatever the weather forecast said about the weather, always be prepared your raincoat, umbrella and scarf!
5. Get set, rolling and… packing!
Bag pack is always a good idea and very practical! But, since we will leave for a month and I don’t really have a big bag pack, so we decided to bring one suitcase and two bag packs which we will bring by ourselves (coz we both will bring our laptop!). Don’t forget to make a packing-list, so you will not forget to bring essential things which you will definitely need when you travel.
Rolling, rolling, rolling… I always rolls my shirts, dresses, pyjamas, shorts, etc, if I want to do packing, it’s not because it will saving more space, but also it just looks RIGHT and well-packed. Since my husband will bring a lot of books for his research thesis and me with my essential girl things plus my camera gears, so we decided to bring one suitcase to put our clothes, toiletries and books. So we just put our laptop, charger and journal in our bag pack.
6. Clean the apartment and then?
Another important thing to do is… to leaves your apartment in a clean and neat condition. Moreover, if you will leave it more than a month. Why? Because you just feel better when you know and make sure all things are clean when you leave and when you will be back again from holiday. No dirty dishes, no dirty kitchen, leave the refrigerator empties, empty the trash bin, no dirty bathroom and bedroom, etc… all things should be very clean! It’s actually up to you, but we prefer that way.
7. Checking all your electricity, gas and water on the day you will leave also very important! So you will not waste it if you will leave it for long time. We also ask a help to our neighbour to taking care our plants while we will have vacation, last but not least… LOCK YOUR WINDOWS AND DOOR!
… and let’s GO!
Happy holiday all!