Germany |3 Day| Itinerary

Germany is such a beautiful country and there is so much to see! Here is a detailed itinerary on places to explore throughout Germany if you only have 3 days. Prices here are shown per person and even calculated for a group of 4.

Day 1: Castle Tour


Hohenschwangau Castle


Neuschwanstein Castle

Attraction: Hohenschwangau Castle and Neuschwanstein Castle (Sleeping Beauty Castle inspiration)

Location: Hohenschwangau (2hrs via train from Munich)

Food: Eat breakfast at lodging: The Tent. Pack lunch to eat on train or purchase from village shops.

Transportation: Purchase Bayern rail / Bavaria Ticket – Valid on all local trains of all rail companies and all transport association services (S-Bahn, subway, trams and buses) throughout Bavarian Region Continue reading




I was only in Korea a week but I was surprised by a great deal of things.

Korea is a mix of modern



And traditional.



Samsung is a Korean company so the majority of electronics here are Samsung. But, Samsung phones are more expensive here than in the USA.

Samsung is everywhere. From phones, to air conditioners, to appliances, to cars. Continue reading

Budget Airlines

Are they worth it?

In short, no.

I flew a budget airline once and said never again. Fast forward a year later to me sitting on another budget airline.. I’ve obviously forgotten my promise to myself. From then on I vowed to never go on a budget airline. They are well known for their cheap plane tickets. The price may seem low at first but once you start to add up the fees, are they really cheaper than regular cost carriers?

Budget airlines try to sell you on the “no frills” package. They say that boarding passes, luggage, customer service, etc., are all things that add to the cost of airline tickets. By taking those away, they can reduce the price of the actual ticket. You pay less because you get less.

Because the airlines are el cheap-o, staff is paid el minimum-o. Staff is cut to a minimum as well to save $$. Those remaining are forced to do the work of 2 or 3 people for a small wage.. talk about job satisfaction.

Budget airlines fly into airports that are generally off the beaten path. “Ryanair strives so hard to avoid the main Paris airports that they choose to fly 80 kilometres north into a different region of France.” Airports charge landing fees and this fee can be cheaper at less well known airports. According to an article published by the LA Times, the landing fees at LAX were just increased from $3.35 per 1,000 pounds of landed weight to $3.85. In order to avoid high fees, budget airlines take their landing business elsewhere.

If you choose to fly via budget airline and want service and luggage to be the same as any other airline, you have to pay a fee. One of the areas where the fees start to add up are baggage fees. For this example we will be looking at Spirit Airlines domestic flight fees.


Take the flights from Chicago to Washington D.C. for example. The cheapest roundtrip ticket on a regular cost airline is Delta at $230 while the initial price for 1 round trip ticket is $120 on the budget airline Spirit. When booking a flight, the price you see is the “bare fare”. This fare includes a small purse or laptop bag. If you need any more baggage, be prepared to pay for it.

A carry on bag is $37 if you purchase it when booking on the website. These prices are one way. Chances are you will be flying back with the bag so add another $37 and you have = $74.
It is actually cheaper to check a bag. A checked bag is $30 so round trip is $60.
If you forget to add your luggage when buying the flight, that’ll be an extra $10 (each way). Total for checked: $80. Carry on: $94
If you want to add a bag at the airport, add another $20. Total for checked: $100. Carry on: $114.

Let that sink in. $114 extra to fly round trip with a carry on. Luggage that is already included on regular cost carriers.

Those prices are cheap IF you purchase luggage when buying the ticket. Once you’ve booked, the prices increase all the way up to the gate. If you are really unlucky and don’t realize that the carry on is not included (which is a very easy mistake to make since on most airlines it is), you will be charged $100 at the gate (1 way) to bring that bag on the plane with you.

These are just the baggage fees.

*Savvy Saver Tip* When purchasing our tickets, it was cheaper to pay the checked baggage fee of $30 than it was for the carry-on fee: $37. These prices are one way only. 2 carry-ons would have been $74 (times 2 ways would have been: $148) while one checked bag, which my husband and I can share totaled to $60.

If you want to print your boarding pass off at the airport: $2. If they do it for you: $10. Want to pick your seat? $5-50. Otherwise cross your fingers and hope you get to sit next to who you are flying with.

Thirsty or in the mood for a snack? Snacks and Drinks (And WATER!) range from $3-15.

Cost breakdown for the same service:


Round Trip

Budget Airline Regular Cost Airline
Airfare $120 $230
Carry-On $114 included
Seat Selection $20 included
Print boarding pass at kiosk $4 included
Snacks & Drinks $12 included
Total: $270 $230

If you look at the cost breakdown of fees, budget airlines are not the cheaper option. They are actually MORE EXPENSIVE for the same services received on Regular Cost Airlines.

This is just the money aspect of it. It does not include the things you cannot place a monetary value on, such as friendly customer service and being treated nicely.

Budget airlines, base fares and super basic fares have a great initial* price tag. BUT. Once you go through to checkout, it’s almost never cheaper in the end. If you are saving, it’s not that much. I would rather pay the extra $5 for my “free” beverage and snack on the plane. The only way I can see these airlines being worth it for a consumer is if they really only need transportation from point A to point B, and their stay is short enough that they can pack everything they need into a small backpack. Otherwise, paying more money up front will save you extra in the long run.

Fly Like A Pro

First time flying? Or has it been so long that you don’t quite remember the ins and outs? Follow these tips and you’ll be (or at least look like) a well seasoned traveler in no time!

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Pack Light

Navigating through life is much simpler when you have less baggage. The same can be said about traveling.. literally. On most flights you are allowed a carry-on and a personal item. On international flights the free luggage allowance includes a checked bag up to 23kg. This does not mean that you must pack every kilogram or even need to bring every bag!

The easiest way to travel is by not checking a bag. Packing for 2 weeks can be achieved with only a carry-on and a personal item (backpack, purse, etc.) if done wisely. A quick google search will render millions of posts on how to do this. There are many benefits to only flying with a carry-on: your luggage is with you at all times. You can get through the airport much faster. No need to wait in line to check your bag and drop it off, and no need to wait after your flight in baggage claim. I used to pack my carry-on full to the gills but for some reason there is this increasingly popular trend for airlines to enforce their weight limits on carry-ons! Gone are the days when you could get by with your carry-on being almost as heavy as your checked luggage with no penalties. Not every airline does this but they are well within their right to, so save yourself the anxiety and keep your carry-on underweight.

I went to Sweden for the summer and packed a checked bag, carry-on, personal item, and even squeezed in a purse. If I had to do it again, I would pack differently. My carry-on and personal item were so packed that I didn’t have space for the things I bought throughout my time there.


How I used to pack a.k.a. how not to pack

If you are going to be gone longer or just need to check a bag, I would recommend forgoing the rolling carry-on and go with just your personal item. That way you only have to roll around one large bag. Be sure to stay within the weight limit because they will weigh this one and the overweight fees are pretty hefty. When packing a checked bag, keep in mind that airlines are ROUGH with luggage. My suitcase is always significantly more scratched when I pick it up. I remember sitting in my window seat on one flight during boarding and watching the crew chuck the suitcases onto the conveyor belt that brought them up to the airplane. NEVER place breakables or valuables, like a laptop, in your checked luggage, especially if they are not well wrapped. Put that in your personal bag.

*Just a heads up: if you are flying on a full flight and your carry on looks big or has wheels, they may ask you to check it when you get to your gate anyway. Be sure to take out breakables.

One final packing tip for those who plan on going shopping on your trip or will be bringing back lots of souvenirs (or if you’re like me and your clothes just always seem to multiply before your return journey) – bring an empty rolled up duffel bag in your suitcase. You can use this extra bag to put all of your extra goodies. If you have already used up your free baggage allowance you can always purchase more – I recommend adding this online before flying home for the most cost efficient option. Keep in mind that you pay for extra luggage and overweight fees both ways. An extra checked bag is $100 there and $100 on your return trip. If you pack an extra empty bag in your suitcase on the way there, you only have to pay for an extra bag on the way home. If you don’t have a collapsible bag laying around, go to a thrift store at your destination and look for a cool piece of luggage – it could double as a fun souvenir!

A handheld luggage scale is worth its weight (and all the weight it can carry) in gold.

suitcase scaleIt will save you so much time, money, and headache. Pre-luggage scale days we would step on a scale to weigh ourselves, step off, step back on holding our luggage and attempt to read the scale over the big suitcase obstructing our view. Or we’d cross our fingers hoping we’d come underweight when they weighed it at the airport. We have a manual one but you can find a digital one for around $10-15.

Personalize Your Suitcase

There’s a reason everything tries to be “the new black”. Simply: black is the best color. Black will always be the new black when it comes to versatility. It goes with everything, it’s gender neutral and doesn’t show dirt or marks. There is only one problem with having a black suitcase: EVERYBODY HAS ONE. Trying to pick out your black suitcase in a sea of black suitcases moving around on a baggage carousel is difficult. I’ve seen people grab a bag they thought was theirs, only to return it to the carousel after a closer inspection of the luggage tag. When walking through the airport I heard announcements asking passengers to make sure they had the correct black Swissgear luggage and to return the mistaken bag to the gate. Save yourself the trouble and opt for a color other than black.


We invested in a set of dark teal hard shell suticases – not too flashy but not black either.. and the funny thing is that we almost took the wrong suitcase! It was dark, we had been traveling for 24 hours, and the other suitcase was the exact same style.. just black.

Is black your only option? Tie a brightly colored scarf or piece of fabric around the handle of your suitcase for high visibility. This is great because you can always remove the scarf once you’ve found your luggage.

Book an Inexpensive Flight

Notice how I didn’t say cheap flight. There is a difference. An inexpensive flight is getting a good deal whereas a cheap flight is budget airline cheap. In most cases, budget airlines are not worth it as they end up nickle and diming you to death.. but more on that in my budget airline post. There are ways to book an inexpensive flight on a decent airline if you get the timing right. If you purchase a flight too far in advance, the airline thinks that you need to have that specific date (otherwise why would you be booking so early) and thinks you are willing to pay for it. So you will. A lot. If you book too late, the airline knows you need to have that specific date and will charge you heavily for booking last minute. Prices for flights tend to drop 3-4 months out for international flights.flight diagram

Flying out is cheapest on a Monday or Tuesday and during non-peak travel seasons. I like to use Kayak because it compares all the websites and lets me look at all the flights in a 6 day range of departure and return. Another website is Skyscanner and this is helpful for booking 2 one ways for a lower price than a roundtrip. Roundtrip tickets are usually less expensive than a one way but sometimes you can find 2 one ways cheaper when booked on separate airlines – this is called a hacker fare.

Check In Online

Most flights are eligible for online check in 24 hours before departure. This is a great time to pick your seat if you haven’t done so already. I prefer the window seat because I love watching outside, plus you have somewhere to lay your head. Once checked in, you are given the option to print your boarding pass or have it emailed to you. I generally print it out at the airport but have it emailed to me as a back up. Mobile boarding passes are finicky and aren’t always read easily by the scanner. I prefer paper boarding passes because they slide easily into my passport and I don’t have to constantly hand over my phone to TSA and ICE officers at various security checkpoints. Plus they make a great addition to your scrapbook.


If you check in online and aren’t flying with baggage, you can print off your boarding pass (at home or an airport kiosk) and go straight to security. This way you can avoid the baggage drop off lines.

Get Your Meal Faster on Airplanes

Depending on the length of your flight, you may be offered an in-flight meal.


Attendants generally serve food from front of the plane to back. Seats towards the front of the plane are sometimes marked as “priority” or “comfort +” and can be obtained for an extra price. Benefits include inches more of legroom and service faster. I generally find myself in the back of the plane, forced to smell the food for what feels like eons before I get it.. or I get the pleasure of watching it stroll by me to the front of the plane.

I was on a flight home from Stockholm chatting away with a lady when a flight attendant dropped a meal off on her tray. Only hers. The lady said it was because she requested a gluten free meal. On the subsequent plane rides, I watched attendants bring out the special orders before serving the masses.

In an age with increasing diet restrictions because of medical and religious reasons, or just sheer preference, airlines are becoming more accommodating. When booking a flight, mostly intercontinental, there is usually a place to state dietary restrictions or preferences. On my last flight, there were over 10 options to choose from – from vegetarian to gluten or dairy free to even kosher! If you choose one of these options, you will get your food first! The best time to request these is at the time of booking but anytime before 24-48 hours before departure works for most airlines. If you wait until you get to the airport, you will be too late.

*disclaimer: although I love the idea of getting my food 5-10 minutes faster, I have not personally tried this one out. I had the option but I couldn’t bring myself to sacrifice meat or carbs..


Here are just a few tips for making the flying process easier. In no time you will be traveling like the seasoned traveler you are about to become!

Summer Plans

I just bought tickets for Japan. And South Korea. And I’m leaving THIS month :O

Image result for pack your bags

This summer I am volunteering at an English immersion summer camp, USA Summer Camp, in JAPAN!! My university has a partnership with Guy Healy, Japan, the summer camp, and they sponsor around 100 college students (20 from my school) every summer to be camp counselors. Minus spending money and a few administrative fees here and there, the camp pays for it all- including airfare to and from Japan (and a bonus trip to South Korea to see my friend)! #score. I am so incredibly thankful for this opportunity.

Guy Healy (second from right) with Caroline Kennedy, the US Ambassador to Japan.

“USA Summer Camp is a unique English camp experience bonding counselors from the United States with campers in Japan. About 100 counselors are selected and invited each summer to Japan to work with campers of all ages and in all parts of Japan.” Camps will consist of nine 3-day camps stretching 6-7 weeks starting early July and ending late August. American Counselors (ACs) will be “friends” who enjoy meals, recreation and free time with their campers. The AC’s responsibility is the campers.” That will be me!

Camps are held in 6 different locations throughout the country. I got my team placement and I am stationed in…

Continue reading

Sojourners and Stairs Part 2

Still hanging on those stairs?

When we finally reached the top of those stairs we saw…


A steeple. But wait, it gets better. We turned around and saw:

20160716_184945 Continue reading