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What Have I Forgotten? Month in Europe Coming Up.

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I've got a bad case of the pre-vacation anxiety. We fly in 6 weeks and all the important reservations are made and tickets are bought, so my mind is wandering into territories like "what have I forgotten?" I know there are people here who enjoy critiquing and offering advice, so...

It goes like this. We fly to London where we will be picked up by friends who will take us to Portsmouth. We will spend 2 nights with them getting acclimated.

Then we take a train to Paris. I haven't made any reservations for this, yet, but it looks like I can so I probably will do so within the next week or two. We have an apartment rented in Paris and will be there 5 nights. We have no agenda for this time, just wander and soak up the atmosphere.

At the end of the Paris stay we will rent a car and drive towards Ehrwald, Austria. We'll have the car for the next 17 days. We will have 1 night on the road, probably around Stuttgart. I haven't made any reservation for this night, and am inclined to wait and find someplace as we're traveling. We get to Ehrwald, where we have an apartment rented, the next day and will be there for 4 nights. I want to take my wife to a couple castles, and we will be there for the summer solstice when they have the bonfires on the mountains. Maybe some age-appropriate hiking while we're here, and of course a lift up the Zuggspitze. Nothing else planned.

After Ehrwald, we drive to Florence. We have an apartment rented in Florence and will be there 4 nights. No agenda here. Much like Paris, we want to wander and soak it in. Both our place in Paris and Florence have balconies so we're looking forward to a bottle wine and etc. :)

After Florence, we drive towards Cap d'Agde, France. We have 1 night on the road, probably stopping around Sanremo, Italy before driving on to Cap d'Agde the next day. We stay here the longest, but we are beach people so there will be lots of that. Also might make a day trip to Spain and visit the hometown Dali museum. We have a beach condo rented in Cap d'Agde and will be there 7 nights.

After the beach, we drive to Montepellier, turn the car in, and fly to London. We already have our flight reservations for this. We have an apartment in London and will be there 3 nights. No agenda for London, see Paris and Florence.

At that point, it's vacation over. Get on a plane and fly home.

So anyway, in addition to buying our air tickets for the flight over plus the flight from Montpellier and securing 5 vacation rentals, I have secured an International Driving Permit, replaced all our credit cards with chipped versions, verified that a couple cards don't have transfer fees and verified that at least one of those cards will provide rental car insurance. We've also let our card and personal banks know we'll be traveling.

I haven't reserved the car, yet. Because I'm returning the car to the same country, the one way fee isn't too bad. I've read 'stuff' on the internet about European car renting, and think I'm prepared. Any opinions about Sixt?

As I mentioned earlier, I haven't reserved our rail transportation to Paris. Any opinions about how we should make that segment?

For communications, I'm going to add a month-worth of international to our AT&T iPhones. Unlimited texting and $1/minute for voice when you really want that. I've also got a cellular capable iPad and will buy a local SIM for it so I can a GPS for driving parts of the trip. I know WiFi is widely available, so we'll both make sure we have (and know how to use) Skype and the like.

I've got spreadsheets with all the info about all our reservations and figure I'll probably print a copy before we go. Should I get photocopies of our passports also? On paper or as images on our phones or both?

Finally, because I'm really serious about this vacation which, for want of a better description is probably a "once in a lifetime" thing, I've been taking French lessons since January and am confident that I can converse with waiters and shopkeepers and the like.

So, what have I forgotten? Give me something to do for the next 6 weeks!

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