Europe 2016 Part 2: Edinburgh

Sorry we didn’t get this post up sooner like we had planned!  With the end of summer, things got pretty busy for us.  Better late than never though!  Now let’s move on to Edinburgh!

Here are our favorite things that we did in Edinburgh that we would recommend:

  • Afternoon Tea: In Edinburgh there are several options to go to for afternoon tea.  It’s definitely a fun experience to get dressed up and enjoy some tea and yummy pastries.  We looked at options online before our trip and made our reservation in advance.
  • Self-guided Harry Potter tour:  If you are a Harry Potter fan, there are several “Harry Potter” locations to go to in Edinburgh.  J. K. Rowling wrote the first few books in Edinburgh and got her inspiration  some places and characters from this city.  We recommend planning your tour beforehand so you know exactly where you’re going and don’t miss any of the places.
  • Edinburgh Castle: This is definitely one of the must see attractions that Edinburgh is known for.  There’s a lot of history to be seen here.  Plus, you get some great views of the city without much of a hike.
  • Underground haunted tour:  Edinburgh is also known to haunted and there are several options for different ghost/underground/haunted tours that range in their level of scariness.  We went on one during the day since Rachel gets scared easily.  Our tour was of the underground tunnels and even though it was during the day, it was still a bit scary.  You also learn some of the city’s history on these tours as well.

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Our tips and tricks:

  • Stay in a bed and breakfast: We decided to stay in a bed and breakfast while here because we thought it would be fun.  We loved our time at the bed and breakfast we stayed at! The owners were very helpful and friendly. They can help you with what to do, reservations, taxis, etc.  It was also nice staying in a bed and breakfast because you get a big breakfast every day that is included and we also felt very safe here.
  • Download the Transport for Edinburgh app:This app allows you to figure out busing times, routes, and bus numbers.  Buses are the main way to get around in Edinburgh as far as transportation goes.  The busing system with this app was easy to figure out and use.
  • Be prepared for the weather:  Definitely have an umbrella with you when you’re out and about because even if there isn’t a chance of rain, it can potentially rain.  We also suggest to think about layers when packing for Edinburgh.  The weather is on the cooler side in the summer and can throughout the day.


We absolutely loved Edinburgh and wish we would have had more time there!  It’s such a beautiful city with plenty to do.  We would definitely love to go back if we ever have the chance!

-Michelle & Rachel

Packing Fashionably & Efficiently For A Trip Abroad!

Coming up I have a 15 day study aboard trip where I will be going to Spain and France. One of the biggest stresses of going abroad can be packing for your trip.  However, this is my 6th time going abroad so I have picked up some tips & tricks to make it as easy as possible!


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Since I am only going to be going for 15 days, I am bringing a large suitcase to check, my Vera Bradley Weekender for my carry-on, and my Longchamp bag for my personal item to keep under the seat ahead of me. Depending on how long you are going, you might be able to get by with a little less or you might have to bring another suitcase. I definitely could get by with bringing a smaller suitcase to check.  However, I want to make sure I have room to buy things while I am abroad.

When it comes to purchasing a suitcase, I encourage you to buy one in person so you can “test it out” and see if you like it. When buying a suitcase, make sure you have an idea of the size you are looking for. This is especially important if you are buying a carry-on suitcase since there are size restrictions.  I got mine at TJ Maxx and it’s a Swiss Gear suitcase. TJ Maxx is a great place to get a suitcase because they have some great brands at a discounted price. I don’t think it’s worth it to get expensive suitcases when it comes to checked bags since sometimes they can get beat up when getting loaded/unloaded.

When it comes to what style of bag you get, it’s up to you! I like the fabric suitcases over hard cases because I feel like I can’t fit as much into the hard cases. I also prefer the four wheel suitcases. I think it makes it easier to get around the airport with them. Make sure when you are looking at suitcases to check out the wheel and see if they all roll properly.

Important Must Haves


When you decide to go abroad make sure the first thing you do is GET A PASSPORT! If you already have a passport make sure you check the expiration date to see if it will be good throughout your trip. While abroad you will usually have your passport on you at all times. Because of this, I like to have a cute passport holder. I use to have a cheap one from Target but just upgraded to a Kate Spade one thanks to my mom! You don’t have to get a passport holder. I just think it makes it easier to keep track of your passport by adding some color to it.

Another important thing to know when going abroad is what type of currency do they use. Since I am going to Spain and France I had to get Euros to bring along. I suggest getting some before you leave at a bank.  However you can also exchange money to the correct currency when you get there. Make sure to call your debit/credit card company before leaving and let them know how long you will be gone, along with what countries you are planning on going to. If you don’t do this the debit/credit card company might think that your card is stolen and shut off your card making it so you can’t use it. It is also suggested to bring a copy of your passport with you in case you lose yours to help with the process of getting a new one abroad. I also think it doesn’t hurt to leave one back home with someone as well. I also like to bring with me a copy of my itinerary if you have one, along with all of the hotels you are staying at  with phone numbers and addresses.

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