My North America Itinerary & Goals


The final countdown is officially on and I'm going on my first ever trip to North America in just over two weeks!

As you can imagine I'm extremely excited and I'm also very busy during this time - February has been the busiest month for me. I flew to Auckland twice, spent a week in Tauranga and my best friend is coming to stay for a week soon.

We only received our shipping container full of household stuff at the end of January, so we still haven't fully unpacked yet or completed setting up our new place.

All of this while organising my big trip and searching for work in each place has unfortunately left writing for my blog in the backseat.

But I thought I could at least update you a bit before I go away and tell you what I have coming up for my next big travel adventures, including goals for each place.

Here is a map of everywhere I'm going to over the space of four weeks in March and April:


Itinerary


• Thursday 8 - Sunday 11 March (4 nights)

Los Angeles, California 


On the Agenda:

- Disneyland!
- We Love LA full day tour
- Museum of Art
- Farmers Market
- Soak up Cali vibes
- Try all those iconic American food places (Shake Shack, Taco Bell, Cinnabon etc.)


Goals:

- Get a photo with the Hollywood sign
- Walk the Hollywood Walk of Fame
- Visit Venice Beach and Santa Monica Pier
- Have a blast at Disneyland



• Monday 12 - Thursday 15 March (4 nights):

Las Vegas, Nevada 


On the Agenda:

- Grand Canyon day trip
- Cirque du Soleil show
- Hike in the Valley of Fire (with Outdoor Travel Tours)
- Visit Hard Rock Cafe
- Las Vegas food tour (with Taste Tours)


Goals:

- Gamle in Las Vegas!
- See the Bellagio fountain show
- Get a photo with the LV sign 
- Helicopter over the Grand Canyon
- See a show in Vegas



• Friday 16 - Monday 19 March (4 nights): 

Chicago, Illinois 


On the Agenda:

- St Patrick's Day celebrations
- Pizza tour
- River skyline tour
- Walking city tour


Goals:

- Get a photo with the Bean
- See the green river on Paddy's Day
- See the amazing skyline from the river
- Eat aaaall the pizza



• Tuesday 20 - Saturday 24 March (5 nights)

Ottawa, Ontario 


On the Agenda:

- Stay with friends
- Visit Parliament Hill
- Museum of History
- Parc Omega
- Stay for the weekend in Quebec City (unconfirmed)


Goals:

- See Canadian animals
- Stuff yourself silly with poutine and maple syrup
- See snow?
- Learn some Canadian history



• Sunday 25 - Friday 30 March (6 nights)

New York City, New York 


On the Agenda:

- Central Park
- Top of the Rock
- Full day NYC tour with New York Tour 1
- Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Play Parts 1 & 2 (woohoo!)
- Empire State Building
- Times Square
- One World Trade Center
- Statue of Liberty
- Ice skating at Rockefeller Center
- Greenwich food tour
- Metropolitan Museum of Art
- Brooklyn Bridge
- Gossip Girl tour
- Natural History Museum


Goals:

- Do all of the above
- Get some amazing photos
- See Harry Potter on Broadway!
- Eat NY pizza and hotdogs
- Master the subway
- Visit iconic sights from Home Alone, GG, Friends etc.



• Saturday 31 - Wednesday 4 April (4 nights):

Orlando, Florida


On the Agenda:

- Universal Studios Florida
- Drinking cocktails by the pool


Goals:

- Have a blast at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
- Drink Butterbeer!
- Go on the Incredible Hulk rollercoaster
- Relax before your long flight home


I am flying home via Houston, Texas where I have an 8-hour layover, so I'm not quite sure yet if it's worth venturing out or if I will just stay put in the airport and catch up on some work.

At that is basically my trip in a nutshell! I know it's a lot of places jam-packed into four weeks but I really wanted to make the most of my first time there and tick off everywhere that I've dreamed about for so many years.

It should be an absolutely amazing trip. Two countries, nine states (ten if I pop over to New Jersey), nine flights in total, two buses and 7 jobs lined up (so far).

Pin it :)

Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoyed a little glimpse into my trip.
Please let me know in the comments if you have any advice for me at all and any recommendations for things to do and best places to eat if you have them for anywhere I'm going to! I would really appreciate it.

If I have time I am hoping to write up a packing list like the one I wrote for Southeast Asia. Packing this time will be a bit trickier as I'm going to places where it could be still very cold on the tail-end of winter (Chicago, Ottawa, New York) and places where it will be a lot warmer (Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Florida). I like to travel super light so layering will be key!

As always I will also be making travel vlogs over on my YouTube channel and posting plenty of photos on my Instagram, so follow along if you would like to keep up.

Stay tuned for plenty of North America blog posts too!

Happy Travels,

*This post contains images that are not my own.

Best of Rome: Three Day Itinerary


Aah, Rome. The Eternal City is one of my all-time favourite places to visit in Europe.
It is bursting with astounding history, incredible art, the world's best pasta and gelato to indulge in, Baroque churches, infamous landmarks and fabulous shopping.
After more than 2000 years in existence, there is enough to explore to keep you busy for years, but if you only have a few days to explore Rome- here is a three full-day itinerary which is perfect for a first-time visitor. 
Of course, do customise it how you like, these are simply top places to visit in central Rome with some insider tips to help make the most of your time there.


Day One

8.00 am Start your day the Italian way and have a standing espresso and a small pastry to fuel up for a big day ahead. (You are charged for 'table service' if you choose to sit down).

8:30 am Begin your epic Roman adventure with a visit to the must-see Colosseum.
(It opens at 8:30 am but do arrive earlier if you don't have a skip the line ticket or especially in the Summer months to beat the queues). Marvel at the largest amphitheatre of the Roman Empire with its bloody history beginning in 80 AD.


Top TipI highly suggest buying your tickets in advance. For 12  you can purchase a double ticket valid for two days that allows for one entrance to each one of the two sites Colosseum and Forum/Palatine hill. For more information on how to buy tickets visit: here.

11:00 am Once you've taken your time inside head back out to see the Arch of Constantine and walk around the entire Colosseum to get those winning shots.

Top Tip: Near the Colosseo metro station is a free water refill station which has a sparkling water option! Also, do try to make time to see the Colosseum again at night- it's all lit up and looks stunning.

12:00 pm Only a five-minute walk from the Colosseum is a great little Trattoria called Luzzi. It's a perfect place for both lunch and dinner (I've been for both multiple times).
I highly recommend the lasagne, Caprese salad, pizzas and the inexpensive chiantis of red wine.


Top Tip: If you decide to have dinner at Luzzi, do arrive early as it's so popular the lines are usually down the street and the lasagne tends to sell out fast.

1:00 pm Take your time to wander Via dei Fori Imperiali- the road leading from the Colosseum to Altare della Patria and admire Trajan's Column along the way.



Head to the top of Altare della Patria for amazing panoramic views over the city.
It's free at the first point (where the photo taken below was) or pay 7 € to take the elevator to the very top for even better views.


2:00 pm  Spend the rest of the afternoon strolling amongst the incredible ruins of the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. See remnants from Imperial and Ancient Rome that dates all the way back to 500 BC.


4:00 pm By now I'm sure you are exhausted after a long day of walking and exploring! It could be a good time to head back to the area in which you are staying for a rest or to find a nice place for an aperitivo before a well-deserved pizza or pasta dinner.

Top Tip: When choosing a restaurant, I recommend taking advantage of local knowledge. Ask the reception or people from where you are staying for their favourite places for example. Try to avoid places that have pictures of food on their menus and are in major touristy areas. They will be overpriced and not as good quality as getting more off the beaten track.

Today's map with pinpoints from left to right: Altare della Patria, Roman Forum, Colosseum, Luzzi.

Day Two

8:00 am Spend the morning in the world's smallest country! Do a morning half day Vatican City tour either with a group such as Viator or if you would rather go through yourself I would still highly recommend buying in advance skip-the-line tickets. Lines can be up to two hours long so it is worth the money to save your time and sanity in my opinion! Check this link for more information: here. Enjoy St. Peter's Basilica and Michelangelo's incredible Sistine Chapel.

Top Tip: It is closed on Sundays and make sure your shoulders and knees are covered or you could be turned away.



12:00 pm Cross the scenic River Tiber over one of the many beautiful bridges and make your way towards Centro Storico.


Have a bite to eat and a rest from the busy morning before getting lost in the countless streets and alleyways where you’ll find churches with Baroque art, boutiques selling everything from carved wooden figurines to jewellery, private courtyards where the wealthiest Romans live and plenty of enticing cafés and restaurants.


3:00 pm If you're up to walking a bit further head to the Pantheon, a former Roman temple and admire the architectural marvel from outside and in.



3:30 pm Reward yourself for a day well-spent at one of the most famous gelaterias in Rome- Giolotti, only a four-minute walk from the Pantheon. It is always packed no matter what time of the day or year but it's worth the wait with over 100 delicious flavours to choose from.


Top Tip: Another excellent gelateria is called Fatamorgana, which you can find at different locations all over the city.

4:00 pm Knackered yet? Find a nice spot with happy hour specials or head back to your accommodation to rest before carb-loading on pasta before your final action-packed day!

Today's map with pinpoints from left to right: Vatican City, the start of Centro Storico, Pantheon, Giolotti.

Day Three

8:30 am Begin your day by tossing a coin in the Baroque masterpiece Trevi Fountain, bright and early to avoid the crowds. (If you get a chance to visit at night, it is beautifully lit up as well). Legend has it that anyone who throws a coin in the fountain will return to Rome.



Top Tip: Not far from the fountain is Enoteca where you can enjoy free limoncello tastings of all sorts of delightful flavours.

9:00 am If you fancy a spot of shopping most of the best stores are concentrated around Via del Corso near the Spanish Steps. Work your way up the street on your way there. If you're looking for (or just interested in browsing) high-end fashion, you'll want to hit up Via dei Condotti. Here you'll find high-end fashion brands like Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Gucci, Prada and various others. For smaller brands, check out streets such as Via Frattina and Via del Babuino for the best boutiques.

11:00 am Head to the Spanish Steps (Piazza di Spagna) and climb the famous steps leading to the Trinita dei Monti church to admire the piazza and Bernini’s ship-shaped fountain from above. It's also a great place to kick back with a beer in the late afternoons and people-watch.



11:30 am Literally a two-minute walk away from the steps is where you can find the best tiramisu in Rome at Pompi. It is an absolute must-try and also a great place to have lunch if you can find a table available! Otherwise, you can always eat on the Spanish Steps. (There is also gelato and many other delightful cakes and treats to choose from).


1:00 pm After lunch and a twenty-minute stroll (to help burn it off) from the Spanish Steps is Galleria Borghese. Nowhere in Rome or maybe even the world will you find such a magnificent collection of Baroque art. Tickets must be reserved in advance for slotted times. Prices start from 15 € for a two-hour slot from 1-3 pm for example. Check here for more information.


Top Tip: It is closed on Mondays and there is free wifi available.

3:00 pm I daresay your legs must be tired by now. Time for a pick-me-up espresso or to head back to the hotel for a small rest and pack your things for your next destination. Why not book in advance one of Rome's best restaurants for your final night? You can check them out here. Enjoy your final evening, have a red wine, some more delightful Italian cuisine and a mandatory daily gelato.

Today's map from bottom to top: Trevi Fountain, Via del Corso, Spanish Steps, Pompi, Galleria Borghese.

It's going to be an action-packed three days, but undoubtedly very enjoyable.
If you can stay for longer I would really recommend it as there is so much more to do than just the highlights I have mentioned. Do leave me a comment if you have anything else you would add!

Happy Travels,
Pin it! :)




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