Tip and Tricks that Rome Has Taught Me

Tip and Tricks that Rome Has Taught Me

Just in case you're thinking about traveling!

After traveling in Rome and other parts of Italy and Europe for nearly six weeks, I thought it would be wise to share some of what I have learned while overseas. Here are some tips and tricks for traveling in Rome!

1. Pack an umbrella and a rain jacket.

Not only will an umbrella be useful for when it rains, but it will also bring some shade on those blazing hot summer days! Very useful, make sure to keep it with you!

2. Have some sunscreen and aloe.

It gets hot while you're here in the summer, and so wearing clothes that keep you cool are usually going to cover less skin. Therefore, sunscreen is important! And if you do end up burning, aloe is quite lovely to have on hand!

3. Phrase book.

Unless you've really studied Italian and can speak fluent sentences, having a pocket-sized phrase book can really come in handy! And if you don't want to spend the money on a book, at least do a little bit of research and know how to say common words and phrases. Good ones to know would be "Hello," 'Thank you," "Excuse me," "Where is the bathroom?" etc. This goes for anywhere else you might be traveling so you aren't totally lost.

4. Comfortable shoes.

Okay, this is so important. With the amount of walking you'll be doing, wearing shoes that aren't comfy isn't even logical. So make sure you pack comfy shoes! Your feet will thank you at the end of a long day!

5. Prepare for a lot of walking.

With the "comfy shoes" thing already being said, you need to prepare yourself for the amount of walking and stairs that you'll be taking, especially if you aren't doing much of it at home. Just go on some walks every day and take the stairs instead of the elevator. The little things can really make a difference!

6. Have your knees and shoulders covered when you visit churches.

As most of you know, there are churches all over Italy, especially Rome. Heck, Vatican City is the home of the pope! Many times, you won't be let into a church if your knees and shoulders aren't covered. Ladies, this means bringing a scarf or sweater if you're going to be wearing something that will be revealing, and guys, this usually means wearing pants.

7. Have your travel adapters.

Make sure you have your travel adapter with you for your plugs and outlets! From my experience, I haven't needed to use a voltage converter on anything unless I needed to use a hair straightener or hair dryer!

8. Supermarkets are awesome.

Supermarkets are the best, especially if you're traveling on a budget! Fresh fruit and cheap food is always a good way to go so if you find one, it's always nice to take advantage of one!

9. Stay hydrated.

This is extremely important! Especially if you're traveling in the summer months! One great thing about Rome is that they have free fountains all over the city that you can refill your water bottles from! It's awesome! Also, if you're not hydrated you just don't feel very well, and we don't want that, do we?

10. Exchange rates and fees with cards.

Make sure to pay attention to the exchange rates and the different fees associated with your debit/credit cards. If you remember this, you'll be less likely to maybe overdraw your bank account or be in shock when you see how much money has been withdrawn.

11. Call your bank before you leave.

Remember to call your bank before you leave home to put a travel notification on your account. This is to remind the bank that you're the one that's in Europe and your card isn't stolen. Also, make sure to tell them everywhere you're going, even if there's a random layover that's not in the United States. It's important that they know every place that you are traveling!

12. Validate your passes.

Make sure that you validate your train or bus passes before you go on a trip somewhere, because if you don't, it usually entails a 50 euro fine and that's money you could be spending on gelato.

13. If you're questioning whether to get gelato, the answer is always yes.

C'mon, this is totally obvious. You're in Italy and you can never miss out on a chance to indulge! Plus, it's always fun to compare flavors from different shops and see which one is the best!

14. No tipping, and no splitting bills.

Keep this in mind, because it's something that's definitely out of the ordinary. There is no tipping in Europe, and they don't split the bill when you eat as a group, so be prepared to cover the cost of what you eat!

15. There aren't really any condiments, or salad dressings either (I know, bummer).

This could be a crisis if you're the kind of person who smothers ranch dressing all over everything, but unfortunately for those of you who do that, the salad dressing used here is olive oil and vinegar! Don't be afraid to try it though, it's pretty good! And if you want condiments, they usually cost extra.

16. Public transport: convenient, but can be uncomfortable.

I'm definitely not a city girl, so being shoved on a bus or metro with tons of other strangers was definitely not my thing at first. Just be alert, keep one hand on your bag and watch for pickpockets.The ride will be over soon enough. But public transportation is a quick and easy way to get around the city!

17. Siesta.

Between the hours of 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., small shops, stores, and restaurants take a siesta and close down. So keep this in mind when you go out for the day. It usually doesn't happen in the bigger parts of the city, just in small quiet areas!

18. Don't be afraid to get lost.

This is one of the best things Rome could've taught me. It's OK to wander around the city and find something new every day. It's all part of the experience. Plus, you're usually never too far from the metro or a bus stop so you can always find your way back home!

Cover Image Credit: Wikipedia

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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Day Four In Italy: Florence

This is the day we learned the history of everything


Waking up bright and early we first took the tour bus to the country side of Florence where we visited a medieval town full of shops that lined a beautiful countryside.

CountrysideBrooke Burney

We spent about three hours here just looking around, buying things, and taking pictures. Once the three hours were up, we went to a winery where they explained how they made wine with the grapes in their vineyard.

In the vineyardBrooke Burney

After the tour, they fed us lunch with some of their wine. Then, after we ate, we passed through their wine shop and took the bus back to the Piazza della Signoria. On the way back, our tour guide was telling us about Michelangelo and his time creating the Statue of David. We had to stand in a line for about thirty minutes but when our time came, we were thrilled. We entered and saw artwork from many different artists. However, Michelangelo had a hallway of his own that was mostly filled with unfinished sculptures of statues with David being at the very end.

Statue of DavidBrooke Burney

After the tour of the art museum, our tour guide took us to the square where the churches were and gave us a history lesson on them. He gave us a background on the pictures that were painted on the doors and what they represent.

Brooke Burney

After this tour, we went back to our hotel where we were able to go eat dinner. My friends and I went back to the small square we first went to and ate in a small pizza joint.

Italian pizzaBrooke Burney

If you ever go to Europe, keep in mind that they have a hard time splitting orders. As we were sitting at this table, we asked for separate checks but they made us pay separately on a single check, which was kind of funny watching three American girls pick through their euros.

After dinner, we went back to our hotel to pack for the next day. To the train station, then Pompeii!

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