Note: This is not a travel guide on how you can plan your own European Honeymoon trip, simply our personal experience of how we did it. You can read our Europe Travel guides on our travel blog, Two Monkeys Travel Group.
18 Countries in 1 month? Are you on an Amazing Race?
No, we were not on an Amazing Race, but sadly three days before our scheduled date to leave London I received my Philippines passport with only a 1-month Schengen visa (after three weeks of waiting). We already knew that it would be hard for me to get a Schengen visa since the regulations state that I should apply in my home country (Philippines) or any country where I have residency. I'm currently in the UK on a 6-month marriage visa - a visit visa which also permits marriage in the United Kingdom but does not entitle me to residency. I couldn't apply for my Schengen visa in London until after my wedding day because one of the requirements was a marriage certificate (otherwise, I would have to go back to the Philippines and get it there!).
Extra Note: If you're a new reader, here's a brief backstory - Jonathan and I met while backpacking in Asia in 2013 then ended up traveling around the world together. We've been pretty nomadic since then, visiting over 60 countries / five continents and have called Vietnam, Peru, Costa Rica and Colombia our homes. But last June 2016, we finally decided to return to the UK to get married! Why the UK? It's easier for all the documentation (marriage license, passport name change, NSO registration at the Embassy etc.) and it would be a lot cheaper for us than getting married in the Philippines where I would have to invite a lot of people!
You can also read my visa experiences here on how I managed to do it especially for countries which requires visa for my Philippines passport. Please also note that I've never been back to the Philippines since I started my around the world trip and most of my visa were applied abroad including the Schengen visa, UK Visa and USA tourist visa.
We were disappointed at the news of the 1-month Schengen visa and there were a lot of countries we were supposed to visit which we canceled, including a three-day trip to Russia. Even so, we still feel lucky that The Netherlands Embassy accepted my visa application because most of the Embassies didn't want to, according to the Schengen rules. Sometimes it's tough to travel with my Philippines passport, but I'm still proud to have it! You can also read our guide here on how you can get Schengen visa in Manila.
There will be more opportunities in the future, so instead of being sad about it, I'm still happy that we were able to make our dream European train trip a reality.
Where did we go?
A few months before we returned to the UK for our wedding, we had already started planning our 90-day European Honeymoon trip, but sadly we had to change the route.
It's quite rush compared to our previous travels, but we spent a couple of days in some cities and only day trips to some of them! We spent a week in Iceland, four days in Paris, three days in Amsterdam and even celebrated Jonathan's birthday in Berlin, Germany. Below was our travel route:
London, United Kingdom—> Brussels, Belgium —> Luxembourg —> Paris, France—> Amsterdam, The Netherlands —> Copenhagen, Denmark —> Malmo, Sweden —> Berlin, Germany —> Warsaw, Poland —> Budapest, Czech Republic —> Bratislava, Slovakia —> Prague, Czech Republic—> Zurich, Switzerland —> Liechtenstein —> Milan, Rome and Civitavecchia, Italy —> Vatican City --> Barcelona, Spain —> Iceland
How did we do it?
We traveled by Eurail/ Interrail Train with a Global pass, meaning we could go anywhere we wanted and took overnight sleeper trains to save time and money moving from one city to another city! Here’s how you also can plan your Eurail / Interrail Trip! We only flew thrice: our last minute flight from Barcelona to Paris then our flight from Paris to Iceland and back to London.
Below was our train schedule which started after we visited Belgium, Luxembourg and Paris.
PS Interrail is only for Europeans while Eurail is for other nationalities including me as a Filipino citizen (Philippines passport).
Where did we stay?
It's a Honeymoon trip, so we already planned in advance to stay in different luxury hotels and apartments instead of backpackers hostels. Here's the list of those hotels where we stayed!
How much money did we spend?
As I told you on my Monthly Income Report, I’d be honest and open when it comes to finances related to this blog. With our travel blogging profession, we're able to partner with different brands and tourism boards to work on online promotional campaigns by paying us our per diem rate or exchange deals agreement.
Eurail/ Interrail company covered our train tickets; they gave us the First Class Global Pass Ticket valid for two months. We only had to pay for seat reservations and overnight bed which ended up costing us around 400 Euros total for both of us!
Some of the tours and activities that we did were covered by our travel partners (GetYourGuide and Tinggly) which included our Snorkeling in Silfra Fissure in Iceland, Romantic Dinners in Danube River and even a VIP treatment at the Eiffel Tower. Our car hire in Iceland was sponsored by Guide to Iceland while Wow Air Airlines, the low-fare & high-performance airline based in Iceland, covered our flight tickets from/to Iceland.
For the accommodations, most of our Hotel stays were sponsored (given to us complimentary) by different properties (you’ll find them on the list here), they are among the top and best-reviewed in each City where we visited. We spent most of our budget on our food, drinks, some entrance fees for other attractions and even unexpected trips (like our 400 Euro ferry journey from Rome, Italy to Barcelona, Spain).
The total amount of money that we spent on that European Honeymoon trip was around 2000 Euros! Excluding the value of all the exchange deals (flights, trains, hotels and tours) which I think would equal to over 10,000 Euros (most of the hotels where we stayed are 5-star rated luxury properties and our train tickets were First Class!).
PS I keep mentioning that those complimentary services and stays that we got were exchange deals and not free because we also did a lot of work in return. Here's my guide on how you can become a professional travel blogger.
Any plans of going to Europe for your Honeymoon? Comment below with your tips, suggestions and questions!
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