How to Score a Cheap Tuscan Wine Tour-On a Whim!

Everyone knows when you go to Tuscany, you drink wine and lots of it! Read below to find out how to get the best wine tasting, straight from the locals! Follow our lead and you’ll experience the best one, guaranteed 😉

Usually, wine tours and tastings are booked in advance and can range anywhere from €40 to €150 per person, depending on the included services. We, however, decided to take the impromptu route and book one the day-of, while hoping for the best. We thought it would be cool to check out the vineyard that produces the wine we were planning to serve at our wedding, so we called up a Frescobaldi vineyard nearby, Castello di Nipozzano.

We got incredibly lucky! We were told that on Saturday they don’t have tours, but we were more than welcome to stop by the shop and purchase and/or taste any open bottles they might have available! So, we hopped in our rental car and drove 20 minutes to the winery and were blown away with what happened next.

We walked in and were shocked to find the store COMPLETELY EMPTY! I mean, it was a Saturday after all so we thought it would be packed! We introduced ourselves and were told to sit down; next thing we know we were served with wine glasses, then the bottles started coming!

Over the next 2 hours, we chatted with our “guide” and tasted 9 different wines, from the cheapest to most expensive and learned all about the production and differences of the wines. It had turned into a full-on tasting (she even apologized for not having any hors-d’oeuvres available, which we of course were not expecting!)

We ended up leaving with 4 bottles for the remainder of our trip, and even sent 6 bottles back to America!! It was still daylight, so once we left, we walked off the buzz and explored the grounds which is home to a castle as well. It was a perfect evening and was SO much more than we ever thought we would experience!

Moral of the story, Italians love their wine and are proud to share it, so even something as simple as picking out wine from the shop turns into an experience where you are shown the delicious wines. The best part- it cost us $0, if you don’t include the wine we purchased!!!! 😉

OH, and we also found our wedding wine 🙂 Prego!

Be sure to check out the gallery below…And if you’re looking for other things to do in Italy, read this info about Rome.


Read This Before You Book a Budget Airline!

I once found a flight from Copenhagen to London for $16. Yes, $16. “How?” You might ask. Easy; Ryanair, EasyJet and Wizz Air to name a few, are airlines that can get customers to and from various places in Europe for very low costs, it almost seems surreal.

So, what’s the catch? Well, as an American, our version, if that, of “budget airlines” might be Southwest, as it usually is a great value. No cost for bags, relatively spacious seats, comfortable flights, the only restriction is the amount of airports it flies into, and it’s mainly domestic. But, otherwise a very great value for the price paid.

In Europe, totally different story. We bought most of our tickets to and from various cities before we moved to Copenhagen, under the impression that we were getting a great value for all of the flights we were booking! All of our friends who had been to Europe and done the same thing told us it was unbeatable, so we didn’t think twice.

A few things to note about European budget airlines:

  • Prices can be anywhere from $50-$250 roundtrip depending on time, dates, locations, etc.
  • Boarding processes are very different, it is a free-for-all system, so if you want overhead space to put bags in, make sure you are in the front of the boarding line. There are no boarding groups
  • You can pay for speedy boarding, however but you basically are just in the front of the line, you do not get any extra time on the plane to put your items away
  • Some airlines (like EasyJet) limit the number of carry-ons, personal bags, etc. to just one. So make sure you read all the rules on your ticket before you board, they will catch you!
  • They are VERY strict on carry-on size. We once had to and witnessed one flight attendant make each person put their carry-on in the bag measure box. If it didn’t fit by an inch or two, she made people check them
  • The planes are very packed, a lot of people book these cheap flights
  • In addition, seats are not as spacious as most planes (I am an average sized woman and my knees almost touch the seat in front of me)
  • Oh yeah, and often, the seats do NOT recline…
  • There are no complimentary drinks or refreshments–yep you guessed it, not even water
  • The boarding process and safety instructions are very monotone and streamline
  • You often board within 15 minutes of the incoming flight deboarding, and you usually leave a little after your departure time

All in all, budget airlines really are a “you get what you pay for” service. If you are going on a quick flight (<1 hour) these small inconveniences aren’t so bad, but flights longer than that like from Copenhagen to Croatia should probably be weighed with a pro and con list of comfort vs. price…Everyone has a different preference!

What are your thoughts on European budget airlines?

Buza I & Buza II – A Dubrovnik Must-Do

Nestled IN the cliffs of Dubrovnik are two restaurants/cocktail bars, Buza I and Buza II, it only makes sense to make 2 of them, one just isn’t enough. You would never be able to see these from the Old Town, so thank us later 😉

Basically, these little cocktail bars are places where you can sit with a cold drink in tow while having an unobstructed view of the Adriatic… and even make some friends with fellow travelers! It’s pretty hidden away so you have to finagle your way through the Old Town Streets, but once you find the sign “Cold Drinks” (with the appropriate arrow)…. JACKPOT, paradise awaits!



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Oh yeah, and people actually jump from these cliffs, so it’s something everyone watches from the Buza bars!!



Saving Money in Stockholm!


Sightseeing in Europe is really fun, educational, but often pricey. Every city features its own “Pass” or “Card” that you can purchase at the airport, or any tourism center, and it basically grants you access to X attractions for X price.

When deciding on whether to purchase a Card for the city you are in, you need to do a little research. Check out online before you go, where the Card allows you access and what kind of access it allows you. Also, you need to plan realistically what you are interested in visiting, what is feasible in the time you are there, and pricing out those options versus the price of the ticket you are purchasing. Most of the Cards grant you public transportation access, but not always, so be sure to read the small details!

For the Record, Stockholm is definitely a city to purchase their Card! We purchased a 72 hour card for 895SEK (approx. $110USD) per person. Sounds pricey, but once we got there, we didn’t spend another dollar on any attraction, and all of our bus and metro transportation as paid for which definitely made travel much easier! Read more about the Stockholm Card pricing here.

See a few photos of our adventures below:




Just for fun, we documented the price of each attraction we visited as if we had to pay it. We wanted to see how far our money went! See our findings below:

Attraction Price(SEK) per person
Royal Palace 150
Royal Treasury 150
Armory 100
Nobel Museum 100
Vasamusseet 130
Spirit Museum 100
Drottingholm 120
Aquarium 120
Skansen Open Air Museum 130
Canal Tour 185
City Hall 130
Coronation Cathedral 40

Overall, we saved 520SEK, approximately $65USD each, AND this is not including the amount we would have paid for transportation, which we estimated to be about $60USD for both of us. All in all, we saved about $95USD per person, we were thrilled!!

Now, if you’re going to visit Stockholm and want to use the Stockholm Card, visit before December 31, 2015–after this day the card will be discontinued–I guess it was discovered what a great deal it was!! Ha 🙂


Bryggen, Bergen – Don’t get a parking ticket!


While visiting Bryggen, Bergen, Norway, we parked our car in this beautiful little side street where we thought we had access to street parking….problem is the sign was very unclear and resulted in us getting a parking ticket. No big deal we thought, so we put it away and opted to pay online once we got back to Denmark (this is a very common way to pay tickets in the States). Mind you, we left our car for approximately 20 minutes, we only walked around the block! (photos of Bryggen attached)!

Back in Denmark, we went to pay our ticket online only to find out this is not possible, at all. There are 2 options: 1) Pay via wire transfer or 2) Dispute the fine. We, of course, just wanted to pay the 300kr (approx. 35USD) and move on, it was not enough to stress about.

So, we attempted to wire money through our bank, but had no luck as there is a $50 transfer minimum and another $40 fee to do so. Then we noticed the account numbers on the ticket are for the Norwegian bank, DNB, but when we went to a branch here in Copenhagen we were told these only exist in Norway. Also, we tried Forex (similar to Western Union) and also had no luck due to the type of account it is. With these option nixed, we got creative and were starting to become desperate, we were afraid we would have to go back to Norway to pay the ticket (at least it’s not far from Denmark!).

Then, we discovered TransferWise. We discovered that you can easily transfer funds directly from your bank to the account you wish to send the funds to, there are no minimums and the fees are minuscule! We tried it, and it worked! We transferred our $35 and paid under a $5 fee! We were ecstatic!!!

TransferWise saved the day! If you ever find yourself in a similar predicament or need to transfer funds for personal matters anywhere across the globe, just download their app or go to their website to wire the funds. It is so easy and will relieve the stress! 🙂

More photos of Bryggen below…. 😉

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