What’s next: UK and Europe

We have had a wonderful summer, bopping around British Columbia and Alberta in Canada, and Washington in the USA. But we are really looking forward to the next leg of our nomadic life, this time overseas. So far, we have booked house sits in the following locations:

  • Melksham, England (5 weeks)
  • Huntingdon, England (2 weeks)
  • Waterford, Ireland (10 days)
  • Stans, Switzerland (1 month)

We are still looking for a sit in Scotland during the first two weeks in November, but since we don’t plan to miss it, we have booked a train ticket to Edinburgh despite the lack of plans. We also have an extra week in Ireland after our house sit ends, so we can spend a bit of time in Dublin and other areas yet to be decided.

We purchased a rail card for £30, which gives us significant discounts on travel. There are different options for discount cards. The best for us was the Two Travel Together card, which only requires the two on the card to travel together. It was a bit tricky ordering the card because you must have a local address to have it delivered to. You can also buy them at several stations, but we only have a short time between our flight landing and our train leaving, so thought it best to have the card in hand. The homeowners of our first house sit helped us out with an address and forwarding.

We’ll talk more about trains and prices as we use them (we have booked 3 train trips so far), but a couple of things we do know:

  • Seat61.com is a fantastic source of information about all things train everywhere in the world.
  • There are several sites where you can purchase train tickets. All trains are listed on all of them, and the prices are the same. One difference, though, is the admin fee. We’ve used thetrainline.com to search up tickets and receive notices of availability, but purchase on virgintrains.co.uk as they do not charge a fee.

All of this takes us up to January 2018. We are determined to spend some time in Italy and Croatia, but beyond that we are not sure where we’ll end up (somewhere in the area marked in red in the header image). We are limited by the Schengen Region visa restrictions so are trying to balance time in Schengen countries (e.g., Italy) with non-Schengen countries (e.g., Croatia).

Schengen Region includes most EU countries, and allows folks from outside of the region to be inside it only 90 days out of 180 days. The day count starts on the first day you set foot in a Schengen Region country (in our case that will be Switzerland on December 6). You can travel in and out of the region, but once you’ve hit a total of 90 days inside, you must get out until the 180 days has passed (for us, June 4).

http://visaservicescanada.ca/countries/schengen.php

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schengen_Area

If you know anyone who might need great house sitters in the following locations, please share the info on our Housesitting page, or let us know in a comment!

  • Scotland: November 1-15
  • Croatia, Italy or non-Schengen countries: January to June 2018

And, please, if you have any advice for us about what to see or do, online resources we should check out, etc., please leave us a comment. We welcome your input.

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