Recently, something big happened in my life. I GOT MARRIED!
And as one does when they get married (if they’re lucky enough), I went on a honeymoon. Now as a traveler I have one major requirement, and that’s food. The food better be good or I’m not going. It’s not so much a law or an axiom but it’s pretty damn close. To me, happiness means trying new delicious foods so I’m not about to take off work and shell out the big bucks if I can’t stuff my face with delicious meats and cheeses along the way.
Luckily, Mrs. Unmanly Chef gets me. I mean she really does, I’ve never met someone so in tune with my brain waves. That’s probably why I married her. So when we were brainstorming honeymoon ideas, we both agreed on Italy. For a few reasons:
1- It’s got a ton to do and see
2 – The food is ridiculous
3- See notes 1 & 2.
So once we had a plan, instead of trying to make it all come together ourselves and shopping the best prices we used a service called, Unforgettable Honeymoons, which is basically a travel agency. After this trip, I realize why people used to use travel agents, because when you have a good one everything is so easy and stress free! Now despite the name, Unforgettable Honeymoons also books all sorts of other trips for you. But all we did was gave them the cities we wanted to see and they took care of literally everything else. That included the trains, the planes, and the automobiles! Not to mention they booked all of our hotels for us. So you’re probably thinking to yourself, “must be nice moneybags!” , but in actuality this costed cheaper than anything we could’ve planned and booked on our own. How do I know this? Because Mrs. Unmanly Chef ran the numbers and did the leg work, and damn it if we weren’t getting a good deal.
So first moral of this story is, if you’re planning a multi-leg tour of a country a solid travel agent can make your life SO much easier.
Now after we got married we gave ourselves one day to get ready for the long trip and off we went. But I’ll let you in on another secret, Mrs. Unmanly Chef being the traveling savant that she is, devised a plan so genius that even Mr. Benny Franklin would’ve been proud. Her idea? No checked bags. But you’re saying to yourself, “Mr. Unmanly Chef YOU’RE NUTS! Traveling for over two weeks without any checked bags? It can’t be done!” Well my friends, I’m here to say that yes, yes it can be done. *Drops the Mic*
*Picks Mic Back Up & Tests for Sound*
How did we pull off not taking a checked piece of luggage? Simple, I cried in a corner until it was taken care of for me by Mrs. Unmanly Chef. Sike, but I did need some hand holding and convincing that we could make it without a checked piece of luggage. Our secret weapon was the Aeronaut 30 by Tom Bihn.
These travel bags are unreal, you can fit so much into them through their fancy portable compartments. Basically you pack all your clothes into 5 different sized compartments and everything fits. It was awesome. The other trick was duh, packing light. Despite going through 2 different climate zones we were able to pack enough clothes to satisfy the weather gods. The trick? Packing clothes that can be layered or worn a few times. The other trick is, just hand wash some of your clothes in your hotel room and let them dry, I did that in each city and it was a huge help. That way you don’t have to worry about your clothes being smelly and you don’t have any dirty laundry on the way home!
Not having any checked bags was like having a super power while we traveled. We were so mobile, we didn’t have to wait in any lines, if we got delayed it didn’t matter because all we needed was our carry-on. This made traveling so much easier that by the end of the trip we both swore to ourselves that we would never check luggage ever again. And if you think I didn’t have space for souvenirs, you’d be wrong. SO WRONG. *Sorry Mr. Wallet*
So second moral of this story is by packing light and having faith in your plan that you don’t need to check any luggage.
With our gigantic lack of luggage we made our way to our gate, at which time we both remembered what someone wrote on one of the advice cards at our wedding:
Ask for an upgrade and tell them you’re on your honeymoon.
With those fateful words we made our way to terminal desk and asked the not so amused lady behind the counter if we could upgrade to first class, because why not? In the most German way possible she was said, “that is not possible.”
Sooooo awkward moment, we then asked what upgrades were available and business class was available to us plebes from the nether regions of the socio-economic class structure (at least in their eyes).
The price was expensive, but not so expensive that it was prohibitive. At that moment we had a meeting of the minds, Mrs. Unmanly Chef and I decided that you only go on your honeymoon once. So why not splurge on this one thing that will make the flight to your honeymoon just as memorable as anything else on the flight. And with that logic, we were in business class people.
And let me tell you, oh boy was it worth it! So business class might as well be first class, you can lie down, you get live TV, AND you get warm towels. I was like a pig in filth I was so happy.
So third and final moral of this story is, if financially possible don’t be afraid to upgrade yourself, you only live once.
That concludes this part of the story. Next time, we’ll discuss interesting flight food choices and touching down in Venice for part 1 of our Italian journey.