For the past few years my Husband and I have made yearly International trips. I have to admit, this freedom will be immensely missed when we have a kid. I see families traveling on long flights with babies and let me tell you, I don't think that'll be me.
Anyway, we started with France, Amsterdam, & the United Kingdom. The following year we went to Bali with two other couples and THAT was the way to travel. It definitely helped that Bali was insanely cheap, one couple even found their tickets for $500! We went during May and the weather was humid but it felt good. This year our group decided on Greece.
We bought our tickets for end of May/ beginning of June. This was just right before peak season for Greece and our tickets were $900 each. We had a tough time picking which islands to go to (there are so many!!) but we finally decided on 3 days in Athens, 5 days in Mykonos, and 4 days in Santorini. We spent our last night back in Athens to catch a crack of dawn flight back home. So 12 days total in Greece with 1 day of travel time.
We split 4 different Airbnbs - I would suggest doing this very early, especially in Santorini and Mykonos. These places are very popular and spots fill up quickly. I'd also suggest going in April or even earlier - if we had gone a month before I think it would have been significantly cheaper with less people and less heat. Why Greece's peak period is during the blazing balls season is beyond me.
The plane ride was rough...for me specifically. I had a meltdown at the airport after discovering that I had no way to charge my laptop on the flight. My computer was dead and I had just shot a wedding the day before, and this was all I was planning on doing on the flight. As the tears flowed down I realized with embarrassment that I couldn't stop it. I also was acutely aware that the reason I couldn't stop was the hormone packed fertility medication I was taking. I had started it 2 months prior, and for 5 days out of the month - I was possessed by a demon (without fail). Of course, our travel day fell on the first day I started taking the meds for that month. I cried like an idiot for the first 30 min of the flight. I was, and am horrified at that spectacle.
We had a layover in Germany where one couple almost got left behind. They were doing some souvenir shopping as the gate was closing. That got our heart pumping. When we finally arrived in Athens we had been traveling for 17 hours. Not our longest trip, but for me, definitely the most draining.
Athens was pretty cool. I will say, if I could do this trip over again I would spend two days tops in Athens. Theres a lot of really cool history to see but the city is a bit shady and most locals aren't big fans of Americans. We got swindled a couple times for sure, be on the look out for anyone who wants your attention.
Honestly, we didn't really have a game plan for this trip. We all just wanted to enjoy our time there together so we just winged it. We went to the Parthenon, ate a lot of food and walked the streets of Plaka. We discovered Plaka on our last full day there, and that really made our time in Athens. We spent the whole day wandering the streets and site seeing, finishing up with a sunset dinner and a view of the Parthenon. Click the link above to check out the Airbnb.
Next stop was Mykonos. We were so ready for the beach at this point. Our AirBnb was next to Elia Beach about a 20 minute ATV ride away from the main town. I'm really glad we decided to stay there. It was less crowded and the view from our place had to be one of the best on the island. Click the link below if you'd like to check out the Airbnb. I highly recommend it!
We spent a lot of time on ATVs here. This was a big highlight for me. I was just coming down from my hormone spike on our second day here, and it was strangely healing to have the open air bathe the demon off of me. We drove down to Elia Beach early on, but it was very windy and just a fair warning...no one in Greece knows what a virgin Pina Colada is. We did go to another beach in Kalo Livadi that was amazing. The weather was perfect and the beach was stunning. We took a couple drone shots here too which was fun.
We rode into the main town on the second day we were there. The town was breath taking. The sea of white homes and shops with light blue accents was truly beautiful. We wandered the streets all day and ended our night at a pricey restaurant with after dinner Hookah right by the sea.
By next morning, three of us had food poisoning. They were down for the count the entire day. David and I felt horrible for them, but also lucky that we hadn't gotten it ourselves. It was actually his 31st birthday and we spent the day site seeing on the ATV going to and from the main town. By that night, the three that were feeling sick were getting a bit better, but David took a swift turn for the worst. One more person with food poisoning.
We took the ferry to Santorini, which took about two hours. We had read some horror stories about it, but I thought the ride was actually kind of nice. There was Wifi (for a fee) and the seats were pretty cozy. I can't say that David or the others recovering from food poisoning had a good time though.
Santorini was like a dream. The Harbor was small and rocky and all you could see was huge steep cliffs surrounding the docking area. It was hard to know what to expect because you had no indication of what the rest of the island looked like. It was about a 30 minute ride to our place. The roads were narrow and winding and when we approached the top of the hill you could see clear across the island. It was sprinkled with bursts of white and blue towns on steep cliffs surrounded by deep blue water. We had decided to stay in Oia, which wasn't cheap but so worth it. Our place was so cute, the views were spectacular...we immediately wished we had stayed there the majority of the trip.
I loved Santorini. It was extremely romantic and charming. The city would be nearly empty in the early morning and after sunset, but during the day the tourists would be bussed in from other parts of the island. This was the place to watch the sunset for sure. I felt really fortunate to be here. I had something like a spiritual experience when looking out over the cliffs from our balcony. I even got to do an engagement shoot for one of the couples that we were traveling with. Then I got food poisoning. Ha ha. Thats right, 5 of the 6 of us got food poisoning on this trip. We have no idea where or what caused it, but we were all violently ill for 24 hours on three separate days. I lost a day there (also conveniently during my ovulation), but by the next day I was able to at least stomach a little food. We never ate the same things, except for Calamari and Tzatzeki, which we all ate almost everyday. I don't think this was it though...who knows??
Greece was incredible, but by the end of the trip, we were all ready to be home. Like I said, if I could do it again I would stay in Santorini longer. More Santorini, less Athens...and less food poisoning. I realize I really haven't gotten detailed about the places we ate. Honestly, I wasn't paying attention. All I know is they don't know what ranch is, and you get a free dessert pretty much anywhere that you go to eat. But nothing beats Habit Burger after a long stay away from home.