Travelling through Europe can be fun and exhilarating. My first time travelling to Europe wasn’t without its snags and hiccups, as I made many travel mistakes. Due to this, I have compiled a few tips that will help you be a smarter and more laid back traveler in Europe.
ALWAYS CHECK VISA REQUIREMENTS BEFORE TRAVELLING
No one ever wants to try to enter a country, then to get denied at entry. That is a definite way to ruin your trip because you don’t have the correct visa to enter the country for your stay. Although most countries in Europe don’t require a visa for short visits, it’s best to know ahead of time which countries do that you are planning to visit during your Europe treks.
MAKE RESERVATIONS IN ADVANCE
If you are planning to take tours and travelling by train, especially during peak times, it’s best to make reservations ahead of time. Making reservations in advance is the best way to secure spots and the best prices.
BOOK TRAVEL FOR OFF SEASON TIME
Try to avoid the times where the streets and beaches are overcrowded, this allows you to enjoy the sights more and at a much lower cost. You can save on attractions, train fare, airfare and avoid long lines and much more by travelling in the off season.
TRAVEL BY TRAIN
Traveling by train in Europe is often efficient and sometimes it’s easier than air travel. If you are booking your train travel in person, book your ticket at the train station and not at the kiosks so you have more options and make sure you validate your ticket before getting on a train to avoid fines.
TRAVEL BY BUDGET AIRLINES
With more than a dozen budget airline carriers throughout Europe, you can fly to almost anywhere on the continent for cheap when booking with a budget airline. Budget airfare can sometimes be cheaper than train tickets, but the least expensive seats tend to sell out the fastest so book those budget airline travel spots once you know where you plan to travel.
BRING COMFORTABLE SHOES AND EASY CARRYING LUGGAGE
Walking is one of the best ways to explore a city, especially during a European vacation so having comfortable shoes is imperative. If you plan to travel via train and walk those cobble stone streets, make sure you carry easy and light luggage. Also, a lot of the hotels don’t have elevators so limit your luggage as much as possible.
GET OFF THE BEATEN PATH
While it’s good to see all the popular attractions in a city, try to seek out the places off the beaten path. You might be surprised how much more fun and memories you will gather visiting the lesser known sights and getting to experience the authentic local culture.
DON’T RELY ON CREDIT CARDS ONLY
It’s not uncommon for places in Europe to only accept cash. So make sure you have Euros on hand for various circumstances. Also, the less you use your credit card, the less fees you will pay later for foreign exchange rates. Make sure to notify your bank and credit card company before traveling so you don’t find your accounts frozen- that’s happened to me before, so don’t let it happen to you.
Remember planning goes a long way and these tips will help you be a smarter and more relaxed traveler through Europe, so go explore!