Visiting Europe is an exciting experience. Your trip will be more enjoyable and less stressful if you take the time to prepare your European vacation in advance. Here are a few tips that will make your experience more enjoyable.
Apply For Your Passport In Advance
You are going to need a valid passport to travel Europe. Apply for a passport months in advance or renew your current passport if it expires during the same year as your trip. You currently do not need a visa to visit the European Union but this rule might change soon. Check the official sites of the embassy of the different countries you would like to visit to find out more. You might need to apply for a visa if you want to visit European countries that do not belong to the European Union.
Don’t Limit Yourself To Big Cities
Most people think about London, Rome and Paris when they think of a European vacation. Europe has so much more to offer! Think about including some smaller cities in your itinerary and about visiting countries that most tours skip, such as Portugal, Austria, Belgium or Sweden. Staying away from the most popular touristic destinations means you will avoid crowds, long lines and overpriced attractions and accommodations!
Use Public Transit
Driving in Europe is not the most affordable or convenient way to get around. You will be able to drive in most European countries with an American license, but renting a vehicle will make the cost of your trip go up. Besides, you will find that driving in large cities is stressful and that finding parking spots is difficult. Save time and money by learning to use public transit systems and book train tickets in advance to travel between different cities and countries.
Always Have A Back-Up Plan
Don’t expect everything to go as planned while you travel Europe. You should always have a back-up plan so you can skip an activity if the lines are too long or find something else to do if you miss your train. There are plenty of travel apps you can use to find things to do and see in your area in case you have to make a change of plan.
Shop And Eat Like Locals
You can avoid standing out and looking like a tourist by shopping in local stores. There is no need to go to luxury stores to have fun shopping during your European vacation! You should also try eating where the locals eat to save money and to try all the popular local dishes. If you decide to use a credit card for your purchases, make sure there are no fees for international transactions. If you decide to use cash, familiarize yourself with the exchange rate and with the best practices for tipping.
Preparation is the key to a successful trip to Europe. Put together an itinerary and don’t hesitate to include lesser-known destinations. Book train tickets and accommodations in advance and do your research to figure out what to visit and where to eat!