You’ll need these Europe travel tips if you want to see your dream destinations this vacation season. Whether it’s Paris, London, or the Irish countryside, it’s best to know where you want to go and plan ahead. After all, there are many things that can go wrong when you’re traveling abroad, and it always helps to be prepared. Here are some travel tips and tricks to ensure a great trip to Europe!
Europe Travel Tips: Planning Your Dream Vacation
1. Set a Budget
No matter where you’re coming from, the first thing you must know is Europe is expensive. For most currencies, exchange rates will be unfavorable. For example, Americans will find the US dollar low compared to the Euro.
With this in mind, it’s wise to set a (strict) budget for yourself. You don’t want to go to Europe without a budget and then suddenly find yourself in debt. European prices can be extravagant, but there are always ways to cut back on your expenses while you’re there.
2. Know Where You Want to Go
Europe is a huge continent with a long and colorful history. You won’t be able to see everything you want in one trip. The only exception to this rule is if you plan to spend a whole year backpacking around the continent. However, since most travelers don’t have the time for that, you need to plan where you want to go and how long you’ll stay there.
When visiting a European country, plot out the destinations you want to see. Take time to research the locations and experiences that interest you. Weigh the pros and cons of each location, depending on its distance or price of entry. Once you have your top destinations narrowed down, you’ll have an easier time getting around!
3. Learn How to Get Around
Once you have your locations set, you have to figure out how to go from point A to point B. Most of Europe’s city public transportation systems are very convenient. For example, the London Tube and the Metropolitana in Rome are both great. Alternatively, places like Amsterdam and Paris are bike/walk-friendly, respectively.
However, if you have more remote destinations on your list, like the Irish countryside, you might have more difficulty. In these cases, it’s best to rent a car so you can drive yourself. Do know that most rental agencies will require an international driver’s license for you to be able to rent a car and drive in Europe.
4. Book Your Flights Early
One of the most important Europe travel tips to remember is to book your flights early. Europe is a wildly popular tourist destination, which means flights will always be priced at a premium. Book your flights early and avoid the peak seasons, so you can save some money.
Alternatively, you can check out sites that constantly scan for affordable flights, and work your way from there. Skyscanner is one such site — it looks for inexpensive flights or seat sales to help you save money on your plane fare.
5. Book Your Accommodations
Accommodations play a key part in your European travel. Depending on your budget, you have a wide range of options. Remember, if you stay in a hotel, you might be missing out on huge discounts and incredible experiences!
Look online for a few more options that won’t break the bank. Airbnb is a great place to start with, offering both affordable accommodations and potentially awesome experiences. Hostels are also great places to stay in, allowing you to connect with fellow travelers and build new relationships. You can also look up house-swapping options or little bed and breakfasts spread throughout the continent.
6. Pack Light
Most travelers to Europe pack too much for their two-week stay. Consequently, they end up paying more for excess baggage fees that eat into their travel budget. To avoid this, pack light. Most accommodations provide toiletries, so you won’t need to bring yours. While clothes will always be a problem, try to just bring a week’s worth and then have them laundered. This can lighten your load significantly.
Remember, when you go to Europe, you will definitely be picking up a lot of memorabilia and souvenirs to bring back home. Make sure you plan for these additions from the beginning. No one likes paying for excessive check-in baggage fees… and if you pack light, you won’t have to!
7. Make Time to Relax
Between traveling to and from your destinations, trying out all the food you can, and partying, you might find yourself a bit exhausted during your Euro trip. Remember to give yourself some time to relax. Sure, there are a lot of things to see and places to be. However, you went to Europe for an enjoyable experience, not an anxious rush to snap photos at as many sights as you can.
Allowing yourself a couple of hours to relax in your itinerary is key to enjoying your Europe travel. Not being pressed for time means you can appreciate the sights you see a little longer. Additionally, this allows you to talk with the locals and learn more about the culture.
Ally Archer, a longtime European tourist from America, shares some of her Europe travel tips in this video.
Europe is an amazing continent with so much to see. No matter what country you choose to visit, you’ll definitely enjoy meeting new people, learning new cultures, and be in awe and inspired by the marvelous sights. Just remember: plan ahead and stay true to your budget. That way, you won’t have to busk on the London tube for a trip home!
Have you been to Europe? Share your top Europe travel tips in the comments below!
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