Travel tips for Europe
Europe known also as The Old Continent is one of the most visited continents from the entire world!
It has many wonderful attractions spread all over the countries. Ancient and medieval sites, picturesque cities, amazing landscapes and welcoming people characterise this wonderful continent.
It is a continent with many hidden attractions and a lot of things to do!
But before you go you need to read these really important tips:
1. Check Europe travel Visa requirements
Most countries from Europe do not require a travel visa for US citizens.
Obtaining a visa for some European countries might be a long and complicated process. So, that is you need to read on the official sites the exact requirements for obtaining a visa.
If you are planning to stay in Europe for more than 90 days out of 180 days, things become a little bit complicated.
First of all, you should know that Europe is split into Schengen areas and the rest of the European countries.
You cannot stay for more than 90 days from a total of 180 calendarist days in the Schengen area. You can instead prolong your holiday staying in non-Schengen countries.
UK, Ireland, Croatia, Romania, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo are non-Schengen countries where you can stay for 90 days.
Things might change starting with 2021 when US citizens and citizens from other previously non- visa countries coming to EU will need and ETIASVisa.
ETIAS visa is needed just for Schengen countries and the main purpose of it is to avoid the main problems which might arrive with terrorism and illegal immigration.
So, the first on our travel tips for Europe list is to check the travel visa requirements before planning your trip.
2. Budget your trip
Do like professionals and budget your trip ahead! This is the safest way to avoid unexpected surprises and unpleasant situations when you ran out of money!
Before going anywhere, sit down, grab a pen and a sheet of paper and do your budget.
Write down how much cost the plane tickets, the accommodation in each country, transportation, admission fees at different attractions and food.
The budget will vary significantly depending on the type of holiday you choose. The price is mainly dictated by the accommodation costs if you choose to rent a car or not and the plane tickets.
Choosing to stay at B&B’s, travelling by train or bus and eating fast food will assume a very low budget, sometimes lower than you ever imagine.
3. Buy your flight tickets in advance
A great way to spare some money and to decrease your costs is to buy plane tickets in advance.
Most European airline companies have promo prices in January and August and this is a good opportunity to buy cheap flights to Europe.
AirFrance, KLM, Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines and many other big companies from Europe offer best deals to the most important destinations from the Old Continent.
Don’t miss them because it is the best way to travel in style and cheaper!
4. Book your hotel in advance, travel tips for Europe no 4
Popular destinations attract thousands of tourists each month. Lots of tourists mean a high occupation degree of the hotels, higher prices and a worse price-quality ratio.
That is why we advise you to book your accommodation in advance! This is the safest way to secure the best price-quality ratio! You can book the hotel you like, the room with the best view at a great price.
If you choose to book in the last minute you might not be able to choose your room or your favourite hotel. You might be forced to get what you find available!
5. Travel with low-cost companies inside Europe
A great way to move around Europe if you want to win some valuable time is to travel by plane.
Low-cost companies like Ryanair, Wizz Air, EasyJet, etc sell tickets at incredible prices! With around 20 Euros per flight, you can travel from one country to another!
Sometimes it is cheaper to travel by plane than by train! Not to mention the time gained by travelling by plane!
6. Pack light
Pack light is our next tip from travel tips for Europe list!
If you plan to travel across Europe than pack light! For sure this will help you when moving around! Just think about it!
How complicated and uncomfortable is to carry with you heavy luggage on the train, or on the bus! Not to mention that low-cost companies limit the weight of the luggage you can carry on and the charge for an additional fee is pretty high!
Make a list with what you need for your European holiday and then revaluate your needs!
If you plan to stay in Europe for 10 days, pack your luggage like you’d stay just 7 days. There are many laundries around where you can wash your clothes and wear them once again!
7. Read books about your destinations
First of all, it is very important to know what places you can find in Europe and which are the most important ones.
The easiest way to do that is to read guides and to watch videos on the internet where you can see the history of each place, its significance and how it looks like.
To give your European trip a more deep and interesting touch I recommend you to read some books, like fiction books, novels with stories which took place in the cities, areas or countries which you plan to visit. Trust me! This is the best way to give to your trip a more meaningful touch!
8. Travel with train
If time is not a problem for you, then choose to travel by train across the continent.
Trains and reliable, comfortable and fast! These are one of the best ways to visit the countries, to see their magnificent landscapes and to take some great shots from the train window!
Generally, trains are inexpensive and reliable! In the western part of the continent, most people choose to travel by train. Some of them are even faster than cars!
You can buy a rail pass which gives you the possibility to travel around multiple countries and to get a discounted price!
The only thing you need to do is to read carefully the rules which apply to train rides in each country where you plan to go!
9. Get an international driving license
The next on my travel tips for Europe list is to get an international driving license.
If you plan to rent a car from a European country, the first thing you need is an international driving license.
Obtaining such documents is a pretty easy and straight forward process. If you are a US citizen and want to apply for the international driving license then you would need two passport photos, the US driving license and to have at least 18 years old.
The price for obtaining the license is around 20 USD.
Once you have it, you can rent a car for your trip to Europe!
Get the best price for your car rental today
10. Call your credit card company
Some credit card companies restrict the usage of the credit or debit cards anywhere else outside your continent.
If you are from Asia, Australia, Middle East or the US and plan to travel to Europe then give a short call your bank and ask for card limits and tell them about your intention of travelling abroad.
Some card companies might ask you for the precise date of travelling in order to add the countries you go into a list and allow your card work in those areas.
It happened to me very often when I travel abroad. No matter if I choose to travel to Asia or Africa, or even Americas, two of the banks where I have accounts open ask me for details about the country where I go and the exact time in order to activate my credit card.
11. Take some cash with you
I am a card fan, but sometimes it is good to have some cash with you. That is why the next on my travel tips for Europe list is the necessity of having some cash with you.
Not all the shops, restaurants and not everywhere you can pay with cash. If you want to take the bus or to buy a bottle of water, you’ll need cash. You cannot pay everywhere with the card!
When you land abroad, search for an ATM in the airport and withdraw some money. You might need it even for a taxi!
12. Check each country currency before you go
Just to be sure that you have the right currency into your pocket, read on the internet which is the national currency of all the countries you plan to visit.
Most European countries have euro as their national currency but there are still some exceptions, especially when we refer to the countries from the southeastern part of Europe.
It is not very clever to pay in dollars or euros in the countries which have other currency than these because the exchange rate used by shops and restaurants are not the best for you.
So, to sum up, the tips about money!
First, read carefully which is the national currency of the country you are about to visit. Once you land at the airport search for an ATM and withdraw some money in their national currency.
The last but not least, always have with you some cash! It cat save you from a lot of unpleasant situations!
13. Travel insurance for Europe
I always like to travel safe, so that is why I always buy travel insurance when travelling abroad! You never know when something wrong happens and it is better to be safe than sorry!
Next on my travel tips for Europe list: always buy travel insurance!
I compared all major insurance policies from the market and I can tell you that World Nomads is the best! It is a reputable company, it has very good conditions and covers many cases which other insurances doesn’t!
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14. Book attraction tickets in advance
Now that you have your accommodation, your car and your trip planned ahead is time for you to book the entrance ticket to major attractions from the places you will visit!
Major cities and reputable attractions are always full of tourists! You might spend hours in the queues to enter museums, churches and other attractions!
Sometimes skip the line tickets are not good of anything! Just think about it! If most tourists buy skip the line tickets, then a new queue is ready to appear: skip the line queue. It is indeed faster than the normal one, but it is still a queue!
15. Get off the beaten path
I always like to discover hidden places when travelling abroad! It is very nice and beautiful to visit famous places and common attractions, but discovering new places and getting off the beaten path gives you the opportunity to see and to feel the real vibe of that country.
Many times in my trips, the best part and the best time spend abroad was discovering such places!
Main attractions from Europe might be too crowded and commercial for you! Step back and search for the not so famous places! You will love them, for sure!
These are the best travel tips for Europe you have to know before you go! Follow them step by step and I guarantee you will have a memorable experience!