Regardless of whether you are travelling to Europe for the first time or the tenth, avoiding a few mistakes will make your trip remarkably safe and enjoyable. While you are on a visit to a foreign country, you might have to face a few nasty and unexpected surprises, even if you are overly cautious. To prevent this possibility, follow the tips given here for a relaxed and once in a lifetime European vacation.
- Check Requirements for Visa – Do not start your trip on the wrong foot by being denied entry to a country because you have not complied with their visa requirements. Most countries in Europe waive visa for short visits by citizens of selected countries but its best to know in advance which they are. Search online for all necessary particulars for countries that have visa on arrival or those that need visa prior to arrival.
- Plan for the off season – For a peaceful vacation and if you want to avoid overcrowded beaches and long queues at tourist attractions plan for an off-season trip when half of Europe will not be there. You also get substantial discounts on air fares and accommodation, tours and train tickets. You will not miss any major attractions because almost all of them are open round the year. But check closing times which might be shorter during off season.
- Travelling by train or flight – There are more than a dozen budget airlines in Europe where you will get cheap seats but be sure to book well in advance. The cheapest ones get sold off first. Check for additional fees and taxes that are not marked on the advertised rates. Also each airline has their own rules about baggage rates and weight limits so verify these aspects in advance.
Travelling by train is one of the best ways to see Europe at leisure. You will get magnificent views of the countries you will be passing through. In some cases it is a lot more easy and convenient than air travel. Be sure to validate your ticket before you hop on to a train to avoid fines.
- Make advance reservations – Make advance reservations at hotels and get a number of benefits. First, you will get confirmed accommodation at the best price, especially for peak season travel. Secondly, you will not have to waste precious time looking for suitable accommodation on your budget once you land at your destination. The same goes for sightseeing tours and packages.
- Travel light – Bring a suitcase that you can carry with you over cobblestone streets or up European hotels, many of which do not have elevators. Additionally, you will be saving on excess baggage fees. You will get readily available Laundromats all over Europe so you can use them whenever required.
Take a pair of comfortable shoes while packing. Walking around a European city is the best way to see the sights and understand the culture and ethos of the place.
- Do not depend completely on credit cards – You will find places in Europe that only accepts cash. Hence do not depend on credit cards only but carry some Euros to pay for tips, taxi rides, or shopping at local markets. You will definitely not want to go looking for an ATM in a jetlagged condition!
Follow these simple tips for a great European holiday. And yes! Do not keep all money or valuables in the same place. Even if one stash is stolen, you will have something to immediately fall back on.