Traveling to Europe is an experience that’s undoubtedly one for the books. It offers some of the world’s best food, architecture, vintage markets, and festivals. Spending a week or two there is a great way to bond with your friends or family and learn something new about yourself.
Regardless if this is your first time traveling to Europe or if you’ve visited the continent several times, it’s essential to learn some common travel mistakes. Being equipped with this knowledge will save you plenty of inconveniences and make your trip more enjoyable.
Always follow these tips when traveling to Europe:
- Check Visa Requirements
There’s nothing more frustrating than being denied entry to Europe because you don’t carry a tourist visa. While some European countries don’t require visas for short visits, it’s still important to research which countries do.
If the country you want to visit requires a visa, you’ll want to work on acquiring one well in advance. The earlier you do this, the less stressed you’ll be for your European escapade.
- Prepare for Flight Delays
Flight delays happen, and not knowing what to do next will make the experience worse. As you pack your valuables and prepare your itinerary, exert time and effort to research flight delays and how much airlines compensate their passengers in the event of a delay.
For example, Avianca flight delay compensation and compensation for United Airlines flight delay can reach up to $700 or €600, but their process on how passengers can claim this amount varies. It’s essential to know about the flight delay and cancellation refunds of the airline you’re flying with to be better prepared.
- Make Reservations in Advance
Europe attracts millions of tourists every year. This usually means rubbing elbows with countless tourists, especially if you visit during the peak season.
Always make reservations in advance whenever you’re traveling to Europe. Besides securing a plane ticket early, also book accommodations, train tickets, and tours as early as possible. Making reservations early prevents you from competing with other tourists and guarantees you’re getting the best price.
- Bring Comfortable Shoes
You’ll be doing a lot of sightseeing in Europe — and what better way to do this walking? Walking during your vacation in Europe allows you to access more places, serves as an opportunity to meet the locals, saves you a lot of time, and gives you an excuse to exercise.
With these in mind, always bring your most comfortable pair of shoes when traveling to Europe. Doing so will save your feet from blisters and make your trip more fun!
- Bring Cash
Using credit cards is safer and more convenient than bringing piles of cash. However, not all establishments accept credit cards as payment in Europe. This is why you should get local currency (preferably in euros) whenever you’re traveling to the continent.
Having euros is very convenient as you can easily pay for tips, restaurants, local markets, taxi rides, and other purchases when in Europe. This will also save you more money from paying foreign transaction fees.
Order foreign currency exchange from your local bank or visit an ATM once you arrive in Europe, so that you can start your trip with euros on hand. You can also find several booths that offer currency exchange at the airport and other tourist destinations around Europe.
- Learn the Lingo
Europeans understand English, but it always helps to learn the local language as a part of your preparation for the trip. Learning a few words and phrases makes it easier to greet people, thank the locals, and even find new friends in Europe.
The Internet is a goldmine of videos and articles that can teach you how to speak different languages. Research the languages used in the country you plan on visiting and practice ahead of time. You’ll be able to immerse yourself more on your trip to Europe if you speak like one of the locals!
- Travel Off-Season
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to spend a fortune to enjoy Europe. When you travel off-season — particularly from late October until the start of April — you can wander around Europe affordably. This is definitely good news, especially if you have a limited travel budget.
Aside from cheaper airfare tickets and accommodation, traveling off-season is also the best way to avoid crowds. Most of the main tourist destinations in Europe are open all year round and traveling there off-season usually means you’ll get to enjoy these places in peace.
- Get Off The Beaten Path
Traveling to some of the most famous tourist destinations around Europe is always a must. Your itinerary will probably include visiting The Eiffel Tower, La Sagrada Familia, The Colosseum, and many others. And while these spots will surely make your trip worthwhile, it never hurts to get off the beaten path and spend time visiting lesser known sites.
Ask the locals for recommendations when you’re in Europe. They have been living in Europe for years and can suggest places and restaurants to visit that are unknown to tourists. Doing so makes your trip more worthwhile and enables you to have a better glimpse of the local culture.
Traveling to Europe is exciting but expect to experience some bumps along the way. Following all of the tips mentioned here, your upcoming European trip is guaranteed to be fun and hassle-free!