Europe is an amazing continent. Each country, each city has its own significance and its uniqueness. There are few things you might have to take care before you travel to Europe. It is important specially for Europe First Time Traveler.
You will face a lot of problem if you have stuffed your luggage with unnecessary belongings. In most of the hotels you won’t find lifts, and hence you will have to carry it by yourself. Also while travelling from one city to another or one country to another, you will find difficulty at metros, as not all places have elevators. Only carry necessary belongings as much as you are capable of. Carrying heavy luggage in peak season at peak points can put you in trouble. The trains or bus might be jammed with people making other people or yourself in awkward position.
If you are a budget traveler then its better you should make reservations in advance. Peak Season will roast your wallet and leave you with nothing. Hotels, airfares, entertainment tickets all of a sudden takes a hike at peak season. Everybody wants to visit Europe for a reason.
Did you know, Europe has 6 most visited countries in the world? Just imagine these tiny countries with tons and tons of tourist. Better prepare yourself in advance, and make reservation right away before you march to Europe.
ONLINE RAIL PASS
If you are new to the country and planning to travel by train, then book your rail pass online. It is much cheaper to book online rather than going to the Enquirer counters. Also if you book your rail pass online, tickets would be delivered at your home address. Why taking so much of headache when your travel becomes digital and simple.
CONTACT CREDIT CARD COMPANY
Using Credit Cards in Europe can be a little headache if you don’t inform them before travelling. Upon traveling, if you use your credit cards, the security team might find red flags in your transactions. This might lead answering several questions such as about your credit card, if you are authentic person to use it. It is better to inform them in advance, so as to avoid these nuisance while travelling.
Loss of luggage, ticket issue, your valuables, expensive possessions shall be covered in your travel insurance. No doubt, Europe is a very safe country but always be aware of theft. It is better to have insurance than running at unknown places, taking help of unknown people for your belongings. It is easy to manage in your country, but when it comes to a foreign country, its rules, regulations, laws are completely different and becomes complex in such situation.
Always carry your travel documents with yourself. Although you visa is not required most of the time, but at least carry a photocopy of your visa and passport with yourself. Do not forget to check your passport, visa, credit cards, travelling documents, hotel confirmation, flight tickets, train tickets before leaving your home, any city or country. These are most important things and once lost, you might have to take trouble finding it and going to the authorities.
Mobile applications has made the world much simpler. You have plenty of apps regarding maps, train schedules, online travel booking, translators etc. Always have these apps with you. Your travel becomes much simpler when you know, where you want to go. You can also check out Rick Steves Audio Europe for free, which is an audio app for Europe’s sightseeing, and amazing information.
Travelling alone has its own fun. You got no responsibility or burden or headache of sharing things. It is quite easy to travel alone in Europe. For accommodation, you must check out hostels like HostelBookers and HostelWorld. It is much cheaper than the hotels and motels. Also books flights and hostels in advance, your travel will become very cheap. Furthermore, for travelling, use the intercity bus, which is way cheaper than the trains and flights.
LEARN FEW LOCAL WORDS
Well, Europe is a big continent and various languages are being spoken. Whether be Spanish, French, German, Portugal, Dutch or any other language, always learn “DO YOU SPEAK ENGLISH” or important words like greeting of the day, yes, no, taxi, bus, excuse me etc. Some words can help you than getting lost in an unknown destination.
TAXI AT AIRPORT
Avoid taking taxi at the airport. It is going to cost you a lot. Instead, try taking it by walking ahead of the taxi pullers. You will get better deal by avoiding taxi at the airport. Opt for it only if it is a big airport. Or else in some places it might be difficult to get taxi at a distance.
DON’T RELY ON TAXI DRIVERS
Don’t assume your taxi drivers knows all the ways. First confirm before leaving the place, if he is aware of the destination or not. Also ask for the taxi fare before you step in. Always travel at the fare agreed by both of you. Or you can simply opt the taxi meter. Keep in mind, what time you are travelling. Sometimes, in peak hours, the driver may roast your wallet by asking high charges.
KNOW THE HISTORY
Travelling in Europe without historical places is impossible. Each country or city has its own long history which might confuse you at the tourist point. A Little bit of homework before travelling can enhance your trip. In peak seasons, it would be impossible for you to study the place in detail. If you want to enjoy, just brush up a little bit of history.
NEVER EXCHANGE MONEY AT AIRPORT
Exchanging your money at airport, is going to cost you a lot. Better make arrangements with your travel agent before leaving for Europe. Exchanging money might leave you with foreign conversion fee from 1%- 5%. At international ATMs you will have to pay a standardized fee to withdraw money. It is rather cheap to withdraw money from international ATMs than exchanging money at the airports. Also stay away from the “No commission” or “No extra Charges” signs at the airport. These are some easy ways to get fooled to exchange money.
ALWAYS KEEP CASH
Not all places will accept your credit cards. In countries like Spain and Italy, the sales tax are so high that people will take cash from you to hide the revenues from the Government. In many places, you will have to keep cash handy. In such countries, you will have to pay by cash, so be prepared for it.
More than you love travelling, you love your smart phones. We all are their slaves. Do not ruin your trip and take adapter and power convertors to avoid dead phones. Voltage of the current and shape of the plug is quite different, hence, one needs to carry an adapter and power convertors. The European appliances work on 220 volts.
Don’t get shocked if one product prices less and the same cost high in another place. Although, Euro is the common currency used all over Europe but each country has their own pricing. You might have to pay more for a water bottle in Paris than the same water bottle in some local town of Germany. Each country charges according to their own economy. So don’t be surprised if you are travelling more than one country in Europe.
If you want to look like one of the Europeans then it’s quite simple. Opt for a dark or a neutral color and avoid wearing white sneaker. That how the Europeans see themselves. Always wear a comfortable shoes, as you need to walk a lot when you are in Europe.
Always go for a reputed bank or ask at hotel reception about a good ATM. There are skimmers at the ATM who take your debit card information and remove all you cash once you have used the ATM. Always be careful while choosing an ATM.