20 travel tips for an epic European adventure

Apr 15 2019, 9:03 pm

Imagine a land filled with rich espresso and freshly baked delights on every corner.

A place where afternoon siestas are encouraged and a crisp beer or a bold wine is socially acceptable at both lunch and dinner, no matter what day of the week.

A place where you can easily commute by bike, and passing by grand architecture and historic monuments is the norm.

A place (… we’re almost done) where you can enjoy breakfast in the city, lunch on the beach, and dinner tucked away in the midst of a countryside villa.

Can you see it? Can you feel it? Can you smell it? Welcome!

This is just a tiny fragment of what it’s like to experience one of the oldest, richest, and most diverse continents in the world. We don’t know about you, but summer is so close we can taste it and it couldn’t be a better time to experience Europe.

 

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Venturing to the other side of the Atlantic is extremely easy and more affordable than ever, but coming in 2021 there will be a new travel authorization that puts a bit of extra pressure on the budget — so now is the time to visit!

Once you’re in the EU, simply jump on a train for a few hours and voila! You’ll be in a new country with a whole new language, set of customs, and style of architecture — plus an unlimited amount of things to do and see. This adventure will tingle your senses, make your imagination come to life, and feed your restless wanderlust-filled soul.

With this in mind, we have put together a few key tips that will enhance your trip and make you travel smarter, while defaulting a maximum level of FUN throughout your entire trip!

1. Learn the language basics: Being able to say “hi,” “bye,” and “thank you” in your local European language can go a long way.

2. Hostels vs Airbnb vs hotels: First figure out how many people you are travelling with. Your budget and style of trip will differ based on if you’re travelling alone or with a few friends. Do your research and choose the one that best fits the budget, travel style, and experience that you want to have on your trip.

 

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3. Avoid pickpockets: Replacing your passport on your trip is not something you want to add to your bucket list. Always hold your bags in front of you, make sure your day pack has RFID blocking technology so no one can steal your credit card information, and take advantage of the security safes in your accommodations.

4. Try travelling in the offseason: Spring and fall can sometimes be the best times to travel. They are cheaper, the weather isn’t as extreme, and you’ll experience exponentially fewer crowds and line-ups.

5. Take the train as much as possible: You can get virtually anywhere in Europe by train. It might be a longer journey, but it’s cheaper, gives you a scenic view, and you don’t have to worry about any typical airport messiness. Make sure to download the app to get up-to-date information on your train and make your reservations. If you do travel by air we recommend taking a budget airline.

 

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6. Save money by making sure your luggage meets the requirements of all methods of transportation: The more budget the travel the stricter the requirements, especially on low-cost airlines.

7. Dress smart: Be ready for the unexpected and keep it simple. Pack a capsule wardrobe that will have you looking fabulous in any weather conditions and can be dressed up or down. Remember comfort is key when you’re travelling.

8. Set a list of touristy priorities: Do your research and determine which tourist destinations you’re set on and which ones you could go without. Remember, all churches and castles begin to look the same after a while and they can take a toll on your wallet.

 

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9. Purchase tickets in advance: This will guarantee you access to the sites and museums you really want to see while giving you the chance to avoid unnecessary line-ups – no one’s got time for that!

10. Always check the hours before heading out: Many businesses close during their mid-day breaks or close altogether on a random day of the week. For example, many museums in Paris are closed on Mondays or Tuesdays.

11. Suitcase vs. backpack: Which one best fits your trip? No matter what, pack light.

 

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12. Triple check your airport codes: Many cities have multiple airports and it’s common for connecting flights to ask you to transfer airports, especially if you’re going from domestic to international. Triple-check these to make sure you have enough time to commute – sometimes paying a little extra is worth it.

13. Consider staying in smaller cities: They are likely filled with fewer tourists, you’ll experience more culture, and they tend to be more affordable.

14. Pack both a travel converter and adapter: Most of your devices, phone included, will have a converter built into the charger. So for these, you’ll only need an adapter. For devices like straighteners and hair dryers, a converter will make sure they don’t overheat or burn your hair. Alternatively, consider purchasing a travel straightener or curling iron — better to be safe than sorry.

 

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15. Bring the appropriate currencies with you: Euros will likely be the most common, but some places such as Czech Republic, Denmark, and the UK have their own currencies. Local family-run restaurants and markets often don’t take credit cards – especially if you go off the beaten path. ATMs have a very high exchange rate, so it’s best to take out your cash before you arrive.

16. Bring more than one pair of walking shoes: Prepare for your average steps per day to triple. Give your feet a break and make sure you have at least two pairs of good shoes that will hold up to the many treks you are about to take on.

 

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17. Shop local: It will be cheaper and you’ll likely be supporting a family from the area. Plus it’s the opportunity to mingle with the locals.

18. Don’t drink too much: Europeans know how to drink, but you’ll never see them belligerent running through the streets. Take their cue and have fun as you fit into the local vibe of the place.

19. Create a route that makes sense: Work east to west or north to east or west to south — whatever combination, don’t waste time backtracking. This will only end up with you losing precious time and money.

 

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20. Be as spontaneous as you’re comfortable with: It’s good to book some parts of your trip, but if possible leave the rest open-ended. This allows you to change your mind and make in-the-moment decisions about where you want your trip to go. It’s super easy to book impromptu transportation and accommodations, so having this flexibility leaves room for spontaneous adventures that you could never plan for.

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