Traveling abroad for your first time or your 6th is always exciting and can be overwhelming, even with the right information and preparation. Collecting the right knowledge and utilizing it to your advantage is key to having an epic Eurotrip.
We’ve come up with 5 things you should know before traveling to Europe to help you have a smooth and memorable experience.
Set A Budget
Europe isn’t cheap these days. It’s going to cost more or less depending on how long you’re staying and what kind of sights, attractions, transport and museums you’re wanting to see.
I always recommend bringing more cash than you’ll think you’ll need. There are exchange rates, varying ATM fees, cool souvenirs, hostel door key deposits, hostel city tax (in some cities), bottled water while on the go, and a multitude of other expenses that can pop up while you’re abroad. I estimate my trip expenses and always add a little more to the fund. Better safe than calling home for more money when you’re in a pinch.
Contact Your Credit Card Company
You’ll want to contact your financial institutions and notify them of what countries you’ll be visiting so that when you make a purchase or try to withdraw money from the ATM your transactions will be processed without interruption.
If not notified, your transactions more than likely will be flagged as a fraudulent charge and the transaction will not be completed. This goes for both credit and debit cards.
This is a common thing for your bank and an easy thing to take care of before you leave for the airport.
Check Passport Validity
If you just received your passport, this doesn’t apply to you. But if it’s been a few years since you’ve traveled you’ll want to double check the expiration date of your passport because most countries in Europe require you to have at least 6 months validity on your passport.
This means your passport has to have more than 6 months until the expiration date. If not, you won’t be allowed to enter that country. There are many reasons they do this. I’m not going into them here, but it’s something to be aware of.
So if it’s been a few years since you have used your passport, double check your expiration date and if you’re close to it, you’ll want to renew your passport sooner than later.
Don’t Over Schedule
It’s tempting to try and see and as much as humanely possible with your time in Europe. Taking your time and giving your body rest will allow you to enjoy each destination much more. Sight seeing and transport all take their toll on your body and strength.
Taking your time at each destination and not staying out too late each night will give you a leg up on staying strong, energized, and healthy. Rushing across Europe in a mad dash to see everything you can may sound like a good idea at first but may have you resting and sleeping in way more than you planned or have time for.
I only bring a carry-on. That’s my personal choice. I like to be mobile and real flexible with where and how I can get to a destination. Packing only a carry-on sized bag allows me to move quickly and mostly effortless throughout my journey.
Most buildings in Europe don’t have elevators so packing light is a good idea unless you really like carrying heavy bags up several flights of steps every 3 or 4 days.
All in all traveling to Europe isn’t the hardest thing you’ll do in life, but it does help if you’ve done a little research and get ahead of the curve.
Following these 5 things you should know about traveling to Europe will help you enjoy your trip with a little less headache and stress. If you have any tips to make your Eurotrip a little smoother please leave them in the comments below!