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Are you traveling to Europe for the first time? You’re not the only one. In fact, there were 30.72 million trips from the United States to Europe in 2017. More people are exploring romantic countries like France, Spain, and Italy while immersing themselves in unfamiliar cultures.
Before you start packing your suitcase, however, it helps to prepare yourself.
Here are seven mistakes to avoid when traveling to Europe. With these tips, you can make the most of your trip (and avoid a few costly mistakes). Stay safe and enjoy the journey with these seven tips!
1. Failing to Plan Ahead of Time
Before you gear up, it helps to plan ahead. While an impromptu trip sounds thrilling, it’s not a smart move. Failing to plan ahead of time can become costly.
First, determine where you’re going. Are you backpacking throughout Europe, or exploring a single country? How long are you staying?
Determining the duration of your trip and where you’re headed can help you pack.
For example, you need to know what kind of clothes to take. Do you need winter wear, or tank tops? Check the weather online before you go!
Researching beforehand will also help you figure out how much to pack.
If you’re only staying for two weeks, take a backpack and roll up your clothes. For longer trips, however, you’ll need to pack more to wear.
Where are you staying? If you’ll have access to a washer and dryer, pack a week’s worth of clothes. Then, wash up to keep your load nice and light.
Packing light will make it easier for you to move around. You also won’t have to worry about losing valuable luggage.
During this planning stage, make a list of where you want to go. Mark specific cities and landmarks. Then, organize them in an order that flows from one destination to the next.
That way, you can avoid zig-zagging across the country.
As a result, traveling to Europe for the first time will feel easy and stress-free from the start!
2. Traveling Solo
Don’t plan a trip to Europe for the first time alone. Instead, enjoy the journey with a travel buddy.
Planning the trip with a partner or in a small group can help you share the costs. Some travel agencies even offer discounts for people who travel with a group. Instead of wasting money on the journey, you can enjoy the destination!
Once you’re in Europe, you can also share the cost of your hotel, meals, rides, and other expenses.
Traveling with a partner or in a group is also a safer option.
If you’re bad at navigating unfamiliar terrain, your travel buddy can help. Meanwhile, if you both get lost, at least you’re lost together!
Traveling with a friend will help you enjoy the trip with a familiar companion. Then, you can both take those memories back home—an experience you share together.
3. Forgetting to Contact Your Bank
According to this report, tourism is continuing to increase. Between 2017 and 2018, there was a 6% increase in international tourism.
As you travel from one continent to another, it’s important to keep your bank informed.
Otherwise, you might arrive in Europe to find the ATMs are all rejecting your credit card.
Let your bank know how long you’ll remain out of the country. These help you communicate with any international services regarding your account. You can also pay international service charges, so your credit and debit cards still work while you’re in Europe.
4. Taking Extra Luggage
If you’re traveling to Europe for the first time, you’ll want to pack light. Heavy luggage can weigh you down during the entire trip. You might also need to pay extra to get your suitcase from one country to the next.
Do you intend on jumping from one country to the next during your trip to Europe?
Having to drag luggage around with you every day can get exhausting.
Instead, pack light. Keep in mind you’ll probably bring souvenirs back with you, too. Packing light will leave extra room in your bag, so you can bring back presents!
5. Avoiding Public Transport
You can reach almost any location throughout Europe using public transportation. Booking a cab every time you explore can get costly, fast. Besides, cabs won’t let you soak in the destination.
Instead, the beauty of Europe will end up blurring before your eyes.
Rather than take a cab, walk on foot or take a bus while you’re in the city. Keep your head up and soak everything in!
When you’re traveling from one country to another, look for trains.
You can read up on these european river cruise reviews to discover a new way to travel, too!
6. Rushing to Book a Room
If you’re traveling to Europe for the first time, you probably won’t spend the majority of your trip in a hotel room. Instead of booking an expensive room, look for more economical options.
Again, researching ahead of time can help you avoid unnecessary costs.
Try to find locations outside of the city. These hotels and hostels are often less expensive than the options located in the city center.
Choosing a hostel over a hotel can also help you save money. Make sure to research your options ahead of time. Read reviews and make sure you’re staying somewhere that’s safe.
7. Missing Out on Good Taste
During your trip to Europe, try to maximize your experiences.
For example, don’t fear the prime attractions. Make sure to check online for discounts and offers. Booking these tickets in advance can help you save money and avoid long queues.
Research places to eat as well. Instead of sandwiches (which you can make at home), explore the local cuisine.
Immerse yourself in the culture and make the most of your first time in Europe!
Enjoy the Journey: Avoid These Mistakes When Traveling to Europe for the First Time
With these tips, you can enjoy the trip and the journey. While traveling to Europe for the first time, avoiding these mistakes can make a big difference in your experience.
Prepare yourself before you go! Explore the Travel & Entertainment section of the blog for more tips.