1. Have A Good Travel Plan
Determine What are the Most Important Things You Want to See & Do – What is it that you absolutely do not want to miss? Make sure you put that at the top of your priority list then build a trip around that destination by traveling regionally. « Choose Your Destination
Determine Your Traveling Style – Your life style can determine your traveling style. Are you a family traveling, romantic couple, senior, student. solo or looking for LGTB friendly countries? » Start Your Plan
Set a Budget – Determine how much you’re willing to or can spend and work within that amount. Remember to giver yourself a little cushion in your budget for for unexpected expenses. You never know when you’ll want to see something you hadn’t planned on or find something you want to buy. » Budget Your Money
Set an Agenda – Set a daily agenda for each day with approximate times for travel and visiting sights. » Create Your Agenda
Don’t Over Plan Too Much – There are many great things to see and do in Europe but, it’s impossible to see them all in one visit. Stay in a more concentrated area around your priority destination. You’ll get more out of your trip and it will be less stressful than rushing off to another destination farther away. » Create Your Agenda
Give Yourself Some Free Time – Don’t squeeze every minute of the day into a pre-plan agenda. There will be ideas or places that will arise that you had’t anticipated and want to do. Give yourself some open time to do those things or just rest. » Create Your Agenda
Book Well in Advance – With more tourists visiting each year bookings fill up earlier and earlier. Book your flights, hotels and venue tickets as early as possible so you’re not turned away or pay too much. » Booking On Line
2. Do Some Research…
Read Up on Information – Read about the country or area you plan to visit. Understand a little about their history, geography, culture, customs and places of interests. » Travel Advice & Resources
Lear Some Local Words & Phrases in the Language – Try to verbalize the local languages with a few salutations like, Hello, Goodbye, Thank You & Please. The locals will appreciate the small effort. » Language Dictionary
Understand Tipping – Tipping isn’t 15-20 % like in the US. However, do tip about 10% for good service.
3.Get Your Documents in Order…
Leave an Agenda with Trusted Persons – Leave your daily agenda with a family members or good friends so they can reach you incase of an emergency. Show your airline name, flight #, day & times. Hotel name for each day with address and reservation #. Create Your Agenda
Call Your Financial Institutions – Call you credit card company and bank and inform them of what countries you will be visiting and the travel dates.
Always Have Your Passport With You – Keep it on you at all times in a secure place. Show it to the receptionist every time you check into a hotel. » What You Need
Valid Driver’s License – Your drivers license should be a valid in most European countries. However, confirm with your car rental provider for confirmation prior to your visit. » What You Need
Register Your Travel – You can go online to the US State Department web site and file your travel itinerary with them for emergency situations. » Safety
Confirm Where Visas are Required –A US passport will get you entry to most European countries but, other require a VISA. » What You Need
4. Pack Properly…
Travel Light – Don’t over pack, the lighter the suitcase or back pack the better. Remember, you can purchase many products once you are in Europe. » Packing
Pack Good Waking Shoes To Wear – You will be doing a fair amount of walking so a good pair of quality shoes is essential. » Packing
5. Seek Out the Local Side of Europe…
Venture Away from Tourists Areas – Get to see more of a country its cities and people by wandering away from the high tourists sights. Go to city neighborhoods and country villages to see what the locals see and do. » Great European Neighborhoods » Old World Europe
Discover Local Restaurants & Cuisine – Find what the local cuisine is known for and give it a try. Eat away from the highly popular tourists sights to where the locals eat. You’ll a better representation of the local cuisine at a lower cost. » Dinning in Europe
Shop the Local Markets – Shop at local markets or grocery stores for lunch or snacks rather than eating out every night. It may be less expensive and healthier. » Dinning in Europe
Talk to the Locals – Feel free to converse with locals as many of them are very friendly.
Know Restaurant Times – While you may be able to sit at a sidewalk cafe and have a glass of wine during the afternoon you most likely will not be able to order food. Most restaurants stop serving after lunchtime (2:00 pm) and do not serve again until 7:00 pm or even later, depending on the country and restaurant. » Dinning in Europe
6. Execute Smart Money Practices…
Have Local Currency Cash with You – Europe is extremely safe as opposed to America. However, Tourists areas can be a haven for pick pockets and scam artists. Be aware of your surroundings and if strangers approach you for surveys and charitable donations. » Safety
Leave Some Cash, Credit Card & ID at Your Hotel – Most hotel rooms have safes so keep a majority of your cash and a least one extra credit card locked. This way you will have some money and a card for use if you lose your cash, card or purse. » Safety
Buy Travel Insurance – If you’re concerned about cancelled flights, etc. you may purchase travel insurance so you can be reimbursed for financial loses. » What You Need
Find Free Activities – Yes there are many free things to do everywhere. Europeans like to walk in the evenings so a walking through one of these beautifully old cities is as nice as it gets and for free.
Free Walking Tours. Available in almost every major city, they’re a great introduction to the city with brief overview of the history, sights and more. Make sure to tip your guide as the tour is free and ask them for recommendations for local food and neighborhoods off the beaten path. « Free Walking Tours
7. Travel Efficiently…
Travel by Train – In most cases traveling by train is the best way to get around regionally. When in the cities use the cities transit systems. You will only need a car when traveling to some remote areas in the country. » Trains
Rent a Bicycle – European cities are bicycle friendly as many locals rides bikes. They are rentable from one location and you can drop them off at another. Scooters are also becoming very popular in the same way. » Bicycling
Start Your Day Early – Get to most famous and busiest tourist sights before the huge tour groups come through. You won’t have to fight through crowds just to see something. If you want to sleep in go to those sights late in the afternoon after the mad crush is gone. » Create Your Agenda
Save Time – Skip the Line – Many sights have long lines at the queues for purchasing tickets, some are completely sold out for the day. Buy tickets ahead of time and pay a little more to skip the line. Some sites will even allow you early entry before the crowds come rushing in. » Booking On Line
8. Find the Best Things for You to See & Do…
Make Your Bucket Lists – There are obviously those sights you’ve always wanted to see. Make sure you see them and make sure you allocate enough time to let that experience sink in.
Visit Museums – Europe has some of the worlds greatest museums so a trip there isn’t complete without visiting one of a many thousand. » Museum Directory
Go To a Concert or the Theater – Europeans love their arts so you can always find a concert, opera or play to attend. » Performing Arts
9. Stay Connected on the Internet and by the Phone…
Stay connect to the internet to communicate back home, purchase tickets or read up on what you’re experiencing. Apps on your smart phone can also help for navigation, translating, restaurant reservations, etc. » The Internet & Apps
Write A Journal or Do a Blog. Writing a travel blog allows you to share your daily travels with family and friends back home. Writing a blog or journal documents your travels forever. Even if it’s not a blog write a daily diary to yourself, because ten years from now it will help you to remember things you may have forgotten.
11. Be a Good Safe Traveler…
Remember, you are in some else’s country, they can do things a little differently than back home. Do not consider their actions or behavior rude but, just a way they traditionally do things. Remember when communicating there may be a loss in the translating from English to another language. Be considerate of their mannerism’s and be friendly even when things do not seem to go properly.
Europe is extremely safe as opposed to America. However, Tourists areas can be a haven for pick pockets and scam artists. Be aware of your surroundings and if strangers approach you for surveys and charitable donations. » Safety