Europe is a continent steeped in rich history, fascinating culture, amazing architecture and scintillating cuisine. It should be high on every traveler’s bucket list and if you’ve not ventured over to this amazing continent yet, that’s something you should rectify as soon as possible! To help you make the most of your time, here are a handful of hints and tips of things you should know before you go to guarantee you enjoy an unforgettable experience.
Get yourself an eSIM
Staying connected to the internet is super important while away, since it’ll make getting around and making yourself understood that much easier. We recommend acquiring an eSIM to travel Europe, since this can be bought before you depart, activated remotely and will last for the duration of your trip. And with the ability to download several different profiles connecting to local networks in a variety of countries, it’s ideal for passing through a plethora of destinations using the same phone with the minimum of fuss.
Take your time
Having said that, we also advise that you do not try to pack in too much on your voyage. Europe is a vast continent with almost 50 different countries, each with their own unique culture, gastronomy and attractions. As such, it can be tempting to plan a helter-skelter journey encompassing as many sights as possible, but this will only leave you exhausted and won’t allow you to really connect with or experience any one destination to the full.
Public transport is far more developed and ubiquitous in Europe than it is in some other parts of the globe – and the cross-continental rail system is king. In fact, you can purchase a European rail pass which will allow you to travel affordably through various countries over a designated period of time, saving money and effort in the process. Plus, train stations are invariably located centrally in cities and the journey offers up opportunities to read, converse with your fellow passengers or simply watch the landscapes slip past.
With so much to see and do in Europe, it’s likely you’ll be on the go for almost the entirety of your trip. As a result, it’s a good idea to pack light and only take the essentials you need, since lugging a heavy suitcase over cobbled streets is no-one’s idea of a good time! Having said that, you shouldn’t expect all European cities to enjoy non-stop good weather, so packing one or two warmer layers is also highly recommended to avoid discomfort further down the line.
Be prepared to walk – a lot!
On the topic of comfort, it’s absolutely essential that you bring a pair of trainers or hiking boots in which you’re happy to pound the pavement for days at a time. The best way to experience any new city is normally on foot and that’s certainly the case when it comes to Europe, which is packed full of picturesque plazas, awe-inspiring architecture and vibrant local communities. Don’t be afraid to get lost in your new surroundings – with a fully charged phone and the aforementioned eSIM, you’ll soon find your way again!
Get a fee-free bank card
One of the most common hidden costs that trip up first-time travelers are the fees attached to using credit and debit cards overseas. While these might seem like negligible charges in isolation, they can soon add up to quite a significant cumulative expense. To avoid them, search out a bank which does not penalize you for using their cards abroad. At the same time, it’s a good idea to always carry some cash, since some locales in Europe will only accept it.
Adapt your electricals
Power outlets can differ all over the world and the same is true for Europe. There are no fewer than four different plug types in use across the continent, so it makes sense to pack at least one (and probably several) different adaptors to meet your charging needs while away. You can use this handy reference guide to ascertain which ones you’ll need depending on the countries on your travel itinerary – or alternatively, you could cover all bases with a universal adaptor.
Planning for a trip away is almost as exciting as enjoying it in the flesh. To make sure you get the most out of both experiences, follow the above tips to guarantee your first trip to Europe is as comfortable, affordable and agreeable as it can possibly be.