10 Things You Should Know Before Traveling to Europe

Traveling to Europe can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t need to be! If you keep these ten things in mind, you’ll be a smarter and more relaxed traveler, so you can just sit back and enjoy the ride.

Ten Things You Need to Know Before Traveling to Europe

 

10 Tips to Keep in Mind Before Traveling to Europe

 

Call Your Credit Card Company

If you don’t call your credit card company before traveling, there’s a good chance that their security teams will see some red flags when your card is suddenly used in Italy. Go ahead and let them know you’re traveling so that you don’t have any issues paying for important items such as train tickets and hotel rooms or purchasing unique mementos throughout your trip.

 

A Rail Pass Can Save You Money

A Rail Pass is a great way to travel to multiple locations in one trip without spending tons of money. Plus, if you haven’t experienced travel by train before, that in itself is an adventure. However, if you plan to purchase one, it is cheaper to buy it online and easier to have it delivered to your home address – rather than dealing with it on your trip.

 

Make Reservations in Advance

Sure, taking a gamble might work out, but making your reservations in advance, especially during peak travel season, is the smart way to make sure that your trip goes the way you want to and that you’re staying at that quaint hotel by the river instead of the fifth one on your preferred list. Booking airfare and hotels in advance also often ensures that you’re getting the best price.

Ten Things You Need to Know Before Traveling to Europe

 

Don’t Over-Plan

The urge to do and see everything can be overwhelming, but who wants to spend most of their vacation in transit? If you overload your days, there’s a good chance that you’ll end up doing even less than you want because you’ll get burnt out. Make sure that you allow sufficient time for sleep and adequate rest between activities. Your body will thank you, and at the end of the trip, you’ll find that you’ve had a more fulfilling experience.

Ten Things You Need to Know Before Traveling to Europe

 

Don’t Avoid the Cliché Sites and Activities

The popular sites are popular for a reason. You don’t go to Paris and pass up on the Eiffel Tower. Just because everyone else is doing it and you’ll seem like a tourist, which by the way, isn’t a big deal, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t just go for it. The cliché sites and activities are tried and true, offering their own important experience to a trip.

Ten Things You Need to Know Before Planning a Trip to Europe

 

Don’t Only Visit the Popular Spots

That being said, you shouldn’t allow for only the popular spots in your trip. Make a point to hit up some more overlooked areas where you may run into some locals. Often, you’ll get a better glimpse of the culture of the country you’re in, and you’ll have a story to tell that few others do. Picking up travel books or just looking online yields plenty of ideas for experiences off the beaten path.

 

Pack Light

Not many hotels in Europe have elevators, so you’ll want to make sure that you’re capable of really lugging your suitcase around. This goes double for traveling by train as you’ll encounter similar moments wherein elevators are just not available. Every wonderful new country you see is another time you have to move your belongings around, so carefully consider what you really need and cut out the rest to save yourself the hassle. Also, don’t forget your electrical plug adapters!

For more packing tips, visit these guides:

Women’s Packing List for Europe

Carry-On Packing List

How to Look Stylish While Traveling

 

Be Prepared to Go Over Your Budget

Even the most budget-conscious among us struggle with spending on trips. It’s nigh impossible to account for all of the various scenarios in which you’ll incur extra costs. So go ahead and add a decent cushion when planning and realize the likelihood with which you’ll go over.

Ten Things You Need to Know Before Planning a Trip to Europe

 

Be Cell Phone Savvy

Some cell phone plans allow international travel and use without extra costs and fees. Others will require you to activate an international plan and pay accordingly. Make sure you familiarize yourself with your cell carrier’s plans before leaving if you intend on using your phone abroad. You wouldn’t want to unknowingly rack up the extra costs or find yourself unable to use your phone at all.

 

Check Visa Requirements

Most of the time, you won’t find yourself needing a visa just to make a short trip. However, it’s still incredibly important to check the visa requirements before you take off, especially if you are planning a longer trip. You can easily find such information online. We consult this checklist for overseas travel before every trip abroad.

 

 

Christy Woodrow is a travel photographer and professional blogger based in San Diego. She has been traveling around the world with her partner in crime, Scott, since 2006. Join them in their quest to find off-the-beaten-path destinations by signing up for weekly emails and following her on .

  • Great tips! Making reservations in advance can make or break a trip. If I’m arriving on a Friday or Saturday, or want to eat at a particularly popular restaurant, I’ll make dinner reservations ahead of time. I also look for online tickets to main attractions which can save money and let you skip the line. And city museum passes can be great for longer stays.

  • Claudia Luxembourg

    These tips are actually great tips not only for traveling in Europe, but for traveling the world!

  • James Bryant


    If you have a cellphone with two SIM card slots you can minimise
    roaming costs by buying a local PAYGO card in the country you’re
    visiting and telling your friends to call that number. If they forget
    you still get the call (both cards are active) and if they do remember
    you save a bundle.

  • Mary Davis

    Thank you, This is the very informative blog about things to know before traveling Europe, I read it completely. These tips are great for everyone and i like your rail pass tips, it is very helpful for saving money.

    Mary

  • I’m getting so much better at packing. Travelling in motorhomes for six week periods soon knocks overpacking out of you 🙂 Love the tip about not avoiding the popular spots too. They are always fun to see in the first place, and even to return to. I’ve been to Paris on return visits and never so much as saw the Eiffel Tower, but when I saw her again late last year, I realised how much I had missed seeing her. Such a wonderful and iconic part of Paris.

  • Tricia

    Thanks for the interview over at Travel Blog Success. It is definitely inspiring to hear big blogs mention they didn’t make little to no money the first few years. How do you know if Google can find site or not? Im definately a Non-techie person.

  • My friend jenny is traveling to Europe next month for a week and I am surely going to share this information with her cause I think this information will be more than enough to have a safe travel.