While hardened travellers to Europe know how to get around the vast Continent, the magnificent architectural wonders and scenic beauty, first time travellers are often at a loss. It is a Continent that has multiple nations each with its own culture, cuisine and ethnicity and quickly adapting to the country you are in on your first outing to Europe can be a daunting task.
Here are a few tips that as a first time visitor to Europe you can follow to make your trip memorable and once in a lifetime experience.
Check visa requirements
Most countries in Europe do not require a visa if you are on a short trip. But just to be sure that you are not stopped at a border, it is advisable to search online for visa requirements of the countries that you plan to visit and act accordingly. Check whether you can get a visa on arrival or have to get one before that.
Best time to travel
Remember, if you think that summer is the best time to be on the sunny beaches of Europe, so does half of the world. Tourist destinations in Europe can get excessively crowded during season, especially the beaches and the museums. Hence opt for travelling during the off season when you do not have to move shoulder to shoulder with others during sightseeing.
Air and rail travel
You can fly throughout Europe really cheap on more than a dozen budget airlines that crisscross the Continent. But make sure to plan ahead and book in advance because the really cheap seats sell off fast. However, read the fine print for any additional charges like baggage fees and restrictions on luggage size and hand baggage. Getting around by train is also very efficient. It is a wonderful way to see the various countries and the landscapes rolling by provided you have the time for a leisurely trip.
Savour one country at a time
First time travellers to Europe get so overawed with the many countries to be seen that they tend to cram in as many places as they can on one trip. This is not advisable if you really want to understand the basic culture of the places you visit. Select a couple of countries and travel extensively, taking in the neighbourhoods like a local, making friends, finding quaint restaurants tucked in out of the way places and sampling delectable cuisine unique to that location. This truly makes for exciting travel stories and memorable experiences.
Have sufficient cash on you
Do not bank entirely on credit cards since there are places in Europe that accept only cash. Additionally have Euros ready in hand for taxi rides, tips and purchases at the local market. Visit the ATM once at the airport on arrival and after that do not waste time searching for one when you should be busy taking in the wonders of Europe.
Follow these 5 tips and your first Europe vacation should be a highly successful one.