10 Must-know Europe travel tips
Europe is on many people’s lists of must see places but then, that brings us to the very first thing you should know about Europe, it’s big and it’s very diverse! In fact, many Europeans don’t even think of themselves as Europeans, they are English, French or Belgian first and Europeans second. Each country has its own distinct culture and traditions, but there are some common factors to consider, if you are thinking about taking a trip to Europe. Here are ten must-know travel tips that could be useful for your first trip to Europe:
1. Avoid the peak season if you want to escape the maddening crowds
Everyone in Europe seems to take their vacations at the same time and, it seems that everyone from outside of Europe wants to visit Europe then too! So one of the good Europe travel tips is: if you can, avoid the months period from mid-July to mid-September and then you will avoid the maddening crowds.
2. Learn a little bit of the local language, and it might win you some friends
In most major cities, you will get along fine with English, but making the effort to learn just a few phrases in the local language will win you friends. Even just making the effort to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ will go down well and in some countries, locals might even pretend not to understand you at all, if you don’t even try.
3. You will need adapters for electrical equipment
Voltage and electric sockets do vary between different European countries, so you will need to have an adapter pack for your electrical appliances. The higher voltage in some European countries will fry electrical appliances from other countries. Keep this in mind when you travel.
4. Keep your wits about you!
Most European cities are perfectly safe, but you still need to stay alert. Don’t get too engrossed by the fairy tale appearance of the ancient castle in front of you, because the pick pocket behind you is having a field day in your bag!
5. Don’t try and take over large carry-on luggage on European flights
Here is another one of useful Europe travel tips: if you are taking flights between European countries, be aware that European airlines are far stricter about carry-on luggage than, say, American airlines. It is quite likely that your carry-on luggage will be checked for weight and size and, if it is over the limits, it will be checked into the hold.
6. Don’t worry if they put you on a bus at the airport!
It’s not uncommon at European airports for there to be a bus to take you to your waiting airplane. Don’t panic, the bus isn’t going to take you all the way from London to Frankfurt!
7. What to wear?
Europe travel tips also include some practicality. There are no real rules on what clothes to pack for a trip to Europe, but Europeans do tend to dress casually, but stylish, which is often called ‘effortless chic’. Be aware of your surroundings though, some restaurants, for example, will expect you to be wearing smart clothes and also be aware of religious sensitivities, when visiting churches and mosques.
8. Don’t miss out on the obvious attractions
Even if you consider yourself to be a well-seasoned, independent traveller, don’t miss the main tourist attractions, just because they seem to be a bit of a cliché. There are very good reasons why everyone visits the Eiffel Tower in Paris, or Buckingham Palace in London, so don’t miss out!
9. Try the local cuisine; frog’s legs and snails really aren’t as bad, as they sound!
One of the joys of visiting Europe is the incredible diversity of fine food that each country has to offer. Avoid the temptation to head straight for the big food chain that you recognise. Try some of the local cuisines instead; frog’s legs and snails really aren’t as bad, as they sound!
10. Pack light
Especially important if you are touring several European destinations, only pack what you are really going to need. Carrying heavy luggage around with you will only get in the way and give you a backache. Anyway, you’ll need some space in your suitcase for all those souvenirs!
What are your favorite Europe travel tips?