By Kacey Mya of The Drifter Collective
Even if you’re the kind of person to take a last minute trip, vacations always take at least a little planning. You have to think ahead about what you want for meals, where you can get the food you like and what are the best places to stay. There’s also always time spent looking into what you can do around your vacation spot. This part of vacationing can feel monotonous, but it’s also exciting.
You get to plan a trip that’s going to blow your mind, so make sure you plan it the right way. Depending on where you’re going, your planning process is going to look slightly different. Trips to Europe in particular can be challenging for North Americans, because there are so many different countries and cultures to immerse yourself into.
If You’re Traveling to Europe, Here Are 8 Tips That Will Help You Make the Most of Your Trip
If you’re planning a trip to Europe, you don’t need to feel overwhelmed. Read on for some great tips that will help you make the most of your trip. You’ll never feel like you’ve missed anything, so you can just enjoy your vacation. Lose yourself in an incredible vacation to Europe and you’ll soon be planning your return trip in the near future.
1. Don’t Try to See It All
When people visit popular US destinations like theme parks or large cities, there’s often an attempt to see everything in one trip. While that may be possible with a tight schedule, there’s no way anyone can see everything Europe has to offer. Don’t waste time stressing about timing flights or hotel bookings.
Instead, make a list of what you want to see first. Try to visit the top five places, if they’re in the same general location. You’ll eventually work your way down your Europe sightseeing bucket list with future trips, so don’t sweat it if you only stay in one area for your first go around.
2. Investigate Your Travel Options
Europe has a lot to offer visitors, but the destinations aren’t nearly as spread out as vacation spots in the US. You don’t need to get expensive flights to every city, which is why you should investigate your travel options. See if you can use things like tour buses or trains to save money. You can ride in style with the major tourist buses or try to blend in with the locals with trains or ride sharing apps. Know the options that are available in the places you want to visit before you get there so traveling is a breeze.
3. Take a Cruise
The phrase “backpacking through Europe” is a cliche for tourists to use as their framing device for a Europe vacation, but it’s not the only way you can travel the world. Check out your cruise options, since there are so many that will take you through the best places in Europe. You can get your food, board and entertainment wrapped up in one package, in addition to not having to pay for parking when you get to your destinations.
4. Book Hostels to Save Cash
Americans are used to booking a hotel room whenever they travel, but Europe has other lodging options that might be more affordable for your budget. Hostels have existed long before room sharing apps. They were meant to house students and workers as they traveled, but tourists are now welcomed too. They’ll make you feel more like a local and not charge you typical hotel fees.
5. Travel During Off Seasons
Like any other popular vacation spot, Europe has its peak and low seasons that you should be aware of. If you travel there during the peak tourist season, you’ll find long lines and sold out spots that will be crushing not to visit after flying all the way out there. The low season is typically from November to March, so you’ll have a much better chance of encountering lower tourist volumes if you plan your vacation for the fall, winter or early spring seasons.
6. Research Upcoming Festivals
Picture the town where you live and the little festivals it probably has throughout the year. Now picture those festivals magnified for all of Europe to come visit. European festivals are one of the biggest tourist attractions that Europe has to offer. You should especially consider going to a music festival, since those tend to be the most popular. They’re a great opportunity to listen to the latest music and have a great time jamming out.
7. Pack One Fancy Outfit
The goal on a big trip to Europe is to pack light. Recycle outfits whenever you can, but it’s also smart to pack at least one fancy outfit as a backup plan. You may want to try a local restaurant that’s requires nicer clothes than jeans and a t-shirt, and you don’t want to miss out on an experience just because of what you didn’t pack. Have something business casual on hand for last minute wardrobe changes you may need to see a fancier venue or location.
8. Save as Much as Possible
You may be planning your trip down to the last minute, and that’s great if it’s what you prefer. There are still some unknowns you may be facing though, so it’s wise to save as much as possible before your trip begins. Tipping will be different in different countries for your dining experiences, and travel rates for buses and trains may not be the same.
There’s also an important factor to keep in mind. You don’t want to pay to travel to Europe and not enjoy every minute. Don’t waste time by ordering room service or eating in the hotel restaurants. Go out and see the cities you visit, eat at local restaurants and discover new experiences. You’ll get a better time from your trip if you have the freedom to go out for meals and other little things that you may have stayed home for on other trips.
Even if you put off your trip for a couple months to save, it’ll be worth it when you get there. You’ll have the ability to travel farther and see more. While you save, consider things like where you want to go and if a cruise could get you to those places. Looking at your trip differently than you would when traveling to an American city will transform your trip planning and give you a fantastic vacation.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kacey is a lifestyle blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture & the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations & cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing & inspiring posts. You can find her on Twitter & Pinterest.