Europe is a wonderful place to travel through. A trip like that needs careful planning. Keep reading for the best tips for the ultimate European adventure.
Ever dreamed of traveling the continent of Europe? Home to some of the world’s most ancient history, the finest cuisine, and awe-inspiring landmarks, a European adventure should be on your bucket list! However, before you set off on the trip of a lifetime, a little planning must be done beforehand. Without a little preparation and planning, your European adventure could take a turn for the worse. Ensure your trip is all smooth sailing with these simple holiday planning tips…
How To Plan the Ultimate European Adventure
Before you begin galavanting across Europe, soaking up the romance of Paris, or indulging in gelato in Italy, there are a few things to get in order first. Planning a holiday that is longer than a couple of weeks may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be! The bottom line is that you are traveling to a foreign country, and even though you are on holiday, plenty of things can go awry. From tying up loose ends before you leave to potential flight delays, falling ill, accidents, and lost luggage – preparation is key! Instead of spending your European adventure worrying about what could go wrong, begin your holiday with the peace of mind that you are prepared and ready to take on Europe!
1. Organize Your Paperwork
Don’t have a passport? Best you apply for one ASAP! The process can take up to six weeks from the time of application. There are services on offer that can speed up the application process to two-three weeks, but this comes at a pretty penny! If you don’t have the budget to fork out for an expedited passport service, it’s best to get your ducks in a row well before your intended departure date. If you do have a passport, ensure it is valid for travel within 6 months of its expiration date. If you’re looking to hire a car for your European Adventure, double-check your driver’s license expiration date as well! You will also need to check whether the country of hire requires you to have an international driver’s permit. An international driver’s permit can be secured through the American Auto Association. Lastly, if Mother Russia is on your European bucket list, you will need to obtain a visa. This can be a lengthy process, so it’s best to begin as early as possible!
2. Build A Budget
Before you decide on where you want to go on your European adventure, you will have to establish a budget first. Your budget will ultimately dictate where you end up going, but this is not to say you have to skimp on the places you want to see! Some destinations in Europe are more affordable than others, but there are plenty of ways to save money while traveling throughout Europe. If you have a very tight budget, you can:
- Choose to travel out-of-season (the cooler, fall months)
- Choose to stay in ‘budget friendly’ accommodations
- Stay in bed and breakfast accommodations to save on eating out
- Plan a shorter round trip
- Choose an all-inclusive travel package for certain cities
- Search for flight specials which can be found at out-of-season travel times
You need to set your budget from the get-go, which will help to establish your travel expectations. This way, you can be realistic and try to fit in as much as your budget will allow!
3. Plan Your Travel Itinerary
Your bucket list of places to see is probably not a short one, right? Like many a keen traveler, the dilemma lies in where to go and what to see first! Europe is a treasure trove of wonderful sights. Our top tip on where to start is to pick a place that has been sitting at the top of your bucket list. If you have been hankering to visit a particular site, start at the top of your list, and work your way down. Once you have selected your first destination, plan the remainder of your European adventure around this – according to what your budget will allow. If you don’t have one particular place in mind, plan your trip around local events or festivals, this way you can get a true feel for the local way of life. Make sure to check the weather for the time of year you plan to travel. This could also play a major role in deciding where you visit in Europe!
4. Book Your Airfare Well in Advance
There’s nothing like last-minute travel plans which will chew into your budget! Your airfare will undoubtedly be the most pricey portion of your trip, that’s why the earlier you book, the better it will suit your budget. Booking your flights early also gives you added leeway when it comes to travel dates, adjusting them if an emergency crops up.
5. Pre-Book Accommodation
This is a no-brainer for any traveler, whether you’re new to it or a well-seasoned pro. But don’t let the allure of a plush, air-conditioned hotel suite persuade your accommodation decisions for every stop on your European holiday. It may be worth doing a little research on each city you plan to visit, opting for the more quirky, charismatic lodgings on offer. Very often these types of lodgings offer a great way to experience the local culture while being far more affordable! Do some research on home rentals, homestays, house-swapping, or even farm stays for cheap, budget-friendly accommodation options.
6. Don’t Pass on Travel Insurance
When it comes to international travel, anything can happen. Not to be dramatic, but travel insurance is a must when it comes to traveling so far from home. There are various forms of travel insurance on offer, including:
- Trip cancellation insurance
- Flight cancellation insurance
- Medical insurance
- Luggage insurance
- Personal Insurance
Once you have made all the big deposits for your trip, assess your budget and settle on insurance that adequately covers your holiday. Most importantly, check your medical insurance to see if you are covered internationally. If not, it’s worth taking out extra cover for your travels.
7. Research Local Transportation
The beauty of traveling throughout Europe? Public transportation! For many European destinations, you simply won’t need a car rental- public transportation is reliable, clean, and simple to use. However, it’s recommended that you do a little research on public transportation in the specific cities you plan to visit. This way you can be double sure you can get from A to B without a car rental! Keep in mind, car rental may become an option if you plan on traveling to outlying areas outside of major cities.
8. Manage Last-Minute Logistics
Plan for your departure at least two-three weeks before you leave. Some of the most common last-minute logistics you will have to organize include money transfers and currency exchanges, your cell phone, a house sitter, or a pet sitter. Don’t forget to notify your bank that you will be traveling overseas and intend to use a credit card. If you will need cash in certain regions, organize adequate currency exchange. International roaming can cost an arm and a leg! Don’t get caught having to pay an astronomical phone bill when you get home. Ask your cell phone provider about international travel packages and data roaming rates.
Travel With Complete Peace-of-Mind With AssistAnt
At AssistAnt, we provide a global concierge VIP service. Our business aim is to ensure your personal or business travel trips run as smoothly as possible. Our global concierge VIP services range from airport ”meet and greets”, luxury transportation services, travel arrangements, sightseeing services, personal assistant errands, and more. View our comprehensive list of services and get in touch to schedule your personalized service.