So you’ve decided it’s finally time to be your best Lizzie McGuire and you’ve booked your tickets to Europe. What are some things you need to consider in preparation for your trip…
Find a well suited travel buddy
This could definitely be the make or break of the trip, not to be dramatic. Seek out all your friends and look to those who wish to get the same out of your trip. What is their budget? Is the trip going to be fast paced or relaxed? Party or cultural? It’s good to always be clear with your travel partner about what you want and compromise on the smaller things to make sure you both enjoy the trip.
Looking to get the biggest bang for your buck? Consider booking a contiki. This will not only allow you to save money but will take away a lot of the stress of making a travel itinerary and all the finer logistics of what it takes to travel through Europe. Doing a contiki can also take you to smaller places you have never heard of before let alone would have ever considered travelling to. You can also travel through a lot more places in a shorter amount of time.
If you’re a keen planner or have a friend whose planning skills you can leverage to sort out your Europe trip you can also AirBnB through Europe to save that extra cash. Increasing in popularity throughout the continent, AirBnB will make you feel like a true local in the cities you visit, mean you are in prime location and allow you to be fully immersed in European culture with no worry for noise complaints and other restraints that come with staying in hotels.
When it’s time to pack coordinate your clothes together and take pieces that can be worn in many different ways. Remember to pack light so that you have spare room for other things you may buy along the way and all bring the essentials. Yes, that means leaving behind those random pair of heels that you bought last Spring, still haven’t worn, but somehow believe will make them work on your Euro trip. Keep important travel documents in your suitcase as well and any extra cards, spare cash and documents you may have in case you lose those whilst on the go! Keep a list of everything you bring with you and try to spread the load with a buddy who can bring items to share. Power boards also always come in handy!
Purchase a local SimCard
If your first stop is London try to purchase a European sim here as it is more affordable than many other countries. Once you start hitting other places it may also be more difficult to find spots selling sims and they may be more localised in comparison to those offered in London. If you want to stay connected and live and die by the motto #doingitforthegram make sure to get your sim ASAP.
Don’t release all your inhibitions a la Natasha Bedingfield Unwritten, you’re still in a foreign country and need to take all safety precautions. Always be aware of your surroundings and drop pins on your location maps so that in case you get lost it is easy to show others where you are or make it back to where you came from. Make sure to keep your bags zipped at all times and never out of sight. Leave copies of your important documents and itinerary with family back home so they know where you are at all times and provide them with regular updates. And the obvious, never go out alone at night and be careful in large crowds, particularly near major tourist attractions which are scam and pickpocketing hotspots.
In Europe you cannot always say that price is directly correlated to quality. If you explore beyond the usual tourist hotspots you will find hidden gems where the food gets cheaper all the whilst quality and quantity increase. Did someone say pizza for 1? I mean, pizza to share..?
Definitely plan the holiday ahead and research tourist attractions that you must see as some may be booked out may months in advance e.g. Anne Frank’s Museum in Netherlands. It’s not necessary to book out all your activities before you get to your destinations though. It is always a good idea to leave free spaces in your itinerary to allow you to move around and change activities depending on your mood and other factors that may impact them. Always start off your day early though so you can truly familiarise yourself with the city you are in and make it to attractions early enough to miss long waiting queues e.g. the Eiffel Tower whose queue starts before it even opens.
Now you’re covered with everything you need to know, go forth and make those #mems.