Europe is a diverse continent with unique cultures regardless of the country you visit. I haven’t been to every European country; however, I have been to 15 countries so I want to let you in on key tips for traveling to Europe. Depending on the city, you will find plenty of tourist attractions especially in the summer months of June through August and that is the high season with their shoulder season being late spring or early fall. If you travel during this time, you know that lines to attractions may be longer and accommodation prices may be higher but whenever you go you are bound to have a good time.
Western Europe vs. Eastern Europe
Western Europe will be more expensive than Eastern Europe so plan your budget accordingly. The UK and Scandinavian countries like Iceland or Norway are the most expensive whereas countries like Hungary or Croatia are cheaper. You can see some cool things in Eastern Europe so don’t shy away from it if it doesn’t seem as familiar to you. Many countries in Europe will use the Euro for currency.
What Should I Pack
As far as packing goes, make sure to pack the right adapters for your electronics. This is helpful if you have never been to Europe before. For shoes, I would definitely recommend some great sturdy shoes for all the walking you will do on the cobblestone streets. Also, ladies if you want to pack heels I would recommend some wedges or a pair of heels that have a thicker feel because of the cobblestone. Generally in terms of fashion, Europeans are very fashionable so it doesn’t hurt to dress up especially if you are going to restaurants or out to clubs or shows.
Security & Safety
Europe is very modern and westernized and is generally regarded as safe except for petty crimes like pickpocketing. Like anywhere, you want to keep your wallets around you and just be alert as you would in any city. So make sure to keep your purse or backpack always zipped; any wallets or phones in your front pocket; and always keep your eye up.
Getting around Europe is very easy and organized whether you are traveling by train, plane, bus, or car. The train system is extremely organized and comfortable and I would actually definitely recommend train travel as you can watch the beautiful countryside out the window as you go from city to city. It’s honestly so pretty and since many countries in Europe are connected by what’s called “fishing in zone” you can pass through many country borders with no need to go through customs. This feels similar to traveling across different state borders in the U.S.
Traveling by plane is pretty easy as well; there are also budget airlines like EasyJet, Ryanair, Swiss Air, and many more. These kinds of airlines will offer flights for sometimes as little as two Euros but keep in mind a lot of these budget airlines are no-frills and they will charge extra fees for carry-on and a lot of times they won’t point into the main city airport. So you want to ensure that you have the right transportation to get from that airport into the new part of the city. Sometimes it may be cheaper to just book a regular ride into the main airport if that’s closer to your accommodation.
Speaking of accommodations, there are plenty of good hotels, hostels, and motels all over Europe. Hostels are very popular for backpackers all over the world and are a great way to meet other travelers. A lot of hostels can actually be really clean and nice and I recommend reading reviews to determine if they are in a good, safe location, and clean.