How to plan your first trip to Europe?
Europe is a continent that is also recognized as part of the Eurasian continent, completely in the northern hemisphere and mostly in the eastern hemisphere. It includes the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, shares the land mass of Afro-Eurasia with Asia and Africa, bordering the Arctic Sea to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, the Mediterranean Sea to the south, and Asia to the south. east.
Europe is generally considered to be separated from Asia by the basins of the Urals, Urals, Caspian Sea, Dai Koukasasu, Black Sea, and Turkish Straits. Many of these boundaries are land, but Europe is mostly considered a separate continent because of its large physical size, historical and cultural weight, and its significant impact on the history of the world.
Europe covers approximately 10.18 million km2 (3.93 million square miles) or 2% of the surface (6.8% of land area), making it the second smallest continent (after the 7-continent model). Politically, Europe is divided into about 50 sovereign states, of which Russia is the largest and most populous, covering 39% of the continent and accounting for 15% of the population. In 2018, Europe’s total population was about 746 million (about 10% of the world’s population).
The climate of Europe is strongly influenced by the warm Atlantic Current, which softens winters and summers in most of the continent, even at harsh latitudes in Asia and North America. The farther away from the sea, the more pronounced the seasonal differences are than the closer to the coast.
Before you experience authentic Spanish tapas, Squares of Rome and the roof terrace of Prague, there is a list of important things to do during your vacation in Europe. Logistics for planning a trip to Europe may seem like a chore or overwhelming, but the more prepared you are, the more likely you are to succeed in a trip that meets your expectations. For this reason, it is important to plan your itinerary, arrange transportation, and work on brass needles well before heading to the continent.
The following guide will show you how to plan your trip to Europe in 10 easy steps. This allows you to spend less time worrying about travel arrangements and more time looking at pictures of castles and men in the quilt.
1. Bring the order to your documents.
If you do not have a passport, it will take at least 4-6 weeks after you apply. Prompt service by the Department of State or an expressive such as Travel Visa Pro can reduce the process to about a week, but it is advisable to respond in advance as there is an additional charge. Travel. Do you already have a
passport? Please check the expiration date. The last thing you need to do is find out if your passport has expired while waiting in line to check in at the airport. Please note that in some countries your passport must be valid for 6 months beyond your travel date.
All car rental companies require that the driver have a valid driver’s license in their country, so check the expiration date of your driver’s license as well. In addition to a valid driver’s license, some car rental companies also require an international driver’s license for rental in Europe. For US residents, these are available from the American Auto Association (AAA). In Canada, try the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA).
2. Set a budget.
When planning your trip to Europe, budget as soon as possible, even before you know your destination, travel dates and itineraries. Some destinations are generally cheaper than others, but there are ways to save everywhere: travel in the off-season, choose cheap accommodation, plan shorter trips. For example, London is an expensive city, but many tour operators and airlines offer affordable vacation packages, and it’s not difficult to find cheap flights to London, especially in winter.
Set your budget early to avoid the disappointments that can result from creating a great itinerary. B. Two weeks in Switzerland in the summer, then you realize you can’t afford it. Travel budget apps such as TrabeePocket (iOS | Android) can help you track your spending after you start booking.
3. Select a destination.
Now that you know how much it will cost, where do you want to go? This can be tricky if you are like many travelers and have a huge list of places to visit in Europe.
One strategy is to select a particular site on your must-see travel list and plan your vacation based on it. Last year I planned a trip to Ireland. It’s a trip to the distant Skellig Michael Island, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that I dreamed of visiting. This trip was a memorable two-week Emerald Isle Road trip.
Another option is to choose a location at the right time. Visit the national tourism website to look for seasonal events such as festivals and local holidays (you can avoid or participate depending on how you feel about the crowd). Don’t forget to check the weather before deciding where to go.
4. Create a rough itinerary.
So you want to go to France Don’t buy a round-trip flight to Paris and your hotel room right away. At least not yet. Before booking anything, make a daily plan for the perfect trip to France. Find out where you really want to explore and the cities you have the time and budget to get there.
Find out about alternative travel options in Europe. If you want to see multiple countries or cities but have a limited budget, consider a cruise (exchange rates are not useful for US citizens on American ships). If you don’t want to create your own itinerary, continue booking group tours with companies such as Intrepid Travel, G Adventures, Trafalgar and Rick Steves` Europe.
5. Book a flight.
Flights are probably the most expensive part of your trip, so you need to book first (rental car, hotel, etc.). This gives you more flexibility in setting dates and saves on flight costs. In many cases, spending can be reduced by using international low-cost carriers such as Aer Lingus and Norway. Check out multiple booking sites, including metasearch sites like Skyscanner and traditional booking sites like Expedia, to see a wide range of options. You can also set up fare alerts using Airfarewatchdog, SmarterTravel`s sister site, so you`ll be notified when the price of your flight drops.
Consider spicing up your trip with a layover in a different country. Icelandair has a long-running program that allows passengers flying elsewhere in Europe to take a free stopover in Reykjavik for up to seven nights.
6. Book your accommodations.
It’s time to return to the rough itinerary you wrote down and fill in some of your sleep spots. As with almost anything you book for your trip, it’s best to arrange early, especially during the peak summer season.
Of course, all you have to do is book a room in your local Hilton. However, with a little research, you may find quirky accommodation that is almost as exciting as the attractions you plan to visit. Look for a historic castle, a small bed and breakfast, a houseboat, an eco-friendly hotel, or an organic farm. Budget travelers take note: Vacation rentals, homestays, farm stays, and house-swapping are accommodation options that can be shockingly affordable … or even free.
7. Consider travel insurance.
There are several kinds of travel insurance: trip cancellation insurance, flight cancellation insurance, medical insurance, etc. The best time to buy insurance is right after you put down the major deposits on your trip, whether that entails airfare, a package, or prepaid hotels. Knowing the amount you paid in advance will ensure that you can travel as needed. Many airlines and travel agencies sell insurance that can be purchased on flights or travel packages. Be sure to read the policy details and compare them with other travel insurance before making a purchase.
Check your health insurance coverage to see if you have coverage abroad. If not, it is advisable to purchase additional health insurance to cover situations such as moving home for emergency medical care.
8. Book a day tour with local transportation.
When you’re in Rome, take the Metropolitana. Find out how locals move to their destinations and act accordingly. In convenient underground locations like bike-friendly Amsterdam and London, you don’t need a rental car unless you plan to leave the town.
If you’re traveling to places that aren’t easily accessible by train or plane (such as the Irish countryside), a rental car is the best choice. Be mentally prepared to drive abroad. This can be a terrifying experience when faced with garbled road signs, narrow roads, or obstacles caused by sheep.
To travel from city to city or from country to country, compare your rail options with the routes and fares offered by cheap European airlines such as easyJet and Ryanair. Travelers traveling extensively within Europe can save money by purchasing a rail pass from Rail Europe. This allows unlimited train travel within a particular area.
9. Handles last-minute logistics.
A few weeks before your departure date is a good time to handle many important logistics tasks such as money, phone calls, answering machines, pet sitters, and more.
Call your credit card company and tell them you are traveling abroad. In the meantime, check to see if you will be charged for using your card abroad. Find out where your destination ATM is, especially if you rely on cash.
Packing for Europe requires both different items and different ways of thinking compared to other types of travel. After all, it’s undeniable that Parisians are more stylish than typical North American tourists. Most of Central and Western Europe have a mild climate all year round, but that doesn’t mean you won’t experience rain or heat waves. When traveling to Europe, you should always pack clothes that are easy to layer and have a raincoat or travel umbrella that can be stored in a suitcase.
Think about how to transport your money. Pickpockets are more common abroad, so it is important to carry your money and personal belongings safely. When looking for your favorite European destination, consider the overall climate and when to travel. Then, about a week before your trip, check the weather forecast and make a packing list to make sure your suitcase is in good condition and meets the airline’s size limits.
Pro Pack Tip: If you don’t have enough packing space, invest in a packing cube set. It works amazingly because it’s easy to repack, especially if you’re stopping at multiple destinations.
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