Every summer, thousands of Americans make their way to Europe for their annual vacation. Whether you are heading to London or Paris, here are some tips I can give so that you have the best European vacation.
- Most European cities are old and lined with cobblestone streets more appropriate for walking rather than modern transportation. That is why you need to pack comfortable shoes as most of the must-see sights around each city are mainly reached by walking.
- When you are travelling in Europe, you need to be careful with your options when it comes to money. Ideally, you should carry credit cards for most of your purchases including air tickets and hotel rooms. It is less dangerous than cash because you can always report the credit card when it is lost of stolen. However, you need to carry some cash as well because some areas do not accept credit cards. In this case, travellers’ cheque might be a good alternative.
- Some European cities are filled with professional pick-pockets who are just waiting for the unsuspecting tourist. Always keep your valuable belonging close to you and in hard to reach places.
- Accommodations in European cities are very different from those in American cities. They are usually priced based on what the hotel offers not the room quality as here in the US. If you are a budget traveller, there are many hostels in the cities catering to this market with acceptable room conditions. There are also many bed and breakfast accommodations managed by families who provide excellent lodging for the budget traveller.
- If you are planning to move around Europe, the best way to get from one city to another is through the air. While it used to be the train network which brings people all around Europe, now with the proliferation of low cost airlines, air travel is the most efficient city to city transportation method.
- Before you departure, make sure you have copies of important documents like your passport, air tickers, credit cards and hotel reservations. Make a contact list of important numbers like hotel, credit card companies and airlines so that you can reach them in an emergency.
- While English is the world language, there are many countries in Europe where English is not widely spoken. When this happens, get a simple book on the local language that can provide you with the select choice phrases needed to navigate through this language barrier.