I’ve been on three Euro Trips, which is defined as traveling through a series of European cities. I’ve done it with my mother, my friends and by myself. So I think by now I have a good grasp of how to plan a Euro Trip. .
- Prioritize sights before going there. When there’s only three days in a city it’s important to figure out what you want to see. When you go unprepared often you’ll leave unfulfilled. Also, you need to check the times things are open or best time to go, for example, in Paris it’s a good idea to go early to The Catacombs; but the line goes fast at the Louvre; The Eiffel Tower is best at sunset. By knowing these things a whole day can be planned and your time is used efficiently.
- Pack light. There’s no one to really abroad, so it’s best to keep a neutral palette. This makes it easy to mix and match. It’s going to be much better to leave room for souvenirs than carry a bunch of fancy clothes. Also, after most of the euro trips my clothing is wrecked so I’d suggest taking your cheaper items. Also, budget airlines will charge you for an extra 2-3 kilograms so it’s best to stay under the limit.
- Invest in a phrasebook and/ or travel book. So I know people love their smartphones but having offline maps and phrasebooks will save your a** when you are found with no charge in a foreign city. I found it incredibly helpful to have my little European guide book when I was in Amsterdam. I was staying with family so I didn’t have access to tourist maps and I didn’t have a European phone so I couldn’t look things up on. So showing locals my map and even the address listed in the guide book helped me get around.
- Separating camera and phone will help make your electronics go the distance but also invest in a portable charger or an extra battery. Often you’ll go 8 hours easy with no access to an outlet. So be prepared.
- Meet people in your hostel or get to know your couch surfing hosts. People are often times what make your trip unforgettable. While Houston isn’t a top destination, I had a great time with all the people I met at my hostel. So try not to get too wrapped up in your itinerary and take time to get to know people.
- Free Walking Tours are the best way to see a city. You get to cover a lot of ground without getting lost plus it’s cheap and informative. Then the best part is you can figure out what places you want to check out in more detail later. But keep in mind you should tip generously. As I’ve mentioned before in other posts, it’s always a good idea to look for unique tours that cater to your interests.
- Take time to smell the flowers: meaning plan time to just go somewhere pretty and read a book. It can be frustrating and overwhelming trying to hit sight after sight. So plan an hour to rest somewhere. In Barcelona, a few of us were sightseeing then we all took a little break to nap or read at Parc de la Ciudadela.
- While big cities are great, there is a special charm to some smaller cities and towns. So if you have enough time, look for day trips. It’s was an easy day trip to San Sebastian to Bilbao for my friends and I. It was great to be able to check off two cities in one weekend.
- Always check the weather before you pack! This should be a DUH but people forget all the time or assume something, like Israel never get cold or Poland is never hot.
- Take a journal with you to keep things like your hostel’s address and phone number in print, emergency contacts and other notes. If you are drunk, lost or your phone died, you don’t have to freak out.
- Keep a lock on everything. Pickpockets look for tourists. I usually keep a small suitcase lock on my backpack or purse. Often, if people just see you have a lock they will leave you alone.
- Schedule rest days in between especially if you are traveling more than a week at a time. It can get exhausting trying to see everything there is to see. You’ll make the most of your trip if you can find time to rest.
- Check Lonely Planet for safety updates. While most of Europe is perfectly fine each country has its own scams and issues. Lonely Planet does a great job of keeping all the scams, political issues and more up to date.
And of course, have fun!!!
More Travel Tips: http://sangriastainedlips.com/2015/03/02/the-confused-traveler/