Whether you choose to go for sightseeing in Spain, or if you want to try the wonderful Italian food in Rome, waffles in Belgium or visit the hundred islands from Croatia, there is something that you will have to do before thinking of any destination – a careful planning of your Europe’s trip. Even if everything related to a big trip may be overwhelming sometimes, there are some things you can do so that you will worry less on your vacation and enjoy more quality time. It’s very significant to take care of almost everything, and not leave one single tine unattended – the destination, itinerary, transport and even small details that will make the difference between a regular vacation and an outstanding trip to Europe.
This small guide will aid you with your planning the dream vacation to Europe. Following them will give you fewer worries throughout the entire trip and it will allow you to have the best vacation time ever.
Step 1 – Make Sure You Have All the Proper Documents!
First of all, when traveling aboard, you need to make sure you have a passport that is valid. If you don’t have one, applying for it can take up to weeks, so make sure you have a good amount of time for issuing it. If you want to shorten the time, you can pay a tax and through it you will receive your passport in less than three weeks. If you do have one, then you need to double check it – make sure it is valid and also make sure that it will still be valid for six more months after reaching your destination.
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Something else that you need to check is your driving license. If you have one, and you want to rent a car when you reach your destination, make sure it is valid. It is required by almost all rental car companies from Europe, along with the passport. Apart from this, you can be asked for an international driving permit, so make sure you have information about it before leaving.
Some other important aspect of your traveling is the need for a visa. There are countries on the Continent of Europe that require an entry visa, especially if you are not from the European Union or Schengen area. On every country’s embassy site there is detailed information about entering – conditions for obtaining the visa, special requirements, taxes and waiting time, along with medical insurance or travel insurance, which are a must, no matter what trip you make and where. Make sure you know all about it before deciding.
Step 2 – Know Early and Save Your Money!
A trip to Europe usually requires a substantial amount of money. This is the most important reason why you should be thinking about your budget very early – if possible a year before actually traveling.
You will be staying here at least a week so you will need money for quite a large stay. Some places can be cheaper, but some cities are extremely expensive. For example – if you choose to visit a capital – no matter the country, the prices will be considerably higher than in other cities from the same country.
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The tip for a careful planning is to choose a time for traveling when tourists are not invading the place. This way you will get cheaper flights, cheaper hotel rooms and even cheaper vacation or trip packages.
Make sure you save money every month for your vacation. If possible, this will help you have more money than you have planned – especially if you start saving early.
Step 3 – Choose the Destination of Your Dream and Make an Itinerary!
After carefully going through Step 2, it can be said that you know how much money you can afford to spend. Now it’s time to think of a certain country you want to visit. You can choose to stay the whole trip in a single city, or move from one place to another every 2 or 3 days.
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The tip is to choose the place that you want to visit most of all. If you have more places that you want to visit, look online and search more information about all of them. See what they are offering and choose what you think is worth it.
After you have decided where you want to travel, take a map with the said country. Actually, take a big, colored, detailed map. It’s the thing to do when you want to set a rough, approximate route there. Check the online sites and see what is worthy of sightseeing there – castles, old monasteries, historical sites, cozy and remote interesting small cities, adventure parks, protected reservations and anything else that might interest you. Consider them all by comparing the prices found online with the budget that you have.
Step 4 – Look for Hotels and Book Online!
This is a good moment to take into consideration different ways for traveling there. Don’t jump for the plane – there are also train routes available, cruises, adventure and camping tours, or even bike tours. All these are worth to be considered when you are thinking of a good trip.
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If you are to travel by plane, an early booking will give you lower prices.
The same rule applies when you are looking for hotels, which can be cheaper if you book in time. The online environment offers you great possibilities when talking about hotels. No matter where you want to go, with a little search you will be able to find places that are worth staying in at very reasonable pricing. There are old castles, farms, cozy bed and breakfasts, motels opened on boats, monasteries or even stylish pensions that are offering great accommodations. This is also the time when you need to look for car rental – if you really need one. There are plenty of car rental companies that offer you the option of booking online with or without pre-payment.
Step 5 – Make Lists and Start Packing!
This is the final step of preparing your journey. Make sure you note down everything, starting with the documents in Step 1 and finishing with the booking in Step 4. When you start packing, take at least 1 week before actually traveling. This way you will be able to check if you have taken everything you need to. The lists will help you with everything and will make it easier for you. Take proper time to make prior arrangements before leaving or any necessary shopping for last minute needed items.
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A great tip is to tick off any item from your list the moment you pack it or the moment you took care of it – like booking. This way you will have less chances of forgetting something.
The last things you need to do are to check the weather, take your suitcase and start walking!
Following these steps will help you have the trip of your lifetime, but, more importantly, they will help you having an organized vacation care free and happier!