Exploring Europe is probably one of the most exciting ways to spend your holiday. Surely, this is on everyone’s wish list. As you know, Europe is one of the busiest places in the world when it comes to tourism. Every year, millions of people from all over the world are making tours through a couple of European countries. One thing that’s really impressive about Europe is that you can meet new people, their culture, mentality, tradition, dishes, etc. Moreover, when it comes to culture, pretty much all of the counties are very different, so you will have the opportunity to learn about all of them.
It doesn’t matter if you are visiting beautiful Paris, culturally rich Italy or Greece, or mesmerizing hills of Switzerland, you will have the time of your life. If you are thinking about doing that in the nearest future, there are a couple of things you need to do before you start your adventure. Preparing all of the essential things will make your trip much more pleasant and smoother. In order to help you with preparing for your Europe tour, we’ve come up with a list of the important things you need to do before your adventure starts.
If you are planning to leave the country during summer days for a trip, you need to make sure that your passport is valid. You need to remember that a high number of counties require your passport to be valid for six months, even though some countries require three months after you arrive. This is important even if you are staying just one day or a few months, the principle is the same. On the contrary, if your passport is not valid for six months, that country could deny you entry. This is a pretty strict rule and that’s why it is important to check your passport before you leave your country. If you would like to learn more about it, check this website.
When traveling across Europe, you will not require a visa, unlike the United States, where a visa is a must. In case you need a visa, check here. In the EU for instance, the borders between the countries, for those in the Schengen Zone are basically inexistent. For example, you can travel from France to Germany and you will only see a board that you have entered a new country. You will not need any documents. However, if you plan to visit some other European countries, you should check if a visa is required.
Packing is probably the most stressful thing you need to do before traveling. There are not many stressful things than this one. Packing just the right amount of clothes is going to lead you a long way. Bringing a high number of unnecessary things to your trip could ruin the whole experience. Probably the best thing you can do is packing light. That way, you can avoid paying for checked luggage, there is no need to show up too much early on the airport, and avoid staying in the line for checking your bags. Therefore, you will prevent yourself from worrying about losing your bags. While in Europe, your light packing will make your bus or train transportation much easier.
In case you think about going shopping during your trip, it wouldn’t hurt you to bring an extra bag. You can pack light and then store all of the new things you will acquire on your trip into that bag. Sometimes it could happen that we buy too much on our trip. This is a hardship that is not easy to overcome while you are on a trip. So, being careful and having an extra bag could lead you a long way.
Calling a Credit Card Company
Before you leave the country, you need to call your credit card company and let them know that you are going to be out of the country. Letting them know where you are going and on what date is essential because there is a chance of them blocking your card and this can cause you some serious trouble. In order to prevent this, make sure that you make a quick call to them and explain the situation.
Use Local Currency
During your trip to Europe, you should always pay in local currencies. At the same time, try not to exchange your money at the airport because you will end up losing some money. Naturally, you can use your American Express, Diners, MasterCard, or Visa since they are widely accepted all over Europe. However, we recommend that you should exchange your money into local currencies. That way you will be able to protect yourself from potential scams. Moreover, you will have a much better experience if you are trying to cope with a new currency, and why not, save some of them as a souvenir.
Avoid ATM Fees
Before you leave your country, we recommend you to check with your local bank what ATM fees you can expect in Europe. When you are in a foreign country, local ATMs could charge you a wide array of fees. We are going to name a few of those. You can be charged with non-bank ATM usage fees, international transactions to from your currency to a local one, and ATM operator access fees. There are a couple of ways you can limit these fees. You can either use only your bank’s ATMs if possible or you can use the debit card at your bank’s international partners’ ATMs. That way you will prevent being charged with a $5 usage fee for each withdrawal.
Prepare Google Translate and Google Maps
These days we have so many possibilities for communication and you don’t need to worry about communicating with people in foreign countries. You can start using Google Translate application in case you face some hardships with communicating with people. However, we feel that a lot of people in Europe are speaking very good English, so you shouldn’t have too many problems. Anyway, you need to be prepared just in case. Also, you should use Google Maps. With that app, you will never get lost since the maps are frequently updated for every country.
Check your Phone Plan
Before you start using your apps, you need to make sure that your cell provider will not go out on you. You need to call your provider and ask them if you are covered for the countries you plan to visit. In case they don’t have for some of them for some reason, you can either switch your phone to airplane mode or you can just turn it off, and just use Wi-Fi. In case you have T-Mobile, there are chances that you will be able to get some inexpensive calls, for about $0.20 per minute and some free data.