So, you’ve decided to bite the bullet and embark on that long-awaited tour of Europe. But, where do you start? Here is a handy checklist to help you to make sure that your European voyage is everything you want it to be and more.
- Where to?
Even if you had unlimited funds and time at your disposal, it’s going to be nigh on impossible to cover every corner of Europe during your trip. Think carefully about what you want to get out of the experience. Do you want to see the world’s most impressive art? Maybe you are keen to sample an array of gastronomic delights. Perhaps you want to immerse yourself in cultural history, or are you desperate to shop until you drop? Once you’ve decided what you’re looking for, take the time to compile your top list of destinations.
- Create a budget
Your budget should include every expense you expect to encounter as a result of your travels. Decide your maximum spend for flights, accommodation, food and drinks and everything else you can think of. Make sure you incorporate extra funds for things like taxi brussels, trams in Amsterdam and boat trips along the River Seine. Allocate a certain amount of money for spending each day of your trip, and try to stick to it.
- Pack light
There’s nothing more guaranteed to make a European tour miserable than having to lug around a huge suitcase filled to the brim. Decide on an essential capsule wardrobe that will take you from day to evening with ease, and that will be weather appropriate for wherever you go. You don’t want to suffer in the heat of Madrid wearing sweaters, and Paris might be a bit chilly for shorts – depending on the time of year that you choose to visit. Think about using a backpacker style rucksack: this kind of luggage is much easier to carry and you’ll be able to keep your hands free for eating, drinking and shopping.
- Learn a little lingo
Taking the time to learn a few key words and phrases for each of the places you plan to visit will make your trip much more pleasurable. Apart from the fact that not everyone you meet will be able to speak English, it is good manners to make even the smallest attempt to ingratiate yourself with the locals. There are lots of places online where you can find out what to say and how to say it, and doing this will make the trip much more pleasurable – giving you a sense of pride and added self-confidence.
A whistle stop tour of Europe is one of the most exciting adventures you will ever embark on, so it’s worth taking the time to get it right. Plan, prepare and do your research to make sure that your holiday is fun, affordable and allows you the freedom to let your hair down. Find out about other people’s experiences of European towns and cities on pages like this one. To get our take on Italy, among other places, check out this article.