If you are intending on travelling around Europe, the overwhelming sense of excitement and anticipation will be building up. There is simply so much to do and see that it will be a task to fit everything in, but defining what you want from this trip will be the first step in helping you decide what to visit and when. We take a look at some of the basic steps of planning a trip to Europe.
4 top tips for travelling in Europe
- Seasonal knowledge
Measuring a grand total 3,997,929 square miles (10,354,636 square km) and owning approximately 50 countries – Europe is big. Depending on your time of travel, you will encounter various types of weather. For example, if you are visiting Amsterdam in January – prepare for the blistering cold but If you visiting Malta in January – prepare from dry spells and relatively warm weather. Before you head off, be sure you are weather prepared – it will have a huge influence in how you spend your time.
Inter-railing is by far the most popular travel method for travellers seeking to explore Europe. It’s great and cost efficient but don’t tie yourself to this if you don’t think you can commit to the long hours. It’s not for everyone, and it can be challenging to leave Austria in the pouring rain at midnight and arrive in Italy in the sunshine at midday. If inter-railing isn’t for you, check out travel sites like Expedia for great deals on flights and hotels, allowing you to plan your trip well in advance.
- Cultural norms
Europe is full of cultural differences. In general – European people are thought to be friendly and approachable people but you need to be aware of the cultural norms for the country you are visiting. For example, in France it is polite to greet people with 2 kisses. However – in countries like Ireland, this could be deemed inappropriate if you just met someone and is not the “done thing”.
- Food for thought
Food is different everywhere in Europe and so are eating times. If you are staying with hosts, be aware of this. For example in Mediterranean countries, dinner is served later in the evening but in the British Isles (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) for example, the general dinner time is around 5pm. It’s also good to know this information when you are heading out to eat.
Be prepared for plenty of meat – whilst the food from Western countries are diverse by themselves, there are common characteristics that distinguish Western cooking from cuisines of Asian countries and others. Most notably is probably the amount of meat and the serving size when compared to e.g. Asian countries. Be prepared to fill up!
Whatever your plans for travel in Europe – be sure to enjoy everything this great continent has to offer. With big bright cities and historical and cultural places of interest, there is plenty to do and see. You’ll never face a dull moment if you prepare well, travel smart and take plenty of opportunities.