Travelling

13 Things You Need To Do Before Travelling To Europe

Are travel checklists really that boring?

How many times have you set off to a foreign country and forgot to do something pretty necessary? Luckily we have you covered.

We have come up with 13 things that you should mark off your list before you get on a plane to Europe.

#1 Get A SIM Card With A Europe Data Bundle

You’ll want to take snaps of your adventures and show everyone on social media what you are up to, right? Actually you’ll probably just want to make some people jealous.

With an international SIM card and data included you can avoid data roaming and upload that selfie beside the Eiffel Tower.

#2 Get A Travel Adapter

That data SIM card won’t be much good unless you can actually use your phone.

Regardless of whether you are travelling from the USA or the UK – you need a travel adapter that will let you charge your gadgets when in mainland Europe.

#3 Check Your Passport Expiration Date

Your passport is in date, fantastic! But how in date is it?

Some countries in the EU require you to have at least 6 months left on your current passport before you travel otherwise they won’t let you through customs. Find out more.

#4 Let Your Bank Know You Are Travelling

There are countless horror stories of people travelling to Europe, using an ATM and their bank blocking their card.

It’s pretty good that most banks take fraud like this seriously but to avoid being left with no money let your bank know what countries you are travelling to and what dates you will be there.

#5 Backup Your Documents

Scan your flight tickets, hotel reservations, travel insurance documents or anything else that is important.

Upload them to Dropbox or another cloud service and you can access them anywhere in Europe as long as you have an internet connection.

#6 Buy Travel Insurance

Sure, why do you need insurance? Nothing bad is going to happen, is it?

Don’t take the risk. Travel insurance is ridiculously cheap these days if you shop online and make sure it covers you for everything you plan to do.

#7 Do You Need A Visa?

Most EU countries only require you to have a valid passport to enter. This includes coming from UK, USA, Canada and Australia.

If in doubt check online to avoid being sent back on the first flight because you don’t have a valid visa.

#8 Pack Lightly

It might seem a good idea to shove all your worldly possessions into a backpack before you set off for Europe but do you really need that portable dehumidifier?

Pack essentials and you can also pick up anything else you need when you get there. Set out everything you think you need then only pack half.

#9 Research ATM Fees

You don’t want to carry a load of Euros around with you so you’ll need to use an ATM at some point.Ask your bank if they have any international partners and use their ATMs – this can reduce or even get rid of expensive ATM fees.

If not currency cards work just like your debit card, just charge them up and you can use them anywhere that will accept cards.  They help reduce the costs of currency conversions and ATM fees.

#10 Download Google Translate and Google Maps

A lot of people in Europe speak English but if you’re going off the beaten track expect to run into a few communication problems.

Google translate might not be perfect but it is better than trying to ask someone how to get to the train station using hand signals.

#11 Visit The Main European Attractions

You might not want to come across as a total tourist however do you really want to miss the Charles Bridge at dusk or avoid the Vatican?

These are popular for a reason and should definitely be visited however you should also…

#12 Get Off The Beaten Track

Sometimes the most enjoyable places are those hardly any tourists go to.

Find some obscure jazz club in Krakow or head to the student city of Tartu in Estonia for a more authentic experience.

#13 Learn A Few Local Words

No-one expects you to be fluent but using a few local phrases will get you a long way.

Lei parla inglese per favore? or a simple ‘Merci’ will get you off on the right foot with the locals.

Europe is a diverse continent.

No two countries are the same however by checking all these things off your list you can ensure that your trip is a memorable one for all the right reasons.

S’amuser!

About Billy Joel