Europe is one of the hottest vacation spots and has a well established tourist industry that welcomes tourists from all over the world. That said, embarking on what might be considered even the most basic of European trips needs some planning, preparation and research.
Whether you have an action packed rock climbing adventure in Corsica planned, or some fast paced skiing in the Alps or a baking family beach holiday on the Spanish coast ? all European trips need to be planned. So here’s some of what you need to know.
Make sure that you understand the documentation that each European country will require for you to enter. Some countries are more laid back in the kind of documents that you will need to get into them, others are more strict. You will save yourself a heap of time, money and disappointment, if you have all your paperwork in order before you leave home. Of course the documents you will need will depend on where in the world you arrive from and your nationality, length of stay and what you’ll be doing in the country you’re visiting.
For instance, some countries will require that you have more than six months left to run on your passport before they will allow you in, other countries won’t be so strict. So don’t make the mistake of thinking that you’re visiting Europe and treat the entire continent as one big homogeneous blob. Europe consists of nearly 50 countries, all of which can have vastly different rules and regulations.
For all European trips, take your money in various forms. The Euro is always a great starting point since it is always great to have some local currency when you arrive in a country. However, just because it is called the Euro it doesn’t mean that the Euro is the dominate and only currency used throughout the whole of Europe. The UK, for instance, sticks steadfastly to the Pound, though some tourist areas will take the Euro.
So as well as taking the Euro, take some Dollars, travelers checks and some plastic too if you can. This whole approach might even work in your favor as the exchange rates fluctuate from day to day. One day you might get more for your Dollar than another! The trick here is to be flexible.
Also understand this – the diversity of cultures across Europe means that what is accepted in one country might not be accepted in another. Again, treat each country and region as an individual place and never make the mistake of believing that you are in Europe and what works for one area works for all. To get the best out of your European trips, do some research on the areas you want to travel to and even seek out local advice once you arrive in an area. Do anything but offend local custom, remember ignorance is no defense!
Europe is a wonderful continent and one that should always be on your ‘must do’ list.