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Everything You Need to Know About Visiting Europe for the First Time

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So you’ve decided to visit Europe. It’s a pretty big continent, let’s hope you’ve got plenty of time because you’re going to need it. There must be a thousand and one things you want to experience so you might want to start by making a list and then putting them in order of importance. There’s no way you’re going to be able to eat spaghetti in Rome, tapas in Barcelona, jellied eels in London and sample as much German beer as possible. Do you really know what to expect from such a diverse continent? Somethings you may find really surprising. Here are some tips that will help you with your first visit and encourage you to come back for more.


First Create a Realistic List of Locations

Travelling between the many different countries is not that difficult, so you don’t necessarily need to limit yourself to one country. However, remember that a visit to the UK will require a boat journey, so you might want to save that destination for a vacation of its own. There are some beautiful locations all across the continent of Europe, and you’re going to find it difficult to cull your list down to less than a dozen. But you must because more than this number is completely unmanageable, unless you don’t mind spending most of your time traveling. A perfect number would be to choose your top five must-visit locations and take it from there. You might want to visit the Golden Versailles Palace and Gardens in Paris. You can learn more about it here. Perhaps you’d like to experience a beer festival in Germany or sample wine from one of Italy’s famous vineyards. Once you’ve got a list, you can start making plans around those locations.


How Are You Going to Get Around?

There are an endless number of tours you can take advantage of or you can choose to go it alone and make your own arrangements. The latter, however, will require a little more research and organization. If you’re not sure whether an organized tour is for you then the advice would be to try it out first with a short week-long tour. That way you can get a feel for the other type of passengers and whether you’ll fit in. They’re most definitely not everyone’s cup of tea, but many people love this way of discovering a country. For traveling across a continent they’re even better. It’s up to you how much is organized as part of the tour. Some operators make sure everything is planned down to the very smallest detail. Whereas others allow passengers a little more freedom, with just the transfers and accommodation organized.


If you want to be a bit more independent there’s nothing wrong with that. Europe is a great place to start if you’ve never done it before. There are a number of different online sites you can use to book hostels and hotel rooms, train and bus tickets. You can even book your flights and buy tickets to some of the top attractions.


When is the Best Time to Visit Europe?

The worst time to visit is in the height of the season. That’s in July, August and September. Choose these months for your vacation and you’ll be jostling with thousands of other tourists and locals who are taking time out at the same time. All the best accommodation will be packed to the rafters and you’ll spend hours standing in queues. The best time to visit is the spring or the autumn. If you want to experience Europe when it’s quiet, then winter is an even better option. You might need to pack a few warm jumpers though.


Aside from the weather and other tourists the timing of some of the European festivals might also determine when you visit. For example, there’s Glastonbury Festival in June, Oktoberfest in September and La Tomatina in August.


Traveling Tips

  • Learn the language – we’re not saying you need to be proficient, but a few words will be appreciated. You’ll surprised how well received your attempts will be.
  • Pack light – you’re going to be traveling a lot, so you don’t need a huge suitcase packed with a vast array of different clothes. Travel light and bring some detergent so you can wash any clothes along the way.
  • Don’t keep important documents and valuables in pockets.
  • Don’t expect cars to stop and give way to you, even if you’re on a designated crossing.
  • Always travel with insurance cover for both yourself and your possessions.
  • Keep a list of emergency numbers with you at all times.


Don’t Skimp on the Cost

Of course it’s possible to experience Europe on a budget, and there are plenty of sites online that will offer you good advice and tips on how to do it. However, you’ve come a long way to see the best sights of Europe so make sure you have enough money with you to do just that. A few savings here and there at home for a few months before you go away will mean you can push the boat out while you’re away.


You may have heard a few horror stories about traveling in Europe but not all of them are true. For example, you may be worried that there is someone around every corner waiting to rob you of all your worldly goods. This is simply not true. Yes, there is crime, as there is in many different countries around the world. However, taking a few simple precautions will keep you safe. For example, not keeping a wallet in your back pocket and keeping your bag zipped up. Europe has a lot to offer visitors. There are some amazing sights to see, food to sample and some friendly people to meet. Traveling there is not that expensive either, and if you shop around you’re sure to find some reasonable deals. Any journey you take can be an adventure as long as you approach it with the right attitude.    


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