Do you have a trip to Europe on your bucket list? If this is your first trip, you’re in for an amazing experience. Whether you’re a foodie, history buff or budding art aficionado, European cities are bustling with rich culture at every turn. Planning for such a trip can be daunting. You don’t need to have an unlimited budget or the services of a private travel agent to plan an amazing trip to Europe that will result in a lifetime of memories. There’s no better time than today to begin your planning. Follow these recommendations from the professional travel agents and travel gurus to ensure your planning covers key components of European travel.
The first step in planning any trip abroad is to check the expiration date on your passport. Many European countries require at least ninety days remaining prior to expiration after the date of return on a round trip ticket. Applications, a list of document requirements and appointments for submission can all be completed at your local post office. Allow for at least two to three months processing time leading up to the busy travel season. Pay special attention to document requirements for minors under the age of twenty one. Upon receipt of your passport, take a photo and secure in a safe location.
Contact your cell phone carrier to explore options for data plans while in the countries you’ve selected. Many carriers offer short term plans that are very affordable. Another option is to purchase a prepaid data SIM card in each country you visit. Confirm that your cell phone has a removable SIM card prior to selecting this option. Know that many small and mid-sized European cities do not have multiple free Wifi access points.
Order Euro currency from your local bank branch. Allow for two weeks for delivery. While there are certainly opportunities to exchange US dollars for Euros at local train station and airport kiosks, the exchange rates will be much more favorable in the United States. Many small establishments do not accept credit cards.
Finally, plan to pack light. If you will be staying in several different hotels, taking multiple trains and heading to and from the airport with the subway systems, you’ll appreciate having smaller, lighter luggage. Take advantage of the awesome deals offered by Groupon coupons and stock up on casual styles form the huge selection available from Old Navy.