If you are planning your first trip to Europe, the following travel Europe tips can help to make the most of your vacation. Europe has so much to see that it is a good idea to plan the trip well in advance.
European Accommodation Options
Accommodation options in Europe range from five-star hotels and luxury spa or golf resorts to comfortable bed and breakfast places and campsites. For travelers on a small budget camping can be the best way to see Europe – but only in the summer.
Many campsites have great facilities and are located in scenic places. There are also youth hostels, boutique hotels and good quality mid-range hotels in most European countries. If you want to be pampered in luxury accommodation while touring throughout Europe an entirely different way, you may wish to consider one of the European Barge Cruises.
Train Travel Europe Tips
Traveling by train can be the best way to see Europe and especially its countryside and small towns. Trains are modern and comfortable and there are many overnight sleeper trains that connect different countries. Some train journeys let you enjoy beautiful scenery, such as the Swiss mountains, the lakes in northern Italy, or the countryside in southern France.
Travel by train in Europe can be expensive but fortunately there are many discount rail passes. Many train passes are available for both European citizens and visitors from outside Europe. Some are designed especially for non-European visitors.
The EURail pass comes in several varieties that offer unlimited rail travel in your chosen European countries for your chosen time period. This is one of the best options if you want to tour Europe by train but are concerned about the high ticket prices. Many European countries also have their own rail travel passes that are often available to both residents and non-residents.
Many visitors want to travel to Europe in the summer, when there is guaranteed sunshine in most parts of Europe and the summer holidays make it possible to travel with the whole family. The summer months from late June to late August are also the peak of the European summer holiday season. This means that flights become more expensive and are often fully booked, and it can be difficult to find accommodation. If you travel to the major European cities in July or August, expect large tourist crowds and long waiting times at main tourist attractions.
If you want to avoid the crowds, a better time to go is in the spring months (April and May) or in the fall (around September). If you really want the best price deals and are more inclined to confine yourself to the southern coastal regions of Europe where the weather is mild, you might even consider a Europe winter travel option.
But if you’re going there for a skiing adventure, or to see the spectacular scenery of the Alps, you can rest assured that European transport systems are much better than they used to be and have been designed to accommodate the severe winter conditions of central and northern Europe.
Learn the Local Language
Practice a few phrases before you arrive and use them with locals if you feel comfortable. In most cases, they’ll appreciate a tourist trying to speak the local tongue.
Try listening to a few podcasts to get the right pronunciation, or spend some time with a language program like Rosetta Stone leading up to your trip.
Greetings and thanks can go a long way—and don’t forget to learn the word for toilet!
Remember the Siesta!
One thing that you’ll notice as you travel through Europe is, that the locals like to take long lunch breaks. This means that you’ll often find that shops, or the Post Office, are closed during the mid-day hours, because the owners or operators are “out to lunch”.
So it’s a good idea to take the European “long lunch” into account when planning your travel itinerary. Don’t let it be a problem for you – in fact, why not indulge yourself.