Travel to Europe is an amazing experience, but these lifetime trips definitely require
research and planning. If you want to have the vacation of your dreams, you need to
do put in a good bit of prep-work before you depart. Here’s our list of 11 facts that
should help make your European adventure much more relaxing and enjoyable.
1. Call your Credit Card Company: It is important to call your credit card company
and notify them that you are leaving the country, and for how long. If you don’t alert
them, once your card is used in Europe, it will raise a red flag to their security team.
You don’t want to be stuck on the phone with them your first day of the trip, so
notify them ahead of time to avoid holds on your account!
2. When on Land, Get a Rail Pass: Traveling by train is an adventure that everyone
should experience at least once in their life. A Rail Pass is a great way to save money
while traveling to several different locations on your trip. Tip: It is cheaper to buy
one online ahead of time, rather than at the train station on your trip.
3. Make Reservations in Advance: If you want your trip to run smoothly and
exactly how you dreamed it, then make your reservations in advance! This means
that you’ll be staying at your preferred hotel, not settling for the one that was
available for a last minute book. It also assures that you get the best possible rates!
Even if you’re doing a Mediterranean cruise, you will want to make pre- and
possibly post-cruise hotel reservations for your trip.
4. Pace Yourself: Avoid burnout by planning a well-paced itinerary! Even though
it’s tempting to try and see and do everything that Europe has to offer, it’s just not
feasible. Prioritize what you really want to do and stick to just those activities. A
good rule of thumb is to leave every third day free to sleep in a bit and explore your
destination at leisure. Overloading your schedule will leave you exhausted and
diminish your ability to thoroughly enjoy your planned activities.
5. Don’t Avoid Cliché Sites: These well-known sites are popular for a good reason!
It will be well worth it to fight the crowds and see the Eiffel Tower in France, or the
David in Italy. You may seem like a tourist, but it will be worth it for the lifetime
memories you will create.
6. Pack a Rain Coat and an Umbrella: Some areas of Europe are famous for the
rainy days and misty weather. Pack these items in your bag as you leave the ship or
7. Don’t Overpack: Many historic European hotels do not have elevators and who
wants to be lugging multiple bags up the stairs? Resist the urge to stuff your luggage
and rely on a few flexible garments that can serve for daytime-into- evening wear.
Don’ to save room in your bag for those fabulous fashion finds during your travels!
8. Leave Room in Your Travel Budget: It’s important to leave room in your budget
for unplanned splurges and unforeseen costs. European travel is expensive and it’s
important to be prepared for the unexpected. To mitigate any stress or worry, we
suggest setting aside at least 10% of your vacation budget as a contingency cushion.
9. Get an International Cell Phone Plan: Most cell providers don’t include
international service as a part of your plan. If you go and use your phone anyway
you will incur tons of very avoidable charges. Talk to your cell phone company
ahead of time about options as far as international plans. Or, better yet: Don’t use
your phone at all, take the time to disconnect and immerse yourself in European
10. Have your Passport Updated and Keep it Close: This may seem like a given,
but failure to update passports happens more often than you think. Note that most
airlines require that your passport be valid for a period six months beyond your
scheduled return to the country. We all know that time flies, and it likely has been
longer than you think since that last update. Check your expiration date and take
care of any necessary updates well in advance of your trip! It’s not a bad idea to get a
secure passport pocket for your documents, so you can safely carry them with you
when you leave the ship or hotel.
11. Use a Professional Travel Agent. The research, planning, and scheduling is
frequently daunting even for the most experienced of travelers. Flight schedules,
hotels, ground transportation, excursions, budget, weather … all these
factor into planning a trip with wonderful lifetime memories. An experienced travel
professional can save you hours of research and planning and will customize your
experience and ensure that your trip is truly unforgettable We would be honored
to help with your trip – contact us today to share your vision. Remember -- at
Dancing Moon Travel, we choreograph dreams!