Europe Travel Guide
Comprehensive travel tips and information for travel to Europe
Europe has a long history of cultural and economic achievement. Having endured countless eras of human existance from the Ancient Greece and Rome, the Renaissance, Colonialism, and the Industrial Revolution, Europe still stands as one of the most influential places the world has ever known. With a rich mixture of culture, history, traditions, landscapes and architecture, it is undoubtedly one of the most appealing places to visit as well. With such a broad range of destinations in Europe, it is easy to find yourself confused and indecisive when making travel plans. The following will help you make a smart travel choice with the least amount of stress.
Airlines flying to Europe:
- United Airlines is one of the largest, most trusted international airlines in the world.
- American Airlines is the largest airline in the world in terms of total passengers transported, and the second-largest airline in the world in terms of total operating revenues.
- Lufthansa flies to more than 325 destinations in over 90 countries and is the number one airline for international travellers.
- British Airways is a full service global airline, offering year-round low fares and an extensive global route network.
- Air France is the largest airline in Europe and services thousands of travelers every year.
Choosing your destination is the first part that takes a lot of preperation. Many tourists like to hit up all the famous areas in Europe like the Eiffel Tower, Stonehenge, the Vatican, and the Parthenon but there is a lot more to Europe than the famous, popular destinations. And you can't go everywhere on one trip. Take into account the location, weather, popularity and general accomadations of your chosen destination. The most helpful thing to do is take advantage of scheduled tours, or pre-plan all of your travel activities. Don't leave without knowing where you are going.
Accomodations in Europe are limitless. Depending on where you stay, you can find any sort of housing from hotels and hostels to local inns and cottages. Do some research for accomodations based on budget and/or convenience. Another priceless advantage to traveling to a specific region is to know the language. It's a wonderful idea to start preparing ahead of time by learning a foreign language that will help you in your place of stay. Some languages are harder to learn than others so don't try to become fluent. The key is to know enough terms for "directions" and "common courtesy". Take the appropriate guide books on your journey or have a friend who knows the language help you out. It is much more enjoyable when you can immerse yourself more completely on your trip.
Begin checking airfares early so you can get an estimate on how much it is going to cost to fly to Europe. Airlines companies are starting to discount in order to reward travelers who book early and yet there's still time to wait if prices aren't to your liking. Make sure to apply for a passport three to four months in advance if you don't already have one. It is also worth looking a travelers insurance. If your health insurance doesn't cover you overseas, or your homeowners insurance doesn't cover lost items, then there are some temporary plans to ease your mind.
Packing light for such a journey is critical. The less you take the more enjoyable your stay will be in Europe, especially if you are traveling to numerous locations around the continent. Leave behind appliances and don't take more than a weeks worth of clothing because hopefully you've booked a place to stay with some laundry facilities. Protect all your accessories in nylon-mesh bags or with some sort of security precaution. Crime in Europe is not any more likely than here in the states, but it's wise to take precautions against pickpockets. If you decide to travel heavy, however, spend a little extra on baggage insurance. And don't forget your camera!
Since a vast majority of Europe now uses the euro as their form of currency, it is important to research the exchange rates between the dollar and the euro. The only difference nowadays is that you only truely have one currency to worry about excluding the British pound. Depending on where you are staying, the amount of money you should have also varies. Just make sure that don't run out of any and to keep it in a secure place along with all your most valuable travel items.
There are several options for transport. It is best to travel by train or car, seeing as how these are they only true methods of transportation. Depending on where you live, you can save money on European rail travel with Eurailpass or InterRail--plus options such as Flexipasses, rail/drive passes, and national or regional rail passes. Europe has extensive and vastly more efficient rail systems than the United States becuase of the proximity of European towns. I would suggest rail travel overseas. Europe is dense with historic places to visit--why not omit the frustrating driving and map reading and hop a train? However, if you've chosen driving as your primary mode of transport in Europe, you should get an International Driver's License.
No matter where you go or what you do keep an open mind and enjoy your trip.