Top tips for travelling to Europe for the First Time
Europe is a mishmash of very different cultures and scenery, which makes it a great place to explore if you like travelling. The food, the wine, the history and the people are all worth the trip.
If you're considering travelling to Europe, here is some advice to help you make the most of your visit.
Don't be scared to speak the lingo
In Europe, more applause is given to people who at least try to speak the language than those who categorically refuse to. In most places you go there will be people willing to help you and work through your awkward
pronunciations and trying to gesture to what you want or shout at people in your native tongue will sometimes end with you being ignored or mocked. Whether you bring a phrasebook or try to wing it, don't be embarrassed
about being vocal and talking to other people is probably the fastest and most interesting way to learn the language.
Adhere to the dress code
When in Rome, don't wear crop tops. Around Europe there are a lot of places with dress codes that you would do well to take note of. Places of worship especially ask for respectful dress and behaviour, so research the local
etiquette before you pack your suitcase and know that a light jacket will always come in handy. You should also be aware that weather can differ a lot around Europe. May in England might be a little cloudy and mild while May
in Italy is probably going be hot and sunny. Make sure you research the climate beforehand and know what weather to expect.
In many European cities driving is a bad idea, especially around the capitals. It's expensive, it's impossible to find a place to park and 80% of the time you spend in your car will involve sitting in traffic. Instead,
choose the cheaper travel options and do some good old fashioned walking to make the most of your experience. Take a train or a bus to the central areas and take your time wandering -- you'll find a lot more to do and see
that way. You'll also find that because a lot of the roads in rural Europe are so old, there are places that can't even be accessed by car, so take a pair of hiking boots and find some hidden secrets yourself.
Beware of criminals
Even in Europe you'll find scammers and criminals targeting tourists, so stay aware when you're abroad. While you don't have to carry a weapon and lock yourself indoors, you do need to apply some common sense to your trip.
For example, don't let anyone help you carry your bags that isn't a uniformed official and keep your valuables carefully concealed and sealed away when travelling through crowded areas and on public transport. You can also
research beforehand the areas with higher crime rates so you will know to avoid them.
Travel insurance should always be the first thing you think of before you start planning your holiday and that includes before your European vacation. While there are some countries in Europe that offer free health care you
need to be prepared for any kind of emergency. Europeans qualify for an E111 or a European Health Insurance Card, which allows them to get basic insurance in certain countries around Europe. However, you're only
eligible for this card if you're already a European citizen. If you are, you can apply for your E111 card online.
But, if you live outside of Europe, travel insurance is a must-have.
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June 23, 2017