If you’re a first time traveler, you’ll find out that life abroad is different from the way we do things back home.
Take a few hints and do a little research about traveling in Europe before you leave for the perfect getaway. You will save time and money and come back with beautiful memories unspoiled by unexpected charges and delays. Some of these tips will even deepen your appreciation for your European destinations, or anywhere you go this summer.
Ride, Don’t Cab
Avoid high cab fares and use public transportation that most major European cities offer. Public transport will give you a sense of the vibe of the city, and it goes without saying that Europe is a treasure trove of beautiful and historic streets, so walk whenever you can.
Procrastinate long enough on getting tickets to popular tourist sites or museums and you will either spend a lot of time in long lines or, even worse, lose the chance to get in at all. Plan and book ahead.
Don’t miss out on the chance to eat at local hot spots where the food experience matches or exceeds the overpriced tourist trap restaurants. Do your homework before you go to find restaurants that offer culinary adventure at reasonable prices. Make reservations before arrive to the city.
You’ll want a credit card in your wallet that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees so you won’t need to carry more than a minimal amount of cash. Theft happens in many places. Much of Europe takes credit cards. Take a wallet that you can carry under your shirt for the safest place to keep your credit card, cash and phone.
The supermarkets provide fresh deli food to take on your own picnic. Take a budget-friendly break and find an outdoor spot to watch tourists and Europeans enjoying their fare al fresco.
Check with your phone provider before you leave to make sure that you have an out of country data plan. You will want to be able to use your Google Maps app when you can’t tell which way is which, so find out what the roaming charges are before you go.
There is a VAT tax (Value-Added Tax) on product items purchased if you are not taking them out of the country. When you are shopping, let the store owner know that you do not live in Europe and they will give you the correct forms to get your refund at the airport. While at the airport, you will need your passport and the form they gave you in order to receive the VAT tax refund.