Without a doubt, Europe is one of the most epic destinations for many travelers. Boasting of 50 of some of the world’s most famous, romantic and picturesque countries in the world, it is no wonder many consider the region their ultimate #travelgoals.
Personally, Europe is also my happy place and personal playground. I just find the region so charming and breathtaking, without any effort. The collection of lavender fields, medieval castles, cobbled streets, not to mention the sumptuous food, make Europe such a joy to explore.
But like any destination, traveling around the bloc has its challenges that may or may not leave throw a wrench to your plans.
So from one traveler to another, here are some of the things you can do to make sure that your European odyssey is hassle-free, and quite unforgettable.
- Make Your Moments Last Forever
Sunset in Santorini, Greece
In today’s fast-paced times, we often forget to take a pause and savor the moment. It’s a good thing that there is now a lot of available technology to capture some of our most infinite moments. Whether it is an expensive DLSR or a high power video cam or even a camera phone, the choices are endless for you to bring with you on your trip. The important thing is for you to enjoy every place, every destination you visit savor the moment, take in the surrounding and make a mental picture of it. As a back-up, take as snaps as possible and don’t forget to take selfies and IG-worthy shots, to make your trip the envy of your friends.
- Pack Your Suitcase with Weather Appropriate Clothes
Exploring Munich, Germany
Braving the winter in Oslo, Norway with the right headgear, scarf and thermal leather jacket
Spanning several latitudes, European weather and temperature varies from one country to another. While the sun is shining and the weather is mild and temperate in the Greek islands and in the Adriatic, it’s not surprising to know that central Europe and the Scandinavia may be having some cold spell. The best way to enjoy Europe, regardless of the weather is to pack your suitcase with flexible wardrobe that you can use under any weather. Of course, there are the must-haves for winter such as thermal coats and jackets in the same way that you should bring trunks and bikinis in case of beach opportunities. The best way to enjoy European travel is to bring clothes that you can use for layering, such as shirts, long sleeves, pants, and some light windbreakers. After all, you don’t want to suffer heartbreak when you can’t visit gorgeous cities, just because you’re not dressed properly.
- Read up on your destination
View of Salzburg from the Mirabell Palace
Colorful 12th century houses along the banks of the Nyhavn district in Copenhagen
Knowledge is power and this rings true even in the art of traveling. Just because you’re really excited doesn’t give you the luxury of traveling unprepared or without any knowledge about your destinations. Whether is it the colorful city of Copenhagen, or the or the romantic and historical city of Salzburg, it’s always a good idea to research about your destinations even before embarking on the trip. This gives you ideas on what to expect, how to dress up according to the weather, or what landmarks you should see. Pre-departure trips are essential to enjoy your trip without worries. After all, it would be awesome to find your way to the Nyhavn district and discover the breathtaking Mirabell Palace.
- Take a risk. Be spontaneous
A day into my Salzburg trip, I took the bus and train to Hallstatt. One of the best days of my life.
At the Madrid Atocha station en route to an impulsive trip to Toledo.
Having an itinerary is one thing. Following it to a T is another. Planning for your trip is indeed ideal for any traveler. After all, you don’t want to end up being idle and nothing to do. But Europe is a vast, diverse region with so many hidden and unexplored gems. I have personally visited Europe five times and every visit makes me realize that there is so much more I haven’t seen or experienced. Try to break away from your tour groups or personal itineraries and let your feet carry you to charming little alleyways, or festive town markets. Have a chat with the locals over wine or pretzels. Experience what it really means to be a local, even for a moment. Traveling is not just about the famous landmarks and destinations but it’s also about the real beauty of places and the people who live in them.
- Be financially prepared
At the busy shopping district of the Salzburg Old Town
Europe is truly gorgeous but it can also be pricey. There are a lot of countries where the cost of travel is much cheaper. You can visit countries such as Hungary, Poland, Estonia, Spain, Slovakia and spend much less, as compared to much more popular countries such as France, United Kingdom, Norway or Switzerland. As a general rule, countries popular with tourists are pricier due to the laws of supply and demand. This is true for hotels, restaurants, transportation and even museum tickets. A lot of travel embassies recommend having at least 60 Euros daily for your expenses excluding the cost of airfare, hotel and transportation, to be financially relaxed and flexible.
The best way to protect yourself against any price shock, and to finally prepare for any expenses is to bring enough cash, and supplementary credit cards or debit cards such as the RCBC Savings Bank MyAccess MasterCard to keep you covered. The new RCBC Savings Bank (RSB) MyAccess MasterCard gives you access to your funds conveniently anytime, anywhere. You can access your account in almost 1,500 RCBC & RCBC Savings Bank ATMs nationwide and in over 38 Million in-store merchant partners of MasterCard worldwide.
After all, there’s nothing more heartbreaking and frustrating than getting to a destination you’ve been dreaming about for years, only to realize that you can’t do much when you get there, because of budget woes.
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