European travel is something to add to just about anyone’s bucket list, even if you live there; there is so much to see and do from city to city, you certainly get more bang for your buck here. However, as is the case with any vacation or trip you take, it really pays to be prudent about your decisions and preparations. After all, even a trip to your local supermarket can go horribly wrong if you’re not prepared enough to have enough fuel in your car or dress according to weather; it seems to go without saying but with this logical approach in mind, we’re going to present to you just a few of the most important and practical tips for a European travel planner.
First things first, when the going gets rough and you’re in a dire emergency you should always remember the European crisis hotline; the number 112 is simple to remember but do make an effort to keep it in mind. While vaccinations are not essential when you travel, some sound European advice is to at least do some quick research into the countries you pass between; the website for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is a tool one can simply not do without.
You’re going to want insurance on your European travels no matter what, even if you’re going to the safest country there is because nagging fears at the back of your mind can really leave your vacation with a sour taste.
Electronic Device Advice
In Europe two-prong plugs are the default except for Malta, Cyprus, Ireland and the United Kingdom where three-pronged square plugs are the norm. As for cellular phones, as long as you have international roaming and a multi-frequency phone, you’re going to be able to use them on your European travel; although it’s no news that your specific provider will need to be able to provide coverage where ever you are.
The Euro Travel Card
A very practical tool to discover is the European travel card. For example in Rome they have the Roma Pass which gives you free access to public transport for three days as well as a limited amount of complimentary entrance to all manner of museums; if the city you visit has a similar card, then you should definitely jump on that. Finally, if you’re going to get in some retail therapy then you’ll need to understand the business hours of Europe. Generally speaking the hours are from 9am to about 6pm but it also depends on the destination; some Mediterranean cities I visited would have stores close at lunch because of the weather but then stay open again late at night. Smaller little shops will always close long before larger department stores, so souvenir shop earlier on.
Otherwise European travel is amongst the most glorious experiences you can give yourself and shouldn’t be fear; spread those wings and travel safe.
Eugene Calvini is a writer who has travelled Europe from Comino in Malta to Helsinki; he enjoys sharing his advice and guidance with the internet.