Do you have a trip to Europe on your bucket list? The planning process can be an exciting time. It serves to lay the ground work for an amazing adventure as well as to simply get your head around the incredible journey on which you’re about to embark. While you might be spinning with all the details of travel and accommodations bookings, follow these insider tips to make your journey to Europe as positive and memorable as ever.
The first step is to secure a passport. Most European countries require there be at least ninety days remaining on your passport, prior to expiration, upon your ticketed departure from that country. If you need to apply for a passport renewal, allow at least two to three months during the busy season. For those applying for an initial passport, the fees have increased dramatically, as have the processing times. Allow for at least three to four months for processing an application for a new passport and again, longer during the busy spring months.
Contact your cell phone carrier to explore options for accessing data while abroad. Options will differ from carrier to carrier. Many have a travel plan that charges a daily in country rate. This can be prohibitively expensive and add up to large sums very quickly. Some cell phone carriers will offer monthly or weekly passes purchased in advance. Another option, provided your phone has a removable SIM card, is to purchase a SIM card for data in each country. Lastly, you can rely on free wifi where it is available. Again, it’s best to explore your options in advance.
Contact your bank and order Euros in advance. It’s best to arrive in country with cash as the exchange rates at the hotels, airports and train stations are not as favorable as at your local bank. It’s difficult to time your arrival within bank opening hours. Finally, select your site seeing options and restaurants and book reservations in advance. Take advantage of the awesome deals offered by Groupon coupons and enjoy the awesome deals offered by City Pass. This will open a wide door of sight-seeing options and terrific discounts. Best of luck on your European journey!