Whether you’re going on a Eurotrip once, twice or 20 times.
European trips are an amazing adventure and are often a rite of passage with lots of college students taking a year out to travel around Europe. There’s no adventure quite like a European one, where you can encounter different countries, cultures, and languages every day if you wanted to! The continent is a landmass so there’s no shortage of transport options to bring you from country to country, but there are a couple of things you need to take into account before packing for your trip.
You read that right. Size matters hugely when it comes to luggage. If you’re traveling using different airlines when you’re in Europe – for instance, JetBlue, Norwegian, Ryanair – they all have different baggage policies, particularly when it comes to cabin baggage. These differences are often quite small, but this matters when you could be fined for bringing a bag that’s marginally too large for the airline’s policy. Some airlines will allow you to bring a small purse onboard alongside your cabin baggage, while others will not.
Basically, cabin baggage is a minefield, and unless you’re 100% certain that your bag adheres to every airline’s policy that you’re flying with, you’re better to check a bag in for your flights. The liquid limitations come second nature after a while, and we can easily downsize our cosmetics, use accommodation shampoo and shower gel, or buy larger packs there. When it comes to cabin baggage, there’s no guarantee that the bag you brought on your flight last time is going to be allowed this time.
Layers Are Your Best Friend
The weather throughout Europe is changeable. Particularly if you’re visiting the UK or Ireland. These countries are notorious for their changeable weather, cooler climates and their ability to have rain, sun, and wind all in one day. In particularly windy conditions – such as Edinburgh and all of Ireland – there’s no point in using an umbrella, and rain ponchos are far from flattering. That’s why layers are the best option.
If you can get a small, easily foldable rain jacket that can go over your warmer jacket, then that’s the best option. Similarly, bringing a sweater or hoodie for when you’re out and about in the evenings is a great idea. These also come in handy for certain countries/cities, if you’re visiting any cathedrals as you may be required to cover your shoulders/arms. Layering also allows you to pack for multiple climates in one go, so you can be ready for whatever weather Europe has to throw at you.
Double Check Your Visa Requirements
Depending on where you’re from, where you’re going, and how long you’re going for, you might be required to get a visa. There are so many different types of visa: student, tourist, working, short-stay, long-stay, and multiple-entry. The red tape can seem daunting, and you may be tempted to try to avoid this type of paperwork and waiting around in the offices of a consulate or immigration center. However, you could get into some really serious trouble if you don’t have the proper visa or paperwork for your destination.
There is a way to get your visa and paperwork sorted quickly so you can get going on your European adventure, with Favisbook’s travel visa appointment system. This allows you to book an appointment with your European consulate office with a much shorter wait time than if you booked directly with the consulate itself. Trust us when we say this is definitely worthwhile because you really wouldn’t want to mess with immigration services anywhere – particularly if you’re traveling to a country where you don’t speak the language.
Check Your Connections
While USBs are pretty universal, actual plug sockets are not, and that means you need a travel adapter to make sure you can charge your devices. There’s a European plug adapter that works in all EU-countries with the exception of Ireland and the UK, where you’ll need yet another adapter. This can be rather frustrating if you need to charge more than one thing at a time, but there are plugs available that you can charge multiple USBs in for your phone, tablet or smartwatch.
Some hotels will also be fitted with USB sockets, so you can plug directly into the wall, but this is often not the case, so don’t hedge your bets on it. There’s one thing for certain though, and it’s that travel adapters cost more in the airport, so definitely don’t do that. There are lots of multi-region travel adapters available to buy so if you’ve got the travel bug then invest in one of these.
Get A Multiple Currency Bank Account
There are a lot of companies offer cross-currency bank transfers and checking accounts nowadays, and it is worth getting one of these. Whenever you debit card that’s not associated with Europe or the currency you want to pay in, you’re charged a premium by your bank. Not only that, but most countries in Europe don’t easily accept American Express cards, so definitely don’t rely on Amex for daily transactions.
The best value is to open up a bank account with one of the multicurrency banking apps, top it up with however many dollars you have, and then transfer your currency directly within the app. This cuts down on bank fees, currency conversion fees, and the pesky commission that many financial institutes charge for you buy currency in advance of a trip. Of course, it’s always a good idea to have a bit of cash at hand, but most places in Europe do take credit cards, particularly if it’s a major city or popular tourist location.
Keep Your Receipts
If you’re a non-EU citizen who purchases goods in EU countries, you can often shop ‘tax-free,’ which means you can claim tax back on many of the goods you’ve purchased, once you meet the criteria. Many of the large stores offer tax-free shopping, so make sure you ask about it when you’re at the cashier. There are certain items that are exempt from tax-free shopping, but you will be told this if and when it occurs.
When you’re leaving, present your tax-free form along with your receipts to customs and revenue and you’ll be given a credit card refund. Some places offer a cash refund, but these are limited and subject to more terms and conditions than a departure point refund. Don’t worry if you’re in a hurry, many airports offer a mailbox for you to leave your tax free form to get issued with a refund to your card at a later date.
These things can ease your travel through Europe, and they are timeless, meaning they will serve you time and time again, so whether you’re going on a Eurotrip once, twice or 20 times, you’ll benefit by keeping these in mind.