Travel Tips You Need to Know Before Your Europe Getaway

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Travelling Europe has long been on the wishlist of globetrotters from all walks of life. But with so many countries to visit and such a wide variety of things to see do while you’re there, it can be a daunting trip to plan.

That’s why we’ve put together this ultimate European travel guide, helping you make your plans and letting you know the best ways to travel, as well as offering our suggestions of the most impressive European destinations.

Planning your Europe trip


Before you begin your European vacation, you need to plan it carefully. As you will be travelling through a number of different countries, it is essential to do some thorough research and make sure you have everything in place. Here are some of the things you need to consider:

1. Plan your itinerary
It’s important to have your itinerary worked out well in advance. Think about which aspects of Europe interest you the most – there’s too much to fit into a short trip, so you’ll need to prioritise.

It makes sense to choose a route which doesn’t involve doubling back on yourself. Some people choose to start in the east and travel west, while others prefer to start in Norway, travel south to the UK and then across to France and the rest of continental Europe.

2. Consider your budget
Living costs vary widely between different European countries. The UK and Scandinavia, for example, have far higher living costs than Croatia or Bulgaria. Learning about this will help you to decide how long to spend in each country if you’re travelling on a budget.

Your budget will also impact on the time of year you want to travel. Remember, June, July and August are the peak summer months in Europe, so your flights and accommodation will be more expensive during these months than at any other time of year.

3. Travel documents


Passport

Firstly, and most importantly; your passport. This will need at least six months remaining on it to travel through Europe, so if you need a new passport, it is important to apply well in advance of your trip.

Visas

Australians can visit all countries in the Schengen area (much of mainland Europe) for up to 90 days without needing a visa. What's more, you will be able to move freely between all Schengen-area countries during your stay, usually without encountering visa and document checks. Some non-Schengen area countries also allow Australian travellers to visit visa-free for a limited time, including the UK, Ireland, the Czech Republic, Croatia and Romania.

You will need a visa to visit Russia, Ukraine or Belarus. If any of these countries are on your itinerary, you need to arrange your visas before you travel.

Travel insurance

It is well worth taking out travel insurance, as it will cover your medical costs if you become ill or get injured while travelling in Europe. It will also cover the cost of any personal belongings that get lost or stolen.

All policies have exemptions, however, and some may not cover you for certain sports and activities, so it is important to find a policy which suits your needs. You also need to be in Australia when you take out your cover, so you need to do this before you go.

The Best Way to Travel Europe

You have a number of options when it comes to transport:

1. Train
If you plan to make most of your journeys by train, it can work out cheaper and more convenient to buy a Eurail pass rather than purchasing separate tickets as you go. The Eurail Global Pass enables overseas visitors to travel by train in 31 European countries. It also covers the Eurostar if you want to travel from mainland Europe to England by train.

In addition, Eurail pass holders can receive discounts on some buses, hotels, museums and activities.

2. Air
Budget airlines such as EasyJet and Ryanair have made it extremely cheap to fly between European countries. However, they release their best-priced seats months in advance, and these are always snapped up quickly. Flying only makes sense if you are prepared to plan your entire itinerary months ahead of your trip.

3. Bus
This is the cheapest way to travel Europe. Companies such as Eurolines and Ouibus offer bus services between different countries, and their prices don’t fluctuate as much as rail and air tickets, so it enables you to be a bit more spontaneous with your travel plans.

Travel connected


While on your European vacation, you’ll need to be able to get in touch with people easily. This means you’ll need a mobile phone that you can run cheaply and efficiently in all European countries.

The Europe eSIM from eSimselect is ideal for this, as it works in all of Europe and gives you 30 days of usage, enabling you to get around and share your Europe travel adventures with the peope back home. 

Top European destinations to visit

Europe is such a diverse and fascinating continent that it is practically impossible to choose the best places to visit. It really all depends on what you are interested in and what you want to see and do the most.

To give you some ideas, we have put together a few highlights to get you started.

1. Historic sights
All European countries have their own unique and fascinating histories and cultures, but some are iconic and absolutely have to be visited on any Europe trip. These include:

The Acropolis, Athens, Greece
The Eiffel Tower, Paris, France
The Colosseum, Rome, Italy
The Grand Canal, Venice, Italy
Stonehenge, Salisbury, England
Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain
Brandenburg Gate, Berlin, Germany
There are also wonderful museums in every country where you can learn more about the history of the region, and this is something well worth doing while travelling Europe, as it gives you a more complete experience.

2. Food and drink
Some European countries are renowned for the excellence of their cuisine, and your Europe trip is the ideal opportunity to sample as much local produce as you can. An authentic Italian pizza will be top of many people’s lists, but there are also paella in Spain, strudels in Austria and Belgian waffles to sample, along with the legendary bread dumplings in the Czech Republic.

The best way to sample European food and drink is to get to know the locals wherever you go. They will be able to point you to the restaurants that local people visit themselves, rather than the more obvious tourist spots.

3. Nightlife
Ibiza, off the cost of Spain, is renowned worldwide for its clubbing scene, and it attracts top international DJs, particularly during the summer season, when practically every club, bar and café is open all night long. It’s a famous tradition here to watch the sun rise as you dance!

Croatia is also well-known for its nightlife, particularly the island of Hvar in the summer months. However, this spot becomes quieter in the winter, and the action moves to the main Croatian cities of Zagreb, Split and Zadar.

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