What is the best travel advice you would give to someone going to Europe for the first time?
You will enjoy yourself much more if you pack light. You will be on and off planes, trains, and buses, and the less you have to carry the better. Also, be open minded when it comes to customs and food. Don't go from country to country refusing to try new things. That should be the main purpose of your journey.
If your coming to England, remember this is our country and we don't care where you're from and how you do, whatever, there.
Be open-minded and try new things. Keep your camera on hand. Research public transit ahead of time - there's a lot of it in Europe and navigating it can be confusing if you're not prepared. Also find out what type of power sockets the countries you'll be visiting use and get adapters so that you can use your electronics. Don't schedule every part of your day - include some time to get lost in the places you visit and experience more than the tourist spots.
Going to Europe for the first time? Don't be intimidated and absolutely don't start looking for a McDonald's. read more
Learn a little of the language of each country before you arrive. Even if it is just learning how to say 'Hello', 'Goodbye' and 'Thank you', people will appreciate you for respecting their country and language, and will probably be more accommodating too!
Also, watch out for Ryanair. They're an extremely cheap airline (London to Paris for £20!) but have an awful habit of leaving you miles from your destination. They're great for low-cost travel but be prepared to get a bus or train to the city!
I agree, don't travel with Ryamair! The flight seems cheap at first, but on the long run you have to pay extra for credit card, any piece of luggage and often an expensive shuttle bus to an airport in the middle of nowhere!
Eastern Europe, where I come from is much cheaper than Western Europe but also more adventurous, kindly put it. I have visited my country of origin after ten years and have been robbed on a second occasion (Watching Prague Orloj on Vaclavske Square). On the police station I was adviced that I was mistaken for a tourist, what an excuse:) And also public transport is unreliable so you can end up in the middle of nowhere, where no one speaks English and you end up relying on hospitality of native inhabitants who are famous for their hospitality but have a different rules for native folk and tourists, they feel have too much money to spare:)
Try to get direct flights to your destination. We learned our lesson when flying out of the country. If you have to connect, you have a much greater chance for your luggage to be lost in the mix. If it does get lost, it could take a couple days to get it. Knowing this, make sure to pack a carry-on with essentials and with enough stuff to get by if your luggage does get lost.
Be a part of that country when reached there. Keep good manners wherever be
Forget about fast food chains and eat where the people in that country go to eat.
As Rick Steves would say, "Pack Light Pack Light Pack Light." As a matter of fact, I recommend you start with a Rick Steves book. My dad and I used his "Europe Through the Back Door" book for our 2005 trip. Get one now. It helped a lot in planning all facets of our trip.
By the way, I am new to HubPages and have not yet signed up for any of the ways to monetize my content - too bad!
Give us more specific information on your desired itinerary, and we'll be able to provide you with more specific advice. Or, perhaps you may wish to ask about our favorite places to visit.
One of my favorite places is Paris. It really is gorgeous. Take an evening boat ride on the Seine River for a Paris Illuminations tour. If you're traveling on a budget, get a large lunch in the form of a wonderful meat and cheese sandwich, and have leftovers or a small snack for dinner.
Have a great trip!
I highly recommend finding free walking tours that are available in most major European cities I've visited. They're a great way to see parts of the city you might not have otherwise seen and learn a bit about the history and culture on the cheap (though it's always polite and kind to tip the guide afterwards!). I have a better "feel" for a city once I've done a walking tour.
As a side note to that, bring a comfortable pair of shoes. Opinions on what makes a comfortable shoe may vary from person to person, but I recommend either a good pair of gym shoes or Chacos -- at the very least, a pair with arch support.
First of all I would advise you to not try to stuff too many countries and places in a too short travel span - I have met so many people who are hopping 10 European countries in 14 days - I really can't imagine how this could be fun! Limit it to 2-3 countries and spend AT LEAST a week in every country. The longer you stay in one country the more you will actually learn about the culture and connect to the people and their specialities - and actually every country would at least be worth a four weeks stay just by itself!
Secondly, Europe is quite expensive. If you want to cut down on costs and enrichen your experience try the website couchsurfing to find accommodation in private homes. Additionally locals like to show you around and might be helpful in finding the cheapest ways of travelling in their respective countries.
During the summer season planning a long-distance cycling trip can be the perfect way to explore one country thouroughly, getting the best out of it - remote nature, picturesque small towns and loads and loads of helpful locals!
Thirdly, stay away from packaged tours. They earn by charging you too much for services that you could get cheaper on your own. You won't have the possibility to choose your route or the things you would like to see in each place. Once you are in each country you will find out that it is quite easy to get by on your own and that there are always people around to help you out!
In case you are planning to travel in my home country Germany, you can check out my hub about travelling cheap in Germany. http://wastelessproject.hubpages.com/hu … de-Germany
If you are heading to Europe for the first time here is some advice I would recommend.
Get a credit card that has no foreign transaction fees and has the chip that Europe uses. Bank of America has a free, no foreign fee "Travel Rewards Card" that basically gives you cash for your travel expenses. I personally got one so that my card would function and I wouldn't have to pay fees.
Hostels and Air BB offer a cheaper alternative. Air BB offers up people's private homes, cottages, and apartments for rent. Sometimes it comes with a free ride from the train station and a local guide. There are some amazing homes to stay in for cheaper than a hotel.
Try to learn a few words in the language of the country you are in. A simple "bonjour" goes a long way in France. Most locals you meet will be friendly if you are friendly and respectful to them.
In heavily crowded areas, beware of pickpockets. They often come in packs and disperse with your stuff in so many directions that there would be no way to win. Make it look like you have nothing of value. Don't keep valuables in your pocket and make sure that your belongings are close to your body and hard to get to. You can get slash-proof bags, but I like to just make it look like I'm an average local and not a rich tourist. I've never had a problem.
Have fun. Take this opportunity to see some of the best historical sites and museums in the world. Immerse yourself in the culture and try new things. Europe is somewhere you can never go just once, it will bite you with the travel bug.
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