Do you have a trip to Europe on your bucket list but are intimidated by the assumption that the cost is prohibitive? There’s no doubt that European vacation can be exceptionally expensive. That does not mean they have to be. There are options abound for those prepared to do the research in advance and understand that flexibility is often the key to snagging great deals. Follow these recommendations from travel gurus and professional travel agents to jumpstart the planning for your European vacation.
The first step in planning a European vacation is to check the expiration date on your passport. Many European countries require at least ninety days remaining prior to expiration after the departure date on your return ticket in order to gain entry. Allow for at least two to three months for processing of new and renewal passport applications. Appointments for delivery of passport applications can be made at your local post office. Pay special attention to the documentation requirements for applications for minors under the age of 18.
Plan to book your overseas flight at least six months in advance. Affordable accommodations are more plentiful than discounted airline tickets. As such, it’s often more beneficial to book the flight first and secure accommodations after the confirmation of the flight is received. Flying midweek is often cheaper than flying over the weekends. Know that arrival is the next day for flights departing to Europe and arrival is the same day on the return flight. Check out the fares from smaller airports on the east coast for the greatest chances to snag a deal. This often means arrival at the smaller European capitals.
It’s strongly recommended to spend at least three days in the countries of your choice. Any fewer than this and you’re apt to miss many of the main attractions and will be unable to truly experience the food, culture and people of that country. Furthermore, any few than three days in each country will mean a substantial amount of time spent travelling instead of experiencing the flavor of each country.
In lieu of renting a car, consider researching options for train passes. The train system is modern, reliable and a fantastic way to see the countryside. One of the many benefits of travelling with train from country to country is arrival at your final destination is generally in the city center. This will allow you to either walk or take a short taxi cab to your accommodations.
Finally, pack light. Comfortable walking shoes and jeans is acceptable attire for most destinations. Take advantage of the awesome deals offered by Groupon coupons and stock up on travel sizes of your favorite toiletries from Walgreens. You’ll be thankful you’ve limited the weight of your luggage as you journey from city to city.