Europe is one of the most popular vacation spots, but because the area is so vast, it can be quite overwhelming to know what countries you should visit. From finding cheap flights to Iceland on Expedia to deciding if you want to visit Germany, Spain, France, Scotland, or many of the other top European cities, there are a lot of decisions to be made!
This is the part of the planning process where you can dream big and let your imagination run wild. Think about the European cities you’ve always wanted to visit, or the attractions that you’ve wanted to try since you were little. From the Swiss Alps to the Eiffel Tower to Big Ben, knowing where you want to go makes planning your itinerary a little easier.
Once you’ve written down plenty of cities, countries, and sights, it’s time to divvy them up. Figure out which are must see, which ones would be nice to see, and what places are worth seeing if there’s time. This makes it much easier when it comes time to plan out your itinerary.
2. MAP YOUR ROUTE
Once you know where you want to go, it’s time to map out how you can make it to each of the places on your list. One very important thing to consider is time. Being on a plane for hours, tons of walking, and just being a new place can get pretty tiring. Minimize the risk of travel burnout by avoiding one-night stays. It’s much easier to spend a few days in the same city and checking out the various attractions there.
What’s great is that throughout Europe you can ride a bus or train to visit nearby locations for pretty cheap. This makes it much easier to knock out the attractions on your list without going over budget.
You can also utilise travel sites and apps to better plan your route and ensure that you’re getting the best value vs time to your destination.
4. PLAN YOUR TRANSPORTATION
Speaking of trains and other forms of public transportation, it’s beneficial to also map out your transportation plan ahead of time. There are all sorts of ways to navigate European cities, including Uber, Eurail, and even small jumper planes like Easyjet and Ryanair. By mapping out how you’ll get to which places, you’ll realize that some of the attractions on your list just can’t happen. You don’t want to spend a good chunk of your vacation budget in travel costs.
Once you’ve narrowed down the places you want to visit and determined how you’ll get there, you should have a pretty solid itinerary.
5. FIND PLACES TO STAY
Unless you have family or friends in various places throughout Europe, you’ll need somewhere safe and comfortable to rest your head at night. As you’d imagine, there are tons of hotels, lodges, and hostels that you can stay at. But, there are also other options like house sitting, Airbnb and HomeAway.
These two services are not only much more affordable, they also allow you to enjoy the true culture of the city. There’s nothing like immersing yourself in a culture than be living among the locals! Not only is this option cheaper, it allows you to find a home that’s conveniently located to a city you want to visit while also offering the conveniences of a real home, like a kitchen and a washer and dryer. This means you can pack less and have more room (and money!) for souvenirs.
6. PAY WISELY
If you’re like most people, you likely use a debit or credit card to pay for daily purchases. When traveling to Europe, if you have a credit card that offers rewards points, try to make as many purchases on that card as possible. While this means you’ll have to pay off the card soon after your trip, credit cards offer top notch fraud protection, making traveling to another country much less of a hassle.
Before jetting off, contact your credit card company to determine if they charge international fees. Some banks charge a set interest on each transaction while others charge none. You’ll obviously want to use the card that charges the lowest or no fee at all.
Be sure to bring some cash along to pay for food, bus fares, and other inexpensive purchases.
READ MORE EUROPE TRAVEL GUIDES FROM WANDERLUSTERS
Planning your dream trip to Europe is exciting and overwhelming all at once. To ensure that your trip goes exactly how you planned it, be sure to follow these 6 tips to stay on budget while visiting the places you’ve always wanted to see.
Do you have any top notch European travel tips? Share them with us below!