Here in the UK, we are lucky. There are loads of different countries and cultures on our doorstep. This summer, you might be planning a trip somewhere in mainland Europe. Why not visit a few places? Once you are on the continent, you might as well spend some time seeing different countries and enjoying all they have to offer. Read these quick and easy tips to give you an idea of where to begin.
Get budget flights (and don’t worry)
When it comes to booking your flights, you don’t need to worry about spending hundreds of pounds. There are loads of budget airlines that do short flights to Europe. At the most, you are probably going to spend three or four hours on the plane. That means that it is not worth splashing out on luxury travel. Instead, save your pennies for the holiday. Look for off-peak travel tickets so that you can save yourself loads of cash and still go wherever you want.
Ask local people for advice
When you are in a foreign country, you need to get the lowdown from the people in the know. Locals always know the best places to see, eat and stay. You should ask local people for advice when you reach your destination. That way, you will get some honest, straightforward help from the people who know the region. Don’t be shy when it comes to approaching people. Most European people are friendly and helpful. If you ask people for some tips, they will be more than happy to assist you.
Check out when the festivals are
Throughout the summer, there are lots of festivals happening in Europe. If you want to make your trip extra special, you need to make sure that you book yourself a festival ticket. From Primavera in Spain to Donauinselfest in Vienna, there is something to suit every taste. No matter what genre of music you like, there will be a festival that you don’t want to miss. If you are heading to a place where there will be a festival, you should book your tickets in advance. These events tend to sell out months before they happen. That means that you will need to get your tickets early if you want to go.
Book inner-city hotels
When you travel in Europe, you want to immerse yourself in the cities around the region. There is no point in going to places and staying on the outskirts of the main districts. You want to stay in the heart of the European capitals, like the inner-city hotels in Berlin. Doing so will mean that you get to experience a real taste of the cities. It will also mean that sightseeing is easier than it would be if you stayed elsewhere. Look for places to stay where all the action is so that you can make the most of your break.
Photographer: Moyan Brenn
Keep your cash safe all the time
If you carry cash with you, you need to make sure it is safe. If you look like a tourist (and you will), you will be a prime target for pickpockets in the city centres. Thieves look for people who don’t blend into the natural environment. They know that holiday-makers tend to carry quite a lot of money, and so they will watch out for them. You can buy special purses that you wear under your clothes. That way, nobody can reach your money no matter how much they want to do so.
Failing that, get a travel visa card
If you want to be extra safe, you could get a travel visa card. You can order cards online and top them up with funds before your getaway. You can use the card as a regular debit or credit card, and you will find that most shops accept it as payment. If you run out of money, you can have someone from the UK top it up for you online. Nothing could be more simple. This tip will save you having cash on you abroad, which will be a massive help.
Eat simple, cheap meals
Sure, sometimes, you will want to dine in fancy restaurants, but not every day. You could easily spend a small fortune on meals when you are abroad. Instead, you should eat the food that the local people eat. Make yourself simple lunches to take out with you when you are sightseeing. That way, you can save yourself loads of money while still enjoying the trip. Of course, now and then, you will want to treat yourself. Just make sure that it is not a regular occurrence.
Immerse yourself in the culture
Whenever you visit a country, your aim should be to immerse yourself in the local culture there. You should not go to Spain and head straight down to a British themed bar. Instead, you want to go to authentic places so that you can experience the lifestyle in the region. Avoid going to too many tourist destinations. Seek out local bars and cafes, where you can see how the natives live. There is nothing worse than going abroad and living as though you are in the UK.
Pick up a few phrases
If you want to impress the locals, you ought to learn a few phrases in their native language. You can get phrase books or apps on your smartphone, which will help you pick up some basic language skills. You can spend some time learning essential phrases before you go on holiday. That way, when you are there, you can communicate with the locals easily. That means that you will find out more about the places than you otherwise would. It will also win you points with the people there, who adore it when tourists make an effort.
There is such a wide array of cultures in Europe that you will find it hard to fit them all into one trip. When you start planning your travels, make sure that you choose places you know you will love. That way, you will have an epic break!