11 Facts about European Travel You Should Know Before You Go

Travel to Europe is an amazing experience, but these lifetime trips definitely require

research and planning. If you want to have the vacation of your dreams, you need to

do put in a good bit of prep-work before you depart. Here’s our list of 11 facts that

should help make your European adventure much more relaxing and enjoyable.

1. Call your Credit Card Company: It is important to call your credit card company

and notify them that you are leaving the country, and for how long. If you don’t alert

them, once your card is used in Europe, it will raise a red flag to their security team.

You don’t want to be stuck on the phone with them your first day of the trip, so

notify them ahead of time to avoid holds on your account!

2. When on Land, Get a Rail Pass: Traveling by train is an adventure that everyone

should experience at least once in their life. A Rail Pass is a great way to save money

while traveling to several different locations on your trip. Tip: It is cheaper to buy

one online ahead of time, rather than at the train station on your trip.

3. Make Reservations in Advance: If you want your trip to run smoothly and

exactly how you dreamed it, then make your reservations in advance! This means

that you’ll be staying at your preferred hotel, not settling for the one that was

available for a last minute book. It also assures that you get the best possible rates!

Even if you’re doing a Mediterranean cruise, you will want to make pre- and

possibly post-cruise hotel reservations for your trip.

4. Pace Yourself: Avoid burnout by planning a well-paced itinerary! Even though

it’s tempting to try and see and do everything that Europe has to offer, it’s just not

feasible. Prioritize what you really want to do and stick to just those activities. A

good rule of thumb is to leave every third day free to sleep in a bit and explore your

destination at leisure. Overloading your schedule will leave you exhausted and

diminish your ability to thoroughly enjoy your planned activities.

5. Don’t Avoid Cliché Sites: These well-known sites are popular for a good reason!

It will be well worth it to fight the crowds and see the Eiffel Tower in France, or the

David in Italy. You may seem like a tourist, but it will be worth it for the lifetime

memories you will create.

6. Pack a Rain Coat and an Umbrella: Some areas of Europe are famous for the

rainy days and misty weather. Pack these items in your bag as you leave the ship or


7. Don’t Overpack: Many historic European hotels do not have elevators and who

wants to be lugging multiple bags up the stairs? Resist the urge to stuff your luggage

and rely on a few flexible garments that can serve for daytime-into- evening wear.

Don’ to save room in your bag for those fabulous fashion finds during your travels!

8. Leave Room in Your Travel Budget: It’s important to leave room in your budget

for unplanned splurges and unforeseen costs. European travel is expensive and it’s

important to be prepared for the unexpected. To mitigate any stress or worry, we

suggest setting aside at least 10% of your vacation budget as a contingency cushion.

9. Get an International Cell Phone Plan: Most cell providers don’t include

international service as a part of your plan. If you go and use your phone anyway

you will incur tons of very avoidable charges. Talk to your cell phone company

ahead of time about options as far as international plans. Or, better yet: Don’t use

your phone at all, take the time to disconnect and immerse yourself in European


10. Have your Passport Updated and Keep it Close: This may seem like a given,

but failure to update passports happens more often than you think. Note that most

airlines require that your passport be valid for a period six months beyond your

scheduled return to the country. We all know that time flies, and it likely has been

longer than you think since that last update. Check your expiration date and take

care of any necessary updates well in advance of your trip! It’s not a bad idea to get a

secure passport pocket for your documents, so you can safely carry them with you

when you leave the ship or hotel.

11. Use a Professional Travel Agent. The research, planning, and scheduling is

frequently daunting even for the most experienced of travelers. Flight schedules,

hotels, ground transportation, excursions, budget, weather … all these

factor into planning a trip with wonderful lifetime memories. An experienced travel

professional can save you hours of research and planning and will customize your

experience and ensure that your trip is truly unforgettable We would be honored

to help with your trip – contact us today to share your vision. Remember -- at

Dancing Moon Travel, we choreograph dreams!