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Six important things to know when you are doing a tour of Europe

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If you plan to visit Europe anytime soon, here are some tips that will help you make the most of your trip and make the process a little bit easier.

Europe is one of the top tourist locations in the world because it has a mix of cultures, a rich history, and some of the best tourist-oriented amenities. If you are after scenic locations, fantastic food, or unique things that you can't find anywhere else in the world, you can find them in Europe. However, this unique mix of features also makes Europe a challenging place to visit for someone who is not already familiar with the region or the customs in this part of the world.

Since Europe is where a lot of international trends have originated, it is not hard to find at least a few things in common with this place yet there are still many things that are unlike any other place. If you plan to visit Europe anytime soon, here are some tips that will help you make the most of your trip and make the process a little bit easier.

1. Time of year
The time of year you choose to visit Europe will have a huge impact on the trip. There are countless events in Europe that happen at a certain time each year. In some cases, this is a specific date, in other cases, it is according to weather conditions or whenever it is the right season. For instance, one of the most popular events that happen is Art Basel. This is an iconic event for modern artists and art lovers alike, and even though it happens in multiple locations across the world, the European leg is especially popular. This is an annual event but it happens on different dates every year so be sure to check in advance and then arrange your bookings accordingly.

2. Language
Europe is home to over 200 languages and there are 24 official languages in the region. In fact, English is actually a minority language in the region with the most common language being Russian. However, this also depends on where you are going. If you plan on visiting Italy then you are most likely not going to have to speak a lot of Russian, but rather Italian. In certain countries such as Italy or Norway, communication can be a problem for tourists as it's not always easy to find an English speaker.

It's good to have an idea of some of the basic terms that you would need to know in order to do things like get directions or order at a restaurant. You can easily get language guide books for tourists that will cover all the basic things that you need to know. Most of the signage is also in the local language so you can use something like Google lens to translate whatever you see around you. In fact, you can use Google Translate to translate live for you if you are having trouble getting the message across.

3. Access
While you are planning your trip to Europe, it is important that you pay attention to the specific requirements of different countries. The validity of your passport in particular is quite important as well as having the right visa stamps in there for your destination. Nearly all countries that are part of the EU will grant you entry through the Schengen Visa and there are some that are not part of the EU but are still part of the Schengen area. After some recent changes in the Schengen members and also in the structure of the EU it would be a good idea to double-check whether or not you will need a separate visa for a particular country. Also, some countries will require your passport to be valid for 6 months after entry while others will only need a 3-month validity. Even with a valid visa, you might not be allowed to enter if your passport doesn't meet the criteria.

4. Cost
Having easy access to your money, having enough money, and having the right currency are also important considerations when visiting a new country. While the Euro is going to be the safest option there are still plenty of countries that do not use this tender. Popular tourist destinations including Sweden, Norway, and Switzerland have their own currencies and the Euro is no good there.

Also, discuss your travel with your banker as using ATMs in foreign countries can be quite expensive and in some cases might not even be possible. There are still many ways for you to take your money along with you safely such as traveler cheques or specialized foreign currency accounts.

5. Law
Regulations in Europe vary a great deal. This is of particular importance to you if you want to drive or if you want to have a working vacation, and also want to be able to visit different countries during your stay. The great thing is that all this information is easily available online so you can do your research before you leave. Make sure you apply for your license or appropriate visa type well in advance, as these things can take some time.

6. Electronics
One of the biggest challenges for people when traveling is managing their electronics. Whether that is finding power converters to charge their devices with the right current or finding socket converters to be able to connect their devices to the power outlet. Unfortunately, this can be a little complicated in Europe so it is best to take it one country at a time.

Generally, a 240V to 110V converter will have you covered for most countries and most good hotels will also provide free connectors for residents. If you plan on buying electronics like mobiles or cameras keep this in mind when purchasing. Some products are also designed to be used in a specific region so double-check to make sure your electronics will be usable back home.


Photo by Chris Ried on Unsplash

Europe is a very convenient place to visit. Since there are so many people from all parts of the world visiting the region, it's easy to find the amenities you need and things are generally very easy for tourists to get a hang of. The main challenge for tourists is usually language and climate. Some parts of Europe experience extreme weather and this often takes tourists by surprise. If you want to minimize risk then consult with a travel expert and plan your itinerary as much as you can before you leave so you'll already have a solid plan to follow.


Main photo by Christian Lue on Unsplash

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