TIPS FOR TRAVELING ALL OVER EUROPE
Thanks for the request, @annafiedler! I tried to focus on Europe tips but it sort of became general travel tips.
- •Make Skyscanner your new best friend.It allows you to search an entire month for the cheapest flights, which is perfect if your travel dates are flexible and you are open to different destinations.
- •Pack half of what you think you need.I used to hate packing because I saw it as a chore, but now I love it because I see it as a game! How can I use my space most efficiently? How many outfits can I put together with the lowest number of pieces? In the seven trips I've taken in the last year, I haven't brought anything bigger than my regular old going to school backpack.
- •Always pack a bathing suit.
- •Always back a sweatshirt.
- •Always pack leggings.
- •Check the currency exchange rate before you get to where you're going.Oftentimes the ATMs in airports and train stations will try to trick you. For example, here in Prague the lowest amount on the display is 10,000 crowns (around $400) and a lot of people end up withdrawing that for their weekend-long trip, then spend it all bc it's too much of a hassle to exchange it back to their own currency. Don't be that noob!!
- •Buses!Everyone talks about the trains in Europe but what many don't know is that there are also great bus companies that often end up being cheaper and sometimes even faster! I particularly recommend Student Agency, which has TV screens for every seat and free coffee and hot chocolate.
- •When booking your accommodation, check hostels AND AirBnB.If you're traveling alone, a hostel is your best move because it will always be the cheapest and you will meet people. That being said, if you are traveling with one other person or more, AirBnB could be more cost efficient! For example, when I went to Paris with my sister, two beds in a hostel would have cost us around $40 each, but I found a sweet studio apartment in Montmartre for only a couple bucks more. Having our own space really made the trip more enjoyable.
- •Use the public transportationI've been shocked to find how many travelers are afraid to use public transportation in new cities. Ahead of time, I always look up how to get from the airport/train/bus station to where I'm staying, and once I've done that I usually confident enough to use the system for the rest of my trip. That being said,
- •Walk walk walk.As much as possible! It's the best way to see a city and find hidden gems.
- •Have an Uber accountFor late nights out or early return flights. Just in case.
- •Don't be afraid to travel solo.It may seem intimidating but it will be one of the best experiences of your life! You will meet and befriend other people traveling alone. You will have time for self-reflection. You won't be a slave to anyone else's schedule, wants, or needs. You'll never have that awkward half our of time deciding where to eat dinner because no one wants to make the wrong decision. It's a true win-win-win!
- •Always leave some cash, one form of ID, and a credit/debit card back at your room.And if you're carrying all your stuff, keep said items in a separate bag. I've never had to use this, but the peace of mind knowing I'd have these things if my wallet or passport were to get stolen is priceless.
- •Take pictures with people in them.You might instagram a handful of those gorgeous cityscapes, but the pictures of you and your friends are the ones you'll look at over and over again. And also, don't use a selfie stick. I get it, I do, and I don't have any disdain for them, but I've made some great memories that began with asking a passerby to take my photo.
- •Watch Rick Steves.Rick is my travel dad and idol. His are the only guidebooks I will buy and I always watch his PBS show before any trip to get myself pumped.