Top 10 Travel Tips for Europe that Actually Work

Whether you are visiting Europe for the first time or visiting several times a year, avoiding the most common travel mistakes will make your trip even more enjoyable! A little planning goes a long way and these ten tips will help you to a smarter and more relaxed European traveler. Get your tickets at and have a hassle-free experience!

1. Check the visa requirements

A guaranteed way to ruin your trip is to be denied entry into the country you are visiting because you do not have a tourist visa. While most countries in Europe do not require visas for short visits, it is best to know which countries are involved.

Before your trip, a quick online search will allow you to find a tourist visa and find out if you need to obtain a visa upon arrival at the airport or online before your arrival. There are several online sites that list the visa requirements, so check in advance.

2. Travel out of season

While you dream of sunbathing on the Mediterranean beaches during the summer months, the rest of Europe does the same – causing overcrowded beaches and long queues in tourist attractions.

Traveling during the low season is the best way to avoid crowds and save money on accommodation, airfare, train tickets and tours. Most major tourist attractions are open year-round, so be sure to check out closing times as some might have shorter hours during the off-peak travel season.

3. Use low cost flights

With more than a dozen cheap air carriers throughout Europe, you can travel just about anywhere on the continent for a great price when booking with a cheap airline. Air tickets will often be cheaper than train tickets, but the cheapest seats tend to sell the fastest.

4. Travel by train

Traveling by train in Europe is often efficient – and depending on your destination – easier than air travel. Book your ticket at the station with a real person, as some options are not available at the kiosks. Be sure to validate your ticket before boarding the train to avoid fines!

5. Make Reservations in Advance

Making reservations in advance is the best way to guarantee accommodation and tours, especially during high season travel. Booking a plane ticket, hotels, train tickets and excursions in advance also ensures you get the best price.

6. Bring Comfortable Shoes to Walk Everywhere

As one of the best ways to explore a city, you will do a lot of walking during your holidays in Europe, so have a pair of comfortable walking shoes (these are my shoes go!) is a must. After a long day of walking in the city, your feet will thank you!

7. Bring a Suitcase that you can carry

Navigate the train station, walk the cobbled streets, ride your luggage in several stairs of your hotel (often European hotels do not have lifts) or accumulate additional luggage charges, pack the light in a suitcase that you can take away is a must! You will not need it as much as you think and the Laundromats are readily available throughout Europe if you need to do the laundry during your trip.

8. Stay Longer in One Place

Staying in a place longer can allow you to discover the city or the neighborhood like a local. Making friends with locals, finding restaurants in local restaurants and getting off the beaten path can make exciting travel stories and often the most memorable experiences.

9. Think Outside the Box

Of course, seeing the popular attractions in a city is a must. However, look out for the lesser known sites.

10. Do not Plan to Use Credit Cards Everywhere

While it seems that most countries are now accepting credit cards, it is not uncommon for places in Europe to accept only cash. Having Euros for tips, taxi rides, restaurants, shopping at local markets and daily activities will make your transactions smoother and save you money on transaction costs abroad.

Gordon Carpenter