Do I Have Everything? Tips and Tricks for Travelling in Europe for the First Time

The summer of 2017 was one of the most epic summers of my life. Recently graduated from high school, my friend and I went on a trip to Europe, two weeks in Spain and the other two weeks in Germany, Austria and Czech Republic . Are you sick of people telling you where to go, when to meet up and, most importantly, where and what to eat? Don’t be afraid to plan your own trip!

1. Research:

Have an urge to escape life as you know it? Want to stumble into a postcard in a fairytale land far far away? Want to visit a sight of your favourite TV show? First of all, as nice as a spontaneous, buy-your-ticket-at-the-airport-and-hop-on-a-plane trip sounds, trust me you won’t be laughing when you have nowhere to go after you step off that plane. You don’t want to do that the first time you plan a trip to somewhere like Europe. Do lots of research! This means looking up pretty pictures of all the dreamy places you can’t wait to set foot in, on Google, on Pinterest, or whichever website you do your browsing, wishing that was the life you lived - it’s ok, everyone does it. However, it also means comparing routes, if one or two of the places are way to the south compared to all the other place in the north, maybe you’d want to sacrifice those two places, unless those places happen to be the main focus of your trip, then accommodate to that. Do whatever you want to with it, it's your very own trip! In this process, also take into account whether or not you have visa problems, or any other "adult problems", because you're going to have to take care of yourself now...

Accommodation:

Airbnb was our first choice, working with a fixed budget (you don’t need to be rich to travel, you just have to go for it -true story). The pros about Airbnb was that it had a range of different prices for whatever kind of trip you’re going for, be it a relaxing week away from the hustle and bustle of downtown life or a busy cultural trip maybe following in the footsteps of your favourite European writer; or, just visiting different countries and getting a feel for them so you’ll know the destinations for your next trip. With Airbnb, you’ll usually find unusual looking places to stay with all the amenities you’ll be needing: a kitchen, Wi-Fi, a TV… Sometimes you might even bump into a cute pet staying in the house! The one thing we found was that, when you’re looking at rooms, depending on preference, you’re going to want either an individual room or an entire apartment.

In my opinion, always go for the entire apartment, that way it doesn’t matter what time your train arrives, you don’t have to worry about bothering the host, you have more freedom, you can do laundry, you can invite friends over to visit and cook whenever you want. This is what we had in Seville, Spain, and we (fortunately) got most of our laundry done there (on another note, make sure there’s a way to dry the clothing if you’re only staying for a few nights, because some places don’t have a dryer, just a washing machine).

However, if you’re looking for a cultural immersion, you should consider an individual room in an everyday household, which we also had in Santander, Spain. Our train was delayed for an hour and a half and the host had to stay up until 2am for us to get to the house, but she was the sweetest lady and helped us settle in. She was strict about a few rules, such as showering because the entire house shared only one! However, her hospitality was unreal. On the last day, she made breakfast for all of us and told us to make sure to come back if we ever visited Santander again. Accommodation doesn’t make or break a trip, but it just adds up those bonus points.

Caution:

When you’re in a different country, not sugar coating it, always remember to believe in the reviews! When every other site told me to be careful of pickpockets, I was skeptical about it and I ended up being the first to get pickpocketed.

There are different customs in all the different places, one that’s especially easy to neglect is the tipping customs.

Apart from all that, make sure to have fun! Even if it’s running around catching trains, buses, flights, nothing feels better than stepping off the plane and realizing that you’re in a completely different world with infinite possibilities.

Images Obtained From:

https://www.pinterest.ca/intteflacademy/travel-inspiration/?lp=true https://www.pinterest.ca/explore/cute-apartment-decor/?lp=true https://images.google.ca/imgres?imgurl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.healthygirlslov...