Regardless of where you're traveling, you're bound to make mistakes, and Europe is no exception. First-timers to Europe and seasoned travelers might overlook or even make mistakes without realizing they're doing so.
Don't know what to expect while traveling to Europe? Here is the a list on how to avoid these common mistakes
1. Not buying any tickets late
Don't wait until you arrive at the place to buy museum or popular site tickets. Either you'll wait in a long line or the venue may reach capacity and you won't be allowed entry. It is in your best interest to book all of your sightseeing in advance.
2.Getting confused over Cash Exchange
Exchanging cash in Europe instead of the U.S. is generally a better choice, since you don't have to worry about high exchange rates.
Generally, the cheapest way to pay for something is to use your credit card directly. It has the lowest conversion rate. Also find out if there are international fees.
3. Using the taxi
Many European cities offer reliable public transportation, so take advantage of it. You'll be able to not only see more but also save money on expensive taxi fares.
4. Ignoring your phone plan
The number of mobile carriers offering international roaming plans is growing. Check the details of your plan or give the company a quick call before traveling to see if you have data abroad.
5. Traps and crowd
Particularly relevant to big cities that have lots of tourist attractions. As everyone else rushes to the same museums, monuments, and restaurants, ask a local for advice. Rather than approaching a stranger on the street, ask an employee from a nearby museum or shop where they like to eat or what their favorite attraction is. This will give you an authentic look into the local area. The advantage of this is that you'll avoid crowds and save a little cash since most tourist attractions have inflated prices.
6. Renting a car without knowing 1 or 2 things
Compared to the US, cars, roads and parking spots are much smaller. Signs vary by country also they may be all quite different and be in local language.
Should you decide to rent a car please make sure you know what license requirements you must meet. or ask your travel planner/agent. Remember, a US license will not be valid in some countries which requires you to have an international driving permit.
Also, more likely you will find manual transmission vehicles, in case you only familiar with automatic. When renting a car make reservation ahead of time before you travel or let your travel planner/agent handle your car rentals just to make sure things go smoothly.
7. Not taking advantage of mass transit
Mass transit in Europe can sometimes seem overwhelming or confusing if you don't use it frequently. Take the bus or train between cities if you want to travel affordably. Most stations offer ticket vending machines. If you are familiar with how this works, buying tickets with this method is convenient, fast. Whenever possible, stand in line at the ticket counter to speak with someone directly. Lines may be long, especially during peak travel times. The ticket you purchase still needs to be stamped at the platform machine before you board.
8.Being unaware of accommodations
Although the average American hotel room typically contains either one king-sized bed or two queen-sized beds, and enough bath towels for four people, European accommodations are usually quite different. . A room with a double bed is most often made up of two single beds pushed together.
9.At lunchtime, some store maybe close
The following tip is especially relevant if you are traveling to a small or less popular city in Europe. Stores and restaurants may be closed during the afternoon to allow employees to take a break and have lunch. However, in heavily populated tourist areas, you will find that the city won't shut down entirely and you will likely find something open. Its always best to check the hours online when visiting a store or restaurant.
10. Local holidays
If you are traveling to Europe for the first time, remember that public holidays vary by country. Furthermore, they recognize religious and country-specific holidays that may be unfamiliar to most Americans.
11. Sharing of tables
It's not uncommon in certain countries, such as Germany, for diners to find themselves seated at a table that has been partially occupied by another diner.
12. Delicious food
Food is typically prepared from scratch with fresh, seasonal ingredients in most restaurants. Fish and seafood are often caught and served the same day along the coast. Feel free to eat as much as you want, knowing that all the additional calories will be compensated for by walking!
13. Refills are not "free"
Unlimited drinks are a very American concept. Expect to be charged several Euros for getting a refill and there are no 48 ounce glasses.
14. Not free to use the restroom
Depending on where you are in Europe, you may have to pay a fee to use the restroom. This fee is usually collected through a coin-operated entry door or by a restroom hostess. Another reason to always have cash, especially change on you.
I hope you found these tips useful, especially if you're traveling to Europe for the first time. Your goal is to make sure you know what to do and what not to do when you're there.
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