If you have chosen Europe as your travel destination this year and if this is your first time in Europe then here are 10 essential tips that will make your maiden European sojourn trip a lifetime of memories.
1. Check your Passport
The first and foremost things to do before heading out of your country are to check for the validity of your passport. If you find the expiry date cutting too close to the travel dates then getting it renewed is a good idea.
2. Secure your Bookings
Once you have your dates, passports and the visa ready, the next step would be to book your flight tickets, make hotel bookings and train travel tickets within Europe.
3. Travel Insurance
This is the next most important thing to have when traveling to Europe. Insurance is a sure shot way of minimizing the impact of financial risks when traveling. There are a number of insurance companies providing travel insurance.
You could consider an insurance company that offers specialized European cover for visitors to Europe. These policies should cover contingencies such as medical expenses, travel delay, cancellations, missed flights, accidents, damage to property and theft, loss of baggage and important documents, liability and legal expenses. You could also have options for customizing your travel insurance depending on the coverage you already have through your credit/debit cards or regular insurance back home.
4. Travelers Checks vs. Ready Cash
Converting your money into travelers check is a safer option than carrying cash. It also makes your transactions more legal and gives you peace of mind. This said, carrying some petty cash is still recommended since smaller businesses may not be equipped to accept the checks.
5. Health First
Make sure to visit your doctor and have a master health check up before you leave for your vacation. Carry sufficient quantities of essential medication and any other regular prescriptions drugs that you are advised to take. Ensure that you carry a latest copy of your prescription along, so that you can get a refill if required.
6. Keep Backups
Carry at least one set of photo copies of all your documents (passports, flight tickets and identification cards) along. In case of loss of your originals these documents will come handy. Also you could use these copies instead of the originals whenever possible, so as to avoid exposing your originals to wear and tear.
7. Pack Light
It is a well known fact that we end up using only 40% of the things that we pack for our travel. The rule is to pack only things that are essential and only as much as you can carry. Excess baggage is not only inconvenient to carry around but also increases the risk of baggage loss.
8. Inform Your Bank
When going on a vacation to Europe it is important to inform your bank about it. Else they could mistake your international transactions for a security breach and block your account, making it difficult to carry out any further transactions in the foreign land.
9. Gadgets to Take Along
In this age of tech-dependence it is a challenge to choose the most important ones from the rest. It is advisable to take a smart phone along loaded with international calling cards to save money. A digital camera is another gadget you should carry to capture the beautiful memories of your trip.
10. Handy Mobile Apps for Travel to Europe
Keep your wireless broadband connection on the smart phone handy. From surfing and mobile navigation, smart phone apps will keep you up-dated on everything under the sun. Some of the apps that you could consider downloading before embarking on your European vacation are: Trip Assist, Google Maps, MetrO, Skyscanner, Kayak, Skype, Drop Box and SnapShot Postcard. They will help you with a range of activities from navigation to uploading your pics.
Equipped with these tips you can be doubly sure of having a great family vacation in Europe.