Tips on making your first trip to Europe
Going anywhere for the first time is exciting, daunting and wonderful all at once, which is why it is so important that you are able to be guided along your journey in order to not only make the most of it but also ensure that you are as prepared as possible for (almost) every eventuality. Remember that while it is tempting to want to do, see and experience absolutely everything, this is often not feasible – particularly when you are on a budget or travelling with your family etc. Taking the time to slow down and make the most of your time overseas is easy if you follow our tips…
While it is tempting to pack everything you would need for a month when travelling, remember that Europe will be able to provide you with everything you could ever need when it comes to toiletries and other ‘necessities’ so do not fret should you forget to pack something. While something like medication is mandatory in order for you to be healthy on your trip, packing 2 spare razors is not.
The language barrier
While something that many people worry about when travelling is the language barrier problem. However it has to be said that many waiters, hoteliers and people you meet on the streets are likely to understand and/ or speak English. It would be considered beneficial to brush up on a few common words and phrases nonetheless!
On the whole, Europe is considered to be very safe, particularly when in comparison to the rest of the world! Something to always be aware of is petty thieving and pickpockets, so just be sure to take precautions in zipping away any precious belongings and taking care to keep an eye on your phone etc. Common sense really!
In a restaurant
Dinner should be considered as the finest form of evening entertainment and should not be rushed- enjoy the food and company you are with and savour the experience! While slow service can be considered an annoyance to those used to being shooed out of an eatery in London, this is not the case in other European destinations. Take your time!
When in Europe it is important that you do not over-tip as the service charge is typically already included on the bill at a European restaurant. You will find that locals often leave coins at the table when they leave or do not leave any at all, which is something that is very far removed from something that is considered mandatory in somewhere like the States, for example.
Health and safety
Before you go to Europe it is important that you pay particular attention to your health and safety. Firstly something that is always recommended is becoming familiar with the necessary numbers to call should you be faced with any kind of health and safety matter. Secondly, be sure that you apply for (or renew) your EHIC card and get yourself some adequate travel insurance that protects you while abroad.