What’s going on everyone? I hope all is well with you. For the last few weeks, I’ve been sharing posts about my Europe experience. In April, I visited London, Paris, and Brussels. It was my first time in Europe and I definitely want to go back. Europe is very nice. If you like to travel, I’d suggest you add Europe to your travel bucket list. It does have some differences compared to the United States. In this article, I want to share some tips that will help you if you will be traveling in Europe.
If you’re coming from an English speaking country, don’t be arrogant. Everyone doesn’t speak English in Europe. You’ll be fine in some places such as London, but it’s not like that everywhere. If you have a smartphone (most folks do) make sure that you download Google Translate. It will come in handy. If you have time to learn a few basic phrases, that will help out as well.
This is very important. Check the weather before you book your trip so that you can have an idea of what to pack. You also want to know how it will feel when you get to your destination. Believe it or not, everyone doesn’t always check the weather. It could be 80 degrees where you currently live, but only 50 degrees depending on when and where you go in Europe. During my trip to Europe, it was cooler in London than it was in Paris. The crazy thing is that they were just a few hours apart from each other. Make sure you check that weather.
Use the Train
Depending on where you’re from this may not be that big of a deal to you, but for me it was. You can get all around Europe (countries and cities) via train. I live in Atlanta, GA. Our train system honestly sucks. It only goes to certain places. It would take us a while to get to any big city in the south via train due to the fact that Amtrak isn’t that popular here.
That’s not the fact in Europe. They have efficient trains. While I was there, I took the train all around London, Paris, and Brussels. It was the best way to travel. If you’ve never ridden a train before, it’s easy. There is info online and in the train stations. There are trains that can take you around the city and also to different countries. I took the Eurostar train from London to Paris and the Thalys train from Paris to Brussels. If you check both of those sites out, you can see the different destinations that you can visit.
Europe can be a little expensive. Just keeping it real, I went over my budget. The conversion rates aren’t the best. London uses the pound. One US dollar equals 0.80 Pounds. That twenty cents definitely adds up over time. Euros are the most common currency in Europe. Their conversion rate is a little better. One US dollar equals 0.89 Euros. It’s not as bad as the pound, but you’re still losing money. Before you go to Europe, make sure that you budget and save more than you need.
If you want to charge your phone or laptop in Europe, you will need a universal adapter. The good thing is that the charger isn’t that expensive. This universal international charger is only $14.
Time Change/Jet Lag
I’m not really sure there’s a way to prepare for this, but pay attention to the time changes when you are traveling in Europe. While it may be daytime over there, it could still be night time at home or vice versa. I slept for about half of the flight to Europe. It was also an evening flight. I’m sure that helped with the jet lag. I wasn’t really tired when I got there.
They love their soccer (Futbol) in Europe. People were repping their teams with jerseys and other apparel. Soccer was on TV a lot during the time that I was there. I’m not a soccer fan but it was cool to see Europeans loving and enjoying the sport.
Be Ready to Walk
Depending on where you go in Europe, a lot of the attractions will be near each other. Instead of jumping on the train or getting a taxi, it will be easier to walk in a lot of cases. During my time in Europe, I walked to a lot of places. It allowed me to see much more of the cities that I visited.
Here are some other things that I noticed:
There were a couple of times where people got a little too close to me. A few times I was in line waiting for food and people were right up on me. Personal space didn’t exist. I had to put my hand out one time for the person to give me space. Honestly, I don’t think they were doing it to be disrespectful. I think that’s just how some people are over there.
Depending on what city or country you go to, you may see people smoking in some places. I didn’t notice it much in London, but I saw it a lot in France. I know that may bother some people, so I wanted to give you a heads up.
Traveling in Europe was great. It’s something that I want to do again in a few years. If you are considering a Europe vacation, hopefully, this post will help you out.
Don’t forget to check out the other posts in the Europe series.
Have you ever done any traveling in Europe?