6 tips for fuss-free travel around Europe
I’ve always wanted to travel around Europe. The first time I did, was for our honeymoon back in 2017. I loved it so much that in 2018 I applied for an international assignment with my job, and moved to Germany for a year so I could keep on travelling. I’m by no means a seasoned explorer but I’ve learned a few lessons about travelling around Europe that have made the whole experience a lot easier. So, here are my top tips for travelling around Europe!
Leave your bags at the hotel
There are many places we’ve visited where we arrive in the early morning to make use of a full day. Hotels, however, often don’t let you check in until around 2pm in the afternoon. If you’ve got luggage with you, this can pretty much result in a wasted day of you dragging your cumbersome luggage all over the place. And as pretty as the cobblestoned streets is some parts of the major European cities are, dragging a suitcase on them is a nightmare. When booking accommodation, try to find a hotel that will store your luggage at reception for free before your room is ready (some also do this after you check out but before you leave for your next destination). This way, as soon as you arrive, you can head to the hotel, drop off your bags and begin exploring hands-free! Just be mindful to keep your suitcases locked and don’t leave anything valuable in them!
Stay connected with free wifi
If your phone plan comes with roaming, then that’s great but it can become expensive to use your data overseas. When we came to Europe for our honeymoon, we bought cheap, prepaid, local SIM cards with high data allowances. This works out great for checking opening hours for attractions, buying tickets online and especially navigating with a GPS while you lose yourself in a new city. If you run out of data, or don’t want to buy a temporary SIM card, look out for free hotspots sprinkled throughout the city - you’ll find them everywhere. Almost every restaurant and store has free wifi available for guests and often all it takes is signing up with an email address (just create a diaposable one to avoid the spam!). If you’re ever not sure, just look for your nearest McDonald’s or Starbucks.
Invest in a good suitcase
You’ll never understand the joy of a 4-wheel suitcase until you try one. Whether you opt for a hard or soft shell (I prefer soft), 4 wheels on your suitcase means that you can wheel it right next to you instead of dragging it behind you. You can spin the bag in all directions and it just makes manoeuvring through a busy city or airport with a suitcase so much easier.
These jackets have pockets
I recently started wearing a coat coat with actual deep, button secured pockets on my travels, lately. Especially on the plane. Why don’t women’s clothes have pockets?! The pockets in my favourite travelling jacked are big enough to comfortably carry my iPhone 8 Plus, AirPods, credit cards and gloves. This just makes it so much easier to access the essentials while I’m out and about. And I can button them up, so I don’t have to worry about things falling out. It’s especially handy on the plane, because instead of carrying these things in my allowed “personal item” handbag, I can keep them on me and stuff my handbag with souvenirs and planners.
Swap your wallet for something smaller
Am I going to be using all those loyalty cards where you’re going? Will this currency be accepted where I’m going? If you answer “no” to these questions, then leave them behind. Take out only what you’ll need and carry it in a smaller wallet for your travels. Just remember to make sure your valuables are safe at all times. Also consider how much cash you’re actually going to need and bring only that amount. Credit cards and even Apple Pay are widely accepted throughout Europe. If you do need cash, you can always exchange more at your destination or withdraw it from an ATM that accepts your card.
Bring your own minibar
If you’re prone to late night snacks from the minibar, then this one is for you. Before you check in to your hotel, find a local supermarket and buy your snacks and drinks. You’ll pay a lot less here than you will from the minibar. This way you can also get what you want or try the local favourites.
Pick good accommodation
This is a big one. Too big, in fact, for this post, so it’ll have its own shiny blog post in the future. But your choice of accommodation can really make a big difference in your trip, so be on the lookout for my post about picking the best accommodation!
I’m always looking to become a better traveller - share your travel tips with me in the comments!