Europe Travel 101 – Before you take that first trip to Europe
|Here’s a printable checklist for things an independent traveler needs to do before heading off to that European destination. Keep in mind that all the planning has been done for you. This Europe Hockey trip has been completed over 20 times with no incidents.|
Like most planning guides, this is a tool meant to simply remind you what you need to do when to make the standard vacation go as smoothly as possible. Unless otherwise noted, most of the planning tasks can be done earlier than recommended. The complete annotated list with tips and hints can be found here. A printable checklist is available here.
6 months before you go
Start Learning a bit of Language
Languages for the Tourist
Purchase Guidebooks – Europe, by country, or regional
3-4 months before you go
Start Checking Airfares
Finding Bargain Airfares
Apply for a Passport if you don’t already have one
Shoes and Walking – Buy and Break in your walking shoes!
6 weeks to 2 months before you go
Do you need one? Here are some tips:
Lease or Rent your Car and get an International Driver’s License at Your Auto Club
1 Month before you go
Travel or Health Insurance
Need a Camera? Buy and Learn to Use It
Using Film? Purchase a Lead-Lined Bag to keep it from Fogging.
Rent a Cell Phone if you need Telephone Service in Europe
Cell Phone Rental Companies
Voltage and Plugs – are you bringing appliances that need convertors or plug adapters?
European Electricity and the Connected Tourist
Do you need road maps?
Michelin Maps (compare prices)
Keeping in Touch – Have you considered transporting addresses or data, or doing audio or video recording?
The Travel Writer’s Toolkit
Check the Department of State website for Travel Dangers
Department of State Travel Warnings
Oops, Forgot the Passport. Help!
Passport Expediting Companies
Make Copies of your valuable documents and give them to someone you trust.
Final Check – Passport, tickets, car rental agreements, hotel reservation receipts, credit cards, medications (and prescriptions, if required), addresses/password information and an open mind with a sense of wonder.