FAQs on Europe
How much does it cost to travel Europe?
Budget travelers should estimate that they will spend an average of € 50- € 80 / day in Western Europe (Eastern Europe will be slightly cheaper). This does not include transportation between destinations to / from Europe or your airfare.
However, you can easily spend more or less depending on your travel styles.
Do I need Travel Insurance?
This is not a requirement, but an inexpensive way to give yourself a piece - this is why we recommend it. We use world nomads as they move towards budget travelers.
Do I need to get cash (Europe, currency, etc.)?
You can get foreign currency at your local bank before your trip ... However, you will get a very bad exchange rate from your bank, so it is a very bad deal. If you want a little starter cash, get around € 100- € 200, but you should get the rest of your cash from ATMs after arriving from Europe (there will be ATMs at each airport).
Remember, withdrawing cash from ATMs in Europe will give you the most accurate exchange rate. Learn more about using money in Europe.
What about using check for payment ?
ATMs are everywhere in Europe and they give you the most accurate exchange rate - so they are the best / cheapest way to get cash. The main thing is how much your bank charges you for withdrawing money from foreign ATMs.
Some banks will charge you a small percentage of withdrawals and / or flat service fees. For example, some banks will charge 1-3% of the total withdrawn amount. Other banks will charge something like $ 2- $ 5 per withdrawal. Some charge both. If you are lucky, your bank has not charged you anything.
If your bank charges you a flat fee, then it is best to withdraw large amounts of cash, so you pay less.
Exchange of US currency for euro (or other currencies) is expensive in currency exchange businesses so it should be avoided. Sticking to the ATM
What is better - ATM / Debit Card or Credit Card?
We use both types of cards while traveling but they must be used in different ways.
ATM / Debit Card: Only use your debit card at ATM. this much only. Do not use it to make purchases. Why? If your debit card becomes skimmed / copied (which is very common), then you have to cancel it ... which means that you will not be able to withdraw any cash from the ATM. Worse, the money stolen from your debit card will be taken from your bank account, so you will have to go through the hassle of getting your money back (which can take weeks).
Credit Card: Use your credit card whenever you need to make a purchase (or you can use cash). If your credit card is stolen / copied, you will have to cancel it. We usually carry some credit cards just in case.
What about the passengers?
Nobody really uses them anymore. Do not worry.
Do i have to tip?
Each country has its own customs when it comes to carrying. In general, the tip is already included in the bill (see receipt) so you don't have to tip in that case (feel free to add in extra euros if you like it). In other countries, it is custom to add an additional 5% -10% if it is not included in the bill.
ARE THERE STUDENT DISCOUNTS?
The cut off the “youth” discounts seems to be around 26-years-old. In many cases, you need to be a student but sometimes you have to be enrolled in an EU university.
But it doesn’t hurt to try asking about a student discount because sometimes the ticket sellers don’t really care. So bring your student ID — even if it’s old.
DO I NEED A RAIL PASS? ARE THEY CHEAPER THAN SINGLE TRAIN TICKETS?
A rail pass is a great option if you want flexibility because they allow you to travel on a whim. Buying single tickets for high-speed trains is usually cheaper in the long run if you can buy your tickets one-three months early. If you buy your tickets the day of or just a few days in advance then a rail pass is almost always a cheaper option.
Slower regional trains are priced by distance traveled so there is no need to buy those early.
SHOULD I BUY TRAIN TICKETS EARLY?
Yes. Buy your high-speed train tickets as early as possible. Most go on sale a few months in advance and get more expensive as time passes. Nearly every country’s national rail site lets you buy online and either print the tickets or have an e-ticket sent to your phone.
Slower regional trains are priced by distance traveled so there is no need to buy those early
How do i pack?
We are big proponents of packing light, so we try to limit ourselves to one single bag per person - some people actually struggle with it. For more information see our Backpacking Europe packing list for men and the Travel Europe packing list for women.
How do I pack for a winner?
The key to winter travel is waterproof shoes / books and have mastered the art of layering. Our winter packing list for Europe will help.
What's better - a return trip or a breakthrough? Do I need a backpack for "Backpack Europe"?
While many people use a backpack during a trip to Europe, this does not mean that you have to use a backpack. Many people prefer suitcases. It all comes down to personal preference
Personally, I use a backpack but Susan uses a rolling suitcase.
What is the best travel bag?
There is no perfect backpack but we like the bags made by Osprey and Tortuga.
Are backpacks enough to carry on an air-car?
There are many carry-on sized travel backpacks on the market - assuming you can force yourself to pack light.
What is the best way to pack my backpack / suitcase?
Living out of a backpack or suitcase is a kind of pain but packing well helps. We are big fans of packing cubes to keep everything organized. Here are some tips for properly packing a bag or suitcase.
Which guides should I use? What are the best?
Despite the wealth of information available on the Internet, we are still fans of guidebooks because having readily available curated information comes in super handy. I am still searching for other sources, but spending a few hours wasting time in a guide book is not wasted. Our favorite publishers are Lonnie Planet and Rick Steve.
How do I not feel like a tourist?
Don't worry too much about trying to "fit". All you need to do is avoid super casual things like sweatpants, athletic shorts and clear athletic shoes. You can wear a little more clothing than usual but you don't have to go crazy.
How to avoid looking like an American tourist in Europe?
Women's European Fashion - Tips for Dressing Like a European
Will my phone work in Europe and how will I use the data?
This is a tricky one. Almost any modern phone will work in Europe so that you can talk, text and use data. The problem is the cost because many US carriers charge too much to use your phone in Europe. You can buy a special international plan from your career, but are even expensive.
How can I save myself from pickpockets?
Any major city that attracts a lot of tourists will have a pickpocket problem. Fortunately, it is easy to avoid pickpockets using some common sense. Basically, keep your purse in a zip and don't keep it on the ground while eating, keep your wallet in your front pocket or in an inner pocket, don't put your smartphone on the table while eating at a restaurant and be careful when Stay on a busy bus / metro car.
What is the best time to visit Europe?
Summer is the most popular time to visit Europe - especially from mid-June to early September. It can be uncomfortably hot in southern Europe but the rest of the continent is comfortable. You have to deal with the crowd.
There are two great times to travel from mid-April to late June and from late September to late October because the weather is usually good (there will be some rainy days) and the crowds are more manageable.
The rest of the year is short season which means there is no line but the weather can be cold and rainy. Bring waterproof shoes.
We do not believe it is dangerous. In fact, thousands of men and women travel alone every year so this is actually very common. Still not sure? Read our guide to solo travel and solo travel for women.
I want x, y, and z (and 99 other spaces).
Do not spread yourself too thin because trying to squeeze everything is a recipe for disaster. Major cities such as Rome, Paris and London are worth four or five days (if not more), but many crooks wind up travelers in two nights. Give yourself some time to appreciate what you are seeing.
Also, stopping on a train or plane every other day will be very expensive. This travel planning guide will help guide you in planning your trip.
Do I need a visa or any special travel documents?
No. Americans, Canadians and Australians only require a valid passport to travel to Europe. However, you can only stay in Europe for 90 days.
However, if you plan to stay in Europe for more than 90 days, you will have to give a visa. It is actually a bit more complicated than this, so check our guide for a longer-term trip to Europe for more information.
I only speak english Do I need to speak another language?
There is no doubt that speaking the local language helps make life easier, but it is not wrong if you speak only English. Most people you encounter will speak little English. In some countries, almost all people under the age of 40 speak English very well. And, if nothing else, you can point to the stuff. Just relax and go with the flow.
Just relax and go with the flow. you'll be fine.
However, it is greatly appreciated if you learn some words like "Please", "Thank you", "Yes" and "No". It goes a long way.
Do i need to do a lot?
Many people go to Europe with the impression that they are going to do "Wing It" - and this is definitely an option. We've done the same thing, but I've found that a little planning goes a long way.
A major benefit of planning ahead is the saving of money. Most trains and flights are very cheap if you book in advance, but they are very expensive if you buy them at the last minute.
Another advantage is that you may not be well searched - it can be anything from great restaurants and bars to other sites and excursions. Even checking the museums early times can save you from going off for a day.