Know this before travelling to Europe
When to go ?
There is no wrong time to visit Europe! The peak season is the summer time when Europe goes crazy. During this time, prices also increase. But the overall climate and weather is very good during this time, so it is still worth visiting during peak season.
The shoulder season is spring and fall (March to May and September to October, respectively). During this time it is still hot, but it is not overcrowded and prices are cheap. This is my favorite time to travel to Europe - the weather is good, the crowds are low, and the prices are low.
It remains cold from November to February. It cools down, even in the south it is found (eg Greece). On the other hand, the Christmas season has a wonderful season - you will find Christmas markets and festivals spectacular! However, daylight is less northward, especially in Scandinavia.
How to stay safe in europe?
Due to a high-profile terrorist attacks and riots and ongoing media coverage across Europe, I am often asked if it is safe to travel to Europe. Europe is more dangerous (perhaps even less) than anywhere else in the world. I wrote an entire article about how it is safe to visit Europe right now. Check it out
Europe is very safe for backpacking and solo traveling, but it has scams and petty crimes that you should check out. Put your things in crowded places and look out for the people offering you the goods. (Read about these 14 major travel scams to avoid!)
Always trust your gut instinct. If a taxi driver seems shady, stop the taxi and get out. If your hotel is better than you think, get out there. You have every right to remove yourself from the situation. Make copies of your personal documents including your passport and ID. Forward your itinerary with loved ones so that they know where you are.
And, remember, if you won't do it at home, don't do it here.
How to get around Europe?
An important part of Europe's backpacking is choosing how you will travel to your next destination. Transportation to most European cities by local tram, metro or bus is usually under 2 EUR (2.30 USD) for a one-way ticket. Intercity transport varies widely.
Here is a breakdown of each option:
Budget Airlines - Budget airlines are so prolific that competition helps keep fares down. You can often find tickets where the fare is just 5 EUR (6 USD) round-trip! Companies such as Transavia, EasyJet, Ryanair, Wizz and Vueling offer mind-blowing cheap flights across Europe.
Book at least a month in advance to scoop great deals.
Make sure that the airport they fly to is far from your way (transportation from the secondary airport sometimes negates the savings from using a budget airline).
Also, keep in mind that you have to pay to check your luggage on these cheap flights. It costs around 25–39 EUR (28–44 USD) for a checked bag. If you wait to pay for your goods at the gate you will pay almost double.
Buses - Buses are not as comfortable as trains in Europe, although some lines have great amenities (such as room seats and Wi-Fi). They take a lot longer than trains. Buses are not the most efficient way to travel around the continent, but they are certainly reliable and reliable, and the cost is minimal. You can get a last minute ride for at least 5 EUR (6 USD). A route from Berlin to Munich is around 25 EUR (28 USD), while Paris to Bordeaux is 13 EUR (15 USD). Long routes like Amsterdam to Copenhagen start at around 56 EUR (64 USD).
Each country has its own national bus service, but some lines will also take you long distances internationally. Megabus (UK), Eurolens, Flixbus and BusBout are some of the most popular companies.
Trains - Train travel is a great way to see Europe, although sometimes not the most cost effective or efficient. Most European rail companies allow customers to buy tickets online in advance, which is recommended for fast trains or popular trains such as France's TGV and Germany's Deutsche Bahn. Intercity train prices vary from country to country and depends on whether you take a slow train or a high-speed train.
For example, a high-speed train from Berlin to Munich costs around 190 EUR (216 USD), Bordeaux to Paris is about 95 EUR (108 USD), and Madrid to Barcelona is about 150 EUR (170 USD). Non-high-speed trains and other intercity lines are very inexpensive, typically costing about 40–50% of high-speed trains. Eastern Europe inter-country trains typically cost between 45–100 EUR (51–114 USD) when tickets are booked at the last minute. The cost of short 2-3-hour trains within countries is around 27 EUR (31 USD).
You may want to consider getting a Eurail pass, which allows travelers to explore Europe by offering a certain number of stops in a given time period. These passes are continent-wide, country-specific or regional.
Ride Sharing / Car Sharing - If you schedule is flexible, use a ride service and ride with locals between cities (or countries). The drivers are verified and it is completely safe. BlaBlaCar is the most popular.
Hitchhiking - Hitchhiking is very safe in Europe, but it is not for everyone. Hitching is fairly common around the continent, and I have met many travelers who have done it (I, myself, traveled in Bulgaria and Iceland in this way). Some countries will be very supportive (Romania, Iceland, Germany) while some may take longer (Italy, Spain). HitchWiki is the best website for information.
What to Pack for Your Trip?
1 pair of jeans (heavy and not easily dried, but I like them; a good alternative is khaki pants)
1 pair of shorts
1 bathing suit
1 long-sleeved T-shirt
1 pair of flip-flops
1 pair of sneakers
6 pairs of socks (I always end up losing half)
5 pairs of boxer shorts (I’m not a briefs guy!)
1 tube of toothpaste
1 package of dental floss
1 small bottle of shampoo
1 small bottle of shower gel
Small Medical Kit
A key or combination lock
1 pair of stretchy jeans
1 pair of leggings
2-3 long-sleeve tops
3-4 spaghetti tops
1 light cardigan
1 dry shampoo spray & talc powder
Makeup you use
Hair bands & hair clips