When traveling through Europe, some folks prepare and others just don’t bother. When I headed off to Europe, an unfamiliar part of the world, I only planned these things:
1. Chose which cities I would visit during the trip
2. Booked my departure (Dublin) and return (Warsaw) flights
3. Bought an outlet converter
4. Called my bank and credit card providers
5. Booked the hostel in Dublin and Edinburgh
Other than that, everything else I left up to chance, literally. I could not have asked for a better experience, but the following tips would have been good to know:
I really enjoyed all of the different foods I ate. Even though I can find many of the foods below in the U.S., knowing my dish was authentically made created a better experience. I do wish I would have been more experimental and tried more traditional dishes though.
Tip: Go into supermarkets and pick out snacks and foods only found locally.
Tipping is tricky. In the United States, it is a sin if you don’t leave at least 15%. Across the pond, it depends. Some servers and bartenders find it offensive to be left a tip, but others expect it.
Tip: Just ask. Don’t be afraid to ask the server what is custom locally.
When I traveled through Europe for three weeks, I chose hostels, trains and buses to sleep in.
1. They were the cheapest way to travel
2. They were efficient
Check out my review on each hostel I stayed in here plus extra tips.
Cheers! There are hundreds of libations to choose from and it can be easy to overdo it. Just remember that when you walk into a bar in Dublin with over 100 beers on tap the point is to make memories. Blacking out is counterproductive.
Tip: Practice buzz management. Throw a glasses of water in between every couple of drinks.
Tip: Making new friends from your trip means having a better reason to return.
There have been numerous studies conducted to find the best time to book airfare. Even though sites like Skyscanner say you should book at least 5 weeks in advance CheapAir conducted a year-long study and found the, “Magic Numbers.”
Find out what they are here.
Tip: Monitor the weather before you leave and plan clothing accordingly.
Shopping in Europe can be very expensive. Especially if you are shopping in Euros and Pounds. Try not to shop heavily in tourist areas because the prices are always much higher.
Tip: Save most of the shopping for Eastern Europe where the exchange rates aren’t a total rip off.
Pop up markets happen at least one day out of the week. Do some research and see if you will be around when the markets go on. There is no better way to get a taste of the local culture than at a local market.
Tip: Get a sample of everything you see. Consider it a lunch time buffet.
All photos by: Samantha Calderon