Just a Pack | December 10th, 2020 | No comments

Thinking of planning a trip to Europe but don’t know where to start?

Whether you’re a travel newbie or an experienced globetrotter, planning a big trip can seem overwhelming. It’s ok though, as always we’re here to help get you on the road!

Whether you want to see the beautiful city of Prague, hike in Spain, or explore ancient Rome we’ve always had your back. And we will continue to do so! So don’t let 202o get you down, start planning your trip to Europe now!

Planning Your Trip to Europe – 9 Simple Steps

To help you get started, we’ve broken down the easiest way to plan your trip into nine simple steps. Follow these and you’re sure to plan your vacation the right way.

Inspiration

man standing on a rock over looking a lake in Slovenia

First, it’s important to decide what kind of trip you’re looking for. In the market for a beach getaway? Maybe the coasts of Spain or Italy are up your alley. Want to go sightseeing in a historic city? Maybe Prague or Rome are more your style. Nature fanatic? Maybe you’d rather visit Norway or the mountains of Slovakia. It might help to get some inspiration from some outside sources.

Worldee

Did you know you can browse other people’s trips to get inspiration for your own? This makes Worldee the perfect trip-planning website. Once you choose “Plan a New Journey”, you’ll have your own blank canvas to work with. Underneath, there’s a “Get Inspired” section where it shows the most popular trips to your chosen destination. You can check out other travelers’ photos and learn about their trips.

If you’re really on the fence let other people’s travel experiences help you decide!

Instagram

If you’re looking for some photo-worthy spots, check out the location-specific stories and hashtags on Instagram. These will show you popular attractions and events going on in the area so you can decide if you like what you see.

Travel magazines

Start with online travel magazines like The New York Times Travel or the National Geographic Traveler. You can read about places around the world accompanied by photos that’ll make you wish you were already there.

Ask friends and family – Sometimes the people around you are your best resource. Ask friends and family about their favorite travel experiences, what they did and didn’t like, and things they wish they’d done differently. This will ensure that you plan your vacation the right way.

Plan your route

How do you want to approach your trip? Will you visit multiple cities or just one? What’s the easiest way to get from place to place? What exactly do you want to see and do? Figuring out your priorities will help you plan your route. Not sure of the easiest way to plan your trip? We’ve got some resources for you:

Worldee – Check out other people’s trips to see how they’ve managed their travel to, from, and within your destination. While you’re at it, take a look at the attractions they visited. Then, on this trip-planning website, you can model your own itinerary after theirs. This will help you plan your vacation the right way to efficiently use your time and money.

Travel blogs – Search the web for travel blogs that fit your style. There are tons out there, whether you’re a luxury traveler, on a budget, or want to explore a specific niche. Hey, maybe even this travel blog can help you out (wink wink). Use our search bar on the top right to check out if we’ve written about your European destination!

Lonely Planet – This is the most extensive and trusted collection of travel guides on the internet, so check out the one for your destination. You’ll learn about the sights, culture, and other recommended activities. Lonely Planet has been inspiring travelers for decades now, so give them a looksie.

Book a flight

Once you’ve nailed down the details, it’s time to make it official and slap down some money. The flight is going to be the most expensive part of your trip, so book this first. It’ll give you more flexibility and the earlier you buy, the cheaper it’ll be.

Pro tips: try to avoid flying on the weekend and give yourself enough time during layovers to avoid hiccups. If you’re not concerned about flight times and you pack light, consider using international discount airlines like Norwegian. Other options to find good deals are third-party sites like Skyscanner and Expedia.

Book your stays

Once you’ve got your flight booked, start looking at accommodation options. Are you looking for a hotel? A hostel? Is Airbnb more your style? Or would you prefer to Couchsurf and stay with locals? Will you stay in one place the whole time or do you want to explore different neighborhoods?

No matter what you prefer, book early. You’ll have more options to choose from and it’ll be cheaper that way. You can check out sites like TripAdvisor to read reviews and be sure you’re getting the best deals.

Packing list

Once the logistics are taken care of it’s time to pack! It can be helpful to search online for packing checklists for your chosen destination. Just a Pack has a general packing list here. Be sure to check the weather before your trip so you know more specifically what to bring. For Europe, it’s generally recommended to pack clothes that can be layered, a rain jacket, and good walking shoes.

You may also want to consider something secure to carry your money so you’re protected from pickpocketing schemes. Otherwise, pack as light as you can – the more space in your suitcase, the more room you have to bring back souvenirs!

Double-check your visa requirements

Before you go, make sure you don’t need any extra documentation, and if you do, apply for it far enough in advance. After all, nothing ruins a vacation like being turned away at the check-in desk for not having the proper identification or visa. Also double-check that your passport is up to date and doesn’t expire until at least 6 months after you return from your trip.

Inform your financial institutions you are leaving

How do you plan to pay for things abroad? Be sure you have a couple reliable sources of money so you don’t get stuck in a tough spot. You’ll want to call your bank before you go to let them know where you’ll be and when. Otherwise, your card may get blocked due to “suspicious activity” when you’re trying to close your tab at the bar. Awkward. You’ll then rack up a long-distance phone bill trying to call your bank from abroad to sort it out. Save yourself the trouble and take care of it beforehand.

Prepare for your flight

Your trip is finally here! You planned your vacation the right way and now you’re about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime. Only one thing stands between you and your dream getaway: a long-haul overseas flight. Before stepping on that plane, have the essentials easily accessible: water, entertainment, your passport, and a healthy dose of patience. In this day and age, it’s also a good idea to bring some vitamin C along.

Just a Pack also has a complete guide on how to survive long flights. Read up before you go even if you’re a seasoned traveler. You never know when you may learn something new that will make your life that much easier.

Explore your heart out

Prague Jewish Quarter tour

So you survived your long flight and finally made it to your destination. Congratulations! This is where the adventure really begins. Whether your days are full or you’re going with the flow, it’s time to make the most of your vacation.

Otherwise, take lots of photos, talk to as many locals as possible, and most importantly, enjoy your European vacation. Later, you can upload these photos and stories to Worldee so you can relive the experience any time you’d like!

Now that you know the easiest way to plan your trip, go ahead and get started! Happy traveling!

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