i feel like recently i’ve seen a lot of people who are either going to europe or have just gotten back. although i wouldn’t call myself an expert, i do have some advice for those planning a trip across the pond!
1. DO bring converters for the countries you’re going to. in this day and age our phones are everything, but they’re useless if they’re dead.
2. DONT bring a million things that require converters. if you have a camera, ipad, laptop, phone, kindle and basically every electronic known to man (like me), bringing your bare minimum is best so when you sleep at night you are not picking and choosing what to plug in. (this of course depends on your job, but if you must bring every electronic device you own i recommend bringing a power strip)
3. DO make reservations for things you want to do. although it may feel like you’re thinking way too far in advance, some things you want to do may be a popular thing other people want to do! in this case making a reservation for a popular restaurant, play, or tea room may be a good idea.
4. DONT plan out every single day to the hour. this may seem difficult because leading up to your trip all you’re doing is anticipating it. but by creating loose plans you give yourself more opportunity to find things you didn’t know about! it also helps relieve stress because you aren’t rushing from activity to activity.
5. DO take a hop on hop off tour in the larger cities. it may seem sketchy when you’re being haggled on the street to buy a tour but a day pass for a hop on hop off tour in a city you’ve never been is the most efficient way to see all the major cites! (it also saves you money on a tube ticket. knowledge and transportation all in one!)
6. DONT waste your money on cabs. coming from america this may seem like an odd piece of advice, but a lot of european cities (if not all) have AMAZING public transit. so unless you’re carrying a giant suitcase (or something of the same nature) skip the cab and try to navigate public transit, it makes for a fun adventure!
7. DO call your bank and let them know you’ll be out of the country. money is important and you’ll be stranded if all of your cards stop working.
8. DONT take anything people hand you on the street. they will expect money and they will not let you leave until you have paid them. this is an easy mistake to make your first time in europe but that man at the eiffel tower handing your a rose will make you pay for it.
9. DO get cash in foreign currency before you leave. although it may seem scary to carry large amounts of money across the pond, it is the most efficient way to insure you won’t be stuck a) with large bank conversion fees or b) without money because no one will take your card.
10. DONT sweat the small stuff. for a lot of people going to england (or anywhere in europe) from north america is a big deal. it is really expensive and you’ve been waiting years to get this much time off work, but if you spend the whole trip frustrated about what went wrong (and things will go wrong) you won’t enjoy everything that did go right (and things will go right).