Europe is something of a fantasy destination to many Australians, but the distance and the sheer variety of places to visit and things to see can often make it an intimidating prospect for a would-be traveller. While Europe certainly has its quirks and peculiarities beyond the usual advice of travelling in the offseason, there’s nothing that should prove much of a barrier to your enjoyment if you follow these tips to travelling in Europe.
Check Visa Requirements
While many European countries have minimal border checks and enforcement between them and allow for short visits without visas, it is always worth having a quick check to see if you need to fill out any paperwork before you travel. Nothing is worse than being denied entry to a county after you’ve just crossed a planet to get there, so spending that little bit of time doing some research can save you from a whole lot of wasted time and money further down the road.
Prioritise and Take Your Time
There’s no escaping the fact that Europe is absolutely chock full of things to do and amazing places to see, but it’s important that you accept that you just won’t have the time to see it all in a single trip. As soon as you’ve done that you can start narrowing down your list of places to visit to include the essentials and things that matter to you the most. Don’t worry about trying to be different and avoiding going to the famous, stereotypical destinations like Paris and Rome – they’re popular for a reason after all.
Travel by Train
Europe has one of the best rail infrastructures in the world – certainly better than here in Australia – and you can easily travel around the whole of the continent in comfort by rail. Train prices can sometimes be a little more expensive than flights, but the convenience, quality of travel and the sights that you can see out the window make it more than worth the price. There are a number of rail tickets that you can pick up that allow for unlimited rail travel between certain countries for a limited amount of time – these will give you the best of both worlds, as you’ll be enjoying everything that train travel has to offer while saving a little to boot.
If you choose to travel by train, or even by air, I recommend having a look at renting a car for transport near your destination. If you’re visiting a city then you’ll be more than well served by the public transport options and you’re unlikely to need a car, but if you want to venture out into the countryside or smaller towns then a car is the best way to do it.
This might just be one of the most important bits of advice here when it comes to your comfort while travelling. There will always be the temptation to stuff 5 pairs of jeans into a suitcase but try to remember that you’ll be spending quite a lot of time lugging your baggage around with you. If you can cut down your baggage to the essentials and focus on your comfort while travelling, then you’ll have a much more enjoyable time. Just make sure to pack at least one outfit that’s suitable for an evening out and doesn’t make you stand out as an Aussie traveller!