Have you just finished four rigorous years and college and now have your diploma in hand? If you’re one of the lucky few, you may well be making plans for the backpacking trip of a lifetime exploring the fabulous sites of Europe. You’re in for a trip of a lifetime that will be filled with memories to last decades. Follow these recommendations from the travel experts to ensure your trip is a resounding success.
As soon as you have determined your budget, dates and countries of preference, take advantage of the awesome deals offered by Groupon coupons and book your flights from the huge discounts offered by Hotwire.com . The earlier the bookings are made for Europe flights, the better the rates. It is strongly recommended to spend at least three nights in your countries of choice, otherwise a good deal of your time will be spent travelling from country to country and missing key highlights and historical sites.
Check the expiration date on your passport. Allow at least ninety days for applications for new passports and passport renewals to be processed by the Immigration and Naturalization Service which is now a division of Homeland Security. Keep in mind that many European countries require at least ninety days remaining prior to passport expiration dates after the return date on your airline ticket. Entry with one way tickets is limited to those with either a student visa or temporary work visa. Appointments for passport application processing can be made at your local post office.
Check with your cell phone plan carrier to inquire about data packages in the countries you’ve selected to visit. Wifi hotspots are not nearly as prevalent in Europe as in the United States. One option beyond prearranged data plans with your carrier is the purchase of SIM cards in each country you’re visiting. Confirm that your smartphone has an interchangeable SIM card.
Order Euros from your local bank branch. It will often take at least two weeks for delivery. Many smaller establishments and family owned restaurants in Europe do not accept credit cards. Cash transactions are much more prevalent in Europe than in the US.
Finally, pack your backpack fully at least four or five days prior to departure. this is the amount of weight you plan to carry on and off trains and around the city for the next two to three weeks. Are you up for it? Rethink every item you’ve packed and consider its value versus its weight. Have a grand time on your European adventure.