From the serene Lake Como, magnificent Buckingham Palace, beautiful streets of Prague, breathtaking Greek Islands to the iconic Eiffel Tower, a trip across Europe is no doubt the trip of a lifetime. It is one of those trips that top every passionate traveler’s bucket list. If you are sitting around, only dreaming of traveling Europe, you must give yourself a reality check. Dreaming alone is not going to cut it. You have got to start saving up and you must begin planning right away. Solo traveling can be a bit daunting but rest assured that Europe is the safest and most reliable area for such adventures. However, there are some general and specific tips that are recommended for all travelers exploring Europe.
1. Familiarize yourself with the local language
English is generally understood across Europe due to high number of tourists. However, locals always appreciate if you try to communicate with them in the local language. And by local language, we mean a few generally used words like Thank you, please, help, yes, no and airport etc. This also comes in handy when you are in remote locations of Europe where people have trouble understanding English.
2. Keep in touch with a friend or family member
Whether you are roaming around in Amsterdam or hiking in Switzerland, you must keep a friend or family member updated about your whereabouts. If you maintain regular contact, it would strike them as odd when you are unable to contact them, plus tracing you would be easier in case of any trouble.
3. Inform your embassy
It is always a good idea to inform your embassy about all traveling plans and dates. This is just for precautionary reasons alone.
4. Be friendly but skeptic
Sure Europe is safe and friendly, but you cannot trust everyone. You should be a skeptic by default when you are dealing with a stranger. Of course don’t be rude. Maintain your friendliness all the while remaining alert. You have to be aware of scammers and conmen.
5. Observe the local customs
Europe sees a lot of tourism so it does get a tad tiring for locals, especially if tourists don’t pay heed to local customs and traditions. Be mindful of their feelings. In fact, observing the local ways help you experience the place better.
6. Experience the small town/city charms
Big cities are a bit commercialized and brimming with tourists. It is always a good idea to stay in small cities and visit small towns as they are less crowded plus fun to explore as well.
7. Use the train
Traveling by train from city to city is very exciting as the sceneries and stops along the way make the trip all the more colorful.
8. Use budget airlines
You can travel to Europe in cheap rates if you bag the right flights. For flying, opt to use the smaller, budget airlines instead of mainstream big names. Prefer off-season traveling if you are on a tight budget.