The European Summer Guide

Embark on Your European Adventure: A Dream Destination for Aussie Travellers

It's that time of year again – where half the people you know are off exploring Europe, and with the 2024 Paris Olympics on the horizon, Europe has never been hotter. But before you jet off, there are some essential tips and tricks to ensure your trip is smooth and seamless. Dive into our guide tailored for Aussie travellers and make the most of your European adventure!

Tips for Aussie Explorers in Europe:
  1. Pack light: Travel Smart, Travel Easy

    When preparing for your European adventure, prioritise packing light to enhance convenience and flexibility. Choose versatile clothing items that can be mixed and matched to create multiple outfits, reducing the need for bulky luggage. Utilise compression packing cubes to organise your belongings efficiently and maximise space in your suitcase. Remember to pack only essentials and leave room for souvenirs you may collect along the way.

  2. Travel by train: Embrace Efficiency and Charm

    Opt for train travel as a convenient and scenic way to explore Europe's diverse landscapes and vibrant cities. Avoid taxis, which can be expensive and slow, especially in cities with narrow streets designed for horses. Instead, utilise public transportation options like the metro, which are efficient, fast, and cost-effective. Embrace the charm of train travel as you journey between cities and countries, enjoying panoramic views and hassle-free transportation.

  3. Notify your credit card company: Ensure Smooth Transactions

    Before embarking on your European adventure, notify your credit card company of your travel plans to prevent any disruptions to your card usage. Inform them of the countries you'll be visiting and the dates of your trip to avoid triggering fraud alerts. Inquire about foreign transaction fees and currency conversion charges to understand the costs associated with using your card abroad. Consider bringing a backup credit card or debit card for added security.

  4. Currency know-how: Navigate Exchange Rates

    Familiarise yourself with the currency of each European country you'll be visiting to facilitate seamless transactions during your travels. Avoid exchanging currency at airports, as they often offer poor exchange rates. Instead, use ATMs for better rates, despite potential ATM fees. By obtaining local currency from ATMs, you'll benefit from wholesale exchange rates and save money compared to currency exchange kiosks.

  5. Tipping etiquette: Show Appreciation with Grace

    Understand the tipping customs of each European country you'll be visiting to avoid any social faux pas. While tipping practices vary across Europe, it's generally appreciated to leave a gratuity of 5-10% for exceptional service in restaurants. In some countries, like Italy and Spain, service charges may be included in the bill, so check before tipping. In hotels, it's customary to leave a small tip for housekeeping and concierge services.

  6. Book attractions in advance: Maximize Your Time

    Maximize your time in Europe by booking popular attractions and experiences in advance. Many museums, landmarks, and tours offer online reservations, allowing you to skip the lines and avoid long wait times. Research the opening hours and booking policies of attractions you plan to visit, and book tickets 30-60 days in advance, depending on availability. Consider purchasing city passes or museum passes for discounted access to multiple attractions.

  7. Check visa requirements and ETIAS: Ensure Smooth Entry

    Ensure a hassle-free travel experience by checking visa requirements for each European country you'll be visiting. While many European countries allow visa-free travel for short stays, others may require a visa or travel authorisation, such as the ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorization System). Research visa requirements well in advance of your trip and apply for any necessary visas or travel authorisations to avoid delays or complications at border control.

  8. Beware of European pickpockets and travel scams: Stay Vigilant

    Protect yourself from pickpockets and travel scams prevalent in popular tourist destinations across Europe. Be mindful of your surroundings and keep your belongings secure at all times, especially in crowded areas and public transport. Avoid carrying large sums of cash and valuables in easily accessible pockets or bags. Familiarise yourself with common travel scams and tactics used by pickpockets to stay one step ahead and enjoy a safe and worry-free European adventure.

  9. Wear comfortable shoes: Explore with Ease

    Explore Europe's charming cobblestone streets and historic landmarks in comfort by wearing sturdy and supportive footwear. Opt for comfortable shoes with good arch support and cushioning to prevent fatigue and discomfort during long days of sightseeing. Choose footwear that is suitable for walking long distances and navigating uneven terrain, ensuring you can explore Europe's iconic attractions with ease and confidence.

  10. Bring your meds and pharmacy essentials: Prioritise Health and Wellness

    Prioritise your health and wellness during your European adventure by packing essential medications and pharmacy supplies. Ensure you have an ample supply of any prescription medications you require, as well as over-the-counter remedies for common ailments like headaches, allergies, and digestive issues. Research the availability of pharmacies and medical services in each destination and carry a small first-aid kit for minor emergencies.

  11. Avoid cabs: Embrace Public Transportation

    Save time and money by avoiding taxis in European cities and opting for efficient public transportation instead. Many European cities have extensive public transportation networks, including metros, buses, and trams, that provide convenient and affordable travel options. Public transportation is often faster and more reliable than taxis, especially during peak hours, and allows you to experience the local culture and scenery while getting around.

  12. Be aware of cultural differences across Europe: Respect Local Customs

    Respect local customs and traditions as you travel across Europe, recognising the diverse cultural landscapes of the continent. Europe's regions vary in cultural norms, etiquette, and social practices, from North to South, East to West. Understand the cultural nuances of each country you'll be visiting, and adapt your behaviour accordingly to show respect and appreciation for local customs.

    • Northern Europe Travel Tips: Expect precise timekeeping, higher prices, and adherence to traffic rules. Dress for the weather and utilise public transport for efficient travel.
    • Southern Europe Travel Tips: Embrace a relaxed pace of life, but be prepared for late public transportation and cash transactions. Enjoy the cuisine and lower prices, and dress for warm temperatures in the summer.
    • Western Europe Travel Tips: Enjoy efficient public services and transportation networks, as well as quality medical care. Expect well-maintained roads and a developed tourism infrastructure.
    • Eastern Europe Travel Tips: Navigate less efficient public transport systems and consider using more cabs. Be prepared for varying levels of medical care and cash transactions. Consider hiring a private driver for convenience, and respect local customs and languages, particularly outside of major cities.

  13. Cars and hotels are smaller in Europe: Adapt to Space Constraints

    Adjust your expectations for accommodation and transportation in Europe, where cars and hotel rooms are often smaller than those in other parts of the world. Embrace the compact nature of European cities and towns, where narrow streets and historic architecture contribute to a unique and charming atmosphere. Choose smaller rental cars and accommodation options to navigate narrow roads and maximise space efficiency, ensuring a comfortable and enjoyable European experience.

Packing Must-Haves:

    • Universal adaptor: Stay connected and powered up with a versatile adaptor compatible with European outlets.

    • Reusable water bottle: Stay hydrated on the go while reducing single-use plastic waste with a durable and refillable water bottle.

    • Anti-theft bag: Protect your belongings from pickpockets and theft with a secure and stylish anti-theft bag.

    • Compression packing cubes: Maximise luggage space and stay organised with compression packing cubes that keep your belongings neatly packed and wrinkle-free.
    • Top-opening luggage: Navigate tight hotel spaces and crowded airports with ease using top-opening luggage that provides convenient access to your belongings.
    • Travel accessories: Enhance your in-flight comfort with travel essentials like a sleep mask and travel blanket, ensuring a restful journey to your European destination.

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