A first timer’s guide to Europe Summer
So you’re thinking about your first trip to Europe hey? London, Paris, Rome, Portugal, Amsterdam, this list of where to go is almost endless, add on top of that all the things to do and you’ve got yourself quite the never -ending list of possibilities.
Below is a guide to what you should think about when planning your first summer in Europe with all the best tips on what not to miss and what to save for visiting on your next trip.
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Make a wish list of experiences
It can be hard to decide where to go on your first trip to Europe. Do you try to see a new city every couple of days or do you spend longer in fewer destinations? The best advice I could give you for your first trip is to make a list of the top experiences you would like to have in a few different cities and go from there. This could be island hopping in Greece, eating Smørrebrød in Copenhagen, having a picnic under the Eiffel Tower, sailing through Croatia, or seeing one of your favourite bands perform at a summer festival in Ibiza.
Also once you have decided which cities you will visit, or even while you’re still deciding, a sweet trick is to make an Instagram collection and save all of the photos of awesome places in Europe to you come across on Insta so that by the time you’re ready to leave next (Euro) summer you will have a list of all the coolest things to do and photograph.
Image Credit @Showpo
Tour vs. Independent
Another big decision to make is whether you will go solo or join a group tour like Topdeck, Contiki, Intrepid or Busabout. Some people love the idea of all the planning being taken care of for them while others want more control. A good idea for most first timers that are unsure of what to choose is to try one or two short 7-10 day tour to get a taste for what a few cities are like and to make some friends along the way. Then in-between those tours you can spend extra time in some of the bigger cities either by yourself or with friends you’ve made along the way.
Budget vs. splurge
The biggest tip anyone could give you when it comes to your budget is save. Save as much as you possibly can, and then save some more. There’s no point going to all of the effort of roughly a 24 hour flight to Europe to arrive and then spend your nights drinking in a hostel to save money. That’s not what you came all that way for. Scrimp and save at home so that you can live large when you want to in Europe and not waste a moment. On that note, keep some money aside for a couple of baller experiences that you will never forget, whether it’s dining at the top of the Eiffel Tower or a West End show in London.
Image Credit @Showpo
This doesn’t mean go out and buy ultralight hiking gear like those weird zip off quick dry pants (unless that’s what you normally wear day-to-day, then you know, you do you) and only packing one spare pair of underwear. What this means is leave the heels at home (walking all day + Rome’s cobblestone streets don’t make a good combo) and leave some extra room in your pack or suitcase so that if you see anything you would like to buy, you don’t end up having to ship those extra ten pairs of jeans/shoes etc home.
Be a tourist
Don’t be too cool to see the main tourist sites but also don’t try to see every single one. You don’t have to see everything on your first trip to Europe, and spoiler alert, after your first taste, you will certainly be back again. So pick out a few bucket list cities, and then a couple of must see attractions in each, whether it’s the Leaning Tower of Pisa or the cliffside towns of Cinque Terre.
Again, don’t be too cool to take heaps of photos. Take as many photos as possible and importantly always buy the largest memory card you can afford for your camera. There’s nothing worse than running out of memory on your camera or phone, a few days before the end of your trip and you end up having to delete photos from earlier.
Events and festivals
There are so many incredible cultural events and festivals to time your Summer in Europe for, from Glastonbury and Ultra to Tomorrowland and so many more in-between. What a way to make your trip one to never forget.
Learn a few common phrases of the local language
Whether it’s as simple as hello, goodbye and thank you, even ‘Do you speak English?’ in the local language will go a long way in seeking help from the locals, especially in France…you will see why.
Also always be aware of your surroundings, keep an eye on your friends, and if the offer seems to good to be true, it usually is.
When to lock it in
Finally, the best time to book flights and accommodation is about 9-12 months in advance, that’s how you get the cheap flights, discounted tours and accommodation. In the travel industry we call this ‘Early Bird Europe,’ if there’s one thing you take away from this story, it’s that the earlier you book the cheaper your trip will be.
If you book your flights and accommodation through Universal Traveller now you can score $100 off Emirates Europe flights when you book with $1000 travel per person* - valid for all travellers under 30. Plus, save up to 15% off summer tours from Topdeck, Contiki, Intrepid and Busabout*. There’s no catch, it’s just Universal Traveller securing the best Early Bird Europe deals for you and your mates.
So what are you waiting for? Get your 2019 summer in Europe locked in by calling 131 669 or visit us in-store to book.
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