Lately, I have been dishing out advice about traveling to Europe for first timers. Being asked what I perceive to be simple questions so frequently, I realized how much seasoned travelers forget the little things about first times in Europe that can either make or break your experience. I dialed back to some of my novice mistakes of traveling in Europe on my first few visits along with those of other novice travelers. If you’re visiting Europe this summer, avoid these fiascoes and in the process you will evade going sour over one novice mishap in a continent so rich in culture, history and people.
The Restaurant Rip-Off: A friend recounted a bad experience in Barcelona. They knew better and yet fell victim to the restaurant rip off. Prices weren’t posted for a couple of sandwiches and a drink. When the bill arrived, 50 euros was not a welcome number. In Europe in particular, eating out can be a gamble in terms of quality and price. If you don’t see prices, chances are they are whatever the owner decides customer to customer. Travelers can avoid the restaurant rip off by researching restaurant recommendations beforehand. If a friend who knows the city recommends several spots, eat at them. Don’t turn your dining experience into a lottery of overpriced, poor meals.
The Target of Pickpockets and Scams at Train Stations: I made this error after several trips to Europe. I was traveling solo in Italy with a giant suitcase, facing the daunting task of having to lug up and down stairs to the other platform. A man quickly offered to help, hoisting the bag over his shoulders and carrying it to the other side. I was so surprised by his kindness and then, he reached out his hand. Many people loiter in European train stations either looking to pickpocket you or assist you for a fee. Sometimes travelers mistake these seedy souls for just simple kindness. While it is important to be open to meeting new people and learning about different cultures in Europe, go about these transport hubs with caution.
The Wallet in the Back Pocket: A country boy who had never left the United States lost his wallet after being in Europe for five minutes. It sounds like a cliché but it is actually an everyday occurrence in Europe. You might feel comfortable placing your wallet in your back pocket at home, but in crowded spaces in Europe, pickpockets won’t be able to resist. Travelers should utilize a money belt or some sort of wallet chain. Women should carry purses that have zippers and are slash proof.
The Athletic Shoes and Short Shorts: If you want to feel like a celebrity in Europe, just wear athletic shoes and short shorts around Paris, Rome or Madrid. You will quickly be met with more stares than Brad Pitt receives. Packing for Europe warrants more thought than other places. Overly revealing clothing can draw unnecessary attention. Find a covert athletic-walking shoe you can bring rather than those shiny white sneakers you jog in back home.
The $5,000 Cellphone Data Bill:My parents came to visit me in Sicily when I was studying abroad. My Dad proceeded to send friends and family email postcards of our travels. What he didn’t know is those email postcards were costing a fortune. Before I take off, I reset my data tracker. I then turn off data roaming. I put in place a small international data plan just in case of emergencies. I then utilize WiFi on my iPhone to check emails and tweets for free. Europe novices might think they can just leave their phones on for emergencies, but you could face a large bill when you come home. Another option is to buy a SIM card at your destination should you spend a greater amount of time in Europe.
What are some of your tips for Europe novices? Have any live-and-learn scenarios to share?
'Like' us on Facebook for more fantastic travel tips!
Get new posts delivered by email:
Top Travel Deals on RSS
Foodie Friday: Mexican Ceviche Tacos RecipeComments: 0Rating: 0 / 0
You aren’t experiencing the real tastes of Mexico until you’ve noshed on fresh, flavorful ceviche tacos. A staple in tourist destinations like Puerto Vallarta, you’d be hard-pressed NOT to find a local joint that serves this fiesta for your taste buds....read more
3 Beautiful Books for Young TravelersComments: 0Rating: 0 / 0
One of my greatest joys in life is fostering my daughter’s curiosity about the world. I like to stock her personal library full of exciting, beautiful books about faraway places. When we’re not traveling, we live vicariously through these treasured books. Here are my top five suggestions for books about other cultures that adults will enjoy just as much as the kids they are reading them to....read more
Eat This, Not That: Foods to Enjoy (or Avoid) During Your FlightComments: 0Rating: 0 / 0
It’s important to eat nutritious foods before taking any flight---whether it’s a short domestic flight or a long international flight. Eating a healthy meal before you board the plane regulates your blood sugar and your digestive system and makes you a healthier, happier traveler. It’s also important to pack healthy snacks to enjoy on the plane (so as to avoid the over-processed and expensive food that most airlines serve) and stay well-hydrated throughout your trip....read more
OneTravel Animal of the Week: The Blue-Footed BoobyComments: 0Rating: 0 / 0
From its name to its clumsy waddle on land, the blue-footed booby is a funny creature. Here’s what you need to know about this unique little bird....read more
4 Attractions in Puerto Vallarta For Non-Beach GoersComments: 0Rating: 0 / 0
Most travelers invade Puerto Vallarta for one reason and one reason only. They want to sit on Puerto Vallarta’s sands and soak up the beach life. While Puerto Vallarta features plenty of relaxing beaches to enjoy for beach goers, non-beach goers don’t need to stay home. Puerto Vallarta offers plenty of attractions for those who prefer to steer clear of the beach. Here are four spots that don’t involve sand in your toes in Puerto Vallarta....read more
California: CST #2090295-40, Nevada: SOT #2007-0081, Iowa: SOT #883, Washington: SOT #6027859380010001
Some of the content posted herein are the views and opinions of the individual blogger's and do not represent the views and opinions of OneTravel. It may be the case that OneTravel is partnering with a particular travel supplier mentioned in a blog post, however, all views and opinions expressed herein by parties other then OneTravel are by the respective bloggers.
© 2014 W K Travel, Inc. All rights reserved. Copyright for all material appearing on this website is owned by W K Travel, Inc. Persons accessing this website are authorized to view and print material from this website for information purposes only. Any other use of this material is restricted to non-commercial purposes and must include this copyright notice.
W K Travel Inc. owns the following Trademarks and Servicemarks appearing on this website:
OneTravel, OneTravel.com, and 1Travel. Trademarks and servicemarks for all other products and services appearing on this website are the trademarks and servicemarks of their respective owners.