Traveling to Europe had to be one of the most memorable experiences which I will cherish forever. I was lucky to be able to go to Italy twice. I went when I was 17/18 (FUN FACT: I actually turned 18 in Italy!) and when I was 22!
I’m Italian, so it was amazing to go back to the motherland.
Here are my traveling tips when visiting the Europe!
1.) Have multiple forms of currency. It is important to travel anywhere with Cash and money on a card, because each business differs with their form of payments. There are so many little side shops in Europe that only accepts paper Euro, so if you want to get your hands on the cute scarves and handbags, you’ll want to bring some Euro. I’ve personally found that going to get Euro from an American debit card takes so much time and there’s loads of extra fee. To save money, have Euro’s before getting to Europe. You can get them at Triple A.
2.) Do your research well before-hand. My Dad always uttered the phrase, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”. As with anything, it is good to plan ahead of time to be prepared. Pack your bags a couple days prior to the trip, and every day look at the bags and you may realize anything you’ve forgotten. More often than not, I pack hastily, not thinking of everything I need and then I forget useful things.
3.) Buy everything you need prior to the traveling if you can. There are loads of cheaper, travel-sized toiletries you can bring, rather than buying these things in the other country or at the airport.
I hate wasting money if I could’ve bought something somewhere else for cheaper. I don’t know, something about that annoys me. Call me frugal. I just like to save money wherever/however I can.
4.) Travel with other people whom you trust. We all have those friends who are a little less than trustworthy. We have those crazy, drunk friends, and the friends who want to avoid planning at all costs. Some people may just want to wing it. I’m not this person - I always need to plan.
Sometimes it leads to me over-planning and getting stressed out, so please avoids that. I would travel with others who are responsible and who have common sense. Traveling with the wrong person can ruin the trip. Not planning effectively and creating back-up plans in case things don’t work out is imperative to the success of the trip.
5.) Be aware that in Italy, some bread isn’t salted. That is all. Where are the salt lovers at?
6.) Utilize apps like TripAdvisor and websites like hotels.com to see reviews. TripAdvisor lets you review places ( like bars, clubs, museums, hotels, restaurants, etc) in-depth so others can have a good idea of what their experience might be like. It just takes one review to potentially save you from an unfortunate situation.
7.) Make sure you buy the plane/boat tickets ahead of time. This is a basic rule for traveling. As you get closer to the date of departure, the prices tend to be more expensive. Buying months in advance, if possible, can save you hundreds of dollars on your flight/ticket.
8.) if you’re able to go on a Mediterranean cruise, you should! Personally, I have always wanted to go on a cruise and I love boats. If you don’t get seasick then you would love a nice cruise off the Mediterranean Sea with the shining water and gorgeous sun.
9.) Speaking of motion sickness, if you are prone to it then do not forget your medication!
I occasionally get motion sickness on a plane and there is nothing worse than not having something to alleviate the discomfort. You can find it in the airport (for a little more expensive) if you forget them at home.
10.) Go on the trip expecting something stressful to occur. Be careful with this. I am not asking you to worry about every little thing and to anticipate negativity, but just don’t expect everything to go perfectly. Things happen when traveling, and you just have to roll with it and trust that things will be fine.
11.) Mark your suitcase with something that will make it stand out in baggage claim. For example, I have a mini stuffed animal that can wrap around my suitcase handle. It’s bright neon orange and my suitcase has a purple/blue design, so it is hard to miss.
12.) Venture out and try new things. I refer to the phrase, “Qui no risica, no rosica” which translates to “nothing ventured, nothing gained”. The activities, sites, food and drinks in Europe are amazing, but some things can seem intimidating. For example, there are some foods that you might be hesitant to try. Perhaps some weird looking food or beverage. I tried Rose
- flavored gelato the first time I went to Italy. It tasted and smelled just like a rose because they used real roses to make it. It was delicious, sweet and only found in this Gelateria in Rome, so I knew I had to try it. Who knew when or if I’d go there again?
I also tried this beef tartare dish. It’s an Italian delicacy but it was essentially raw ground meat served with crostini‘s and an egg on top. It was OK, but I couldn’t stomach the whole thing. Some foods I love and some I don’t.
Like I said before, the most important thing is doing your research and not procrastinating. Procrastination causes cramming, rushing and stress, all of which hinder our brain and performance.
I love Europe. The sights, sounds, food, and music are all to die for. Personally, my next dream destination is Greece, but going to Italy again (like the Island of Capri) would be such a dream come true! Feel free to follow me on social media and let me know where you’ve been to in Europe! How did you like it?