If it’s your first time traveling to Europe, it’s important to know that it’s not just like any trip to another state or even to most countries. That’s not to say it’s needlessly difficult or inaccessible. It simply takes a little more preparation since most of Europe is part of the same travel authority known as the Schengen zone. Here, we’re going to look at some of the steps you can take to make sure that you can get into Europe without too much trouble.
Make sure you have your paperwork in order
Before traveling anywhere overseas, you should make sure that you have all of the right documents that you need. The most important of these is, of course, the passport. Make sure that you double-check that your passport is going to be valid for the next six months before you travel and, if not, get the process started for getting a new passport as shown at nationwide.com and be aware that this process can take up to six weeks. If you buy and travel insurance or get the visa or other permissions that you need to travel through Europe, be sure to copy these and keep the photocopies on your person at all times just in case you need to show them to any authorities.
Get the permissions you need to enter the country
You typically do not need a visa to visit most countries in Europe. However, the way that you do enter those countries is changing some in the coming years so, depending on where you go, you might have to go through a process of submitting an EITAS application. This comes with a cost, so be sure to add the fees associated to your travel budget. Not every country in Europe is going to require travelers to submit this application, europe-visa.com has a list of countries that you should take a closer look at. Even countries not on that list might have their own entry requirements that you should do your research ahead of time to prepare for.
Consider covering yourself with travel insurance
Some health insurance packages may already cover the insurance that you need to cover in the event of any injuries or treatments that you need overseas. If not, however, then you should make sure that you buy some travel insurance ahead of time and keep your insurance details on you at all times when you are traveling to avoid stress on your trip. While many European countries do have socialized health care, the benefits of these do not always extend to cover visitors. Make sure that you don’t get stuck with any treatment bills and consider paying the additional to make sure that you have the costs of recovering yourself from remote locations if you plan on spending any time away from the bigger towns and cities.
Make sure to inform all the right people before you go
You will want to let your friends and family know that you’re out of the country before you head off, of course. They might be able to reach you by smartphone, but you may also want to leave contact details of any hotels or accommodation that you’re staying at just to make sure they can check up on you if need be. More importantly, you should make sure that you let your credit card provider know that you traveling ahead of time, otherwise they can see new expenses in a foreign country and block your card, leaving you without the ability to spend money.
Get some cash converted into the right currency
Money is usually a concern for travelers, as it should be. You want to make sure that you’re never at risk of getting stranded without some cash on you. You should have your money changed into the currency that you need before you reach the airports, as the exchange rates at airports tend to be pretty costly. Make sure you know the currency of the country or countries that you’re visiting, as well. A lot of countries in Europe use the Euro, but not all of them do and worldatlas.com has a list of those that do and don’t. You don’t need a lot of cash on hand as most ATMs in Europe will take your cards just fine to let you withdraw money as necessary, but you want to take some out at least.
A spontaneous trip to Europe is a hard thing to travel. You need to make sure that you have all of your necessary paperwork done and more to make it a stress-free trip. However, there are still so many locations that make it all worth that effort.
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