Europe is full of beautiful places with exciting vacation opportunities. You can experience the piazzas of Rome, the beaches of France or Spain, the architecture of Prague, and so much more.
Of course, the key to any great trip is preparation. Planning always leads to more successful trips, especially when you're travelling to foreign countries. Certain important steps must be taken before you can go, go, go, including picking a location, planning your itinerary, establishing your budget, and getting your travel documents in order.
Know Where You're Going
This one is a given - you must know what country or countries you want to visit. Here are some tips to help narrow your list of options:
- Go with what you like. France and Spain might be a great place for foodies to visit, while the Alps or Iceland might be a great place for nature lovers. Adventure seekers may also find themselves challenged in the mountains of Interlaken, Switzerland or on the windy beaches of Tarifa, Spain.
- Choose places that are famous for their sites or that have always appealed to you. Paris, France is one of the most infamous and most visited cities in the world. With great landmarks, food, architecture, fashion and culture, you truly can't go wrong there. London, England is another city with much to offer. Prague, Barcelona, The Alps, Venice and Rome are also popular European vacation spots that can provide you with tons of fun and beautiful places to see.
- Go where the fun is. Europe is full of festivals, local holidays, and seasonal events, like Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany, Tomorrowland in Boom, Belgium, or the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. If you like a good party, any one of these celebrations and destinations should work well for you.
Plan Your Itinerary
Before you travel or even book your flight, hotel accommodations, and transportation, you must at least have a rough itinerary of what you'll be doing on your trip. Research the cities, sites, events, activities, and restaurants your chosen destination has to offer before you do anything else. This will ensure that you only visit places and do things that fit comfortably into your time limit and budget.
Not only that, planning your itinerary will also reduce your chances of getting lost and confused, seeing less of the country than you'd like, or of doing activities that aren't really fun for you. If you want to see a lot but don't have a lot of money, you might consider taking a European cruise, bike tours, walking tours, or adventure and camping tours. However, before you do anything, be sure to plan and consider your budget.
Ensure Your Documents Are in Order
It takes 2 to 5 weeks to receive a passport from the time of application. This means that if you're going to travel to a foreign country, you must have a passport that will still be valid for the next 6 months. That said, there are expedited services that can reduce the waiting time for a passport, bringing it down to a matter of days or even hours, but there are additional costs and you must have proof of travel. Don't forget to check to see if you require a visa to enter your destination - many popular destinations do!
If you already have a passport, you'll need to check the expiration date to make sure it's valid, and if it isn't, you'll need to apply for a renewal. If you don't have one, you'll need to apply well before your trip and have your photo taken, as well. Knowing where to get passport photos that are guaranteed to be approved is important. Getting pictures taken at an inexperienced shop can delay your passport application and even derail your travel plans. If you live in the Edmonton area, PhotoStop is your source! Visit us today for photos that meet every requirement.