So you are thinking of going on a European adventure?
You are probably wondering where you should begin…How do you plan the perfect adventure of a life time? Well I know when you are first start to plan an adventure it’s extremely intimidating. Planning any trip won’t be easy and it won’t happen over night. There are many aspects to planning your perfect adventure. As overwhelming as trip planning can be, doing it on your own is such a rewarding experience! By doing your own research, budgeting and planning your perfect itinerary it will create the most fitting vacation for you as a traveller. Although no vacation is absolutely perfect, I know from my own experience you can create an unforgettable trip with some effort and lots of planning!
Now that you want to go to Europe you must decide where, for how long and what you want to see. This is one of my favorite parts of trip planning. I spend hours on Pinterest looking at places to go and things to see. Once you get an idea of places you admire you must research. This is my favorite part of trip planning. Call me crazy but I love going to the library and taking out Rick Steves books or spending hours reading travel blogs! The more you educate yourself on a place the more you will know what to expect in the future. It’s so important to know a thing or two about the destinations you are travelling to. There is more to Paris than just the Eiffel Tower. It would be a shame to travel all the way to Paris and only see the Eiffel Tower and not to experience the beautiful Parisian culture and history along the way. The more you learn about a city before hand the more you know what to expect when you get there! Also it would suck to go to a destination and have no clue what to do there or what that city is all about. So learn a little bit about the history and know what you will be looking at! Researching is going to take a lot of effort but trust me its worth it. While you begin your research you should also look up different methods of transportations to travel between places. If you are considering traveling to Portugal and also Norway how are you going to get there? Are you going to travel there by train, plane or car? This is also a great learning experience to see how practical your trip itinerary is. Taking a train from Portugal to Norway is nearly impossible so maybe you shouldn’t go to both countries this trip? Nevertheless the more you research the more you can decide where and what you do on this trip.
Again, once you start to come up with all the places you want to see and the things you want to do, its important to outline a budget so you know what you realistically can do. This step is different for every traveller. Trying to figure out how much this European vacation is going to cost is a very daunting process. Always remember to consider your flight, living expenses, transportation, food, activities as well as unexpected costs. This again where you need to research. Some travellers spend $200 a night at a hotel while others spend $20 a night at a hostel. Your budget is really up to you but make sure it is realistic. I suggest looking up flights and train tickets before hand to get an idea of the cost. Do a quick search on airbnb or expedia to see how much a night is at one of the cities you want to see. Just to give you an idea, my budget for a night staying in an airbnb ( That was relatively nice, close to major attractions and in awesome neighborhood) during my France, Germany, Switzerland and Italy trip was just under $100 CAD (65 euros for two people including all fees). Budgeting for a trip requires a lot of research. However all the effort will pay off when you learn how to stay within budget and learn how to save some money along the way.
- Create the perfect itinerary
Once you have decided where you would like to visit and the cost I then suggest creating your perfect itinerary. This step will make or break your trip. I have heard countless people try to cram in ten European countries in three weeks and absolutely go crazy along the way. So don’t do it. The amount of time you spend at a place will allow you to see more things while actually enjoying your surrounds and the culture. I recommend never spending less than three nights at a destination so you have two full days to explore the place. Small cities or places where there are only a few attractions you want to see (such as Munich, Bern, Venice) I would say minimum three nights but four nights would be best. For larger cities such as Paris and Rome I would say minimum 5 nights so you have at least four full days to explore. Also make a note that travel days are almost always a complete right off. Travelling from city to city is exhausting the last thing you want to do after a five-hour train ride is to quickly drop your stuff off to climb up the Eiffel Tower. It’s so unrealistic to plan activities on the day you arrive in the new city. So always keep that in mind while planning how long you stay at a destination. The biggest tip I have for you is to go to fewer places but spend more time in those places. Again, don’t try and see ten different countries in three weeks. So take your time. The more time you spend in the place the more you get to enrich yourself in the culture and can peacefully explore the city. I am telling you from my own experience, its exhausting travelling to another city every other day. So spend more time in fewer places so you aren’t so GO-GO-GO and you can actually enjoy the places you go and the things you see.
- Plan Plan Plan
I cannot say this enough. If you want to have the most perfect trip you must plan for it! Planning for any trip takes lots of research and planning. No matter if your trip is one week or five its best if you start to plan as far in advance as you can. Slowly but surely your trip will come together exactly as you imagined. Research if you need to book your tickets in advanced to get into a museum. Check out different city passes. For example The Paris Pass really paid off during my recent five day trip to Paris. We researched the cost for museums like Le Louvre or Musee d’Orsay and we realized all the activities we wanted to see while in Paris were included in the Paris pass. Not only that it was cheaper for us to buy the Paris pass than buying tickets individually. AND the best part was that with the Paris Pass we skipped the line for every single museum! Just that part alone was worth every single penny! That is why planning in advance is so important! Especially if you want your trip to go smoothly! Find our what tickets you need to buy in advance so you won’t have to wait in line! Trust me it’s worth it!
Starting to plan for your European adventure is extremely intimidating at first! But don’t fret! Slowly start to research your destination and the planning will fall into place. Planning your perfect trip will not happen over night but it will all pay off. Start by browsing Pinterest or travel blogs to get trip inspiration then start to listen to others who have experienced those destinations. The best way to learn is to learn from others! So let the research begin! I hope this helped you start your trip planning process! There is a lot of planning and researching to plan the perfect trip so just take your time! I wish you the best of luck!
So happy trip planning!