Europe Top Destinations
Things You Should Know Before you Plan your Trip to Europe
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Planning your trip to Europe
If you are planning to travel to Europe, whether for business or tourism, in addition to the passport and visa, we recommend you to check the following information: International Airports, Airport security rules, Type of luggage allowed and weight limits, Most visited cities, Driving in Europe, Electricity, Time Stripes, Business Hours, National Holidays, Weights and Measures, Commercial Practices and Etiquette Rules.
Europe covers an area of 11,100,000 square kilometers, extending from Asia to the Atlantic, and from Africa to the Arctic. European countries welcome more than 480 million international visitors each year, more than half of the global market, and of the 10 most visited countries in the world, seven are European nations.
It is easy to see why a well-preserved cultural heritage, open borders and an efficient infrastructure makes visiting Europe a breeze, and rarely have to travel more than a few hours before diving into a new culture. However, there are profound differences between cultures and ways of life in their countries. Therefore, you should remember that it is a big land mass, with hundreds of different languages, dialects, cultures, and sets of social customs.
Europe is one of the busiest places for tourists especially over the summer months, so traveling to Europe can be overwhelming, but it does not need to be! The attractions and tourist destinations offered by the continent of Europe where nation's history and culture of the Western world was born. From England and France to Italy and Germany, European countries are full of vibrant cities known for museums, restaurants, nightlife and architecture, so deciding which one to visit on vacation can be difficult. Following we give you some advises to help you to make your travels go smoother and safer.
Check your Passport Expiration - you may be denied entry into certain European countries if your passport is due to expire within three months of your ticketed date of return. Get it renewed if you will be cutting it close. If you are bringing the kids, make sure you have the right paperwork, including a passport for each, a letter of consent if only one parent is traveling, and documentation for adopted children. Make copies of important travel documents as a backup in case you lose the originals.
Check Visa Requirements - Most of the time, you will not find yourself needing a visa just to make a short trip. However, it is important to check the visa requirements before you take off, especially if you are planning a longer trip. You can easily find such information online.
Make Reservations in Advance - especially during peak season, for accommodations, popular restaurants, major sights, and local guides. Making your reservations in advance, is the smart way to make sure that your trip goes the way you want to and that you are staying at that hotel you desire instead of the fifth one on your preferred list. Booking airfare and hotels in advance also often ensures that you are getting the best price.
Call Your Bank and Credit Card Company - Tell your bank and Credit Card Company before you leave on your trip that you are going out of the country. Let them know the places you are going and the dates you will be away because after all, of the credit card hacking, they will put a block on your card(s) immediately and this can put a real damper on your trip. Ask about fees, and more. Get your bank’s emergency phone number in the US to call collect if you have a problem. If you do not know your credit card’s PIN code, ask your bank to mail it to you. Check with your bank to see what ATM fees to expect. “When you use a foreign ATM, you could be charged a variety of fees, including non-bank ATM usage fees, ATM operator access fees, and international transaction fees for conversion to U.S. dollars.
Travel Insurance - If you are not a European citizen, you need to take out medical insurance to travel to most countries in Europe.
Pack Light - Not all the hotels in Europe have elevators, so need to make sure that you are capable of really lugging your suitcase around. This goes double for traveling by train, as you will encounter similar moments wherein elevators are just not available. Consider what you really need and cut out the rest to save yourself the hassle. Do not forget your electrical plug adapters!
Ask locals where you should go - No matter where you are, most people love being asked for advice, and are more than happy to dispense it.
Validate Your Bus and Train Tickets in Europe - As in most European countries, this kind of transport works on the honor system, in which you must validate your ticket when getting on the transportation.
Renting a Car - If you will be renting a car, you will need a valid driver’s license. An International Driving Permit is technically required in Austria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, and Spain.
Using your Mobile Phone - If you plan to use your mobile phone or smartphone in Europe, contact your provider to enable international calling or to “unlock” your phone. Consider signing up for an international calling, text, and/or data plan, and be sure to confirm voice- and data-roaming fees.
Are you a Student? - Students should get an International Student Identity Card (ISIC) for discounts throughout Europe. Hostelers who will be staying at least six nights in official HI hostels should get a membership card.
Because airline carry-on restrictions are always changing, visit the Transportation Security Administration’s website for a list of what you can bring on the plane, and for the latest security measures (including screening of electronic devices, which you may be asked to power up).
Tips for Shopping in Europe
Euro (symbol: €) is the common currency of many countries of the European Union. One euro equals 100 cents. Founded in 1999 and introduced as effective 1 January 2002, the euro eliminates the need for currency exchange. As such, it is not only a benefit for European companies, but of course also to travelers.
The euro has not been adopted by all EU countries. Countries that have replaced their national currencies with the euro are commonly called "Eurozone" or "euro zone". By law, all EU countries (except Denmark and the United Kingdom) have finally adopt the euro, with the next round of enlargement takes place in 2011, with the entry of Estonia into the euro area .
Coins Euros Fuera EU, Kosovo and Montenegro have unilaterally adopted the euro, but all other countries still retain their own currencies. Euros are widely accepted in European countries outside the euro zone, but not always, and the shops and restaurants of those countries, they rarely accept them (Many hotels, however, accept payment in euros.) Houses money exchange agree to change smoothly, so the euro is accepted almost everywhere in the world.
Since relatively few years since the introduction of euro cash, some people can still use the names of their respective legacy currencies.
Do not accept any of the obsolete currencies. While banks in several countries still change euros, there is no guarantee that this is possible everywhere or on short notice. You should also expect to leave their personal information on the bench as a precaution against money laundering.
Across Europe, ATMs are available. It accepts multiple cards and credit cards. However, you should be willing to pay a service fee (usually a percentage of the amount withdrawn, with a minimum of a few euros). Read labels or warnings on the machine before use.
Accepting credit card is not as universal as in other parts of the world, especially in Eastern Europe, but is constantly growing. Some countries require merchants to check the identification number for the purchase of only € 50, and many shops will insist that show some form of identification for any credit card transaction.
With over 50 countries closely linked and the 28 currencies stuck in an area roughly the size of Canada or China, and more tourist arrivals than any other, the exchange rate is a fact of life in Europe, and the market is probably better than any other established in the world, and are available almost everywhere. Banks are a good choice, almost without exception, of all European currencies and within the European Union banks accept almost any currency lawfully marketed abroad. Companies specializing in foreign exchange are also widespread, especially in major tourist destinations, and are often somewhat better in changing banks. However, like all ATMs accept credit cards and debit cards, many visitors simply withdraw money electronically to approach the kind of change as real as possible.
The Weather in Europe
Europe lies mainly in the temperate climate zones, being subjected to prevailing westerlies. The climate is milder in comparison to other areas of the same latitude around the globe due to the influence of the Gulf Stream. The Gulf Stream is nicknamed "Europe's central heating", because it makes Europe's climate warmer and wetter than it would otherwise be. The Gulf Stream not only carries warm water to Europe's coast but also warms up the prevailing westerly winds that blow across the continent from the Atlantic Ocean.
The high average amount of sea and ocean coasts due to the presence of abundant peninsulas, bays, inland seas and islands. This and the influence of the Gulf Stream and the proximity of the hot deserts of Africa and Asia than in Europe determine preponderates, a temperate climate. Which makes it a pleasant and good for the current agricultural climate.
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