The world is full of wonders and waiting for you to explore it. Traveling is probably one of the best ways to reset your brain, see wonderful places, and meet interesting people. There’s a common misconception about traveling abroad that it’s very expensive. Fortunately, for you, that is not the case and you can actually travel on a limited budget and still enjoy every bit of your trip.
We’ve brought you some of the best-kept secrets and actionable tips for when you’re backpacking through Europe. Read on to know more.
1. Research, research, research
If you’re thinking about visiting a place you haven’t seen before, you need to do a lot of research to get the feel of the place. Since every country and travel destination has its own rules and regulations, you’re encouraged to do your own research before you visit the country. You’ll find many online groups and communities where other visitors share their experiences and you can benefit from them.
Similarly, every place has its own set of preferred apps that the locals use and you should also use only those to avoid any unpleasant situation. For example, you cannot use WhatsApp in the United Arab Emirates, but it’s fairly popular in Southeast Asia.
Since you’ll be doing everything from downloading apps to finding cheap flights and more online, make sure your internet connection at home is fast and reliable. Consider upgrading to CenturyLink because it offers multiple speed options up to 940 Mbps, unlimited data, and no contracts. Contact their customer service now to learn more about CenturyLink Internet plans and pricing.
2. Understand the difference between Schengen and Non-Schengen Zones
Keep in mind that not all of Europe is a free zone where you can travel without any restrictions. The Schengen Zone is an area consisting of 27 countries where you can travel freely without needing any additional documents. Canadians and Americans can travel to these 27 countries for a maximum period of 90 days within six months before they have to go back.
For example, if you stayed for a little less than 3 months in the last six months, you’re fine. Otherwise, you risk getting fined or blacklisted from the Schengen Zone.
The Non-Schengen Zone consists of areas that are not a part of the Schengen Zone. This includes the likes of Bulgaria, Croatia, Ireland, Romania, The UK, and more. Any flight originating from these areas is considered an external flight and is subject to tighter scrutiny.
3. Don’t try to do everything in one go
A common mistake most visitors tend to make is that they try to see as many places as possible during their stay. There is nothing wrong with it, but if you took some time at each place, you’ll likely enjoy your trip more, instead of following a military schedule where every minute of the trip is accounted for. You’re not going on military drills, and you can always come back to see more places. Relax, unwind, reconnect with nature, and repair your relationships, you’re visiting there to have fun.
4. Stay away from peak seasons
Despite what some movies and TV shows will have you believe, summers in Europe are super crowded and messy, if you’re visiting a tourist attraction, that is. Typically, the holidays like Christmas, Easter, and summer, are when everyone is flocking to Europe and the prices skyrocket. That is exactly when you shouldn’t visit but wait for May or September instead. Europe is pretty beautiful in the spring and fall season and it isn’t too crowded.
5. Mix up your itinerary by picking busy and chill spots
Another mistake most first-timers make is that they try to stuff only the big cities in their travel itinerary and leave no room for smaller places. Not only do these smaller places offer a better experience, but also they aren’t too crowded because everyone is going after the popular places. You can switch things up by spending some time in big cities and the rest in remote areas where nature is relatively untouched.
6. The cost of living is not the same everywhere
Almost all of the popular destinations in Europe like Paris, Switzerland, London, etc., are grossly overpriced and the cost of living is way too high. That matters a lot when you’re backpacking and are tight on budget. You can go to cheaper countries like Bulgaria, Albania, Serbia, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and the Baltic countries.
7. Get a good VPN
If you’re planning for traveling for an extended period, consider getting a good VPN. This will enable you to circumvent any geo-restrictions put in place. For example, not all websites are accessible in every country. And it’s better to have a VPN and not need it than need it and not have it.
These are some of the best actionable tips for when you’re backpacking through Europe. Make sure to do your own research and if you have limited mobility or other accessibility issue, research the alternative arrangements before you embark on your journey. Safe travels.