Around this time last year, I started planning my 3 week trip to Europe with Kara. I've learned a lot since then and I would like to share with you! This isn't going to be anything basic but more 'hacks' on traveling in Europe.
Tip 1: Travel with a friend.
Not only is it fun, but it saves money! Your living expenses are cut in half, you can share and try more food, and its good to have someone there for safety. Plus, you have someone to take photos of you instead of approaching other people to.
Tip 2: Use Google and Pinterest
Personally, I loved using Google Suite to coordinate with Kara one places to go and foods to eat. We heavily used Google Drive while we planned. Google Maps made it a lot easier to plan the itinerary and since we planned to walk everywhere. Pinterest links you with amazing blogs and travel recommendations.
Tip 3: Don't schedule everything by the hour
We made the mistake of pre-scheduling our museum tickets in Barcelona because it saved us a couple of dollars. Due to inclement weather and other complications, we ended up having to repurchase our tickets. If you're the type to explore the city on its own, having the time constraint can be stressful.
Tip 4: Use Schwab Bank and Get Cash
I've done some research on how to use currency abroad. Schwab Bank has the best deal with its investor's checking account since it doesn't charge any foreign transaction fee. The debit card can be used at any ATM and you only take out however much the conversion is. I suggest keeping some cash with you since not all places accept cards. I would avoid using any credit card since most credit cards have extra hidden fees.
Tip 5: Transportation takes a lot of time
While we were planning our trip, we assumed that it was fine for us to arrive a country/city in the morning and leave late evening for the next. We soon realized that taking the time to go to an airport/train/bus station wasn't as convenient and took more time than expected. If you can, take an overnight bus
One of the best tours we had was in Amsterdam. Sandman hosts free walking tours that you can reserve online or attend one of their meet-up points. A local who signed up to be a guide will take you around the city. Our Amsterdam tour lasted two hours and we got to eat lunch with our guide in the end
Tip 8: Try Street Food vs. Restaurants
Not only does it save time, it's cheaper and convenient. We were traveling in the winter time so there was were a lot of winter markets. We definitely splurged on a lot of sweets
Tip 9: Take Photos and Make Friends
With amazing phone quality, there isn't a reason not to preserve your memories. The Airbnb hosts, tour guides, and locals we met were so accomidating
Where ever you decide to go, make sure to enjoy yourself! Check out our Europe vlog playlist here. Don't forget, keep exploring!