Euro Summer trip in your twenties

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Euro Summer Ultimate Travel Tips

 

I’ve travelled a lot and I’m still in my 20’s – over 40 countries, backpacking and suitcase travels and so so many memories (and mistakes but they also turned into some pretty good stories). I’ve always had the itch to see as much of the world as I can and will continue to keep doing so. I didn’t come from a family that travelled a lot so when it came to my first solo trip it was pretty daunting to know which advice to follow, who to trust and what works best.

At the end of the day, you know what you want to do the most so please listen to yourself and make the trip exactly what you want out of it – not everyone will want to see and do what you want and that is totally ok. This list is just what I have learnt over the years and by no means is the be all and end of all travel. Let’s start with that.

Here are 20 things to think about when it comes to your Euro Summer:

 
1. Look for hubs to fly into that are across your travel path and start your itinerary from there. Save money on flights and make it easier when travelling (especially if you’re flying 20-24hrs for us aussies)
 
2. Map out a list of locations you need to go to, then some strong wants. From there you can decide on a logistical route that makes sense to save money and time when you’re travelling.
 
3. Pre-plan your accommodation and some activities (especially in summer, a lot of the popular items like Anne Frank Haus, Harry Potter Studios, the Louvre, the Catacombs will sell out months in advance)


 
4. Do you need a visa? For Europe specifically, there are different rules for different passports – although your aussie passport with get you 90 out of 180 days in the Schengen area without a visa. It is best to check for each country so you’re not caught out at the border.
 
5. What kind of traveller are you? Slow and steady? Party every night and sleep all day? Make friends and be spontaneous? Focus on all the historical elements of every city? A combination of them all? Your holiday is uniquely yours so try and cater to what you want and go from there.
 
6. Hostel or hotel? This also is where you need to be introspective and think of what you can handle. Hostels are cheaper and can really help stretch your budget but you will be in rooms with strangers (who could become some of your best friends) and that comes with its own challenges. For me I loved hostels so I could meet people and always find things to do – however I would recommend every few weeks you get a room to yourself just to have that down time and recharge the social batteries.
 
 
7. Backpack or suitcase? Well, you know we love a suitcase here but it again comes down to the type of traveller you are. Being aware of your locations and whether your accom has a lift was a big part of my decision making. I’ve personally done Europe with both and either works!
 
8. Set a daily budget for the trip so you can always keep this in mind – reduce that impulse purchase mindset and spend the money where you really want to. But also be realistic… an achievable goal is $70 per day minimum to average out (some days you’ll go over budget, some you’ll be surviving on hotel breakfast and a dream)
 
9. Book accommodation that includes breakfast – this really helps with keeping within budget and justifying that nicer dinner or lunch out!
 
 
10. Buy all of your electronic essentials in advance – a universal charger is essential along with power banks.
 
11. Underpack underpack underpack. You’re going to want to buy souvenirs, clothes, little mementos… you don’t need every outfit from home so keep the list short and sweet to leave space for more! A capsule wardrobe is 100% the WAY TO GO. And while you’re at it, make sure you have modest options – a lot of sacred sites require you to be covered from shoulders to knees.
 
12. Is a tour ticking my boxes? Contiki is practically a rite of passage for the young aussie traveller. Everyone talks about ‘way back when’ and their tour song and the silly tid bits. Look, tours can get expensive but you pay for the convenience of a guide and everything being done for you – no thinking just time to enjoy. I’ve personally done a few through Europe, China, Egypt and elsewhere… When I’m deciding about an organised tour (like Contiki, Top Deck or Travel Talk) I ask myself the following:
a. Is it an area that is harder to travel alone in?
b. What vibe do I want?
c. How many people are on the tour? Does this make it better or worse for me?
d. Does it tick off some major essential locations for me?
 
 
13. Download apps and maps for each location (especially if you’re going old school and not getting a sim)
a. Maps.me has downloadable offline maps for every continent.
b. Citymapper – great for public transport across loads of cities across the world! You can also start the journey on wifi and continue it offline if you don’t have reception.
c. Google translate (or whatever translation app is for you). If you want to be constantly on edge of a green owl breaking into your home, Duolingo is certainly for you.
 
14. Do your research. There could be things you didn’t know were in places you’re going that you’ve always wanted see that you didn’t know existed. It’s happened to me twice. Those Pinterest scrolls and Tiktok content really do get the best of you – go back through your saves and see where things are and make it happen.
 
15. Give yourself DOWN TIME. Believe it or not, having too much fun and travelling is actually rather exhausting. Make sure to give yourself time to relax in your itinerary – take some beach days, time to read or rot, whatever charges your battery for the next leg.
 
16. Get out of your comfort zone – you’re already in a foreign country but the point of travel is also to experience the unknown and something so foreign to you! My advice is pick a few things you know are really out of your depths that you need to do. You’ll be grateful for it down the line when you can say yes I really did that.
 
 
17. Photocopy your passport and carry that with you and in your luggage. This was one I actually had come in handy a few times when needing to prove my identity but not need to take my passport out for a night out. Also incredibly helpful should the worst happen and you lose your passport.
 
18. Make your pockets un-pickable. I’m talking locks on everything – anti-theft clips – bumbags – being aware of your surroundings. Everyone has a story of pickpockets and Europe is one of the biggest places for it so come prepared!
 
19. Prepare to get sick. Everyone and anyone will tell you about the famed ‘Contiki cough’, the bit they miss out is that it is not limited to just tour buses. It’s everywhere. Being in a new country with new germs and smells and people is a bit of a shock to the old immune system and sadly means you’re likely going to come down with something. So be stocked with vitamins and medicine to get you back on track. Much easier than trying to explain to a foreign chemist your symptoms (unless you’re really good at that kind of thing however I personally wasn’t great at miming food poisoning in a small town in Bulgaria).
 
20. You’re allowed to act like a tourist. You are a tourist at the end of a day, you’ll make wrong turns, get on the wrong train, miss the stop, take the silly photo, get overcharged, make a mistake. But you know what – some of the best stories come from those moments. Let yourself be a tourist and enjoy all the little moments. Keep in mind, these are based on my personal experience! But good luck, have the best time and please reach out. I’d love to hear from you.


What do you think of the list? Are any tips missing? Or do you just have a question for our avid traveller?
DM us on Instagram! We would love to hear from you.


This blog is personal advice and not recommendations of American Tourister.
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