There are an unbelievable amount of countries in Europe to visit and with the current freedom to travel to them all with no visa (I’m British) I can’t picture a better time to go to see it all!
Don’t plan too far ahead
Going to any country without a plan may seem intimidating at first but it is the best way to travel. It’s easy for anyone to go online and pick out the most popular places to go to but then you risk falling into tourist traps, how can your trip be special if you just do the same as everyone else? Don’t get me wrong, the main attractions of places are popular for a reason but be prepared to step out of your comfort zone if you want to experience something different! I planned to stay in Montenegro for 2 weeks but ended up staying for a month because we heard about cool places to go after speaking to locals, friends and realising there is so much to see and do that isn’t always highly rated online.
You will discover places you never knew existed
Before I took this trip I never realised how big the world is, I always knew it was big but when you travel and realise you only have a certain amount of time to see things it becomes over whelming! Sure, you will have heard of the Eiffel Tower and other famous monuments, but for me it has been all about finding amazing places that no one else I know has been to… learning about other ways of life that you haven’t heard about in the media. It’s very hard to explain what I mean but everyone everywhere is so similar, we are all human. We just accept different ways of life because that’s what we are born into so we never question anything despite the possibilities being endless.
If you are trying to budget, Flixbus is the cheapest way to travel around. I bought a pass for 99 euros and that gives you 5 trips pretty much anywhere in Europe over a period of three months. Some journeys can be over 10 hours but you get toilets, wifi, plug sockets and the occasional favourable view.
As a native English speaker I have been brought up with this ignorant mind-set that everyone speaks English- they don’t. When visiting new countries learn basic words such as ‘Hello’ ‘Thank you’ and ‘toilet’ it makes life easier and shows respect to locals who then may try and interact with you (unless they’re moody.) Download Duolingo to learn the basics! It’s also good to learn ‘sorry’ if you’re always bumping into people and clumsy like me or ‘wine’ because sometimes you can’t find it on the menu.
Visit off season
Visiting well-known hotspots in summer can be exhausting! Queues can be ridiculous and if its summer holidays there may be kids everywhere. I visited a Greek island out of season and it was amazing, super chilled and quiet. Unless you are after a super busy, more expensive trip then definitely check out quieter times, you are much less likely to get ripped off.
Travel to Countries that use their own currency
Usually very Cheap!
Go to remote places
If you are a backpacker then you know that flashy stuff, paying for tours and spending 50 euros on a meal is simply not an option (I honestly can’t believe I ever bought into that stuff!) Get a random train somewhere slightly out of the city – or walk! And you will find cheaper places, REAL places, bustling with life and often much cheaper prices. For example, in Germany just outside of Berlin there is Potsdam or in Italy next to Florence there is Lucca. So many nice and underrated places out there… go and find them! I trust that you travel to learn about new places and not listen to anything the crappy rip off tours tell you. TOURIST TRAP ALERT!