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Traveling to Europe for the First Time

For those who have never been to Europe before, there can be a lot of anxiety surrounding planning a first trip. Going overseas is like going to a new world, and so there is a good deal of differences between traveling abroad than traveling through the states. One of the beauties of traveling overseas is being able to experience cultures that are so drastically different from what we experience at home. There are things you can do to prepare yourself for your first time going abroad. If you go without any planning, your first trip might not be as enjoyable as you initially imagined. Preparing for your trip will take some work, but it will be worth it and this work is fun.

If you decided to go to Europe, these are some of the more important things to consider. For those who have been overseas before, some of this information may seem obvious, but try to remember your first trip and all you learned.

One of the most important things to be mindful of is that electrical outlets in Europe are different. Appliances in the United Stated uses 110v where as Europe uses 220v. You must make sure to buy a transformer that will allow you to convert the voltage. Without the transformers, you can blow fuses in your products, which in essence will break them. Now, some electronic companies have thought of this, and they build chargers with built in transformers (for instance an Apple IPhone charger). Not only will you need to make sure you have the proper voltage, you must also buy an adaptor to plug your chargers in. The holes in outlets are different than the outlets in the states. It is all to often that people show up to Europe and they can't charge their phones, tablets, cameras, or computers. The transformers and adaptors are inexpensive and sold in many different locations.

You will want to read up on different local custom before leaving as well. You will want to fit in and be polite, and so you need to be prepared. For instance, in Denmark and other northern countries, tipping is built into the price of a bill. You are not encouraged to tip in these countries, and if you do it should not be much. You wouldn't want to tip 20% like you would in the states. In Spain, people eat dinner much later than they do in the States, and a good deal of shops shut down in the middle of the day. This can take some getting used too. Even crossing the street in different European countries can be different, and you want to follow the local customs. Being familiar with where you are will allow you to enjoy your trip better.

You also need to be mindful of the fact that European money is different. Some countries are on the Euro, but other countries have their own currency. You should:

  • Convert some money at your local bank before leaving
  • Let your bank and credit card companies know of your travel
  • Get a credit card with no foreign transaction fees
  • Limit ATM usage because of extra fee

Whether you are going for a wine tour of Italy, sailing in Turkey, or Sightseeing in England, be prepared for a new land and new cultures. Prepare and you’ll have an amazing trip. Why not experience something new?

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