Traveling to Europe

Traveling to Europe – The Seven Things You Need to Know

Travel to Europe isn’t exactly cheap these days, so you don’t want to pay for anything you don’t have to.

And that’s what this list is all about – how to get good deals and how to stretch your budget – and sometimes, stretching your budget means not forgetting essentials that would be costly to replace in a foreign land.

In short, this is all about what you need to know – for a grand adventure in Europe.

Make sure your passport is up-to-date.Your passport may not expire until after your trip – but some countries will not honor a passport if it’s due to expire 6-months after your return. Check with your destination country’s consulate or the U.S. State Dept. website.




Learn the European “airfare seasons”.Transatlantic travel has distinct seasons – summer is the most expensive, and winter is typically cheapest – check historical data. Traveling during the last week in May can save you hundreds of dollars compared to traveling just a few days later.



Know the total cost of your ticketFuel surcharges, taxes and other fees can double the advertised “base airfare” – especially for travel abroad. Check out some surcharges here – and always read the fine print before you purchase.



Use frequent flier miles for overseas trips.Long planned trips with little room for flexibility are ideal times to use up those frequent flier miles.



Fly to “cheap” European hubs.Research airport fees and save – Dublin, for example, has some of the lowest taxes/fees in Europe. Then hop on a “cheap” European carrier like Ryanair to travel to cities throughout the region.



Don’t forget these “essentials”.Renew prescription medicine; pack an adapter for your blowdryer, laptop; and learn if your cell phone and ATM card work in the countries you’ll be visiting.



A good time doesn’t have to cost a bundle.Picnic in Paris, anyone? They have some of the most beautiful parks in the world – why not stop at the local boulangerie, add a little vin, some brie – and you’ll have a memorable (and cheap) meal in a grand setting.




Updated: January 26, 2015