There are plenty of reasons I would recommend a visit to the European continent – no matter how small your budget. But, there are also a few things to remember before you leave.
When Europe is on your doorstep, it can sometimes be easy to forget that these are all foreign countries we are talking about. They all have different ways of doing things, and different cultures.
So, before you get on your plane or ferry, make sure you go through this essential checklist. Get things right and you will enjoy a stress-free trip and a successful holiday.
Check your passport
So many people forget to check their passports properly when they travel. It can be a costly mistake as you will not be allowed on a plane or a ferry unless your passport is valid. And, an even bigger mistake is to make sure it is in date by the time you get back. Being stranded in a foreign country is no laughing matter. It’s going to cost you a fortune in extra accommodation, passport fees, and new travel tickets. So, always check your passport validity before going anywhere.
Get your health insurance
You will also need to take out health insurance. As a UK citizen you are eligible for free healthcare in the UK, but not in Europe. So, unless you want to pay full price medical bills, you will need an EHIC card. You can get these free on the NHS, or use a third party company who will charge you an administration fee for you European health card. Please don’t forget! If you get sick or have an accident, you will be charged for all your medical care without it. And, that includes any ambulances or specialist care you receive.
Look into travel insurance
Be careful about travel insurance. A lot of people have an all-in-one plan that allows them to travel, but it might not cover you for everything you need. This is especially true for longer trips away, like your family holiday. Although it is impossible to plan for every emergency, make sure that you get the cover you want, and always read the terms and conditions.
Weigh your luggage
Don’t get caught out with extra luggage, as it can cost you a lot too if you overpack. Most people remember to do this on the way out, of course, but forget about coming back. If you have been on a shopping spree, then it’s likely that you will be carrying back more. So, get in touch with your airline beforehand or you will face substantial costs.
Buy a phrasebook
Wherever you are going, it’s always a good idea to learn a few local phrases. First of all, it’s polite. And, when locals see that you are making an effort, they will be happy to help you out a little more. Also, it can get you out of some potential scrapes. If you get lost or need help from the local police, you will be in a much better position if you know a few simple phrases.
OK, so that’s all there is to it. Enjoy your trip to Europe and let me know all about it when you return!