Create Long Lasting Memories With A Family Fun European Vacation!

Written by on January 28, 2013 in Family - No comments | Print this page


London Tower BridgeWhile you may be excited at the prospect of making your first trip to Europe, the details related to arranging that memorable event may seem overwhelming or tiresome.

Of course, the more time and energy you devote to its preparation, the more likely it is that your journey will turn out to be successful. Here are some steps you can take to help make that happen:

Be Prepared with the Right Paperwork

You can start by compiling all the documents you will need, beginning with your passport, which should arrive in four to six weeks. If you already have one, take a look at the expiration date to ensure that this trip will go smoothly.

Make a Budget

It is essential to draw up a budget before you decide on your schedule, your destination or you itinerary. Note that you can economize by traveling during the “off season”, planning a relatively short trip or looking for low-budget accommodations.

Do Your Research

Visit the tourism web sites of countries that interest you and focus on special events such as local holidays and festivals if you want to be part of the crowd and experience their culture. You should also make note of the kind of weather you can expect during your visit.

Book Airfare Ahead of Time

Since airfare may be your biggest expense, book it as soon as possible. At that point, you can save a considerable amount of money if you choose an international discount airline and are flexible in regard to dates.

Get Travel Insurance

Once you have made a major down payment on your trip, be sure to purchase some type of travel insurance as a safety measure. In many cases, you will be able to buy it as an addition to your package tour or airfare.

Rental Car Considerations

If you feel the need to use a car rental company on your trip, they will require you to have a valid driver’s license in the United States, and you may need an international driving permit when you visit Europe as well. You can request one from the American Auto Association (AAA).

Alternative Travel Options

As you plan to travel from one destination to the next, consider your options for traveling by rail, and compare them to the prices and routes the discount airlines have to offer. If your trip is extensive, consider purchasing a rail pass that provides unlimited train travel within a specific area.

Call Your Bank

Contact the credit card companies you deal with, inform them of your travel plans, determine whether you will have to pay a fee if you use your cards in Europe, and find out what ATMs will be accessible.

Buy a Temporary Phone, if Needed

If you won’t be able to use your cell phone plan for making overseas calls, you might want to consider buying or renting an international cell phone or subscribing to an international calling plan. If you plan on hiking or biking long distances or intend to travel by car, you should definitely carry an emergency phone.

Begin packing a week or more before your departure date to ensure that you won’t forget anything. If there is something you want to take with you, there will still be time to shop if you take that step. Determine what the weather is like at your destination, and be sure to make a comprehensive packing list to simplify the process. Your family’s first European vacation should be fun—and you can ensure it is by being prepared.

This is a guest post.  Scarlet Walker is a master of travel planing, be it her family vacations, or her logistics work with Hawthorne Global. 

Image courtesy of vichie81 /


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