If you’ve decided to travel across the pond to see what all the fuss is about, or if you’re planning on using that TESOL certificate to teach over here, this one’s for you! Whether you’re travelling around or teaching English in Europe, here are a few things that you might find helpful to know before you go…
It’s bigger than it looks!
Don’t be fooled by its size – Europe has A LOT packed in and you won’t be able to see everything in just a few days. If you’re a beach bum, the Mediterranean coast is ideal. Or if you consider yourself a fully-fledged culture-vulture, Prague, Venice and Barcelona are architecturally stunning, whereas Rome, London or Berlin are steeped in history. Make sure you know where you want to go, before you hop on the plane!
If you don’t want to be stung by last minute train/plane prices then it’s definitely best to plan where you’re going and book in advance. This goes for accommodation too: Europe is busy and this way you can take your pick of the cutest Airbnbs/hostels instead of being stuck with wherever has a room left.
Expect the unexpected (weather)
Europe has, shall we say, a lot of weather. Make sure you pack for all weather types including a waterproof coat in case of a quick shower of rain (classic Europe). In summer, you can expect 80-100°F temperatures, particularly in more southern parts of Europe – perfect for sun-worshippers and for meeting loads of other travellers. If you’re planning a winter getaway, expect much colder temperatures, sparkly Christmas markets and adorable fairy lights EVERYWHERE.
Busy or quiet?
July and August are school summer holidays pretty much everywhere in Europe. Pros are: you’ll have loads of opportunity to meet other travellers and the weather will be hot and sunny all the way. Cons are: prices will go up and attractions will get busier. It depends what floats your boat!
Cycling is very popular in Europe and many cities now have bike programmes where you can hire a bike for a short amount of time and then return it to a different point elsewhere in the city. Perfect for exploring and still a healthy option – hurray!
No baggage, please
If you’re good at packing light, try sticking to hand luggage. There are loads of cheap flights across the continent – and you can save even more if you only take carry-on bags. Plus, it means less weight to lug around with you (how much room do bikinis take up, anyway?).
Take the train
Trains are a great (or maybe the best) way of travelling around Europe – and you can even notch up a few extra destinations out of the window along the way. If you’re not a European citizen, you can buy a Eurail Pass for the countries and dates of your choice, which can work out cheaper than buying individual tickets. Plus, additional discounts are available if you’re under 27 or travelling in a group of 2-5 people.