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The type-A person that I am, I love creating and making sure I have everything I need a few weeks before I leave. This gives me enough time to evaluate anything with the embassy, bank or my documents that I may need to do or change at a short notice.
In this section, you will find a detailed pre-departure checklist to make sure you tick off every important item when you prepare for your trip to Europe.
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Europe Travel Checklist
🗆Check your passport expiration date and make sure you have at least six months of validity from the beginning of your trip. If your passport is expiring sooner than that, file for a second copy before you apply for your visa.
🗆 Make your bookings in advance. If you haven’t already planned and booked your complete itinerary, now is the time to do the rest. Keep in mind popular sights, tours and festivals often get booked in advance.
🗆 Connect with your debit card and credit cards provider to make sure you know the international fees you would incur for usage in the specific countries. Many debit cards may not have international usage activated, so double checking that wouldn’t hurt.
🗆 Do search and get the best travel insurance. This is one aspect you do not want to save costs on.
🗆 If you’re travelling as a student apply for an International Student Identity Card (ISIC) for discounts on public transport, tours and museums.
🗆 If you plan to buy a Eurail Pass, make sure to buy it at least one month in advance. Shipping can take time if you are not located in Europe. Reserve seats on high speed or overnight trains as they are usually chargeable even with a Eurail pass.
🗆 If you need to hop-skip across the continent, look into booking cheap flights in advance.
🗆 If you plan to rent a car, an International Driving Permit is required in Austria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Poland, Romania, Slovenia, and Spain.
🗆 Stock up on your usual medical prescriptions and over-the-counter products you may need during your trip. Often, finding pharmacies and translating the language for something as simple as Aspirin can be complicated. Having a first aid kit in a remote island saved my life in Thailand. No kidding.
🗆 Call and activate international roaming with your local telecom provider to ensure you have mobile access in case of emergencies. Once in Europe, you can easily purchase a sim card at a local supermarket.
🗆 Give a copy of your itinerary with contact number details of hotels and tour providers to your family and friends back home.
🗆 Download apps you might need that also work in offline mode. Having city maps with offline functionality can be really helpful if you don’t have access to the internet.
🗆 Keeping a printed copy and an online copy (in a drive) is always a good idea. You may lose your bag or your phone on the trip, in which case it helps to have back up copies of important travel documents. Here’s what you should include- Passport, visa, insurance, hotel bookings, flight bookings and contact details.
🗆 Make sure you have euros or dollars (the easiest currency to exchange) and/or a prepaid forex card in addition to your regular debit/credit cards. It’s always a good idea to keep two or three options split across your bags so incase you lose one, you’ll have a back-up.
I hope this checklist helps you plan better, and smarter!
Want all my time and money-saving tips? Get my guide to Europe
My detailed, 90+ page guidebook is made for budget travelers like you! It cuts out the fluff and gets straight to the practical information you need to save time and money while planning a trip around Europe. You’ll find suggested itineraries, budgets, ways to save money, how to apply for visas, which mode of travel to pick, top European highlights, where to stay, what to eat, what to pack and so much more!
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You should also see the following useful posts:
- The Ultimate Europe Packing List Guide For Summer
- 5 Must-Have Items On Your Packing List for Europe
- Top 10 Cheapest Countries To Visit in Europe in 2019
- The Ultimate Travel Europe For Cheap Guide
- Backpacking Europe – 4 Cities To Travel Under $40 a Day
- The Ultimate Europe Backpacking Route
- Two Week Europe Itinerary Ideas
- One week europe trip itinerary ideas
Looking to book your next trip? Check out the following services I use and love:
- Kayak to find cheap flight deals.
- Rental Cars to hop on your next road trip.
- Booking.com to find a hotel deal.
- Hostel World to find a backpacker hostel.
- World Nomads to insure your travel.
- Viator to find a cool day tour.
- Or my Global Packing List.
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