What are key travel tips I should keep in mind?
1. Make sure your ID or Passport is valid
If your national ID card or passport is due to expire during your trip, make sure you apply for a new one on time. Driving licences, post, bank or tax cards are not accepted as valid travel documents or proof of identity.
Warning: Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Romania and United Kingdom are non-Schengen countries. When travelling to or from a non-Schengen country you must show a valid ID or passport at the border.
2. Make sure you have your European Health Insurance Card
Once you have your EHIC - and/or your private travel insurance - download the European Health Insurance Card app, it will give you information on emergency phone numbers, treatments covered, costs and how to claim reimbursement.
3. Make sure you prepared your trip
In Europe, you can discover many interesting places. Get off the beaten path. Seek out less known places that don’t see much tourism. Of course, you can travel to popular sites, but other locations that are not on the tourist trail might just be as beautiful.
Sketch out an itinerary and plan the places you want to visit. You can find sample itineraries and more inspiration online.
4 - Make sure you have made the train reservations when required
Note that certain trains may require reservation. In these cases, you have to make the train reservations yourself during their travel period. And when travelling by night, check the possibility of booking a bed in that particular train. See the overview of reservation cost per country, to avoid surprises when taking your means of transport.
5. Make sure you have a place where to stay
Once you have decided where you wanted to go, don't forget to book an accommodation.
6. Make sure you have a budget planned
Even though you get the travel pass for free, you still need to pay for the seat reservations, accommodation, food and other expenses. We estimated that you will need about €50 to €100 per day, depending on the country you are going to.
Keep track of your daily expenses. Like this, you’ll have an overview of your expenses and won’t have any surprises by the time you come back from your trip.
Consider creating a common pot with your group. This will make it easier to pay a common bill (e.i. restaurant, group excursion...).
Warning: don't forget to check the currency in the countries where you are going because not every member state of the EU is part of the Eurozone.
7. Make sure you have a copy of your important documents
You can make photocopies of your personal documents and/or scan them in order to have them on your cellphone if you loose them or it gets stolen.
8. Make sure you have your medication if needed
If you need medicines carry them in their original packaging and bring your doctor's prescription.
Otherwise, you can bring a first-aid kit from home, just in case.
9. Make sure you keep your belongings in a safe place
Take what you need for the day: maybe around €50 and a debit card, and keep the rest locked up in your accommodation. Make sure to spread your money and valuables on different places on your person.
Moreover, keep your valuable items on your body, not in your general backpack/suitcase. Always keep your valuable belongings close to you.
10. Stay safe, open your mind, enjoy and share your experience!
There are several things you need to take into consideration in terms of safety:
- Ask for the safe and unsafe local areas (especially at night).
- Don’t wear an obvious ‘tourist’ outfit (don’t wear a camera hanging around your neck).
- Consider carrying an extra wallet with a small amount of cash.
- It’s worth spending extra money on safety. This means that it might be better paying a taxi at night, instead of walking alone.
- Check the list of relevant contact points
Open your mind!
Connect to other people, ask questions and embrace different possibilities, opportunities, suggestions, and interests! You may be surprised what you’ll learn from the people you meet during your travels.
In terms of languages and dialects, Europe is rich and diverse. Local people appreciate it if you try to speak a bit their language. A simple “please,” “thank you” and “I’m sorry” in the local language can already bring you far!
Share your experience!
‘’Travelling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.’’ – Ibn Battuta
Express your impressions, share ideas, meet up and spread your enthusiasm with other travelling youth on social media. There are plenty of opportunities to connect with like-minded people online: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter