When scrolling your Instagram feed, you don't see the nightmares your friends encountered on their European vacations. They don't post scams, overpriced hotels, frantic (and unsuccessful) trips to the corner store, and other nuisances they may have avoided had they read this list.
If you follow in the footprints of these experienced travelers, you'll avoid the lowest lows a European traveler can stumble into.
1. Order Apps
One traveler recommends a host of Europe-friendly apps, including TripAdvisor (Europe's Yelp), Trainline (for scouring and purchasing train tickets), WhatApp (the app de jour for European communication), Skype International, Google Translate (specifically the photo function for translating menus), and Google Maps rather than Apple Maps.
2. Pack Travel Plug Adaptors/Outlets
It would shock you how many American travelers bring Best Buy's wealth of personal electronics to Europe, only to find outlets that—are those outlets? Yes, they're European outlets, and you better hope a local store sells adapters. Once you get the adapters, do your homework to ensure the outlet's voltage won't fry your hair dryer. I know about frying the hair dryer from personal experience.
3. Reject Your Inner Fashionista
I don't care if you're going to Paris, this isn't Fashion Week. Wearing overly flashy bags or jewelry, combined with your other telltale tourist trappings, is a recipe for disaster.
This isn't a knock on the safety of any European city, but don't be naïve. Remember the prolific gang of pickpockets from Charles Dickens's Oliver Twist? That was London.
4. Download Maps Offline
When you're staring down foreign roaming fees, using a GPS is like cutting a hole in your wallet (or your purse, as they call it in Britain). Download your maps ahead of time and rely on those static images of the world like it's 1995 again.
If you're struggling, pretend you're Pope Alexander VI sorting out Europe's dividing lines. Or, just use the maps and stop whining about not having Waze in Vienna. You can't afford Waze in Vienna!
5. Trust Your Bank
Several European travelers noted that when they withdraw local currency at an ATM, the machine prompts them to choose their bank's conversion rate or the ATM. Without fail, these frugal voyagers advise going with your bank's rate, which is generally more favorable.
6. Pack Toiletries and Washrags
In fact, take them with you. One European traveler recalls staying at hotels that did not have washcloths. While this may result in them paying $5 for a communal room in a hostel, the traveler indicates this is just a European hospitality quirk.
7. Bring Socks
When choosing socks for American vacations, we might envision walking through airports, riding in cars, and treating our feet like ancient European royalty constantly carried around by others. In Europe, your feet will likely be your most-used mode of transportation, so insulate those puppies accordingly.
When packing socks for your European adventure, prioritize comfort and pack liberally.
8. Get a Credit Card Without Foreign Transaction Fees
The plane tickets, hotels, and nights spent in a five-star Tuscan winery hotel will cost you enough. There's no sense in tacking avoidable fees onto your final vacation tab.
You should actively seek to reduce fees anywhere you can so track down a credit card that does not charge fees for splurging overseas.
9. Passport Trick
The passport needs to get more attention. No document is as consequential as this little blue book with your laminated picture and a few paper pages. Rather than carrying this document (which is more valuable than gold once you leave the country) around, take a picture of it and leave the passport in the hotel safe.
10. Don't Be Shocked by Political Talk
Despite its shortcomings, America remains the focal point of the civilized world. If a local brings up American politics, don't be shocked. While it's unlikely that someone will bring up topics you'd usually see on CNN or Fox News, Europeans aren't always shy about it.
In Europe, mentioning another political party isn't nearly the fighting word they are in the U.S. Just roll with it. Source: Reddit.
The King of Rock 'n' Roll. We don't need any more than that. We know that title refers to Elvis, although Elvis didn't relate to that title. He always said Fats Domino was the King of Rock. That may be something you didn't know.
Top Travel Destinations
Traveling to a foreign country can be scary. You may not know the language, the currency, or how to get around. However, if you do your research ahead of your travels, you should have nothing to fear.
Prized Travel Spots
There is nothing quite like traveling the world and experiencing new cultures, foods, and breathtaking views. While there is undoubtedly a long list of places on everyone's bucket list, there are sure to be some that you have never known about.