How to Choose Your European Destinations

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How to Choose Your European Destinations

When you have made the decision to visit Europe, you literally have a continent to choose from.

What you choose and how you decide to spend your time will depend on a number of factors such as your priorities, your available time, and your budget.

Prioritising What You Want to See

Now that you’ve thought a bit more about why you want to spend some time in Europe, it’s time to plan how you will get the most out of you time there.

You have a wide range of options, depending on how much time you have, your budget, and who it is traveling in your party.

If you really have no idea what you want to see, then you need to do some research first.

You can look for information on the internet, find chat groups of people who have already been to some of the places you are considering, or do some old fashioned reading.

Checking out history books, guidebooks, magazines, and videos from the local library is another great way to see what countries and attractions appeal the most to you.

Start by coming up with a list of the ‘must haves’ for your visit. You most likely have priority cities in mind.

Perhaps you know that you absolutely have to see the Louvre and the Coliseum. That would mean that Paris and Rome must be on your itinerary plan.

But maybe seeing the statue of Michelangelo’s David, while important, is not quite as high on your priority list.

As you evaluate potential tours or time frames and cost for individual travel options, you’ll be able to use the list for comparing which choices give you the best value.

In addition, itineraries help you understand what you might be ‘giving up’ if you change your plans while you are on the trip.

It is inevitable that you will fall in love with a city while you are traveling in Europe.

One of the best things about independent travel is that you could choose to alter your itinerary in order to spend more time in a city that you are enjoying.

If you have your itinerary prepared, you’ll be able to quickly see what you might have to miss if you spend more time in one place.

Time and Budget

Next, you need to identify what your personal limits are for your vacation regarding time.

For most of us, an itinerary will be limited by a specific time frame.

If you get two weeks of vacation and you plan to spend them all on this trip, then a realistic trip time that allows for travel and flight timing would be about 12 days.

Even if you are lucky enough to have unlimited time, you still need to consider the amount of money that you have available.

Budgeting for your trip will need to include several categories, depending on how you will travel. These could include:

  • Cost of travel to Europe (flight or boat)

  • Cost of travel within Europe

  • Rail passes – the initial pass cost plus any supplements and reservation fees

  • Local bus, tram, train, subway, ferry, or taxi costs

  • Flights within Europe

  • Car rental and fuel costs

  • Nightly accommodation

  • Meals, snacks, and beverages

  • Entrance fees to attractions

  • Night time entertainment costs

  • Phone calls, internet or postage

  • Souvenirs

  • Miscellaneous costs such as for laundry or minor personal care needs

  • Access to emergency funds in case of health issue or lost passport, tickets, etc.

You will want to decide what is more important to you: having more time in Europe but being able to spend less on accommodations, meals, entertainment, and souvenirs or having less time in Europe but spending more money on the different aspects of the trip.

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