Planning your first trip to Europe? How exciting! There’s nothing quite like gazing at the Berlin Wall, Colosseum, or Eiffel Tower. While you may assume traveling through Europe is a breeze compared to places like South America or Africa, there are a few things you should know to make sure you get the most out of your experience.

Here are some top tips for your first trip to Europe:


Make a plan

One of the biggest challenges when you’re thinking about traveling to Europe? Just where to go. Maybe you’ve been dreaming of sailing holidays in Greece, wine tours in France, or pasta in Italy. Perhaps you want to dance in Barcelona, rent a yacht from Vernicos Yachts, or check out the ruin bars in Budapest. It can be overwhelming- like being offered a chocolate box full of all of your favorites.

Do yourself a favor and don’t try to do too much. When you pack in too many destinations, it becomes a whirlwind trip, and you can end up so stressed that you don’t even get to enjoy some of the places you’ve wanted to see for so long. Make a priority list and ensure you’re spending at least a couple of days in each city (more if possible).

Travel in Shoulder Season

Summer in Europe is miserably hot. It makes you wonder why so many people visit when you actually feel sick to your stomach if you’re out in the afternoon heat. Summer is also when you’ll find the most crowds, highest prices, and fewer choices for accommodation and tours.

The answer? Shoulder season. April-May and September to October are the perfect times to travel in Europe. It’s not too hot, so you can spend all day outside exploring. Prices are lower so you don’t feel bankrupted, and you can actually enjoy the attractions without dodging a million selfie sticks.

Take the road less traveled

Ok, so you probably want to see the places you’ve always seen in movies. But there are a number of reasons why it might be better to get off the beaten path. Sure, head to France and Italy. But if you have a little time, go to Bosnia, Poland, or Hungary too. These are becoming more popular, but they’re still much better value for money that the typical tourist destinations, and have plenty to offer as well.