1) My number one tip for enjoying your travels- you are travelling, not on a holiday. Mentally prepare yourself that you will get tired at times, there will be lots of walking, things will go wrong that are out of your control, flights might be delayed etc. This will help you deal with any troubles that might come your way
2) Power adaptor board– invaluable! When you are charging multiple devices, this is essential!
3) Treat yourself- even if you’re on a budget, have a couple of nights to spoil yourself at a lush place.. enjoy the travelling! The best thing we did was a nice dinner for our last night at each destination.
4) Print off hotel confirmations and figure out how to get there before arrival. Don’t waste your precious time in between destination transfers, taxis will rip you off and often Europeans can be very unhelpful (especially Italians!) Consider public transport but don’t compromise unnecessary travel to save a few €…
5) Leave plenty of time for mistakes i.e. Getting somewhere, in the mornings, before a booked event.. Better safe then sorry
6) Trip advisor! (www.tripadvisor.com) Super helpful when trying to figure out where to stay, what to do or what to eat. Search your hotel or restaurant just before booking. But avoid eating near or at airports, train stations, attractions, ferry docks- often 3 times more expensive!
7) Talk to locals and make friends with hotel managers. They offer the best advice! In Italy, our hotel manager Rosa at Gilda’s House in Positano could not have been more helpful in her suggestions of how to get around, what to do, where to eat etc.
8) Hotels- three star can satisfy your needs! 3 important points to always consider: Breakfast, WIFI and space in the room for luggage. And helpful managers!
9) Take your time with your photographs- don’t always be photographing every little thing but it’s okay to stop and spend some time to get it right (See photography travel tips for more)
10) Souvenirs suck (Ok not always!) Tourists are often tricked into buying useless junk. Only worthy for sentimental value
11) Luggage- pack less! It is not fun lugging around weight over Europe. Consider: you can wash your underwear, one month 4 shoes can do (versatile pairs), but pack your necessary toiletries for comfort
12) Less is more– the fewer places the better. It’s not cool jumping around every three days. We met a couple spending only two-three nights in one place for three months. That’s exhausting! Have at least 4-5 nights per place.
13) Don’t be scared to not do a tour. Being a tourist doesn’t mean doing endless bus and walking tours. Often we would see people asleep / bored out of their brains on tours. Sometimes the best part of travelling is having the day off with your travel companions to do what you want i.e. walking around finding secret spots
14) Money budgets are important! Consider and keep track of ATM fees, currency conversion etc.
15) Take time to stop, reflect and appreciate. A lot is happening- don’t miss the moment.
16) Speak to friends– a lot of advice on where to go was given from them
17) Guide books are super helpful e.g. Ricky Steve’s Guides. But don’t waste your money on them- often hotels supply them
18) Stay in top rated b&b’s- hotels are not a guarantee for superior comfort. Bed and breakfasts are much more homely, better location and often include breakfast
19) Book tours at destination. Better deals offered at hotels but book first day of arrival.
20) Check Expedia but often it can actually be better and cheaper to book directly through the hotel website