Europe Trip – 7 Things You Should Know Before Go

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If Europe is on your travel abroad bucket list (this semester or over summer break), there’s a few things you need to take into consideration before heading out the door. Other than the obvious vaccination and passport details, the following tips may come in handy: 


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#1: The Down Low On The Euro…  
Just because you’re going to Europe doesn’t mean all of Europe accepts the same currency. In fact, only 17 of the 27 members of the European Union (EU) are part of the Eurozone. Surprisingly, the three that aren’t, are the United Kingdom (that’s England silly), Denmark, and Sweden. Where as, Andorra, Kosovo, Montenegro, Monaco, San Marino, and the Vatican City are not EU members but do officially use the euro as their currencies. So, be sure to Google map a currency exchange hut if you’re passing through one of these countries so you can swap out your cash. 



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#2: If You’re Staying In Hostels… 
Pack a pair of flip flops to wear in the shower, as they are notorious for fungus. Beware of bed bugs! If you make friends, you may have a few new travel buddies who will tag along with you if you’re headed for the same cities. To avoid any unwanted critters becoming additional travel partners, you may want to pack your clothes in plastic bags. 









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#3: Some Signs Make No Sense…
As Dorthy once said to Toto, “we’re not in Kansas anymore…” This saying goes for you as well when traveling abroad. Point being, English may not be the main language…in fact, there’s a good chance it won’t even be the second one. So, be sure to have a book to help you translate any signs you don’t understand and/or help you get to your intended destination. 








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#4: When In Doubt, You Can Count On Nutella…
Hot dog stands and street vendors are a big part of the American experience, especially if you’re traveling to the ‘Big Apple’ or Chicago. The only difference between one of those and one in Europe is that your stomach may not be equipped for what they’re selling. In those ‘iffy’ moments, it’s best to go with your gut and find a local mart where they’re sure to sell bread and any spread of your choice. Better to be safe than sorry. 






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#5: It’s Adapt Or Die Time…
The one thing that irks me the most about traveling is that every country has there own electrical outlet design. It’s the least likely thing you’ll think of when traveling, but it’ll give you the biggest headache. Need to charge your phone, kindle, iPad, laptop or whatever? Good luck with that if you don’t have an adapter. Your best option is to buy an adaptor transformer that is universal world wide before you go. Seriously – every country has there own version and in case you didn’t read the first sentence, it get’s old super quick. 
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#6: What Is A Bidet? 
Just to be clear, it’s another form of a toilet. Except instead of “doing your business” in it, you wash your parts in it. Got it?  I mean really… Did you actually question it? Think about it for a moment – If there’s a device in the area where you do your daily duty, it’s probably safe to assume that the item in question has poop germs on it of some kind, right? But hey, who am I kidding – maybe it’s not an obvious thing for a new traveler. Either way, whatever you do, DO NOT use it for drinking water. Gross… But if you do get a chance – try it out. There’s a first time for everything, right? Supposedly, they are more sanitary than TP. But I’m not convinced. 
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#7: It’s Called Backpacking…
For a reason. So, don’t bust out a suitcase – use a back pack. They’re easier to carry and come in handy for the amount of walking and stair climbing you’ll be doing. Escalators are for lazy Americans. Ya, it’s a harsh reality, but it’s true. We’re pretty spoiled with public technology, transportation systems and our living conditions in general. That being said, escalators are not as common in Europe as they are in the US. Though you’ll find them in the larger modernized European cities, they’re not as abundant in the smaller and older cities you will most likely be venturing to. Which means you’re going to have to put your legs to use – ALOT. Don’t worry, by the end of your trip you’ll have legs and buns of steel. 

With out further ado, that’s a wrap… If you have any other tips or advice for traveling abroad, be sure to add them in the comment section. Otherwise… 

Best of luck on your trip,

Miki

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