A Guide to Travelling Europe
Check out the following tips for a hassle-free trip, allowing you to enjoy the change of surroundings!
Have a valid ID and a reference point
If your national ID card or passport is due to expire during your trip, make sure you apply for a new one on time. Driving licences, post, bank or tax cards are not accepted as valid travel documents or proof of identity. This is important when travelling through non-Schengen areas: Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Romania and the UK.
Should you get into difficulty, knowing your national embassy/consulate in your destination country can come in handy. You can search for their location through the European Commission’s consular protection website.
Make sure you’re covered
Unfortunately, things can go wrong even when you’re holidaying! Making sure you are protected should you need it is a crucial part of planning any trip.
You are advised to acquire appropriate health and travel insurance for the whole duration of the trip. The European Health Insurance Card is available for free from your national health insurer and proves that you are insured in an EU country. It simplifies the procedures and helps to speed up the reimbursement of costs. Some countries incorporate the card on the reverse side of a national card while others issue separate cards. However, the coverage of the European Health Insurance Card or private health insurance may not include all possible cases, especially if repatriation or specific medical intervention is needed. In those cases, a complementary private insurance is advisable. Want to know how you can use it in the country you’re visiting? Just click here!
Before travelling look for information on how to claim your rights in airports, ports, bus and train stations across Europe, or download the app for your smartphone. This can help to avoid issues when moving through the continent.
Research before you go!
Now we’re not saying you should study as if it’s an exam, but preparatory research can remove unnecessary stress, and allow you to enjoy the experience to the full.
Do the trains you plan to take require reservations? Have you budgeted for your accommodation costs? Do you know how to get to the airport on the way home? Some of these questions can ruin your itinerary, check out ways to plan in advance so you can travel worry free here!
Knowing your rights can also be advantageous when abroad, so why not familiarise yourself with some of them? Here are some of the most common areas of question:
Make your trip budget friendly
While your travel pass will be paid for, there are going to be other expenses! Make sure you get the most from your money while you’re abroad.
For accommodation, there are many options which can help your wallet. Do you have friends or family in the country you’re visiting? If so, they might have some space for you! If not, there are other ways to save. Check out our tips on accommodation while travelling!
Keep track of your daily expenses. This way, you’ll have an overview of your expenses and won’t have any surprises by the time you come back from your trip. Consider creating a common pot with your travel group. This will make it easier to pay a common bill (for example, in a restaurant or when booking a group excursion).
You can also save on events! The European Youth Card is packed with 70.000 discounts on travel, culture, accommodation, education, services and products in 36 countries across Europe. You can get discounts almost everywhere in the EU, from the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, Disneyland in Paris or Barcelona’s Sagrada Familia, to the sunny coasts of Cyprus, Malta or Greece. Check out all the discounts here.
DiscoverEU contestant? Become an ambassador!
If you are selected for the DiscoverEU adventure and you are short with pocket money to cover the extra costs, you could try to connect with your municipality to check whether they could sponsor your trip.
For this, drop an email to the International Department of your municipality and explain that you are a lucky winner of the DiscoverEU competition and that you could become the ambassador of your municipality. Although, they have no obligation to do it, it’s worth a try! You could also try with other institutions or companies looking for visibility.
Share your experiences
Express your experiences on social media with other travelling youth. You can share ideas, meet up and spread your enthusiasm. There are plenty of opportunities to connect with like-minded people online (Twitter, the DiscoverEU Facebook Page or Instagram for example) and offline (in hostels, during events…)!
It's always a good idea to stay in touch with your family and friends and let them know how you are doing.
Looking for more?
Want a comprehensive guide on how to see everything that Europe has to offer? Look no further!
Travelling in Europe 2018-2019 is available in 24 languages, and details how you can make the most out of your trip around the EU!