5 Things you Should Know before Travelling Europe
The Schengen Zone is a group of 26 European countries whose mutual borders are open to allow for non-complicated travel through a single visa policy. This zone includes: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.
To put it plainly; either a Schengen Visa or your passport will allow you to travel through and between any of these countries freely for 90-days within a 180-day period. To check what category your country fits in visit the following website:
The Schengen Zone can become a slight pain in the arse having only 90 days to visit any of the 26 countries isn't a long time and the days start adding up quite quickly, next thing you know you’re on a bus to Albania because you don’t want to get deported. (However loved Albania, favourite country out of all I have visited.)
For more information visit: https://www.schengenvisainfo.com/schengen-visa-countries-list/
Bus and Boat Tours
If you suck at planning or don’t want the hassle of booking your excursions, hotels, transport etc then bus tours are a great way to get around the continent. Contiki and Top Deck are popular among 20 – 30 years olds, Trafalgar and Cosmos are great for families or those of a more mature age who don’t find joy in clubbing.
Sail Croatia and Sail Greece are a fantastic way to see the islands in the Adriatic Sea, both have options for the party goers or checkers club.
Cheap Airlines and Other Forms of Transport
Not a lot of leg room, no personal tv screens, probably seated next to a screaming baby but at least the flight only cost the price of a day’s meals. Vueling and Lufthansa were the sub-par airlines I used when I wanted to get somewhere in less than 3 hours, however multiple other cardboard cut out airlines travel within the continent so there is no shortage of disappointing flights.
Bus-a-bout and Eurail are economically friendly forms of transport to get around Europe (and better for the environment than flying).
Bathrooms / Public Toilets
Europe is well known for their public loos costing anywhere upwards from 1Euro to use to help pay for the cleaning and maintenance of the toilets, which can sometime be debateable when you feel you must sanitise your whole body when leaving… Always carry a few coins with you in case you have some bad chicken or a night on the rums.
Several Eastern European toilets cannot take toilet paper due to their piping systems, bins are provided next to the toilet for this purpose. Don’t be that guy and fuck up your hostels drainage system.
Data / WIFI
A few countries like Croatia sell a sim card for 10 euros with 7 days of unlimited data, perfect if you’re on a week-long tour in the country. Otherwise free WIFI is usually very accessible throughout popular tourist hotspots in Western European countries. Just remember to never enter any personal and sensitive information into bank accounts etc while on these public networks as they are easily hacked.
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