Coming from someone who was afraid to travel outside the country, I know the overwhelming feeling of booking your first trip to Europe! Where do you go? Who do you go with? Where do you stay? It can be a lot to plan! After going on my amazing trip to London and Paris, I’m so excited to share how to book your first trip to Europe in five easy steps!
Step One: Find Your Travel Buddy!
A good travel buddy is a MUST when booking your first trip to Europe! Whether you go with bae, a family member, or a close friend; I HIGHLY suggest you go with someone for your first trip to Europe!
If you’re interested in solo travel, check out my blog post on How to Plan a Mecation here!
When thinking of someone to travel with make sure they meet the T.R.A.V.E.L Buddy Checklist:
- T: Time – Do they have the time to travel?
- R: Reliable – Can you depend on this person?
- A: Adventurous – Are they willing to try new things?
- V: Value – Do they have the money to go?
- E: Energy – Will they bring positive energy to the trip?
- L: Level-Headed – Have you seen them problem solve? How did they do? 👀
- Buddy: Can you see yourself spending a lot of time with them?
Step Two: Choose Your Location and Duration!
There are so many places to see in Europe and you really can spend months exploring the beautiful cities!
However, it can be hard to choose your very first stop in Europe with so many options. If you already know where you want to go: Grab your travel buddy, Pick your dates, Get the time approved at work (if you need to), and move on to step three below!
Tips on Picking your Location and Duration:
- Consider booking a European “combo” if you want to see more than one place! A few popular “combos” are:
- Paris and London
- Rome, Florence, and Venice
- Madrid and Barcelona
- Go during “off-season” or “shoulder-season” to save money! Off-Season is during winter months when there are fewer people due to undesirable weather. Shoulder-season is during spring and fall, which has warmer weather and more people; but not as many people as summer season.
- Off-seasons are:
- Shoulder-seasons are:
- April-Early June and September – October
- Off-seasons are:
- Pro Tip: Try to stay in each location for at least two days! It’s great to see a city during the day and night, without the hassle of trying to see everything all in one day!
Step Three: #BookTheTrip
Okay, so you know who you’re going with, where you’re going, and how long you’ll be there, now it’s time to #bookthetrip!
This is my biggest tip yet so don’t skip this part! I used Trip Masters to book my first trip to Europe and I’m so glad I did! Trip Masters made booking my first trip to Europe a BREEZE and no this is not a sponsored post, I’m just a really satisfied customer!
Through Trip Masters, I was able to book my Paris and London vacation in a wonderful 6-day vacation “combo”, including my flights, hotels, and the train ride to Paris, with an option to book sightseeing tickets ahead of time!
Why you should book your first trip to Europe through Trip Masters (in my opinion):
- You can customize your trip to be as cost-effective or as luxurious as you want it to be!
- You can choose your hotel based on hotel ratings, distance to landmarks, breakfast accommodations, and more!
- You can choose flight times that work best with your schedule and seating classes that fit in your budget!
- Lastly, you can pay for your trip in installments! Just be sure to book at least 60 days in advance! Click here for details on payment plans.
Step Four: Save For Spending
You’ll definitely need spending money while you’re in Europe! I saved $1,000 for my 3 Day London/3 Day Paris trip and that worked perfectly for my budget. This covered food (including a few fancy dinners), a shopping item or two, Uber’s, train rides, and most importantly, sightseeing ticket admissions.
If the city you’re going to offers a hop-on/hop-off bus tour, I highly suggest you take it! They’re a great way to see a city in a fun and relaxing way!
Pro Tip: Take a little cash out and keep a little cash on your card! I saved about $150 by keeping money on my card!
Pro Tip #2: Be sure to include your phone plan into your budget! I have Verizon and it cost me $10 a day for .05 high-speed data! Yuck!
Step Five: Prepare for Your Trip!
Although I love to plan ahead, for this trip I decided to wait until I got there to build my itinerary! This worked out just fine because usually, you can buy everything you need for sightseeing right then and there! You never know where your day will take you so having an open schedule is nice!
Pro Tip: Trip Advisor and Yelp are great places to start for recommendations on what to do and where to eat!
A few things you’ll want to do before you go are:
- Buy an international charger and a portable charger
- Get the proper currency (I made my conversions at my local bank)
- Buy comfortable walking shoes
- Get an international phone plan
- Double-check all airline and hotel details
I hope this blog post helps you book your first trip to Europe! Let me know in the comments where you want to travel and follow me on Instagram @thefabgrad to see all the fun I had on my trip to London and Paris!
Thanks for Reading,