My dream was always to cross the pond and I do not think it is the only one, for everyone it is a great step to get on a plane for more than 10 hours and be on the other side of the world. But planning a trip of that magnitude can be extremely stressful because we are realistic: We don’t want to pay for a tour! We know that in the end, you would pay double what it can cost you to organize it on your own.
However, I understand that you have any questions in your head and you have no idea where to start, calm down, you have come to the right place. Before you saturate yourself with information, I would like to give you the key steps on how to organize your first trip to Europe.
What should you not do when travelling to Europe?
The season in which you choose to travel is essential because your budget can vary considerably. Consider that in summer everything usually goes up in price, starting with the flight and add to that your accommodations, without skipping the lines and crowds that you will find. The heat is also extreme in some countries. If possible, avoid it!
My recommendation is that you travel to Europe between March and June or from September to November. The weather in those months is neither so hot nor so cold. So that means travelling lighter and travelling light is a fundamental part of a trip of this type and surely the places you visit will be less saturated.
After “How much does it cost?” The most frequently asked question is, how much time do I have to spend in each city?
Let’s say you have 2 or 3 weeks of vacation, surely you think that on those days you can get to know the entire European Union (error!). That is extremely tiring, causing the trip to lose its initial purpose and cease to be pleasant.
So based on the total time of your trip, divide it so that you spend a minimum of 2 nights in each city.
The fewer cities you visit, the more pleasant the trip will be, I recommend that you do the following:
Make a list with the countries that you would like to know and then the cities of each of them. From that list choose only 3 countries, those that are your dream and you can not miss, then count two days minimum per city and check if the total time of your trip is adjusted, otherwise you will have to reduce that list.
Why do I emphasize this? Because the more you want to see the less you are going to enjoy it; at the end of the day you will only be taking photos of everything and everything and when you return home many of those photos you will not even know where they were taken.
Preferably you can contemplate in some cities 3 days of accommodation (in those that are your favourites on the list) because you have to take into account the transfers, which we will talk about later since you lose practically half a day or the full day in transfers.
Route through Europe
Let’s say that you already have the time and the cities that you cannot miss, so based on that we will plan the most viable route through Europe.
Now what I suggest is that you take a map and mark each of those cities, in this way you will get an idea of the distance between them. It will be easier for you to trace the route in this way, you can do it on Google maps from your cell phone or, even better, on a physical map that you can see every day.
Once the map is marked with the cities you want to visit, we will trace the route between them. I recommend that you focus on countries (two or three) and within those you contemplate each one of the cities to visit.
For example, in Italy (one of my favourite countries) there are so many cities to visit that practically that country deserves an exclusive trip to visit it.
Suppose you are going to travel 15 days when you have chosen the cities and have marked them on your map, you can make a list on paper or in excel that would look like this:
Day 0 – Arrival in Europe
Day 1 – City 1
Day 2 – City 1
Day 3 – Transfer City 1 to City 2
Day 4 – City 2
Day 5 – City 2
Day 6 – Transfer from City 2 to City 3
Day 7 – City 3
Day 8 – City 3
Day 9 – Transfer from City 3 to City 4
Day 10 – City 4
Day 11- City 4
Day 12 – Transfer from City 4 to City 5
Day 13 – City 5
Day 14 – City 5
Day 15 – Departure from Europe
The list serves to have an idea of how many complete days you will be in each city and you can better manage your time. The map will serve to put the order of the cities depending on where your arrival flight and departure flight is.
A great recommendation that I make to you is that you look for the cheapest flight from Mexico (or your country of origin) to Europe, whatever it is, do not close to the idea of buying the flight specifically to the city in which you want to start your route.
For example, I wanted to start in London but the flight from Mexico to London round cost me approximately $ 18,000 pesos ($ 1,028 USD approx.).
I decided then to search and put alerts with the indicated date to cities like Madrid, Munich, Paris, even if they were not on my list, so I found a flight that arrived in Madrid for only $ 9,000 pesos ($ 514 USD) and then I bought a flight from Madrid to London for $ 800 pesos ($ 46 USD).
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