5 Tips for Planning an Adventurous Europe Vacation

You don’t want the typical European vacation with crowded tourist spots, brand-name hotels, or meals at chain restaurants. Instead, you prefer adventures, and want something different out of your travels.The number of adventures you can have in Europe is astounding, so take your time crafting a trip that you’ll remember for the rest of your life.

Choose an Activity

flickr by oilman

What type of scenery do you want to experience? Image via Flickr by foilman

When you sit down to plan your European vacation, you might normally have a destination in mind. To plan a more adventurous trip, focus on an activity instead. Do you want to go skiing? How about mountain climbing? Dream up an adventure you’ve never experienced, then search for European destinations that fulfill your desire. Your dream might center around a specific location, such as the Parisian catacombs. When you have a goal in mind, you can plan your visit around the adventure you want.

Lock Down Your Transportation

Traveling in a foreign country is difficult when you don’t speak the language. To take the stress out of moving among cities or countries, book all your transportation before you leave. This includes reserving flights, researching Eurail train passes, and boat rides. If you’re traveling to a city that has an extensive underground network or bus system, look up key stations such as the ones closest to your hotel or nearest the destinations you plan to visit.

Follow a Trail

cafe tables of europe

Where and what do you want to eat? Image via Flickr by Revolweb

Perhaps you aren’t interested in a specific activity and would rather seek out experiences in as many countries as possible. You could be looking for food adventures, seeking out museums or monuments, or finding the ultimate shopping destinations around Europe. Map a trail through the European countries that take you to the types of experiences you’re seeking. Do your homework so that you can avoid crowds, make reservations, and learn key phrases in relevant national languages.

Set a Budget

Creating a travel budget isn’t fun, but your adventure won’t be complete without it. In fact, nothing ruins an adventure more than running out of money. Set aside spending money, food money, and emergency money for each day. Plan how you’ll convert your dollars to local currency in advance so that you won’t be stuck with a bad exchange rate or with the wrong type of currency.

Book Tours in Advance

standing beside the temple of zeus in Athens, Greece

the Temple of Zeus

Don’t wait until you arrive to find tours and activities. Because you’ve already chosen your adventure, research tours and activities that will give you access to the best of each destination. With your tours in place, you’ll be free to plan the rest of your itinerary, including meals and exploration time. You’ll also avoid arriving only to find that the tour you wanted is sold out or that it isn’t offered the day you’re available to take it.

The word “adventure” means something different to everyone, and now you get to choose your own adventure and decide the story of your European trip. In Europe, opportunities for every kind of traveler await atop mountains, in the halls of ancient monuments, or in the most delicious restaurants.

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