Travelling to Europe can involve lots of carefully planned packing. It’s a given that something will get forgotten when going on holiday – just make sure it’s not one of these important items!
If you’re travelling from the UK, you won’t need a visa to travel to most EU countries. This may change after 2020 when a special visa known as an ETIAS is planned to be introduced – here is a list of countries that may need an ETIAS. If you’re travelling to a European country outside of the EU such as Ukraine or Turkey, you’ll need to buy a separate visa.
Universal converter plug
The plug points in the UK differ from the rest of Europe. There’s nothing worse than getting to your hotel and not being able to charge your phone, because your charger won’t fit the plug point. You may be able to buy a converter plug while you’re out there, but packing one beforehand will save the hassle.
International driving permit
If you’re driving in Europe, you may need an international driving permit. This is especially needed if you’re planning a roadtrip. Certain countries may also require specific vignettes such as Hungary, Switzerland and Austria. These are a form of road tax that allow you to use motorways. You can apply for vignettes while you’re in the country (some can be bought at petrol stations and on the border) although it may pay to buy them online before you go and not have to worry about them while you’re out there.
Travel money card
Taking out a large wad of cash can be risky, and taking your debit card can have you racking up transfer costs every time you take out money. Putting Euros onto a pre-loaded travel money card can save costs. Such cards are available from all kinds of places – you may want to use a comparison site to find the best deal. You’ll pay an initial transfer fee when putting money on the card, but afterwards you won’t have to pay every time you use it. Of course, not all countries in the EU use Euros – something to consider before you set off.
Most people on the continent will speak English, but it’s useful to know a few words and phrases. If you’re only going to one country, you may wish to buy a dictionary before you go. For visiting multiple countries, a translation app might be more useful. Some apps allow you to download dictionaries, so even if you have no wi-fi, you can still look up words and phrases. Apps can save space, although apps do use up phone battery. A good-old paperback may appeal to some people – just make sure you don’t lose it. Similarly, if you don’t want to use up wi-fi on your phone or don’t have a GPS app, you’ll need to get some maps.