|credit: Mstyslav Chernov|
Traveling to Europe is incredibly exciting but can be overwhelming: Which country or countries do I visit? How long do I spend in one city? How long and how do I get from one city or country to the next? The options seem endless but once you begin to narrow down your choices you’ll begin to build your itinerary.
Here are 7 tips:
Start by making a wish list of everything you want to see. Then look over your list and make sure these are the places you really want to see, and not places someone else put on their bucket list and told you you must go see.
Decide what cities you will fly in and out of and establish a general time line so you can start checking airfare. Some days will be more expensive to fly on than others so try and be flexible within a day or two of your original time line.
Decide how you’re going to get around from city to city and country to country: plane; car; train or bus.
Sketch out a rough itinerary including the number of days you want to spend in each place. If you have ten must-see sites in one city obviously you’ll want to plan to spend more days there.
Invest in a good guidebook and study it. They often have suggested itineraries of varying lengths that you can copy and add to.
If your bucket list includes museums check to see their hours and when they’re open and closed. The Louvre, for example, is closed on Tuesdays and open late on Fridays. Build your itinerary around what you find out in your research.
Get a trip-organizing app like Tripit. Forward all your hotel, flight, car rental and restaurant confirmations and Tripit will transform your emails into a master itinerary with maps, directions and recommendations that you can access from your smartphone.