Thoughts on Life, Art, Photography, Technology, Teaching and Travel…..
2. Be aware that your dollar in Europe is worth about 63 cents after you convert to euro and pay the conversion fee. You need to budget this harsh reality into your trip. Click here for converter.
3. If you have a digital camera or any other electronics (hair dryers) make sure you buy a converter for that particular country at Radio Shack or Wal-Mart. If you don’t you will not be able to recharge your camera batteries or dry your hair.
4. Bring your bank debit card. Cash machines are plentiful throughout Europe and it’s the best and cheapest way to get euros. I suggest taking out more than less to limit your transaction fees.
5. Make an effort, no matter how feeble to learn a few words (greetings) of the language in the country you are visiting. Ireland and England are easy because they speak English, but if you visit Spain, Greece, France or Italy the people truly appreciate it when American’s make an effort to communicate in their language. It makes a difference in how people treat you.
6. Travel as light as you possibly can and if at all possible DON’T check baggage on planes – try and carry it on your back or with 1 medium sized carry on luggage. This will save you time, money and frustration if your luggage gets lost and also enables you to bypass baggage claim.
7. Always be aware of your surroundings as you travel – professional thieves and pick pockets are always on the prowl for unsuspecting tourists. Keep your wallet and passport in a safe place (front pockets better than back) and don’t go anywhere without your passport on you at all times. Make sure you make a copy of your passport and hide it somewhere in your luggage in case you do lose it.
9. Make an effort to explore the “out of the way places” where ever you are traveling. Every country has its tourists centers like Dublin in Ireland or Paris in France – the best photographs are found “off the beaten path” – away from all the tourists and crowds.
10. Bring plenty of extra film, batteries and/or memory cards with you. There is nothing worse than finding yourself in some beautiful foreign location and not being able to photograph because your memory card is full or your camera battery died.
Bonus Tip! Beer is always more expensive in the big cities and tourist centers throughout Europe. In fact…beer prices can fluctuate over 2 Euro’s depending on where you are. For example, at Temple Bar (Irish Music Hub) in Dublin a pint will cost you 6 Euro’s (you do the conversion) and that same pint of Carlsburg Beer in a village called Eyeries (Southwestern Ireland) is 3.40 Euro’s. I don’t know about you, but this fact dictates many of my travel destinations throughout Europe. Same goes for England France and Spain.