My apologies the finale comes a bit late. I was not inspired to write this entry (unlike the first five Winter Travels series), and now I am very inspired, flowing with ideas.
This entry is dedicated to explaining several mistakes commonly made by students traveling in Europe – from my experience and other people’s experiences as well. Some of them are repeated from the previous posts.
Trip planning – Do not be overly ambitious about how much ground you could cover in two weeks. I learned to schedule in more time to relax and enjoy. No need to see the whole country in one trip. Always have a back-up plan! Be flexible and don’t be afraid to change your plans due to money shortage or weather problems.
Packing – Less is best. If necessary, buy some of it when you arrive. You can even donate some of your stuff to someone else when you are leaving. Travel light, save some space for the souvenirs. Remember to label your luggage. Pack the most important items in your carry-on luggage.
Flight – check your flights, photocopy travel documents. All basics. You should know that. Oh yeah, if you book connecting flights with different airlines, DO NOT BOOK THEM TOO CLOSE. The stress of booking connecting flights too close is one of the most easily avoidable stresses of air travel.
Transport – in Europe, we rely heavily on public transport. If you travel far, check the departure time and all and pack your breakfast/lunch/dinner. Most trains and buses in Western Europe have online schedule, it’s pretty convenient to check it out.
Sick – Bring some antihistamine if you think you might get airsick or something. Paracetamol too.
Laptop – Europe is blessed with free wireless almost everywhere. It’s probably your best buddy in the cold winter nights of Europe and great for safekeeping of your photos.
Communication – most of us uses MEGAFON roaming, some use Malaysian ones (Maxis, Celcom). It’s not cheap, but better than nothing. It’s cheaper to buy local simcards (if you plan to stay in one country for over a week). Mobile communication aside, communication with your travel mates are also important. If you plan to go somewhere or do something NOT with your travel mates, just tell them. Keeping quiet would only annoy and anger them.
Money – They say you just need a passport, ATM card, credit card and cash to enter Europe. Anything else is not necessary… Just make sure you have enough money in your accounts and check the exchange rates.
Cheap mindset – Although we are students and we are on tight budget, that does not mean we cannot indulge ourselves. Occasional splurge is OK – even necessary! We won’t get anymore chance of traveling Europe in our youth once we start practicing medicine.
Shopping – travel is so much more than souvenirs and burning your credit cards.
I think that’s it for now, whoever has some more ideas are welcomed to write in the comment section. Happy traveling Europe!