A few years ago, I spent a few weeks traveling throughout England, France and Ireland. During my travels, I quickly learned some things I wish I had known before coming to Europe, things that would’ve made my trip a little smoother and things that would’ve helped me not stress and freak out. I figured I would share 10 of the things I learned in Europe and hope that they help you plan a smooth and stress free European vacation.
1.Sometimes, even if your straightener is the correct voltage and you have an international converter….it will still cause a power outage in your hotel and it will break your straightener. Be prepared to have the hotel dryer be your only styling tool for the duration of your European adventure.
2.If you want to visit the Warner Brothers Studio for a Tour of the Making of Harry Potter, make sure you book your tickets at least a few weeks in advance. Don’t try to book them same day. You will fail. And the same goes for tickets to see Chelsea FC.
3.The tube (subway) in London doesn’t run very late. The last train is usually right after midnight. Keep that in mind when planning your night out, otherwise you could end up having to pay 100 pounds for a cab ride back to your hotel at the end of the night.
4.While it’s common to eat your breakfast on the go in the U.S., you will get weird looks and stares on the streets in France. So if you’re wondering why everyone is looking at you, that why. It’s not because you have something on your face. Sit down and enjoy your breakfast.
5. Speaking of France, don’t expect to get your latte and your pastry in the same place. Pastry shops only have coffee machines that only produce espresso sized coffee. You’ll have to go to an actual cafe if you want your daily latte or cappuccino.
6.One last thing about France-restaurants open late compared to American standards. While it’s normal for restaurants to open at 6 am in the U.S., in France many places of business don’t open until 9-10. Be prepared to have a late breakfast.
7. With the Irish being known for their drinking habits, you would think that their bars would be open late. In actuality, bars in Dublin have last call at 12:30 am on Saturdays. Remember that when you try to go out and hit the town, otherwise you’ll be left on the street with nowhere to go on a Saturday night.
8.In Europe, Easter weekend is a big deal. Many places of business will be closed on Easter Sunday, severely limiting where you can visit and where you’ll be able to grab a bite to eat. Make sure to check and see if your trip coincides with any important holidays that may affect the hours of operation for any attractions you wish to visit.
9.Easter Monday is also a thing in Europe. See above.
10.You can never go wrong with packing a pair of waterproof shoes and an umbrella.