Travel to Europe is now more affordable and accessible than ever. With the Schengen Area, you can travel freely between member states for up to 90 days. You can also take advantage of deeply discounted flights thanks to ultra-low-cost airlines. Europe is also incredibly safe, with millions of visitors traveling without incident each year.
Trains are also a popular way to get around the continent. Some high-speed trains can reach speeds of up to 200 mph and cover the distance in a fraction of the time. But if you’re traveling on a budget, you might want to consider slow regional trains or cheaper bus tickets.
Traveling to Europe is safe for Americans, but there are some precautions that you should follow. First of all, it’s important to follow the rules of the European Union. Some countries are re-opening their borders to Americans due to the recent Ebola outbreak, but others have stricter restrictions in place.
Second, get the necessary documentation. While you can usually enter the EU without a work permit or visa, some countries require you to obtain a travel document, such as a passport or EHIC. Also, make sure your passport is valid for at least 90 days. If you’re planning on selling or importing goods, you must also have the necessary documentation to sell them. The European Commission has information on these rules on its website.
Finally, try to book cheap flights to Europe. You can often get flight tickets for under EUR50 from budget airlines. Also, try to book flights during off-peak times or mid-week. Remember that you’re not guaranteed a seat on a cheap flight, so you may have to sacrifice convenience. If you don’t mind traveling slow, try a train. The views from the window will be much more enjoyable than an airport lounge.
You’ll need an electronic travel authorization (ETIAS) if you’re visiting a Schengen-zone country. You’ll need to register online with ETIAS before you leave for the EU. This system will not be a visa, but it’s still a good idea to be safe.
Remember to bring plenty of cash with you. Some places in Europe will only accept cash. Having plenty of cash can help you avoid foreign transaction fees. Also, you’ll want to keep in mind that not all EU countries use the Euro. For example, Poland uses the Zloty, and the Czech Republic uses the Koruna. Before you travel to Europe, be sure to research your currency’s rules. If you don’t know the rules, you may be denied entry.
If you’re planning to travel to Europe for business or pleasure, you’ll also want to consider purchasing travel medical insurance. While it’s not required for US citizens to enter the Schengen zone, travel medical insurance is highly recommended for everyone. It covers you in the event of an accident, illness, or emergency. Buying travel medical insurance for Europe is easy, and you can even purchase it online.
You’ll need proof of vaccination for many European countries. Those who are fully vaccinated and have recovered from a COVID test within six months may travel to Italy. The country’s National Health Service contacts tracing department conducts spot checks regularly. If you’re caught with a disease, you can face fines of up to $14,000 or even jail time.
The European Union hopes to take a coordinated approach to prevent travel-related illnesses this summer. To that end, it’s promoting a “safe list” for countries within the Schengen Zone, including non-E.U. nations. One example is Croatia, where daily cases are down to single digits. Nearly 30 percent of the country’s population is fully vaccinated.
You should also check your vaccinations and visa requirements before traveling to Europe. You must present a current vaccination certificate and a negative COVID-19 test for entry. The vaccination must be less than seven months old, and you’ll need a copy of your COVID-19 vaccination card. You may also be able to visit the Vatican City. Although it’s the smallest country in the world, it’s surrounded by the Italian city of Rome.