Travel is back in Europe this summer and it seems like it’s all a little bit crazy this year! With delayed flights, the heatwave, mountains of lost luggage at Heathrow airport, and busy cities, you might be wondering if it is the right time to travel to Europe? And are there any tips for traveling to Europe to make your travels hassle-free?

The answer is yes! Absolutely! And we’ve got a few tips to save you money, avoid disappointment and maybe do a few things differently this time.

With the US dollar equalling EURO for the first time, this is the perfect time for Americans to travel to Europe as well. 

Best Tips for traveling to Europe in 2022

So here are our 7 Best Tips for traveling to Europe this summer!

1. Don’t be stranded without financial backup – Get the right travel insurance

Ok, you’ve heard this one before. You are already either in the team “If you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford travel” or you feel like travel insurance is a waste of money.

I have been an active traveler for 20 years and I never leave without travel insurance. Never.

And it has ALL paid itself back over the years. With cancelled flights, a stolen camera, lost luggage, and even Covid and quarantine, I got my money back. Every. Single. Time.

But there is a reason why I always get a payout. You need to know your travel insurance policy and what it covers. And don’t fall into the trap of “Well, my credit card includes travel insurance, so I am covered“. 

Find out what you are covered for before you go and don’t forget that most of the time your flights and parts of your travel must be purchased by a credit card for your travel insurance to be valid. Otherwise, you might not be insured at all. 

Honestly, with so many delayed flights and lost luggage these days, your travel insurance is worth buying just for that, without even thinking about the medical emergencies you might face. So unconditionally this is the number one of the best tips for traveling to Europe, especially this year. 

I have been using World Nomads for most of my time traveling and while they might cost a little more than some budget options – they have great customer service when things go wrong, and they pay out when needed. 

My other recommendation is SafetyWing. This insurance company has to be one of the more affordable insurance plans out there today. In saying that, they are targeted more towards nomads and people who travel long-term.

Read more about why I recommend these two travel insurance companies for 2022

Best Tips for traveling to Europe in 2022 airport

2. Stay connected without paying huge phone bills for data – Use eSIM!

The invention of the eSIM must be one of the biggest game changers for anyone planning on traveling to Europe!

So what is eSIM and should you get eSIM for travel in Europe? 

The answer is 100%! It will save you time, and money and it will allow you to keep your original SIM card in your iPhone so that if someone will try to contact you via text message, they will be able to get in touch.

Honestly, I used eSIM for the first time this year because I pay for many travel-related expenses online (flights, trains, tours, etc).

I would normally buy a local SIM card for my phone but then my bank would send me a security text for every online transaction. So I was constantly changing SIM cards between the new local SIM and my own one (from Australia).

At some point, I came across an Airalo eSIM, and I am a huge fan.

You simply download an app, purchase an eSIM for a country or a region, and follow the steps to activate it and you are online!

And your original SIM card is still inside your phone so you can receive messages but your data for the internet is provided by the eSIM. 

Airalo offers a regional eSIM for Europe that includes countries within European Union and also outside the EU!

This is truly unique as some local mobile providers don’t offer this.

What is an eSIM best esim for Europe Travel Activate eSIM

best tips for traveling to Europe – Get an eSIM…today!

Let me explain why buying an eSIM for Europe is your best option

Let’s say you buy a local SIM card in Italy. You travel to neighbouring Switzerland or maybe fly via London and your data is not valid there as both countries are not part of the European Union. 

And to make it more challenging for you, all communication from the Italian Mobile company will be in Italian via text messages. 

Once again – a game changer and this is one of the best tips for traveling to Europe that I give to all my friends and family planning a trip. 

So there are multiple reasons why you should buy an eSIM for Europe

It’s super easy and can be done before you travel. You can track how much data you have left in the app and even buy more and top up anytime.

And the most important one – you can buy a regional eSIM that includes countries in the EU and outside. 

To buy eSIM for Europe, here are the best options: 

Airalo – eSIM Data Plans for Europe – Airalo offers six different data plans

Best Tips for traveling to Europe in 2022 esim

Best Tips for Traveling to Europe in 2022 – Get an eSIM

3. Consider taking just a carry-on bag

I know for many travelers to even consider taking carry-on luggage can be stressful, but trust me, unless you are traveling during winter in Europe, you can definitely pack into a carry-on.

One week or 3 weeks, it doesn’t matter, you can simply do laundry halfway through as there are many laundromats in the main cities now.

BEST TIPS FOR TRAVELING TO EUROPE IN 2022 – pack light :)

There are some amazing carry-on bags these days they can fit a lot in and are super easy to roll and pack. My Osprey 40L Carry-On backpack is fantastic for adventure travel, I love this bag!

And, I have literally lived out of my Samsonite carry-on suitcase for years while working on the road as a tour leader in Europe.

Here is our ultimate packing list for Europe if you need some help with packing.

Most importantly, lay out the clothes that you love and often wear at home. A few everyday outfits that are easy to mix and match, two going out/dinner outfits, and if in doubt, don’t bring it!

You can always buy clothes in Europe if you forget to pack something essential.

European airports are overwhelmed and understaffed, and the chance that your checked-in luggage will get lost is higher than ever this year. So please just bring a carry-on and you don’t have to stress about it.

Still unsure about what carry-on bag to choose? Check out our post on backpack vs suitcase – which one should you choose?

Consider buying a luggage tracker

Keep track of your luggage with an AirTag.  

It might also help when traveling to hotels or other cities as Europeans tend to travel with a carry-on bag and everything is built for smaller luggage (trains, luggage compartments, and elevators).

Best Tips for traveling to Europe in 2022 carry on

Best Tips for Traveling to Europe – Travel with Carry On Luggage

4. Consider doing a tour instead of car rental & independent travel

I know for many of us, renting a car and exploring seems like the perfect way to see parts of Europe. Well, 2022 might not be the best year to do this.

Car rental companies sold many cars during the pandemic to stay afloat. They are now just getting back into full swing and buying more cars to actually service the high demand for car rental. But at the moment there is very high demand for cars.

The result? Renting a car can cost three times more than it used to. Not to mention that the price of fuel is more expensive than ever this year. It’s one of the reasons why we chose to take a tour with Rabbies in Scotland, rather than self-drive this year. 

visit orkney islands in scotland ring of brogdar

Visiting the Ring of Brodgar in the Orkney Islands in Scotland with Rabbies Tours.

So why not consider doing a tour this year?

Quite frankly, with transport delays and even hotels “losing bookings this year”, joining a tour can offer a comfortable way to see Europe and all your travel challenges and problems will be then solved by someone else… I should know.

I have worked as a guide and tour leader for a select few tour companies for years. 

When you go on vacation and join a tour, problems are sorted by someone else and you also get so much more. All the travel planning, time organisation, and knowledge are done by someone else on the tour and you also get to meet people and make friends – it is a win!

It means more time for you to enjoy your well-deserved time off.

If you are wanting to see a lot in Europe and like the idea of a comfortable coach to take you from A to B, then check out tours by Expat Explore.

These guys have been doing tours in Europe for years and have amazing road crew as well as customer service, and itineraries that include so many must-see places and offer fantastic value for money! They are fast-paced fun trips, and for a little rest, you can add a few days on the end for some leisure time. 

And you can get a 5% discount with our code VERYHUNGRYNOMADS. Simply use this discount code at checkout and you save some extra $$$ for a few nice meals in Europe. 

If you are looking for smaller group tours and maybe a younger crowd (30-the 40s), then check out G Adventures.

Best Tips for traveling to Europe in 2022 book a tour

Best Tips for Traveling to Europe – Consider Joining a Group Tour

5. Don’t miss out – Book your entry tickets/tours online before you go

You might remember the stories of people waiting at the Louvre in Paris or at the Colosseum in Rome for hours to get in. Well, there is no need to do that anymore and in some places, you can no longer even buy a ticket to the attraction at the entrance.

You must purchase it online.

So don’t leave for your European trip without booking entries to places such as the Louvre in Paris, Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Anne Franks Museum in Amsterdam, Accademia or Uffizi Gallery in Florence and Vatican City tours and entry passes.

The best way to search for entry tickets for all European attractions and sites is on Get Your Guide.

You can book and pay with any international cards and using one booking company will make it easier to have all vouchers/bookings organised. Check their website here, then simply search tours and tickets for your destination in Europe.  

Plus they have a great cancellation policy, should your plans change. 

Best Tips for traveling to Europe in 2022 travel couple

Best Tips for Traveling to Europe – Reserve attractions ahead of time with GetYourGuide

6. Travel during the off-season – October & November

As I write this blog during the heat wave of Europe and packed streets, here is the perfect advice.

Travel to Europe later on this year during the off-season: October and November months will not be as busy.

September is also a fantastic time to visit Europe as the European summer holidays are over and Europeans don’t travel as much.

The days are still relatively warm in northern Europe and the south is enjoying its last month of warm and sunny days. But it is still busy in some places.

I suggest traveling to Europe during October and November. Yes, it will rain here and there and you will need a light jacket and the days get shorter each day, but there are many reasons why it is a better time to visit Europe, especially in 2022:

  • The staff shortages at airports and hospitality should be hopefully not as painful as they currently are.
  • New staff will be trained and have some experience from the season so there are less likely to be any dramas related to your travel.
  • It’s cheaper! Hotels and airlines double their prices during the peak seasons so you will save a lot of money this way. We use Booking.com to get the best deals on hotels, and Skyscanner to book cheap flights.
  • You won’t get a heat stroke. With extremely hot temperatures this year, I am sure most visitors would prefer to spend 6-8 hours exploring Rome at 20 Degrees Celsius cool temperature rather than in 40 Degree heat. 
  • Attractions won’t be booked out for days in advance, so chances are you can visit all the must-see sights during your travel in Europe.
Best Tips for traveling to Europe in 2022 paris

Best tips for traveling to Europe

7. Take the train instead of flying

Europe has some of the best trains and fast trains in the world. Ok, Japan probably still wins and China has come a long way in the past 10 years… BUT when it comes to the international train network, Europe is simply number one.

Italian trains can go up to 400km/h, German ICE trains reach 250km/h and French trains can go as fast as 300km/h.

So you get places fast. And in the case of Central Europe, the train might only get up to 130km, but it’s still better than flying. 

Many short-haul flights in Europe connect European capitals but taking a train is often a much better option. Read more of my best tips on how to travel Europe by train.

It’s so easy just to book your train ticket online, (find the cheapest deals on Trainline.com), and then roll your suitcase into the main station which is usually a short taxi ride, metro ride, or even walking distance from the centre.

There is no waiting at check-in, at security, and at the gate like at the airport. Trains don’t get delayed as much as flights and if they do it’s often only a few minutes.

Once you get on board, it is a smooth comfortable ride. You can read a book and sometimes the wifi even works so you can get online. Many trains have a cafe or dining cart too, but all of the stations have a great food selection to grab before the journey.

Once you arrive at the destination, there is no wait time to get off the plane and collect luggage, everything is so streamlined. Not to mention some of the train stations are simply gorgeous. 

Best Tips for traveling to Europe in 2022 fast train

Best Tips for Traveling in Europe – Travel by Train

If you ask me, I would take 7 hours on a train over a 1-2 hour flight in Europe – because eventually, it will take about the same time including your transport to and from the airport, plus possible delays.

And train travel is super comfortable.

Here are some amazing train rides you can take in Europe with times:

  • London to Paris by Eurostar – 2 hours 16 minutes
  • Paris to Brussels – 1 hour 22 minutes with Thalys
  • Rome to Venice – 3 hours 7 minutes on Le Frecce high-speed train
  • Rome to Florence – 1 hour 30 minutes with Le Frecce high-speed train
  • Amsterdam to Berlin – 6 hours 21 minutes 
  • Vienna to Bratislava – just 1 hour
  • Prague to Budapest – 6 hours 28 minutes 
  • Barcelona to Paris – 6 hours 15 minutes (Renfe-SNCF high-speed train)
  • Madrid to Barcelona – 2 hours 30 minutes 
  • Paris to Vienna on an overnight train NJ469. It leaves Gare de l’Est at 6.58 pm and reaches Vienna at 10.12 am. There are a few other train overnight train journeys in Europe. 

And that’s it for 7 tips on how to travel to Europe in 2022 and save money and avoid disappointment. I hope this helps you to plan for your vacation or short break in Europe this summer. Do you have a top tip that I should add to this list? Let me know what it is in the comments below.

Travel Guides to Help Plan your Trip to Europe

I love traveling in Europe, and I love to share my knowledge and tips about this part of the world too. If you enjoyed this post, you may enjoy reading more of our detailed city guides in Europe.

Our 3 days in Rome Itinerary and the complete Florence in 2 Days Itinerary has everything you need to know for experiencing the best of these incredible cities. Oh, and don’t miss our post about where to eat the Best Pizza in Florence – Top 5 Places.

Our itinerary on what to do in Athens in One Day covers all the highlights and our Perfect 3 Day Itinerary for Amsterdam is worth checking out too. 

I also answer the popular question of how many days in Paris do you need?

Perhaps you just want to visit the 10 Cheapest Countries in Europe to Visit in 2022 or maybe you’re interested to read about 8 Things to Know about Travelling to Eastern Europe. 

You can find a bunch of comprehensive information on our Europe page.

TRAVEL PLANNING RESOURCES  

✈️ Flights: Skyscanner and Expedia are the best sites to search for the cheapest flights and great deals from your home country.

🏨 Accommodation: Booking.comAgoda, and HotelsCombined are the top platforms to search for fantastic hotels and accommodation options at the best price.

🛌 Homestays: Airbnb is an ideal platform to book a local experience. We use Airbnb to reserve entire apartments for long-term stays. 

🏥 Travel Insurance: Don’t forget travel insurance! We recommend World Nomads or SafetyWing.

🚌 Transportation: To book trains, Trainline is the best and cheapest website. To book transport in Europe, USA & Canada, we use Omio & FlixbusUS. For travel in Asia, we use 12Go. For all other countries, we use BookaWay to compare and book Bus, Ferry, or train tickets to get around.

🚘 Car Rental: Rentalcars.com, & Europcar are reliable platforms to book rental cars.

👫 Group ToursG Adventures or Expat Explore offers the best group adventures around the world. Use our promo code VERYHUNGRYNOMADS at checkout to receive 5% off your Expat Explore Trip!

📸 Day Tours & Trips: Get Your Guide & Viator are the only platforms you will need. They offer everything at unbeatable prices.

🎒 LuggageOsprey Farpoint 40L Backpack or any suitcase from Nomatic Travel Gear.

🛄 What to Pack: To help you get started on packing, here is our ULTIMATE Packing List for all Travellers.

🐶 Become a House Sitter: Join Trusted Housesitters and enjoy FREE accommodation around the world. Use our personal invite to receive 25% off your new membership.

💰 Send Money Anywhere: WISE is the best online account that lets you send money, get paid, and spend money internationally. It’s so easy to use and way cheaper than any bank transfer.

📶 Stay Connected: Airalo eSIM allows you to get connected the moment you land at your destination and you can avoid those expensive data roaming charges. We LOVE this product!

✅ Check out our Travel Resources Page for more Useful Tips to Save you Money!