Essential Tips for Planning the Perfect European Trip

Longing to walk along the Champs Elysees, devour some pizza in Naples, or hoist a stein at Oktoberfest in Munich? In September the monthly #TripItChat was all about European travel and people from around the world shared some amazing tips.

Here are some of the best pieces of insider advice to help you plan your own travels to Europe:

Think April in Paris: Choose Off-Peak Times to Plan Your Trip

It’s always hard to know what time of year to visit a new destination, and Europe in particular can be tricky. In summer, though the kids are out of school, the heat can be brutal in Europe and many things are closed in August. Instead, chat participants suggested other, off-peak times of the year to visit the Old World.

  • @CharlesMcCool recommends visiting in April/May and October/November for comfortable weather and better rates.
  • The look and feel of European cities change dramatically throughout the year and @ObinnaEkezie says he loves Europe in the winter; it feels like being in an old movie to him.
  • Regardless of what time you visit, it’s hard to deny the romantic feeling offered by so many places in Europe.

 

Go Big or Go Home: Check Off Your European Bucket List

For many of us, traveling through Europe is a dream trip, but as we learned during the chat everyone’s version of this must-include bucket list destination varies widely.

  • @Laurberry9 dares to dream big. Her perfect European getaway includes chartering a yacht with friends and cruising through the Mediterranean with lots of stops along the way.
  • A different dream trip idea was offered by @motherofalltrip, who wants to spend six months touring around including stops in Ireland, Scotland, England, France, Belgium and Scandinavia.
  • One of the most ambitious dream trip ideas though came from @JoeCortez who listed Munich, Passau, Salzburg, Liechtenstein, Zurich, Stuttgart, Frankfurt and Berlin all as must visit stops.

 

Live Like a King for Less: Saving Euros, Pounds, Krone and More!

Traveling around Europe is fun, but it can also be expensive. Luckily our Twitter followers had a lot of great tips on how to save money while country hopping.

  • @Cameronachen says to make sure your hotel offers complimentary breakfast. Not only is it an important start to the day, and you can treat it as a major meal so you can go light at lunch.
  • Frequent traveler @LeeAbbamonte says that he always uses short-term apartment rentals in Europe, like HomeAway.com or GoWithOh.com. Not only is it cheaper, but the apartments are also larger than hotel rooms and give you the chance to ‘live like a local.’
  • One of my favorite suggestions though came from @JohnnyJet who suggested going on picnics while on a trip. Just pick up some groceries at a local market and you have an inexpensive and romantic meal option!

 

Here for the Food: Where to Find Europe’s Best Eats

One of my favorite aspects to traveling in Europe is all of the delicious food. It’s hard to pick a few favorites to enjoy, but the #TripItChat participants certainly had strong opinions about the best food in Europe.

  • Local markets top the list for @fiery_jennyrose, who loves to shop for fresh fruits and vegetables.
  • Not everyone could make up their minds – @Jlowthrop listed pasta in Italy, meatballs in Sweden and chicken in Portugal as his favorite meals.
  • Many chat participants listed Italy as their favorite foodie destination, including @TravelBlggr, whose favorites include wine, cheese, chocolate, freshly made pasta, gelato and prosciutto. Are you hungry yet?

 

Destinations Unknown: Finding Diamonds in the Rough

It may seem impossible that there are still ‘undiscovered gems’ in Europe, but there absolutely are cities and even countries that aren’t on the radar of many tourists yet. Take note, because the places listed during the chat are great areas to visit.

  • @Travelopulent said that Poland should make the list and that it has a lot to offer.
  • @Aladyinlondon was a little more specific in her answer, saying Lake Ohrid in Macedonia is one of the most beautiful places she’s ever visited.
  • Other destinations making this hot list: Bulgaria, southwest Germany, Zadar in Croatia, Wales, Slovenia, Ghent, Finland, Portugal and Romania.

 

Score a Room With a View: Favorite Hotels

Knowing where to stay while traveling in Europe can be difficult as many of the best places are independent, boutique hotels. I was personally looking forward to hearing about the best hotels and resorts in Europe and I wasn’t disappointed!

 

Be sure to follow @TripIt on Twitter for more travel tips and details on upcoming travel chats. And don’t forget to join us for the next #TripItChat on October 17th, 2013 at 2:00PM Pacific/5:00PM Eastern when we will be talking about the Best Holiday Getaways!

 

What is a Twitter chat? For those not familiar, TripIt holds a monthly chat on Twitter on the third Thursday of each month from 2-3pm Pacific Time on the hashtag #TripItChat. Every month there’s a new travel topic where we encourage participants to share advice with one another. To learn more, please see: http://landlopers.com/2013/05/01/tripitchat/