Solo Travelling in Europe: Navigating the Continent with Confidence
Planning is Key
Plan, plan and plan
As a luxury and comfort traveller, when I decided to do a solo for Europe, I thought to myself-“let us go with the flow, let us not pan too much and carry baggage of–to do things/see places”. But it doesn’t work like this in Europe
Get used to the public transport
Get used to the language barrier and be digitally active – learn to use the translation apps to your advantage
Try and be self-sufficient. If you move with big items of luggage you will face problems. Try to be a minimalist but take appropriate shoes, preferably sports shoes and clothes according to the weather.
The Essential To-Do List
Try to understand the local transport system of each country. Talk to the locals or friends and relatives staying in a particular country you are travelling to. Get the local apps of trains, busses, taxis and food to order.
Have the currency of the relevant country well in advance both in cash and the card
Your Local SIM may get very expensive with international pack, so try and look for the opportunity to have the local SIMCARD
Some countries have a tourist tax for each day that becomes heavy. Know about it in advance. Example in Germany it is about 3.25 Euro per night as of now.
Like in India we say let us go with the flow, it doesn’t work like that in Europe, book your train tickets well in advance otherwise they get really expensive- for example travelling to Netherlands may cost you less than 100 Euros from Germany but if you try to do instant booking it may get expensive more than 10 times approx. Looking for direct and fast trains is not always an option for all the places, hence carry minimum luggage
People who are confident about driving and have an Indian license, have the option of self-driving cars on rent, depending upon the country to country, In Germany https://travellinkslive.com/stay-a-littlebit-longer-in-germany/one can opt for it with certain rules and regulations.
Of course, cars can be super comforting for Europe if one is efficient enough with navigation apps, for me trains worked out best.
In Germanyhttps://travellinkslive.com/interesting-facts-about-germanys-sustainable-tourism/ 49 euro pass is available but only to the local citizens, so use your resources or contacts to have one (detailed series blog of Germany to follow). The Germany’s Deutsche Bahn http://int.bahn.deis the most efficient system rail system to travel anywhere in Europe (details in our next series).
Hospitality-Booking your stay
One thing is quite clear, no one does it the way India does and one does find the best Hospitality in India. Having said that, one can choose the stay according to one’s budget that to well in advance.
They clean the rooms when requested for; and only once in 3 days the rooms are thoroughly cleaned usually.
Advice- Try to choose hotels/ accommodations- A. which are safe for solo travel B. Close to the station for the ease of travelling and saving time. In some Hotels, you may not find a reception and there is no human intervention also. Self check-in becomes difficult at times, but one needs to get a hang of it. With practice and time, one does understand it.
It’s very safe to Travel solo especially in Germany
49 Euro rail pass is the best bet one can have, however learn to cancel it once your trip is over, otherwise, the charges continue
Have your stay close to the means of transport
By and large people are trustworthy and conversations with locals really helps you in knowing things better
The trams are also very handy/useful to travel for nearby places
Grocery shops, restaurants, staff is very efficient and work extremely hard and trust factor is there, normally people trust each other for payments and other things
They are very particular about Check in and Check outs and normally do not entertain early check-ins unless paying extra.
While using Public transport, don’t ask too many people as it confuses you ( not everyone knows everything and they may guide you wrong), go to the staff and seek their assistance, most of Deutshe Bahn staff is very helpful , although English is still a learning language for them.
Will let you know how to travel sustainably in our next series of blog.