Written by my daughter Bee about her experiences travelling in Europe
I haven’t been to that many places, but I am trying to expand my list of countries that I have been to. I am going to Spain in June and I find it hard to believe that I haven’t been there before, considering I will be almost 21 by the time I finally get round to it. Pretty much all the times that I have been travelling in Europe, something has gone wrong, usually in regards to transport. I have been stranded in Greece for two weeks due to strikes, almost missed Christmas because of my passport and almost accidentally stayed in Ireland for over a month instead of three days.
So if I’ve learnt anything, it’s that you have to be prepared for any possibility. Here are four things that are really important to remember when travelling in Europe. Europe forever. Yay to the EU.
Do I need a passport?
You need to check with your airline, but in most instances, you will need a passport to go to places in Europe. However, I went on the ferry to Dublin without being IDed once, and then flew to Belfast and only got IDed on the way back. You can fly to Northern Ireland with just a valid driver’s license, but I would recommend taking a passport anyway if you have one. Don’t forget as well that you will need your boarding passes printed out or available to scan from your phone. You will also need your EHIC (European health insurance card) so that you are covered if anything happens to you health wise while you are on holiday. You can apply for one free online, and it only takes a few minutes, so why would you not?
Do I have the right insurance?
I fly all the time without insurance but I don’t think this is the right thing to do. I’m pretty sure you need to get some travel insurance. Shop around though, because the one that your airline suggests when booking might not be the cheapest or have the best cover. When we got stranded in Greece, my dad ended up getting more money back from the insurance people than he actually spent on the holiday, so he clearly got a good deal. You never know what could happen when travelling in Europe.
Alongside your travel insurance, don’t forget that you should have your EHIC . Your EHIC gives you access to medically necessary, state-provided healthcare during a temporary stay in any of the 28 EU countries, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, under the same conditions and at the same cost (free in some countries) as people insured in that country.
Do I have the right stuff?
I always like to be really prepared before I go to the airport because I find them very stressful. I always like to make sure that I am packed the night before with all of my travel documents in an easy to access place for when I need them. I make sure that I put all of my little toiletries into a ziplock bag before I go to save time at the airport. As it is usual to travel with just hand luggage for short getaways to Europe, make sure that you’re following the airline guidelines for hand luggage to save you stress further down the line. No one wants to have to throw away a bottle of favourite shampoo that may have cost more than the flight in the first place.
Am I organised?
I love love love my iPhone, so if there are any apps out there to help me with my travels then I will use them. I have the EasyJet app, which is amazing when you fly with them because you can use it as your boarding pass and it will tell you when and where to go to the gate to catch your flight.
EHIC also have a really useful app which guides you on how to use the card in any European country, should you need to. It’s multilingual and it can be downloaded from Itunes, Google Playstore, and Windows Phone Store.
Always be prepared when you’re travelling in Europe because if you’re anything like me, anything could happen! And make sure you vote for us to stay in the EU so we can all have a lovely time in Europe forever.
Sponsored post. Image credits Lisa Kolbasa/shutterstock, Images By Kenny/shutterstock, Stephan Morris/shutterstock and Nevada31/shutterstock