European Travel Errors You Should Avoid

Visiting European countries can be fraught with difficulties for Asian travelers who don't take time to research customs and traditions before leaving home. Here are five common travel errors to avoid:

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1. Underestimating the speed of things

No, not cars or the speed of trains - the speed of business transactions. In Britain, restaurant waiters and bar staff expect travelers to make up their mind quickly when ordering meals or drinks. They frown on travelers who leaf endlessly through the menu, only to ask for the bestsellers in the end. Make sure to look up correct phrases before trying to order. You may find your next attempt to order something ignored!

2. Disregarding good manners European-style

Good manners cost nothing, but opening doors guarantees a friendly welcome. Travelers from Japan, for example, think nothing of sniffing and snorting when they catch cold; however, not blowing your nose with a hanky is considered ill-mannered in most European countries. Drunkenness is also frowned upon in many countries. In fact, authorities in Spain, Cyprus and Portugal are so fed up with drunken behavior that they are imposing heavy fines on inebriated tourists.

3. Not doing geographical research

Being used to vast landscapes, many Asian travelers will waste money on car hire when they could be zooming from city to city by train or coach at half the cost. Parking can be a nightmare in European cities and could add to your list of expenditures. Do your geographical research and don't rent a car for an entire week when you could be using public transport instead.

In terms of accommodations, choose a place in the middle of the city or at least close to 2-3 destinations in your tourist list. There are a lot of real estate portals you can peruse in order to find not only hotels and hostels but also vacation rentals, apartments and houses and condos for rent.

4. Relying on travelers' checks and credit cards

Travelers' checks used to be a preferred way of paying for European holidays, but hardly anybody accepts them these days. Relying too much on credit cards is also risky. In Germany, Visa and MasterCard are widely used, but not in the rural areas where cash and debit cards are the only accepted way of paying for goods or services. This holds also true for Austria and the Czech Republic. Beware: American Express is not widely accepted. Take along a mix of currency and Visa or MasterCard credit cards to pay for your European adventure.

5. Trying to pay in the wrong currency

Each European country will expect you to settle your merchandise, hotel, and restaurant or bar bill in their own currency. Familiarize yourself with their currency system, from bills to coins, so you know their value and don't try to pay for a coffee with a large denomination.


  1. Now this is very helpful. These are reminders when decided to go European trip. Thanks!