Vacation Timeline: Planning Your First Trip to Europe

Planning Your European Vacation: What to do When

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Thinking about taking a first time or independent trip to Europe? That's great. Independent travel is usually cheaper and more rewarding than signing up for a coach tour of Europe. Sure, you'll plan more, but you'll plan the things you want to do, not the things someone else wants you to do.

Our travel planning timeline is divided into five sections, each a road map for the things that should be done during that time.

Use our travel planning road map, and you'll be assured of taking care of the very basic tasks that go with planning an independent vacation.

6 Months Before You Travel to Europe

Click the link above to see what you should be doing six months before your vacation. Here's the basics of travel planning we'll help you with:

  • Choosing a destination - the big task this month!
  • European Guidebooks
  • Renting a vacation house
  • Learning a language

This is the time to start to choose where you'd like to go, and maybe start thinking about guidebooks. We'll discuss an option for your European vacation that you probably haven't considered, but one which will save money, especially for families--renting a vacation house for a week. We'll also consider learning a language, or at least learning the "polite" words which usually open doors--as if by magic!--for the independent traveler.

3 Months Before You Travel to Europe

Three months before you go is the right time to get serious about your European Vacation Planning:

  • Finding the Best Airfare
  • Apply for a Passport if you haven't already
  • Start thinking about walking shoes!

At this point you'll still be doing some things from three months ago.

That's ok, but we're going to add some things, like finding airfares, and getting a passport if you don't already have one. And you'll be walking a lot in Europe, so it's time to think about good, solid walking shoes that you can wear to a good restaurant. There's nothing worse than to have to lug around many shoes, believe me.

2 Months Before You Travel to Europe

A couple months or so before you go you'll need to figure out where to stay and how to get around:

  • Hotel Reservations
  • Train or Car - Time to choose your main transportation
  • Car? Rent or Lease?
  • Train? Rail Pass or Point to Point tickets?

1 Month Before You Travel to Europe

Think STUFF! One month before you to, it's time to get your stuff together:

  • Luggage
  • Camera(s)
  • Money
  • Budgeting
  • Travel Insurance

Yes, by now you've got a route, reservations, a way to get around Europe--so it's time to think off all the stuff you're going to bring, including the all-important money.

Right Before You Travel to Europe - Final Checklist!

Time for those last minute checks before boarding the plane for that European vacation!

  • Call Your Credit Card Companies
  • Got Meds? Write Down the Details
  • Pack Light. Pack Right.
  • Final Check - Packing List and Department of State Travel Warnings

    Here's where you start getting excited. But hold off, you've still got work to do in the last few days before you fly away on your European vacation.