A trip across Europe may be an exciting prospect, but you shouldn’t forget that to make it both enjoyable and safe, you should take some time to prepare for all possibilities. Before you hit the road you should stop for a moment and make sure you have everything from this checklist prepared.

1. Check airline carry-on restrictions.

Security measures are constantly changing, usually in the direction of tightening, which means that the list of things you can get on board with may vary from trip to trip, especially if you don’t travel very often. Check this list for the airline you are going to travel by and make sure you know the regulations for the countries you are going to visit.

2. Get a European health insurance card.

A trip abroad is supposed to be associated with good times and fascinating experiences; however, nobody is ever secure from unpleasant surprises, and even if you are extremely careful there is still a possibility of catching some disease or getting into an accident at the most inopportune moment. And if you are that unlucky, not having a EHIC may prove to be even less fortunate, for healthcare services on the continent can cost you a pretty penny. You can visit this site for more information on what benefits having an EHIC means and how to apply for one.

3. List your valuables.

If you take any valuable things with you (primarily gadgets and electronic devices), you should take photos of them and write down their serial numbers, models, makes and suchlike. If worst comes to worst and something is stolen from you during your trip, you will have something to go to local police with.

4. Make reservations.

This is better done well in advance, especially if you travel through multiple countries in a peak season. The best approach is to prepare a careful and detailed plan of when and where you are going to be at every given moment, and arrange for accommodations, restaurants, sightseeing tours, local guides, events and suchlike long before you set out—fortunately, in today’s connected world, this is very easy.

5. Think about travel insurance.

Do some research to help you decide if you think it is worth paying for. Does your current insurance cover your health and possessions? Which are the optimal variants in your case? Consult a specialist if you are in doubt.

6. Take care of a valid driver’s license.

If you plan to rent a car, you should check if your driver’s license is valid in the country you are about to visit. In some states, such as Austria, Spain, Italy and a number of others, you cannot drive a car without an International Driving Permit, so make sure you have it if you go there.

7. Download the necessary apps.

Travel apps can be of great help when visiting an unfamiliar country. Guidebooks, translators, dictionaries, maps, transit schedules, measurement unit converters—the possibilities are endless. Just check an online list of recommended travel apps or two and you will find more than enough.

8. Prepare an itinerary.

Having a careful and detailed plan of your trip is helpful in many ways. Firstly, it makes for a more efficient and enjoyable trip—if you’ve already decided on everything you want to do, you won’t lose any time making up your mind. Secondly, you should give it to your family and friends so that they know where you are at every given moment and can contact you in case of an emergency.

Traveling may be fun, but suddenly discovering that you’ve forgotten to prepare something crucial is far less pleasant. So make sure to tick off all the points in the list—and all sails to the wind!

Featured photo credit: Girl Driving With Hands On Steering Wheel/Ed Gregory via stokpic.com

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