Europe is always going to be one of the most popular places to go on your travels. It’s a unique continent in that there are so many diverse countries all bundled together in one area. You can spend a week or two in Europe and easily travel through three or four different countries, getting a new experience in each one! However, there are also concerns or worries that people have when traveling to Europe. The beauty of having so many countries next to one another is that you have loads of great tourist opportunities collected together, but the downside is that things can get confusing for foreign travelers. What are the rules and border laws like? That’s one of many questions you might have, so here are 3 things you need to know before travelling to Europe in 2021.
*this is a collaborative post
3 Things You Need to know before Travelling to Europe in 2021
You may only need one visa
If you aren’t an EU resident, you are most likely going to need a visa to visit some of the countries in mainland Europe. Things can get all sorts of complicated here when you factor in the UK and Ireland. If you’re from Ireland, you obviously can just travel around all the European Union member states without a visa, as the country is still part of the EU. For anyone in the UK, you can still travel without a visa for short stays as a tourist – up to 90 days.
If you aren’t from Europe, a visa will be needed to travel around the continent. The good news is that life is made easier with Schengen visas. Essentially, the Schengen area is a collection of countries that allow freedom of movement without any border controls between them. So, you only need one Schengen visa to be allowed in and out of all of them. Be sure to apply for the Schengen visa at the embassy of the first country you will be entering. For example, if you’re doing a Spain to Italy to France trip, then obtain the Schengen visa at the Spanish embassy. For any countries not in this area, you will need the appropriate visas.
But, the good news is that many of you may not even need a visa, or you might only need one to enjoy your trip, meaning less money and less admin!
Not everyone uses Euros
One of the great things about Europe is that many of the countries will use Euros as the currency. Again, this gives you more freedom when you’re moving around. Meaning you don’t always need to keep changing currency from one place to the next. Compare this to, say, Asia or South America, and you’re constantly in need of different currencies for various countries in each continent.
Having said that, you need to check the country you’re visiting before you go there. See if they do use Euros or not – some are still using their own currency. In fact, a few countries will actually use a combination of Euros and their own currency, like Hungary. Or, Denmark who uses the Danish kroner instead of Euros. There’s also Switzerland that uses Swiss francs. Here, you will often save money if you use the right option; check beforehand to see what currency is best to use in countries like this.
Basically, if you plan things well, you can visit loads of countries that all use the Euro. Just bear in mind that not all European countries do. Don’t get caught out in one country without any money to spend!
Countries have different COVID rules
There’s a common misconception from outside of Europe that the continent has one rule for everything and everyone. This is largely because of some of the points we’ve already raised; the whole continent is very interconnected. You have so many countries bordering one another that it’s assumed they all share the same rules, particularly where COVID is concerned.
If you are traveling to Europe in 2021 and beyond, you need to check the individual country for their rules and regulations relating to the virus. Firstly, are they letting people into their country? Secondly, are they letting people from your country into theirs? Thirdly, what are the rules regarding vaccinations, quarantines on arrival, etc? Fourthly, what are the general rules relating to masks, social distancing, and so on?
Each European country will have its own rules based on how well they are dealing with the pandemic. Some countries have pretty much relaxed all rules and are nearly back to normal, while others are stricter. Again, the best thing you can do is research wherever it is you plan to visit. This will help you understand what to expect and avoid unnecessary stress.
You can do and see so much when traveling around Europe, but it’s easy to make some common mistakes. Hopefully, the talking points in this post will help you learn all the key things to know before you make your travel arrangements.
These are 3 things you need to know before travelling to Europe in 2021 however, I would say there is more depending on your chosen destination.
Thank you for reading and until next time, be well! x