Are you ready to check Europe off your bucket list? The continent’s rich history, architecture, cultures, good food, and warm people will fascinate you. But before you get to this dream destination, here are 12 rookie mistakes to be wary of.
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Renting a Car if Staying in the City
The better, cheaper alternative would be to call an Uber, get a taxi, or use public transport. But if you choose to “rent a car, don’t use a local company. Use an international chain that might help you if you have a breakdown.”
Accepting Anything That Is Handed to You
Note that nothing offered is free. When you take a rose, bracelet, or whatever freebie, these people will demand money or other favors. What if you accidentally take what they are offering, and they refuse to take it back? Put it respectfully on the ground and walk away.
Falling for Street Scammers
“If someone starts talking to you randomly, there is a 99% chance it’s a scam,” mentions one user. “Also, don’t tell the vendor your name. They will rush to personalize something and cause a scene if you don’t buy it,” notes another.
Other scams to look for include people asking for directions so they can distract and steal from you or those dressed in costumes asking you to take pictures together and then charging you absurd money.
Doing a Hitler Salute
Also, don’t try the Hitler salute, even as a joke in Germany, because it’s illegal. Moreover, “people in general don’t like it. You’ll be arrested, and the people will be on the police’s side.”
Putting Your Bag on the Back of the Chair
Avoid this by placing your backpack where you can see it. Or, use a cross-body bag to flip it to the front or on your lap when waiting at a restaurant. Additionally, “don’t leave stuff lying in the seat next to you on public transport.”
Not Learning Basic Local Language
Next, learn a few phrases of the local dialect before your trip. “It really is a nice gesture,” and people will warm up to you.
Assuming That European Countries Are the Same
Well, Europe is a continent with 44 countries. So, don’t generalize Europe, as it won’t sit well with locals. Remember that each country has laws, cultures, currencies, and political scenes. A user explains, “As a Spanish person currently living in Sweden, I can confirm the difference is huge.”
Also, don’t take the American tipping culture to Europe. However, a 5-10% tip will do if you feel compelled to.
Staying in Major Cities the Whole Vacation
Don’t make the mistake of secluding yourself to just one part of the culture. Instead, “try traveling to some smaller cities and even villages and go on a few trips into nature.”
Splitting Taxis With a Stranger
While splitting fare might seem like a great idea to save money, it isn’t. It makes you prone to dangerous scenarios like theft, kidnapping, or death.
Not Being Respectful to Memorial Places
Memorial places commemorate tragic events and deaths. Therefore, do not be disrespectful by talking or laughing too loudly and taking selfies.
Wasting Money on American Food
“You flew 5,000 miles across an ocean, so don’t waste your time eating American food you could have gotten in Ohio,” advises a traveler. Instead, try local cuisines. You could ask the hotel staff about their favorite hanging out spots.
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