Travel 101 – Europe

Generally defined as the western peninsula of the supercontinent Eurasia, the continent of Europe is comprised of about 50 countries. From Norway to the Greek Isles, and from Portugal’s Azores to Eastern Russia, Europe is home to over 740 million people.


If you’re on a budget or in the mood for adventure, backpacking can be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. There are many different routes and places to stay when backpacking. The European Ramblers’ Association, for example, manages several long routes that they sponsor, including one that runs from the North Sea to the Mediterranean. Google maps can help you plan a train route through countries that interlock via the rail system.

If you have a little more money in your pocket, Europe has even more to offer. You could stay in a castle, an old homestead, a villa or enjoy some of Europe’s most stunning hotels, unparalleled shopping and five star restaurants. You could visit The Ice hotel in Sweden or the Seven Hotel Paris in France. Read all about the top luxury hotels in Europe you could visit.

Travel Europe for:


The continent of Europe is steeped in history dating back many thousands of years, spanning from the ruins of Newgrange in Ireland to Prague Castle. In fact, many modern European cities and towns can trace their history back over a thousand years, including Rome, the ancient capital of the Roman Empire, or Athens Greece, the birthplace of Western culture. Plan to visit as many of the historical highlights as you can on your trip.


Thanks in part to its rich history, Europe is a great destination for cultural exploration. Try London’s West End for its thriving modern performing arts scene or the numerous art galleries and museums of Paris and Florence. Europe features plenty of enjoyable live music, along with some of the greatest music festivals in the world such as Sonar in Spain, Electric Picnic in Ireland and Roskilde in Denmark. There is something to suit every taste. Before booking your trip, look up local arts and cultural festivals or special events, such as the international Fringe Festival held each summer in Edinburgh, Scotland.



Europe contains some of the most romantic getaways in the world. There are the big names, such as Paris and Rome but there are other smaller gems including Funchal, Dubrovnik and Imerovigli, Greece. For many in Europe, romance is a way of life.


For the more adventurous, or those just looking to get off the beaten path, smaller towns and countries can be ideal. Try travelling to Andalusia, Turkey and Belarus, or check out the less-visited mountain villages of Italy, Switzerland, France and Spain. Far away from the crowded tourist-driven cities, these small towns are usually easy to access, but receive fewer visitors despite the plethora of activities available.

The Essentials

Travel insurance is generally not wise to skimp on. Travelling to a foreign country comes with financial risks, from cancelled flights to stolen belongings. Having basic traveller’s insurance can bring some peace of mind or a lifeline in the event of an emergency. Fortunately, travel insurance packages are widely available to fit just about any budget. Please consider the relevant PDS and whether it is right for you.

Visas: Different rules apply for visas depending on where you are visiting and which country you are coming from. Australian citizens can visit most European countries without a pre-arranged visa, except Belarus, Russia, Moldova and a few others. Read more here.

Europe has earned the reputation of being very expensive, but there are ways to save on costs without giving up comfort or experience. Fortunately, many experienced travellers are happy to share their wisdom.

The Rick Steve’s website, for example, has a useful article filled with saving tips including:

· Travel during the off season (usually October-April) when airline tickets,room rates and attraction fees drop;

· Avoid touristy restaurants, which tend to overcharge;

· Opt for picnics instead of fancy restaurants for lunch;

· Use ATMs rather than travellers cheques to save on fees (although you may incur fees in withdrawing money from an ATM. Consult your bank for further information);

· Choose transportation carefully: buses are generally cheaper than trains, while travelling on foot or by bike will generally be much cheaper and easier than by car; and

· Choose to stay in a cosy bed & breakfast or a hostel, rather than an expensive hotel.

Karen Davies is the Head of Digital & Direct Marketing at Australia Post.  Australia Post offers a range of products and services to help ensure you get the most from your time away including: Mail Hold, Travel Sim Cards and Travel Insurance – see for details

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