Europe is probably one of the most sought-after destinations for any Filipino traveler. Amsterdam, Paris, Budapest, Spain, and Germany are just a few of the many European tourism spots every Pinoy is dreaming about. Entering these countries and other territories may really seem difficult. The journey doesn’t end in acquiring a visa. It goes on until you have that peace of mind secured by travel insurance packages. GoBear has listed down a few tips for you to ease out the process of embarking on that once-in-a-lifetime tour.
1. Get organized
Traveling to Europe requires a lot of personal documents to prepare. Aside from your passport and IDs, you also need to present other papers including photographs for visa application.
Planning on a trip can be stressful, and you sometimes end up misplacing essential things like personal documents. Before you board that plane, keep your peace of mind by making copies of the following: passport, flight tickets and itinerary, visa, driver's license, government-issued IDs, visas, hotel reservations, credit cards, and list of contact persons for emergencies.
2. Create a budget plan
How much does it cost to travel to Europe? Oh well, no two travels are alike, and the exact budget depends on your choices of accommodation, flight, duration of stay, itinerary and other activities you want to engage in during the trip. However, those who have gone will tell you that it cost them around Php100,000 – Php150,000 inclusive of all fees.
3. Know where to go
Your destination is crucial in creating a budget plan. Choose a country or place that you have always wanted to visit and build your travel plan around it. For instance, you want to enjoy Bilbao’s museums and other attractions. From Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, you can head to Palacio de Olabarri, Casco Viejo then Vizcaya Bridge. You can also check out the Gaudi buildings in Barcelona or the Royal Palace in Madrid. Listing down the places you want to visit or the things you want to experience can help you plan your transport and itinerary.
4. Plan an itinerary
Visiting Spain doesn’t end in Bilbao. An itinerary lets you create a day-to-day schedule. You can even book a flight to Spain, leave for another neighboring European country, then travel back to the Philippines. The itinerary can help you manage your flight bookings and maximize each day of your trip.
5. Prepare your passport and visa
Check your passport validity. Understand that your passport should be valid for six months before your planned departure date. Things may not sound easy if you are visiting a Schengen territory. Surely, you’ll need to apply for the Schengen visa should you plan to visit Denmark, Estonia, France, Greece and other Schengen countries. You should be able to complete the Visa Application Form and make sure your passport is valid for at least three months and should not be older than ten years. A government-issued ID should also be presented to prove that you are a bonafide resident of the Philippines upon application.
You may also need to submit a round trip flight ticket, proof of accommodation, proof of financial subsistence and a cover letter specifying the purpose of your trip and other information about your travel. You should also have a copy of your employment contract or business license, company’s statement of account for at least six months, leave permission letter and Income Tax Return.
6. Get vaccinations
Your country of destination may require vaccinations certificates for certain types of diseases. Lithuania may not require vaccinations for yellow fever, but it is recommended that tourist should have oral polio protection. Sweden, Slovenia, and Slovakia may do not also need you to undergo vaccinations.
7. Book your flight and accommodation
The airfare and accommodation take the most significant chunk of your budget. Some wise travelers do not opt for direct flights because they take advantage of the long layovers to get out of the airport and make short visits to nearby tourist spots. Layovers may seem boring, but with proper planning, these could enliven your trip.
Booking your accommodation should not be a burden. If your budget allows, you can always book a hotel but you can also check out Airbnb offers to spice up your trip. Homestays, vacation rentals, and farm stays are not only affordable but are also an opportunity for you to live like a local.
8. Buy travel insurance
Filipino travelers may seem skeptical when it comes to add-ons. Travel insurance is an important aspect of any European trip considering that accidents do happen anytime. Travel insurance is everyone’s refuge to cover for the hefty cost of travel disasters. Prudential Guarantee Assurance Inc. offers comprehensive travel insurance that protects you from personal accidents and travel inconveniences like flight delay, damage to baggage, trip termination, and emergency medical repatriation.
9. Call your bank and credit card provider
If you plan to use your credit card abroad, it pays to inform your issuer about your trip. Notifying the bank will help you secure your information and will let you understand about fees related to purchases overseas. Some issuers may view your overseas transactions as fraud so better let them know of your plan to prevent them from blocking your card.
If you are not going for a cashless holiday, then make sure you have easy access to your money. Withdraw enough amount of cash which you can exchange for your destination’s local currency.
10. Confirm your bookings online
Securing your trip doesn’t stop with your online receipt. Days before your travel, find a way to confirm with the airline, hotel or tour companies regarding your bookings. This will iron out discrepancies early on, and online check-ins are the best way to jumpstart a hassle-free journey.
Traveling to Europe is a prestigious and fun experience. Planning will ensure that you get your money’s worth. But every European trip is not just about the photographs but the peace of mind knowing you are protected and covered by travel insurance. Check out PGA’s comprehensive insurance packages or compare travel insurance offers with GoBear before kicking off your much-awaited 2019 adventure.