Top 10 Places to see in Europe

Despite being the second smallest continent in the world, Europe is one place that encompasses nearly everything. From magical and logical attractions to ancient and modern ones, you will always have something new to explore whether it’s your first or tenth time there. This is why millions of travelers visit Europe, to get a taste of the history and rich culture that this continent has to offer. The only challenge travelers have is choosing from the thousands of unique attractions and sites to visit. To help you, I have compiled a list of the top 10 places to see in Europe for your next trip.

top 10 best places to see in Europe

Louvre, Paris

Built-in 1793, this is arguably Europe’s and the world’s most visited museum. It is a central landmark of the city and receives more than 8 million visitors annually. Being an art lover’s paradise, the museum displays more than 35 thousand objects all coming from the 6th BC up to the 19th century.

Vatican, Rome

As the center of the entire Roman Catholic Church, the Vatican definitely needs no introduction. Being located inside the city of Rome, the Vatican has a rich history and more artwork than any other city in the world. It also houses St. Peter’s Basilica, St. Peter’s square, and the Vatican museum all of which are the world’s big tourist attractions.

top 10 best places to see in Europe

Buckingham palace, London

After being built in the year 1705, this palace was first known as the Buckingham House. However, it was later named a palace in 1837 following Queen Victoria’s accession. The palace has a total of 775 rooms including 19 State rooms, 188 staff rooms, 52 guest rooms, 92 offices, and 78 bathrooms all decorated using precious works of art.

The Colosseum, Rome

Situated in Rome’s capital center, the Colosseum is the largest known Amphitheatre. Its construction started in the 70AD during the Roman Empire when Vespasian was the empire. The Colosseum was anciently used for gladiator fights but what remains are the ruins which are a major tourist attraction in Rome.

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Eiffel Tower, Paris

The Eiffel Tower was originally built to represent the 1989 exhibitions that marked a century ever since the French Revolution. It later became a symbol of Paris. Having been designed by Gustave Eiffel, the tower is now the world’s most visited entrance-paying monument. The tower enables visitors to experience breathtaking views of the city and houses a wide range of restaurants inside.

Disneyland Paris

With more than 12 million visitors visiting here annually, Disney Park is questionably one of the most visited places in Europe. It is divided into two main parks with each one holding separate attraction areas. This entertainment resort encompasses more than four thousand acres of theme parks, golf courses, and an entertainment complex. You can stay at a hotel near Disney to come back to after a long day.

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Venice, Italy

Spending some time in Venice feels like you are in a world away from reality. Visitors here are greeted by the breathtaking views of the Grand Canal when they Step from the Santa Lucia train station. There are tour guides at the Doge’s palace and Saint Mark’s Basilica to give visitors some great historical insight.

Acropolis, Athens

Located on the rocky hills along the valley of IlIssos, the Akropolis in Athens is the most famous in the world. Since it is situated right in the city center, it offers visitors impressive sights of the city of Athens. There is also a wonderful museum located just under its southern slopes.

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British Museum, London

London is known to be a real treat when it comes to museums. Located in Bloomsbury, the British Museum is among the largest and most comprehensive in the world. Here, visitors are open to viewing more than 7 million objects and 2 miles of galleries. Thanks to its free admission, the British Museum receives more than 5 million visitors annually.

Belfast Castle, Ireland

A visit to the Belfast castle is a must if you are a history enthusiast. Located on the edges of Belfast city on Antrim road, this castle can be seen even far away from the town. This classic sandstone building offers amazing views of the city. Visitors can choose to have scenic views of the city from the castle or go for a hike to the summit of Cave Hill and get a chance to view the castle from above.

To start planning your visit to see some of the top 10 places in Europe, and much more, contact me when you are ready.

7 Great Tips for Packing Light

Excited for your next trip but dreading packing? Maybe now is time to rethink how much you pack. Checking bags can cost you a lot of extra money and lost bags can create stress when it’s time to relax. Bulky roller suitcases and overstuffed carry-on bags with hiking boots and water bottles dangling off the side can make you miserable when you are navigating busy trains, cobblestone roads, crowded sidewalks, unexpected stairs, and more after you leave the airport.

Traveling light allows you to enjoy the journey instead of just the destination. You can be a little more spontaneous along the way, change flights if there are delays, stop for lunch at that cute café while walking to your hotel, or grab a cab to take an unexpected detour that ends up being the highlight of your trip. So get ready to travel better with these seven pro tips for packing light.

7 great tips for packing light

First, create an outfit plan and then your packing list

Focus on items that can be used for different outfits and situations. Think about items that are multi-use, easy to layer, and quick to hand wash. Find tops, bottoms, and shoes that are versatile and that you can easily mix, match, and layer. Your packing list should also help you avoid panic packing – because you don’t have a good plan – you just keep shoving things into your bag that you end up not needing. Definitely make sure that larger items can be worn as part of different outfits.

Plan to wear your larger items while you travel

coats, boots, and sweaters can be worn while traveling, used as a pillow, keep you warm on a chilly airplane, or stowed in the overhead bin if not needed.

Wash while you travel

Wash some of your clothes while you are traveling to reduce the number of items you need to take. It can be expensive to send clothes to the hotel laundry, but you can wash smaller items things yourself in the sink. Socks, underwear, swimsuits, and workout clothing wash easily and dry quickly. You can purchase laundry detergent sheets before you go that are light-weight, non-liquid, and work great for small amounts of clothing washed in your sink or tub. Sea to Summit Pocket Laundry Wash leaves and Lazy Coconuts Eco-Friendly Laundry Detergent Strips are my favorites!

Buy lightweight clothing

Almost everything is available now in smaller, lighter versions that work well for travelers. Quick dry shirts, travel pants, lightweight running shoes, etc. are all available at a range of budgets – Target, Costco, REI, and Lululemon all carry great products to fit a range of budgets. I never travel without my Eddie Bauer lightweight waterproof rain jacket (which I usually pair with a thin fleece jacket) and Merrell Trail Glove running shoes.

Your phone can be your biggest weight saver

Download movies, maps, books, magazines, travel guides, movies, and shows to your phone or tablet device. If you must bring your laptop, charging cubes are available that can be used for all of your devices that are much smaller and lighter weight than the charging cord that comes with your computer.

Rethink your suitcase

People pack more if they have a bigger bag. Look into something smaller and versatile. I like to travel with a backpack roller suitcase – check out the Osprey Fairview and Farpoint Travel Packs – they give you the convenience of a wheeled suitcase, with the ability to carry it on your back like a backpack!

Finally – relax!

Most necessities will be available at your destination if you forget something critical. Shampoo, soap, and extra toiletries are usually available at your hotel, short-term rental, or from the local store. It can be great fun to go to local thrift stores and flea markets to supplement anything you need once you arrive.

Ready to put these 7 great tips for packing light to good use? Click here to schedule a call with me today and let’s find your next amazing experience!

What To Do If You Lose Your Passport Overseas

You’ve had a vacation of your life in Europe. You’ve traveled to London, Paris, Barcelona, and Berlin. It’s time to go and suddenly you can’t find your passport. Did you leave it on the train? Did someone steal it? What will you do? You’re supposed to go home in a matter of days! Here are the steps of what to do if you lose your passport overseas. According to the U.S. State Department, here are your next steps.

what to do if you lose your passport overseas

1. Contact your nearest U.S. embassy or consulate

Find the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate closest to your location. This website will be helpful in your search. Then, ask to speak to the Consular Section to report your passport as lost or stolen. If you’re traveling soon, the staff will make every effort to assist you quickly.

2. Gather the necessary documents to replace your passport

To replace your passport, make sure you bring the following to the embassy/consulate:

A passport photo

Identification (driver’s license, expired passport, etc.)

Evidence of U.S. citizenship (birth certificate, photocopy of your missing passport, etc.)

Travel itinerary (airline tickets, train tickets, etc.)

Police report, if available

DS-11 Application for Passport

DS-64 Statement Regarding a Lost or Stolen Passport

Both the DS-11 and DS-64 forms may be completed at the time of application. A police report is not required, but it can be helpful to confirm the circumstances of your loss or left. That said, the U.S. State Department doesn’t recommend going out of your way to obtain such a report if it’ll cause you to miss your flight or delay your travel.

3. Receive either a replacement or emergency passport

During your visit to the embassy or consulate, you can either receive a replacement passport or an emergency passport. Replacement passports are full-valid passports that replace what you lost. For adults, they’re valid for up to 10 years. For minors, they’re valid for up to 5 years. However, they’re not available in all situations. For example, if you have multiple lost/stolen passports or are borrowing money from the State Department.

Emergency passports are issued at limited validity for urgent travel plans. They can be produced more quickly to allow you to continue your trip or to return to the U.S. Then, once you’re back home, you’ll be able to turn in your emergency passport and receive a full-validity passport.

4. Pay the fee for your passport

When receiving a replacement passport, you will be required to pay the normal passport fees. If you’re unable to do so (e.g., your wallet was also stolen), then you will be asked to provide names of individuals you feel will be able to assist you financially.

In certain extraordinary circumstances — the applicant is the victim of a serious crime or disaster — then the fee may be waived, and a limited-validity passport will be issued for travel back to the United States.

Final Thoughts

That’s the basic process for replacing your passport while abroad if you happen to lose it or have it stolen. Keep in mind that most U.S. embassies and consulates won’t be able to help you on the weekends or holidays because they’re closed. However, if it’s a life-and-death emergency, then there are often after-hours duty officers who will be able to assist you.