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Seek Out Hidden Treasures in Europe
An American couple saved for several years to take a trip to Europe. They had many of the most popular destinations on their itinerary and had each day of their vacation planned by the hour. At first, they stuck to that schedule and things went along predictably. One day in Italy, they met and visited with a local. He recommended some stops that weren’t known as well as the places on the schedule. He rambled on about beauties, histories and local favorites. At the end of the day, the American couple had a wonderful new friendship and had learned an important lesson about seeking out hidden treasures in Europe.
Reasons to Head Into New Territory
Many people dream of visiting Europe, gathering pamphlets and browsing websites. You may be one of those people with a notebook filled with descriptions of the places and sights you want to visit. You may have even made it to Europe, visiting castles, museums, and quaint villages. As you plan for your first or twentieth trip across the ocean, stop for a few minutes to consider the advantages of moving off the beaten path.
One: Work With an Experienced Agency
Remember the American couple? They enjoyed a few nights of true Italian hospitality in the villa of their newly found friend. You may not feel comfortable sharing lodgings with people you’ve just met, but with the guidance of an agency, you’ll be lead to locations that don’t get the same traffic as other tourist destinations, you may enjoy more options and amenities from these local lodging sources.
Two: Enjoy a Break From the Noisy Crowds
Another reason to visit some of those places that are tucked out of the way is the peace and quiet you could experience. Avoid the crowds and noise and touristy atmosphere. Instead, enjoy strolling along village streets or hiking into forests in search of hidden treasures in Europe. Get a glimpse into life as Europeans know it.
Three: Protect Your Chance to Relax
Away from the crowds and hustle, your vacation may be more relaxing and your schedule may be a little more open. If you don’t have to fight your way through crowds to get to each sight, you’ll have more time available to enjoy a croissant and coffee in a French patisserie.
Do Your Research and Enjoy Some Tips for Success
If you’re convinced that seeking out some destinations away from those that are most highly recognized, you’ll need a few pointers for setting up a safe and fulfilling itinerary. Don’t head into a thrilling Albanian cliff town without some research into the history of this fascinating country. Don’t miss out on local beer and cheese opportunities in Switzerland. Rely on your travel advisor’s expertise in order to avoid roads that haven’t been finished and to know when to avoid the towns you want to visit.
Tip One: Check Out the Calendars of Each Destination
Many communities have websites with calendars and event schedules. If they are listed in another language, check the site for the chance to translate the page into English. For example, if you’re interested in visiting Korca, Albania, a tourist website offers an events calendar. You can plan your trip to coincide with an event that interests you or to avoid the crowds attracted to those events. Your travel advisor may recommend the best times to enjoy some of the local attractions during the off-season.
Tip Two: Ask About Roads and Transportation
Many of the less common destinations throughout Europe have cobblestoned streets, dirt roads that wander through mountains or very few roads at all. In some towns, cars may not be allowed at all. Get as much information as you can about the transportation within each area you hope to visit. You may find that you end up walking or biking in some of those locations.
Tip Three: Open Your Mind to New Possibilities
A lot of travelers plan to visit castles, churches, museums, restaurants, historic sites, and shopping centers. An experienced travel professional may have researched university libraries, underground theaters, local festivals, medieval defense towers and rooftop gardens to give you truly unique experiences.
Tip Four: Don’t Try to Visit Everything in One Trip
You might spend months in a city and just barely brush the surface of the what there is to see. If your trip is taking you from one country to the next, you’ll have even less time to spend in each area. Accept this fact and try to pinpoint those destinations that you most want to see. Allow yourself time to relax and soak up the ambiance of each community you visit.
Tip Five: Make Friends as You Go
With the security of reliable information, tips and resources from your travel advisor, you may feel comfortable enough to make friends in the cities and locations you visit. Many Europeans are comfortable speaking English, so you may not be held back if you aren’t fluent in Italian or Albanian.
Once you’ve made the decision to visit some of the hidden destinations in Europe, you’ll open up the possibilities for adventure and breathtaking sights. Check out the infographic to start creating your next travel itinerary.
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