If you’re anything like me – you like to travel. To see the world. To experience different cultures and destinations. To cruise Europe is fun, and if you’ve never done it, planning it needs to be fun.
But if you’re anything like me when it comes to planning these amazing trips, you don’t always know where to start. In fact, it’s really quite overwhelming.
Recently, I sat down to plan a cruise to Europe this summer. After staring at the computer for a few minutes, the first thing that came to mind was to check out kayak.com (a handy website that shows airfare from most of the major carriers in one place) and see what airfare looked like. Well, small problem – there are a lot of airports in Europe and lots of possible destinations.
I needed to stop and truly figure out what I really wanted to do and see. I knew it would be a cruise; it’s my favorite form of travel. You unpack only once and all the destinations come to you – what’s better than that?
Every trip starts somewhere and this one starts now. Over the next six weeks, we’ll walk you through a step-by-step progress of planning a trip to Europe. Since this is my first time, I’ve enlisted some help. Sarah Phillips, an avid traveler and cruiser, is joining us to share her planning knowledge. As her family’s personal vacation planner, one of her many trips planned was to Europe in May 2011 on the Carnival Magic Inaugural sailing. She was thrilled with the thought of helping anyone plan a trip – in her eyes, planning’s part of the adventure.
Her first piece of advice to me – don’t put the cart before the horse. Know what you want before you actually start looking to book anything.
To get started, grab some paper and a pen and ask yourself and your traveling companions the following questions:
- Where do I want to go?
- How much do I want to spend – what’s my budget?
- What do I want to see?
- When is the best time to go?
- How long do I want to go for?
- Who do I want travel with (think about the demographic of people and the cruise ship)?
- What kind of ship do I want? Newer? Upgrades?
- Is trip location or ship more important to me?
- What kind of accommodations do I want to have?
- What documents will I need? Will I need a Visa in addition to my passport?
- What’s the most important part of this trip?
- What am I most looking forward to with this trip?
Once you’ve answered the questions, you should be prepared to make a decision on where and when you’re going on vacation. I’ll share my answers with you next week. In the meantime,here’s a preview of what we’ll cover in this series.
Check it out:
- Get There – Airfare and Transportation
- Stay There – Hotels
- Play There – What to do on your trip (including shore excursions)
- Eat There – Restaurants and other tips on food
- Get Ready – How to pack, tips and other common sense advice
- Got Questions? – FAQ with answers to your questions
If you’ve got questions at any time about what we’ve shared or what we’re going to share, shoot us an email at comments@CruiseRadio.net. We’ll be answering questions as we go along.
We’ve got lots of exciting tips, info and resources to share with you during this planning journey and can’t wait to hear about your experiences too!
Download the Cruise Radio Cruise Europe Checklist (Right Click and Save As to download pdf).