Europe is one of the best places in the world to travel fast, as you can see so much in a relatively short space of time, notably assisted by outstanding transport infrastructure. If you’re looking for a country-hopping adventure with a faster pace, this could well be the continent for you.
However, the current climate appears to have poured water on that fire, and exciting, guerilla-style trips might well have slowed to a crawl. But they are still possible, and we’ve put together five tips for safe and fast travel in Europe today.
#1 Manage COVID Precautions
There’s no doubt about it – COVID-19 has made travel a real challenge. But providing you stick to local pandemic rules and regulations, there should be no reason you can’t still enjoy quickly crossing countries. It just might not be as slap-dash as many caution-to-the-wind travelers prefer, and a little more planning is required.
The Re-Open EU website is invaluable for providing up-to-date quarantine and testing protocols, and you can even input your whole travel itinerary to plan your entire European journey around COVID regulations from start to finish.
Regardless, the general rules-of-thumb haven’t changed:
- Get vaccinated (because science works and misinformation is deadly).
- Wear a mask on public transport and in more crowded places.
- Wash your hands regularly.
- Maintain social distancing.
- Stay at home if you’re feeling unwell.
For many of us, travel is vitally important to health, and at some point, we’re just going to have to get on with things. These proven tips are the best way in which we can all help to safely accomplish that, no matter the destination.
#2 Keep Options Open
In these trying times, it’s practical to remain flexible when traveling. You never know when a lockdown will be put in place, quarantine restrictions change, or a zombie outbreak might occur. As Bruce Lee said – “Be water, my friend.”
In other words – go with the flow.
And one of the best things about fast travel in Europe, is there are so many options to choose from, that even if you need to change your plans at the last minute, an excellent alternative is usually right there.
Consider heading in a different direction, visit somewhere new, and mix up your transport options. Cheap buses are a great way to cross European borders, train passes will help you travel in style and comfort, and budget airlines are ideal if you want to travel a bit further – even faster.
Hiring a car is also a great idea – especially if you’re particularly nervous about sharing airports and train stations with other humanoids. You could end up having an epic road trip like Cez and Lydia did when they traveled from Lyon to Lisbon a few short years ago.
Roll with those punches, mix things up a bit, and you might find that you have an even better experience than the one you initially planned. Just so long as you also remember to make sure your ETIAS visa requirements sorted if they need to be.
#3 Go in the Off-Season
We all know that crowds and COVID are not a good mix. Coincidentally enough, neither is fast travel and the summer. If you really want to zip around Europe at break-neck speed, consider taking a trip during the off-season.
This doesn’t have to be the dead-of-winter, as late spring and early fall can still offer uncrowded locations, breezier border crossings, and budget-friendly accommodation, attractions, and experiences.
Small queues, less waiting times, more elbow room, and a significant increase in your personal space – travel in the shoulder seasons can be so heavenly, it’s a wonder anyone does it at any other time of year.
#4 Pack Light
For fast-paced, on-the-go travel, one of the most important tips is to travel as light as you possibly can. Less stuff = more speed. It also means less hassle in general, and you’d be amazed at just how free it makes you feel.
There’s nothing quite like being able to pack everything into a small carry-on, throw it around your shoulder, and be out the door before you can say; “thank goodness I didn’t bring four pairs of backup pants.”
Here’s a top tip – lay out everything you think you’ll need to bring with you, and half it. Then, half it again. Let go of all the unnecessary stuff, and you’ll never look back. Remember, you’re not going to the moon – and if you absolutely need something you’ve not packed, you can surely pick up a replacement along the way.
Then you can laugh maniacally at others struggling with massive suitcases.
And for being extra-safe, why not check out these anti-theft backpacks? Perfect for lightweight travel, and keeping light fingers to themselves at the same time.
#5 Use an eSIM for Communication
Staying in touch with your loved ones, planning your journey, booking into accommodations, finding out all the latest travel info…the ability to connect to the world while you’re on the road is more essential now than ever.
And the best way to do that is by using an eSIM for travel.
An eSIM is an “embedded SIM card,” which doesn’t replace the SIM you already have in your phone, and is all done digitally in a heartbeat. So long as your phone is compatible, you can easily stay connected with an eSIM in Europe for as long as you need, depending on the length of your trip.
An eSIM allows you to use the best network in each country you visit, be it Spain, Germany, Greece, Italy…or any number of over 40 European destinations you decide to jump into.
Which makes it perfect for fast travel across Europe, as you don’t need to keep setting it up depending on the country you’re in. Having your communications sorted before you set off can seriously reduce organizational stress, and help to keep things snappy.
Over to You
Do you have any top tips for safe and fast travel in Europe? Maybe you’ve experienced a challenging border crossing recently? What do you wish you’d known before you set off? Share your adventures with us in the comments, and until next time – be well, stay healthy, and happy travels!