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How to Get the Most Out of Your European Adventure

London night image
Germany
Paris, Eiffel Tower
Barcelona
Sachsenhausen-Concentration-Camp-Berlin
Kensington Palace in London
Dublin Hop on and Hop off

How to Get the Most Out of Your European Adventure

story by: Mike Williams

The flights are booked and your European adventure beckons, but now what? You can always just wing it and see what happens, or you can put in just a little bit of planning now to make sure you get as much out of your trip to Europe as possible. Pre-booking not only ensures you get to do the activities you want, but it’s usually cheaper!

When to book?
July and August are peak times in both the UK and Europe, so availability and queue times can get in the way of you and your dream excursions. Tours and shows tend to sell out during the peak season. For peace of mind, it’s best to book as much as you can before you go. The other benefit to pre-buying is that in many cases you will save on tours by booking in New Zealand before you go. Most importantly, you can rest easy knowing your itinerary is taken care of and the dollars left are simply for enjoying along the way, wining, dining and shopping!   

Self-drives around Europe
Self-drives are a great way to see Europe, especially for Kiwis, as we love driving holidays, being independent and going off the beaten track. However, if you have a desired car-type or need automatic transmission, then pre-booking is definitely the smarter option. There are a number of three or four day self-drive experiences available now, which takes care of both the car and the accommodation. Once booked, you can look forward to rambling through the European countryside and immersing yourself in the local culture, cuisine and charm of the many picturesque towns and villages. 

Hop On and Hop Off tours
If you know which countries you are visiting, then booking a ‘Hop On and Hop Off’ tour in each one will ensure you cover all the must-see sights. The tours offer the freedom and flexibility to jump off when and where you want. They are great to get you orientated in a new city and if you do the tour early on in your stay, you may learn which areas you want to spend more time in later.

Views of London
If you’re going to spend any time in London, then get the best view in town at the top of The Shard. ‘The View’ is located on floors 68, 69 and 72, and almost twice the height of any other viewing platform in London. London is a smorgasbord to unleash your inner-monarchist, but booking your admission to Kensington Palace is must for Diana fans. The late Princess of Wales lived in the iconic Nottingham House and now her son Prince William lives there with his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and their son Prince George.

Learn about History
Of course, with such a long and storied history, Europe certainly provides plenty of opportunities to feel the weight of some of its great tragedies. Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp in Berlin was a purpose built camp used to imprison political opponents but later used as a training ground for the Holocaust. Learn how Nazi architects designed the camp and subjected prisoners to the power of the SS with Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp Tour. 

Titanic experience
Another of last century’s great tragedies was the sinking of the Titanic in April 1912. Earlier that month construction of the famous ship had been completed at Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast. Now you can book your Titanic Experience at Titanic Belfast and visit the birthplace of the Titanic and experience the story. The journey goes beyond the aftermath of the sinking, to the discovery of the wreck and continues into the present day with a live undersea exploration centre.

Cooking in Spain
For some a little lighter fare, book a half day cooking class and market visit in Barcelona. Join Cook&Taste's unique cooking classes and discover the secrets of traditional cuisine. You will learn how to cook the authentic typical dishes of Spain, such as paella, gazpacho and tapas, as well as visiting the Boqueria market.

There are so many things to see and do in Europe! Visit one of the House of Travel stores and discuss the many extra options available in helping you plan the trip of a lifetime.

> Click here to see some HOT Europe travel ideas to get you started. 

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