20 Tips on How to Travel Alone in Europe

Are you wondering on how to travel solo in Europe or looking for some solo travel tips for backpackers? Europe is one of the safest places to travel when you are on your own and travelling Europe alone on a budget as it has some of the cheap places to travel. Every traveler who is about to embark on their first trip to Europe is faced with the same questions: Which are the best places to visit in Europe? Which are the must-visit cities in Europe? And what is the best way to travel Europe for the first time?

What you can do in 15 days is choose places that will be a tad bit light on your pocket and get to know them well. Here you will find a melting pot of culture, interesting food traditions and unique travel experiences with slightly lower prices than elsewhere in Europe - a real win-win. Now you have two options to pursue.

Travel to a lot of places in a touch and go manner and add up to your list of places covered. Travel to a few places but explore them really well.

travel Europe alone

1. Standing on the left side on escalators

DON'T. Especially in the metro, train stations, or other busy public places. The RIGHT side is for standing idly. The left side is for people in a rush, walking or running up or down the escalator. Same goes with the flat ones you’ll find in some of the bigger metro stations or in Paris airports. Mind your shopping bags or luggage too.

Don’t stand in the middle, you are blocking the way and annoying everyone. You’ll likely be met with a disgruntled Pardon! coming from behind you.

2. Coming empty-handed to someone’s home

Whether invited for dinner, coffee, a meal, a party or a longer stay. Always bring something as a gift, something to drink for example or something sweet, like wine (preferably good - if the wine is cheap and/or bad, French people will know and think of you accordingly), good quality chocolates or dessert.

Also, when going to a party, the alcohol you bring is meant to be shared with everyone. People bring their own six pack of beer to parties in some Northern American countries, intending for it to be for their own enjoyment only. That, in France, would be considered terrible manners.

3. Speaking loudly in public spaces

Cafes, restaurants, trains, buses, museums, even in a crowd somewhere unless it is a demonstration. In fact, whenever not at home, keep the volume down. It applies for the communal stairs in apartment buildings too. In the cinema, just keep quiet. If you need to make a phone call when there are people surrounding you, step outside. Disturbing others by chatting too loudly is considered very uncouth. You may even get told off.

4. Do not wear shorts if you are an adult

Italian men never wear shorts, very young Italian women do, occasionally. Do not forget that in Italy summer can be hot and sunny, you may not like getting extensive sunburns. Bermuda shorts are not considered very elegant but are usually OK, so are those horrible mid-calf trousers (capri in English, pinocchietto in Italian). But stay away from shorts.

Never ever ever wear socks and sandals! Italian can be very judgmental about look and socks and sandals is a BIG no no in italy.

5. Avoid casual or random flings

The risk of a trick-roll is very high while travelling, you’ve no idea what mess they hold with them. Think long and hard as to whether the Red Light district in Amsterdam is something you really want to do. You might think you need to do it, or think you want to do it. Until you’re in the middle of a bunch of gawking stag party types, most of whom are drunk or aimlessly milling about or both, crammed into a very small part of the city.

Make sure you bring contraception in case you get lucky.

6. No binge drinking

Follow local customs and have a bit to eat with your drinks. You will find that it has its merits. Do not take an aggressive exchange of words for an invite to physical violence. It is a rare event should it happen and seen as a lack of wits. Do not take loud exchange of words and shouting for aggression. It is just the way people talk, the more south the louder. Just live with it and join in.

Do not complain over kids out late with parents at the bar. This is a different custom and they really do have it under perfect control. Just live with it.

7. Always bring at least one physical photocopy of your passport

In case you are a student, carry your ID. A lot of places in Europe offer discounts to students. Apply for a multiple entry Schengen Visa before making bookings of flights, trains and accommodations. Once your visa is approved, then go ahead and plan. Always make a habit of uploading or saving copies of your important docs on cloud.

In many Schengen countries, like Spain, France, Belgium and the Netherlands, carrying an official ID document (which for foreigners normally means passport or EU ID card) at all times is compulsory to some degree. In others, like Germany, there is no requirement to carry official ID, but it is advisable to have some form of ID.

It’s not always easy to find out what the rules in any given country are. Now, in some countries you may risk a fine if you’re checked by police when you don’t have your passport on you. This is fairly unlikely in the first place. If you’re a tourist, you’re carrying a photocopy of your passport, and you’re polite, most police officers will probably be lenient even if they could theoretically fine you.

Depending on what you’re doing and how old you are, you might also need your passport for other purposes, like buying alcohol or getting age-based discounts in museums. Now you have to weigh the risk of pickpockets against the possible inconvenience and the risk of a fine.

8. Compare the picture of the driver

If you're using Uber or Lyft, be certain the vehicle that shows up is legit. Compare the picture of the driver you are expecting with the person driving. Download offline maps of your route. You can't trust network everywhere. Just download the maps of all the cities in your phone and you wouldn't need to buy a local SIM card everywhere.

Saving offline maps can help but you always need to search hotels/metro time and all. Buy a local plan. You can find its much cheaper than what you pay in-country for an international plan. It also helps to find when is your next metro bus train. Learn to read the metro lines in the google app. It's helpful.

9. Not using basic polite formulas systematically

Learn to say hello and thank you in the local language and you’ll have an even better experience with the locals. In Europe you are supposed to apologize even if you touch someone by mistake. Not using these in most of your interactions with strangers or acquaintances will be seen as terribly rude. Dismiss them at your own peril and face the cold wind.

French people do not demonstrate friendliness or welcoming through huge smiles, empty how-are-yas and hugs. But through politeness, restrained but sincere smiles and appropriate greetings. Not quite in the same manner as our British neighbours do, but not far off.

10. Food and Coffee

Eat as much as possible from supermarkets and small local stores and street shops. Eating at a restaurant can easily set you back from $10-$20 per person, per meal depending on which country you are. Do not complain about slow service in restaurants. You will wait for everything, use this time to relax and enjoy your company. Europeans prefer parceling the leftovers but aren’t familiar with the concept of sharing food.

Absolutely do not waste a meal by eating a complimentary breakfast at your hotel/hostel. Europe has some of the best pastries and bread in the world. The coffee isn’t half bad either. They take coffee black, but it’s not bitter. It has a really smooth flavor to it, and the sweet pastries are a perfect pairing to the coffee, to start your day on a good note.

In Europe, milky coffees are as firmly entrenched in the culture as a breakfast (or morning) thing, as cereal with milk or runny boiled egg with toast are in other cultures. That’s the real reason why Italians have such a strong and negative reaction to the idea of a cappuccino or even worse, a caffe latte after a main meal. But behind this, there’s another reason.

It’s a commonly held belief by Italians that having a milky drink after or during a main meal is bad for digestion. Whereas in the morning, it only usually goes with a very light breakfast of pastries, biscuits (the UK meaning of the word biscuit) or perhaps some bread with a little jam.

The concept of coffee after a meal in Italy (and in other places in Europe) is as a digestive - which a strong, short black espresso coffee is actually very good for. Italian cafe/coffee is certainly the best in the world, and the Italians take great pride in it. The baristas and bartenders were also really friendly, and are actually responsible for the Barista culture in Starbucks all over the world, as Howard Schulz mentions in his book, Pour Your Heart Into It.

Entering any cafe usually involves a loud and expressive Bon Giorno! with a smile, and acknowledging everybody else sitting there. Almost gives you a communal feel. Nordic coffee culture makes use of coffee as a social lubricant like no other place in the world. And not just in terms of “having a nice time with people”, but no, something far more desperate. Here it comes:

The thing is that the Nordic countries all suffer to an extent of a generally introvert and awkward mentality when it comes to socialising. Having something to wrap your hands around and divert attention away from oneself with is a godsend. When there is coffee to be made, nursed, offered, and appreciated, it builds all those little bridges in personal interactions that would otherwise make the engine run rough.

It doesn’t matter where you go; eat like the locals do! Many are afraid to try any of the street food because of fear of food poisoning. You’ll experience the place through its food. You’ll enjoy plenty of the boring McDonald’s tastes back home. Eat more at small eateries than plush restaurants. If possible, cook yourself in case you have a kitchen in your hostel or if you’re staying in an apartment.

There are two main distinguishing features of the breads of Northern Europe including Germany, Scandinavia and Poland as compared to the breads popular in countries like France, Italy and Britain. They typically use rye rather than just wheat for flour. In Germany, breads made from mixtures of different grains are quite popular, but breads made predominantly from rye are also common.

They normally use sourdough for leavening rather than baker's yeast; this gives them their characteristic sour flavor. That’s not to say there aren’t plenty of other wonderful styles of bread. Take a nice baguette, for instance! Depending on what you’re comparing it to, there may be more to it, though: a good German or Danish rye bread, a fresh baguette, a warm pita bread – those are solid.

Prices in most of southern Europe are more on par with prices in the rural Midwest or South, at least when it comes to food. Specially for people who do not eat meat, should carry their own snacks. Even though vegan culture is largely spread across different countries now, there are still very less options for veg/vegan food. The food is absolutely awesome, and there's a lot of variety as well. From their prosciutto to their Sicilian pizzas, this is where it all started and undoubtedly, no other place can match.

Before starting your day, do visit a supermarket in that particular city. Like Albert heijn in Amsterdam, Lidl in Germany, they provide lot of ready to eat options and are way cheaper than the restaurants you will see on your way. Don’t waste money on buying food at the airport, have some rice wafers or peanuts with you.

The further south you go, the later meals are. If you are hungry around 6 pm you may consider having an aperitivo, which means ordering a long drink (non-alcoholic options are OK) and grab whatever you like from a buffet. Most larger bars offer some kind of aperitivo, which range from just a few strips of pizza and focaccia to an array of finger foods, to pasta and meat in covered warmers.

In restaurants, no tip! Love it! But they charge a service charge which is a charge to use their silverware, tablecloth and complimentary bread. WATER IS NOT FREE! You have to pay for a bottle of tap water. Also, lots of restaurants have outdoor dining. They have a fan, but it has some sort of mist attachment. So the air that blew out, was cold and not hot air.

Don’t order paella, it will not be at all authentic unless you really did your homework.

At least, in Paris, when you walk into a cafe or bistro, don’t order your drinks at the counter and then carry them over to a table in order to sit down and consume them there. You’ll get yelled at (adding to the Parisian rudeness cliche). The waiters in these big city cafes (excluding the small family run businesses) are actually self employed people.

They rent off a number of tables from the manager/owner and operate these seating's as if their own shop. This is why the drinks bought and consumed at the counter are cheaper than the same ones served at a table. The waiter buys the drinks and sells them back to you at a premium. That’s how he makes his living, he’s not on any wages from the owner.

This is why he is not too happy to see you pay for your drink at the counter and bring it to sit down at a table in an area he’s rented for the day. Also make sure when at a table, once you’ve finished, to pay the waiter who has been serving you, not one of his colleagues (actually his competitors), or the guy behind the counter. You are depriving him of his earning.

You can recognize these self-employed waiters by the pouch or fanny pack they carry, in order to give you back your change when you settle your bill. You always deal straight with them not anyone else.

11. Bring a credit or debit card

Increasing numbers of businesses don’t use cash at all. Be sure to bring a credit or debit card. If you don’t want to bring your own bank’s card, you can buy pre-paid cash cards at currency exchange places in airports. Don’t bother with traveler’s checks.

12. Interact with locals

The best suggestion you can get is from the person who has/had lived there, even google doesn't stores all the info of that place on a single page. But the locals know almost everything about it. So, interact with them, you will get to know a lot and your planning will become quite easy.

This is one of the most practical traveling organization tips you’ll get, although it doesn’t sound like one. You’ll benefit from the experience and knowledge of locals, as well as from connections with other tourists. Even if you want to spend a lot of time alone or with your partner, being friendly is still important. You’ll have questions and you’ll need recommendations. Being known as the kind person in the group goes to your advantage.

When being introduced to female do not offer your hand for a handshake, it’s always most polite to give a kiss on each cheek. The European people are extremely friendly and happy to assist as well. Be prepared to meet a lot of people and make new friends. The lifestyle in Europe is pretty relaxed, and locals are very laid back and passionate about their country.

There is more to a solo Europe trip than ticking off girls trips to Paris and Barcelona. You should take the time to explore more than just the traditional options. The map of Europe forms a rich and diverse tapestry. And then, there is the behaviour. Scandinavians are, by any measure, very quiet, understated, and ever so slight. They tend to be introverts, very modest, and diplomatic.

Danes are known for cosiness, Finns are among those who drink the most coffee in the world, the Norwegians are known for their rides, hiking, skiing, camping trips and cab rides. While the Swedes love to spread coffee culture. Fika is a magical way that Swedes socialize, connect, and get along with other people, while enjoying coffee and baked goodies (especially cinnamon rolls). Swedes typically enjoy their Fika time twice a day. Just grab a cup of coffee and a cinnamon roll, and chat.

Talk to the locals. Ask for help if you get lost. Never ask only one person for directions. Ask a few people for directions to the same location because chances are, one of them is wrong.

When you walk down any random street of Italy, it really looks as if it's out of a fairy tale. The cobbled streets, the well-designed street lamps, and the general crowd which loves to drink wine. Don’t ask what kind of beer the bar has. Most bars only have one tap. Makes things real easy. Do not be tourist and order sangria, get tinto de verano instead. Or better yet, try some homemade vermouth, many bars have their own recipe.

If someone buys you a drink at the bar, make sure you buy them one back. It’s a common courtesy. You do not know anything about Guinness until you have drank a properly poured pint of Guinness in Ireland. Do not complain on the length of time it takes for the bar staff to pour because that is the proper way to pour it.

On above note, do not try to keep pace with an Irish person drinking Guinness - you will lose. If you go into a bar and see a very old man at the bar drinking Guinness, then order one. That very old man will be a connoisseur of the black stuff and would not be drinking it if it was of poor quality or not properly poured.

You can drink a beer while on the bus or while walking down the street, even in franchises like McDonald's! Although you can't be drunk in public places, the police is generally pretty cool about it as long as you mind your own business.

Italians are very friendly, curious and expressive people, and it clearly shows in their body language. They move their body and hands while talking, and their faces are very expressive, even when they don't really want to express anything or show any emotions. Especially in south Italy, where people tend to punctuate a lot of the words, and it almost sounds as if its rhyming. They would randomly strike up a conversation and smile at you, or wish you.

European countries, specially in the north in Germany or Scandinavia, for instance, are really disciplined and generally tend to be on time.

13. Don’t go for a hug, go for a bise

Meaning two, three or four air kisses on the cheeks. Usually starting from the left. Number depending on the region of France. For example : Paris - 2. Brittany - 2 or 4. If in doubt, go for a handshake. People will gently suggest a bise if they think the situation calls for it. Also, don’t worry if you feel unsure or are afraid of/ have suffered missteps. It’s not a bad icebreaker. Paradoxically, one sole kiss is quite an affectionate gesture. Use wisely.

14. Complaining about people smoking or vaping

You’ve already lost that one. They won’t stop, they won’t leave and they will scowl at you. Besides, a cigarette with coffee in the morning or a nice glass of wine on a terrace is a wicked pleasure. Terrible for you but so good all the same. Smoking is a real thing here, and if you find it immoral, try not telling it to those whom you don’t know well.

If someone is smoking in a bus stop, it’s in your best interest to stand in a place where the smoke doesn’t trouble you. Don’t try telling Sir, please don’t smoke, it’s a public place. The fellow will look at you with a face that says Who the hell are you? And even young ladies smoke, so don’t get shocked and try not to flinch.

15. Yelling at waiters or waitresses to catch their attention

Just lift your hand and try to make eye contact. If needed, just say S’il vous plaĆ®t? a little loudly in their direction.

16. Driving in Europe

You’re not aloud to stay on the left lane as long as you want. You have to move back. The left lanes is only used for passing. In Germany you’ll get quickly educated about that by people coming at 200–300 km/h and slowing down basically inside your trunk and driving centimetres from your rear bumper. And in Italy people will signal-light you very soon after you fall asleep on the left lane. Italians like to signal light in most of the cases.

And people drive on the right side on continental Europe and on the left side in UK and Republic of Ireland. Ah and lots of countries have driving circles. In France they are basically everywhere, a low-maintenance form of traffic light. And most cars have manual transmission, especially the cheap ones. That, can be difficult for some people.

And most big cities especially in Western Europe, have very few parking lots at the advantage of bicycle lanes. Better buy a bicycle, no need for a driving license, loads of bicycle lanes (depends on the country).

You might feel like a good driver but the surprises can come anytime in your life especially while you are on the roads. While you are driving your vehicle on the road, you should know the rules applied by that country under the road regulations. Whether you are in any part of the world, every country has its own rules for the roads.

In Ireland the vehicles are driven on the left lane of the road in this country. You can easily understand its rules if you are from the country where the same lane rules apply. But there are tips we are bringing you below which you should consider while driving.

As we discussed earlier, the vehicle is on the left side of the roads. The steering wheels of the cars are on the right sides. It means that the driver will stay always at the center side of the road rather than the corner sides. You must have to give this some time to properly understand the whole adjustment.

If you are from the countries where the road directions are opposite, you can consider taking classes by a good driving school.

There are two types of vehicles available, Automatic and Manual. It is good to have your hands and feet on an automatic vehicle control system rather than on a manual transmission. If you are on a narrow and unfamiliar road, an automatic vehicle will help you a lot to get rid of that situation.

You should do a deep study about the road signs available on the roads. There are very fewer road signs used. You will find a few road signs on the long roads. So, you should know the meaning of every rare road sign which comes in your way. By doing this, you can ensure the proper understanding of the diversions, lanes, and specification of the roads.

While doing a car rental for your visit, you should take care of the size of the car. Small cars are easy to drive even on the narrow roads. Rather than renting big luxury SUVs, you can go for small cars in which your family can be adjusted appropriately. These cars also have comparatively less car insurance prices and also it will reduce your fuel costs.

Like any other country, European countries also has strict regulations for a drink and drive cases. You should stay away from the driver seat if you are drunk. If you are caught by the officers in this situation, you might have to pay huge fine amounts or have to go inside the jail for some days. So, it is good to avoid these types of road rule breakages.

You might not be a learner, but if you are driving in the roads and want to stay at the safer side, you should consider getting a big L sign on your windscreen or the rear glass too. This will help you to maintain space from other vehicles because most of the people feel safe to stay away from cars with the learner signs.

If you try to implement these things while driving, they will definitely help you to get a good travel experience in this country.

17. Insurance in Europe

If you are on a road trip in Europe or have brought a car on the rent, you should get car insurance to cover the damages to your vehicles. It is good to have a proper backup plan in case you have to face an accident or harm to the vehicle. You should find a good insurance company and opt for the insurance according to your vehicle type, needs and time period of the stay.

Car insurance or caravan insurance or the ones who want to take the pleasure and comforts of traveling around the area in their homes, for those mobile home insurance is a must thing. There are many good companies who provides some inviting insurance covers for all the wanderlusts in the country. Take our advice to get your car insurance or caravan insurance or mobile home insurance done from a good insurance company to make your trip both entertaining, safe and secure.

18. Prefer to stay in the centre of town

Prefer to stay in the centre of town, so all the best things to see are within walking distance. After that simply take one day at a time to explore lesser known sites, avoiding the tourist traps. Traveling like this allows you to authentically experience the lifestyle and culture in these areas, and at the same time, avoid the hustle of tourist crowds, lengthy lines and money wasting.

19. Use public transports instead of cabs

This will not only optimize your trip budget but you will also have the option to explore more.

20. Do your own research

In general, any destination in Europe is worth going to! You really can’t go wrong. Almost everyone speaks English, and important information is displayed and listed in English. The easiest way to save money is to visit cheaper eastern European countries. Euro rail passes are popular but if you aren't on the train everyday your better off buying individual tickets. Don't be afraid to use a ULCC airline (EasyJet etc) to save money especially if your traveling longer distances. Don't travel for travels sake!

As a solo female traveler or singles you have the freedom to set your own itinerary. There are lot of beautiful cities and places than the one we normally see on social media. Paris is not so romantic, but Nice in France is. Take you time and enjoy each destination, if your bouncing around all the time that's costly and your only getting a tour of the public transportation system.

Don’t limit yourself only to the big cities. There are so many small cities and towns with amazing local dishes and historical sights (like the 2,000 year old amphitheater of Merida or the 40,000 year old cave paintings of Nerja).

If your visiting a place give it a minimum of 3 days, so you ensure a full day of sight seeing. Do not plan trip to 7 countries in 10 days, just to update them all on your timeline. You will not even enjoy half of them, because you will be exhausted while travelling and there is much more than a single monument in any city.

Planning down to each hour would be little excessive, as you might end up spending more than planned time at a certain place or the place you really want to visit is closed. This is particularly relevant when you travel to see natural phenomenon such as the aurora. You need to spend at least 3 days in the middle of nowhere to increase your probability of being able to see the northern lights. So make an itinerary, but keep enough buffer.

European countries have diverse landscape and unless you visit it all you would not know. However for the first time traveler, it would be impossible to visit each and every city. Visit one of the Scandinavian countries like Norway, Sweden, Finland or Denmark.

Visit the beaches of Lisbon in Portugal, Barcelona in Spain, Nice in France, Naples in Italy, or Athens in Greece. Visit cities rich in art and history like Paris in France, Rome and Florence in Italy, Vienna in Austria. Visit east European cities like Hvar, Plitvice national park in Croatia, Krakow in Poland, Budapest in Hungary. Visit cities that are not in the list of first time travelers like Budapest in Hungary, Prague in Czech Republic, Valletta in Malta, Berlin in Germany.

If you are on a one week trip through Germany or Austria and want to see a theatre play every evening in a different city, you can accomplish it with ease by driving perhaps 50 kilometres a day. There will be theatres and cultural offerings every few steps. Don’t pay for a Flamenco show. Real Flamenco happens spontaneously and is always free.

It is good to make a plan while traveling and sticking to it. But sometimes it is certainly better to wander the city without any plans. It will help you get to know the best restaurants, places to visit and experience the local culture better.0Also, this spontaneity will help you make the trip even more fun and adventurous.

Try that approach in Sweden, and you are spending the days in your car, powering through probably more like 200 kilometres of blissful scenery to get to the next town with a theatre. That’s because Sweden is three times the size of Germany, but with only one-eighth the population. There’s simply nobody here!

Visit cities that are not touristic but beautiful Sofia in Bulgaria, Tallinn in Estonia, Andorra la Vella in Andorra. Visit the cities at its best like Amsterdam when tulips are blooming during March to May, Provence region when Lavenders take over the landscape in July, Cologne in Germany during the Carnival or Oktoberfest, Swiss mountains when they are covered in snow.

Do visit places that you always wished to visit even if it is a tourist trap. Yes Eiffel towel is overrated, the Oia sunset in Santorini is overcrowded, but when you grew up reading about these places and wished to visit these once, you should. If you went to Paris, and didn’t see the Eiffel Tower, did you even go to Paris? Don’t limit yourself to just one region, each part feels like a totally unique country.

Plan in your mind what is it that you exactly want to cover, and read reviews online. You’d maximize the satisfaction you get after the trip. Book tickets for popular monuments like the Eiffel, Louvre online beforehand or you might have to stand in long queues.

Time is money and you wouldn't want to waste 2 hours standing in a queue just to book tickets! Book tickets at least 3 months in advance. Book in advance for the best prices and make sure to be flexible. The more flexible your itinerary is, the more advantage you can take of last minute events and festivals, which never seem to end in Europe.

Make sure you choose different types of countries to avoid getting fed up! Mix it up between ones with beaches, jungle, tropical, mountains and more cultural. Don’t miss out on going during a annual fair in the springtime.

Any travel destination on Instagram is probably over rated and overcrowded already. Many people tend to have a romantic notion of certain European countries, and when they visit them, many people are disappointed in seeing the not-so-romantic parts of them. Because no country is perfect, not every part of those countries are flawless, but that’s what they saw in brochures and videos before the actual trip.

The dark side of Italy is that too many tourists come with a checklist of things they must see. They rush through it all with barely enough time to appreciate where they are, and return home with nothing but a few pictures that nobody will remember in 6 months and a bit of extra credit card debt.

Your brain can only absorb so many works of art before it gets saturated. No matter how well you plan, you’re not going to see everything, and if you try to hard you’ll ruin your vacation. Try to deeply enjoy a few things, and give yourself plenty of time to relax. Your greatest memory won’t be craning your neck in the Sistine Chapel while 139 people are pushing you.

Bring prescription medication you need and enough of it to last you the whole time, unless you are going to countries where you can buy it over the counter. Check the availability in countries you are going to.

Finally, respect local culture, laws and traditions. If its not allowed to drink at public places (Amsterdam), swim in Venice canals don’t do it, even if you can without someone noticing you. Don’t go with a bachelor/stag party or act like a drunk fool. Don’t go during holidays, most places will be shut down and most locals will be away, usually at a shore town.

The entire trip will be an immersive experience. It is about getting lost in the streets, stumbling upon great places, meeting people and preserving memories. It is about people gazing in Paris, calmness of canals in Amsterdam, sunrise at Charles Bridge in Prague, spine-chilling bull fighting in Madrid, serene beaches in Ibiza and Spanish music in Barcelona.

The Ring Scam is one seen in Paris. You, the unwitting tourist, are walking on one of the paths in the Tuileries Gardens when you see a glittering gold wedding ring lying in very plain sight. When you pick it up, the person who laid it there, usually standing unobtrusively about 40 feet away, rushes over to either sell you the ring she has lost or demand a payment from you.

The other variation is for them to run up for the ring just as you reach for it and then let you keep the ring you both found if you just give them a small payment. The language varies but the ruse is all based on your picking up the ring. So just don't.

In fact, go off to an unobtrusive distance yourself and watch how the scam artist manages the whole process with the next unwitting tourist. It is a bit like watching a creative squirrel raid a bird feeder -- fun to watch if you are not the bird.

Avoid Museums and castles in Switzerland. There are other European countries having famous museums and castles which are cheaper to explore and better.

So why not take the time to opt for the road less travelled on your next vacation with our travel destinations?
Kalyan Panja