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There are a few ways to beat the lines and get a few iconic places to yourself. If you’re Europe bound, then here’s my advice for managing crowds this summer.

Top Tips For Managing Europe's Summer Crowds

Top Tips For Managing Europe’s Summer Crowds


Top Tips For Managing Europe's Summer Crowds

Wake up early.

This is my number one tip — tried and true. So often you’ll see the top visited places packed in the middle of the day. If you show up earlier, there is often no one there. Some of my favorite moments are those early mornings in Paris, having the streets to myself. I would recommend getting an early start to the day whenever you can.


Buy train tickets in advance.

For those main routes in Europe, tickets can often sell out the week of. What I’ll do is pre-purchase my train tickets before arrival. It guarantees a seat so there’s no need to worry about getting a reservation. Often times the prices are significantly lower as well, providing a ton of savings. *Rail Europe is my preferred vendor. 


Top Tips For Managing Europe's Summer Crowds

Prebook tickets for sights.

I did this once in Barcelona and thought I could grab tickets to La Sagrada a few nights before, but they were already sold out. I would prebook all tickets for museums and sights at least 1-2 weeks in advance before arrival to ensure entry. 


Dine off hours.

This was my favorite in Spain to beat the dinner rush. No local is eating dinner at 6:30 or 7 pm, so often we would show up to a restaurant and have it to ourselves. If you’re on another dining time zone then this can play to your advantage for getting a seat especially in destinations that dine later in the evening.


Top Tips For Managing Europe's Summer Crowds

Buy the fast track or skip-the-line tickets.

Trust me, it’s worth it. So many of the sights will offer these options at an additional cost, providing a smoother experience. I would consider this for the major sights. 


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Top Tips For Managing Europe's Summer Crowds

PS — Are You Booking a Trip Soon? Use My Booking Checklist!

These are the sites I use most to book my own trips. Using the links below is a great way to support Bon Traveler’s travel journalism at no extra cost to you. If you need help organizing your itinerary, get my free travel itinerary template here.

1. Book Your Flights

Use Skyscanner to find the best flights. It searches 100s of airlines and websites across the globe to ensure you’re not missing out on any route options or deals.

2. Book Your Accommodations

Use Booking.com for hotels and guest houses. They have the biggest inventory and consistently offer the best rates.

3. Book Your Tours & Experiences

Use Viator or Get Your Guide to find the best tours and experiences. They are my favorite tour search engines. I always check both as their inventory varies depending on the destination.

4. Book Your Car

Use Discover Cars or Rentalcars.com to find the best car rental deals. I recommend comparing rental agency reviews on Google to ensure you are booking with the best company in that destination, as the reviews are often more accurate than the car rental search engines.

5. Don’t Forget Airport Lounge Access

Get a Priority Pass membership to gain access to 1,400+ VIP lounges and airport experiences worldwide. The Priority Pass app is the first thing I check when I have a layover. I’ve been a member for over a decade, and having a comfortable place to relax before and between flights makes air travel so much more enjoyable.

6. Don’t Forget Travel Insurance

I never leave the country without travel insurance. It provides comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong (ie. illness, injury, theft, and cancelations, etc.). I use it frequently for my travels to stay protected.

My favorite companies that offer the best coverage and rates are:


Xx,
Jessica

2 Comments

  1. Jessica,
    These are the best tips for pone travelling to Europe on summer. The crowds are usually busy, will definitely wake up earlier!

  2. Great tips! Crowds can absolutely ruin a trip, especially in the summer if it’s humid too.

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