The farther from home, the more there is to learn about the world. Every corner and area of our planet has its gems to show and culture to learn from, and Eastern Europe is no exception. It is a destination worth adding to the list for those who want to learn about European culture in its diversity. It consists of several countries with their individual cultures, customs, and beauties. Like any other cultural terrain, Eastern Europe has its own do’s and don’ts. So, if you plan on visiting it, here are some tips to keep in mind to get the best experience on your trip.
1. Focus on the journey
When traveling to Eastern Europe, make sure you are present in your journey. Of course, this tip is applicable to most destinations. So, making time for an immersive cultural and travel experience, do not try to combine it with studies or work — it will keep you bound to the duties and distract you from travel. Yet, suppose you need to complete your assignments before the flight. In that case, you can always order essay online help to ensure the professional service will help you live the experience without distractions from the mundane life.
2. Plan in bulk
It is ineffective to travel only to one country in Eastern Europe. Most of them aren’t large in size, so it is better to plan an entire itinerary instead of one destination. For example, plan a trip to all three Baltic countries instead of only one. In ten days, it is possible to visit all three capitals and see a lot more. Furthermore, transport communication around Eastern European countries allows easy planning both intercity and traveling between different states.
If you have limited time, but want to see as much as possible, go for up to 5 days in each country with 2 days for the capital and a day per specific historical or sightseeing area. Plus, even if not everything goes as planned, it is possible to adjust the route on the go.
3. Educate yourself on the cultural contexts
Despite the diversity of the countries in Eastern Europe, it is important to remember they all have their histories as separate identities. This region has a common history of the Soviet occupation, so the topic of identity is extremely important there. It is crucial not to confuse the country’s name or assume people speak Russian there. The best way to approach culture with sensitivity is to communicate with the locals and express curiosity. Luckily, people there are outgoing and hospitable, and they will give you the time and effort to communicate who they really are.
4. Bring cash
Another fact that will probably surprise a visitor is the contrast in the payment system. There are some urbanized areas and whole cities in which a person doesn’t even need their wallet or card—every place there accepts payments with a phone or other digital devices. Yet, there are other areas where the cash-only policy reigns supreme. Thus, it’s more practical to carry local cash just in case. Additionally, if you plan on visiting several countries at once, try withdrawing currency in each place, as currencies there differ from country to country, and the euro is not the default one everywhere. Naturally, it’s more sensible to exchange currencies in a bank since exchange services in hotels and airports are more expensive.
5. Make time for localhood experience
One of the things visitors like best about Eastern European countries is the experience of local crowds. People, especially youth in these countries, are outgoing and talkative. Most of them speak English and enjoy telling stories about their country, culture, and identity. The main challenge in your trip is finding spots where most young people spend time, and they will easily include you in their company for an evening. Don’t hesitate to ask locals about place suggestions, as most of the unique local experiences are off the map. If you are lucky to make friends with the right enthusiast, you can even find a guide for some unforgettable experiences.
6. Double-check the drinkability of tab water
As drinking tap water is a common practice in most European countries, in Eastern Europe, one needs to double-check it. Usually, tap water is not drinkable, so visitors should keep that in mind. It is best to carry a bottle with you just in case, as dehydration may taint your travel experience.
7. Learn the cab prices in advance
The moment you land at the airport or arrive at the train station, you may notice freelance cab drivers offering to take you to the city. Be cautious about such suggestions since the prices in such cases will be higher. There are several global cab services functioning in Eastern Europe, so the best transfer or transportation option will be researching the supported services in advance and installing the cab app on the phone. This way, you will be certain about the destination and not be surprised by the final price.
8. Practice haggling at local markets
If you are tired of the global chain stores, try finding souvenirs and gifts on local markets. The sellers usually announce the price on demand, and it can contain the space for negotiations. So, try your trading skills in the country of your destination, and add up the value to the chosen gift with a thoughtful negotiation of its price. It is a common practice that enriches your experience and adds up to some travel memories along the way.
A trip to Eastern Europe will show you an absolutely different kind of Europe you will probably fall in love with. Usually, visitors come for the sightseeing and stay for the crowd, as people there are always happy to help you with your trip and give you directions for further exploration. So keep your mind open and curious to enjoy the trip most, following the tips we mentioned above.