Italy is majestically beautiful on so many levels and the language will make you fall in love. While Italy has only been a country for 153 years, the history is rich and the people are wonderful. Having been to Italy a few times, here’s a few healthy travel travel tips I'm passing along to you.
Did you know: Approximately 3000 Euro is thrown into the Trevi Fountain in Rome by tourists daily. It is then collected and donated to charities around Italy.
Are You Passport Ready: Prior to jet setting to Europe, make you have valid passport for at least six months after your arrival date before they’ll grant entry to their country. It doesn’t matter if you’re only going for a day; if you don’t have at least six months validity, you could, and probably will, be denied entry. So make sure to renew or apply for a passport in plenty of time.
Packing: If I can offer any advice while traveling through Europe, it’s to pack LIGHT. Trust me when I say it will make your travel experience so much easier. I usually pack enough for 4-5 days and then wash my clothes along the way. If you are traveling trains and going from city to city, you don’t want to be lugging around a heavy suitcase with you. After day 2 you will be regretting it.
Bye Bye Jet Lag: The best way to combat jet lag is to get on the local schedule as soon as possible. I usually start doing this the day before I fly by going to bed early, and the moment I get on the plane, I set my watch to local time. If you take an overnight flight and don’t get much rest, don’t go to sleep when you arrive. Instead, fight it. Try and stay awake until the evening so you can get on local time as soon as possible. My favorite thing to do is walk the city upon arrival. No matter how tired I am, getting out, getting some exercise and getting on local time is key or you will be off schedule the rest of the time.
Currency: The currency is Euro. While I often suggest it’s easiest to pay with your credit card in most countries, in Europe I will say the opposite. Always pay in local currency. Most stores will swipe your credit card and it registers as U.S. They will ask would you like to pay in U.S. dollars or euros. Paying in U.S. dollars would seem to be the more convenient option, but in reality, it’s not. In fact, it’s the opposite, since the stores that do this charge a higher exchange fee than your bank back home does. So, remember to always pay in the local currency of the country you’re in!
Google Translate Is Your Friend: We are fortunate to have a whole slew of technological innovation, including the Google Translate app. It’s free to download and can translate over 90 languages. Travelers can translate any text including street signs and menus just by holding up their camera: English to-and-from seven languages: French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. Best of all, it’s all without an internet connection. The translation is suddenly overlaid on the phone screen, just like that. It will become your best friend as your traveling the countryside. Don't forget that “Ciao,” (Hello) and “Grazie,” (Thank You) will go a long way along your Italian adventures.
Where To Go: It’s easy to want to pack in Rome, Venice, Florence, Pisa, Milan, Amalfi Coast, Pompeii, Naples, etc. all in a short time, but don’t pack your schedule too tight that you get too tired to enjoy where you are at. Make sure to allow 2-3 days in each place and be realistic about the time that you are able to spend in Italy. It may just call for another trip or two to go to the other destinations you want to hit up. There is tons to do and see in each location.
Health Tip: Wine is abundant in Europe and you won’t go to a single restaurant without it being offered. So indulge a little on your get away. All in moderation of course. Wine contains antioxidants, reduces the risk of stroke, reduces the risk of heart disease, and it can lower cholesterol. I’ll toast to that. And don't forget to treat yourself to a little Italian gelato along the way too-it's delicious!
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