Traveling to Europe in the summer is like watching your Pinterest boards come alive in realtime. This is the best time of year to visit, but it also makes it the busiest. The weather is warm and sunny, the days are long and filled with Aperol Spritz (who can complain?) But for first-time travelers to Europe, knowing what to expect from your adventure can be a little confusing. So if it's your first time to Europe, here's our summer survival guide.

Plan ahead

Summer is the peak tourist season in Europe, meaning popular destinations can be crowded and prices can be higher than at other times of the year. To avoid long lines and sold out attractions, it's a good idea to plan your itinerary in advance and book your accommodation and tickets in advance. Consider visiting less popular destinations or traveling during the shoulder season (late spring or early fall) to save money and avoid the crowds.

Read more: Travel costs in Europe: Which countries cost how much?

Pack smarter, not harder

Europe in the summer can be hot and sunny, so it's important to pack accordingly. Light, breathable clothing is key, as are shoes that are comfortable for walking and sightseeing. Don't forget to bring a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun. Depending on where you're traveling, you may also want to pack a raincoat or umbrella in case it starts to rain.

Paris by World of Wanderlust

Skip the line

If you plan to visit famous monuments, museums, and attractions, you may want to purchase tickets in advance. Having a pre-booking often lets you skip the line and get in quickly, which will save you time for more adventures in the cities you visit.

Brooke Saward in Rome Italy

Wake up early

Of course, this tip won't be followed by everyone, but for me, the best advice I give to all my closest friends is to wake up early if you want to experience Europe's most popular cities for yourself. But how early are we talking? Shoot sunrise views every morning, so you can enjoy the best light for your photography and only take a second to capture it all. This is where I will always explore the city alone and manage to get instagram shots without the crowds.

Best Ice Cream Roma |  A WORLD OF Wandering Passion

Eat like a local

Europe is known for its delicious food and drink, and summer is the perfect time to indulge in fresh, seasonal produce and refreshing beverages. Sample local specialties such as paella in Spain, gelato in Italy and croissants in France. Don't be afraid to ask locals for recommendations on the best restaurants and cafes in the area. Staying safe: While Europe is generally a safe place to travel, it's always important to take precautions to stay safe. Keep an eye on your belongings (especially in crowded areas) and be aware of your surroundings at all times. Avoid walking alone at night, especially in unfamiliar areas, and be careful when using public transportation. None of these tips should freak you out, just take them as a precaution to stay safe – especially if you're traveling alone.

Merge city with small town

Finally, be sure to think outside the box when planning your trip. Sure, there are cities you don't want to miss (see: Paris, London, Barcelona), but most of my favorite destinations are ones you've never heard of before. Think small towns (like Bruges in Belgium) or slightly smaller towns (like Utrecht in the Netherlands). These little-known places will likely become favorite stops on your trip!

Traveling to Europe in summer is a once in a lifetime trip. With some planning and preparation, you can make the most of your time on the court and create memories you will talk about for years to come!

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Brooke Saward

Brooke Saward founded World of Wanderlust as a place to share inspiration from her travels and inspire others to see our world. She now divides her time between adventures abroad and adventures in the kitchen, with a particular weakness for French pastries.

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