Maneuvering European Airports
Nothing is more exhilarating than knowing when you take off from the States you will soon be landing in a country ready to explore. If you are heading to European locations, there are some things you may need to know. When you fly from state to state in the US, nothing much changes. Rarely do you have to check your carry on, they hardly ever weight your check bags and you can get almost anything you want in a US airport. When I flew throughout Europe though, things were vastly different. I figured you might want in on my mistakes and successes. Here are five things you need to know.
1. Carry On Luggage
There is a vast difference between a carry on size in the States and one in Europe. I am not exaggerating. I would love to meet people who YouTube and say they packed for two weeks in a carry-on because that carry on is a giant suitcase in European standards. The only reason why I escaped paying baggage fees is that I was able to charm the bag police before you go into the gates and they allowed me to roll through and check it at the counter. There are also some flights where the plane is so small you can't even have your backpack in the cabin. Make sure you are thorough with your airline's rules for carrying on.
Speaking of luggage, let's talk weight. I didn't see many people who worked at the airport without a hand-held scale. They weighted everything from my backpack to the carry-on. Everyone was very particular with how much weight was going on the plane. I was almost ready for them to weigh me, to be honest with you.
3. Credit Cards
Probably my favorite part about the airports, they took credit cards everywhere. I have a Capital One card. I called and asked if there were any fees overseas and guess what, and there isn't. I happy danced on that one. It was nice to be able to just pay with my credit card because of most of the currency under 5 euros, etc. were coin based. So many people jingled when they walked.
4. Security and Flight Check
They may do this in the States when someone from out of the country travels, but since I always fly state to state I've never had to show my ID at the gate in addition to the bag check. When at a European airport instead of checking your ticket and ID before checking in, you have to check in at the counter, check your bags, get an approved cabin sticker, and then you can head to the security belts where they no longer check any of your ID or flight tickets. Once you arrive at the gate, they will re-verify your passport and ticket before getting on the plane.
5. Coffee and Pastries everywhere!
Coffee Coffee Coffee - SO much everywhere and tons of pastries. I have nothing else to say here except buy the waffle.