Many people have dreams of traveling to Europe at least once in their lives.  Between the rich history and vast landscapes, it’s one of those must-see places.  Although there are plenty of blogs and travel guides which will tell you what you should do, there are even less which tell you what you shouldn’t do.

In order to have the best possible trip on your European vacation, make sure that you avoid these common mistakes.

Bringing Too Much Luggage

Even though you may want to pack everything that you could possibly need during your trip, overpacking is a bad idea.  Since you’ll probably be moving from city to city frequently since Europe has so many great places to check out, you should make sure that you’re as mobile as possible.

Trying to change flights and trains with lots of heavy bags will only slow you down.  You’ll also be hit with extra luggage fees since checked bags aren’t included on smaller European airlines.

Even though many people argue they brought extra luggage so that they’d have something to transport all their souvenirs back in, you’re better off paying for international shipping and having it sent back home by courier.

Not Trying To Speak The Local Language

Even though you may not speak fluent Italian the moment that you step out of the plane into Rome, you should try to make an effort to learn a few basic phrases.

Americans have a terrible reputation for expecting the rest of the world to speak their language without making any effort to speak other languages.

It’s important to know how to ask for directions or basics like the bathroom.  Assuming that everyone will speak English can be one of your biggest traveling mistakes.  Not everyone speaks English in every European country, so bring a small language book for basic language exchanges.

Traveling During Heavy Tourist Periods

Failing to look at a few forums which have the inside scoop of the best times to travel to Europe is ideal.  Many first time travelers to Europe make the mistake of booking a trip in the middle of extremely busy tourist periods and pay much more money for airfare and accommodations.

For an authentic experience with fewer crowds, try to book a trip during a less busy period.

Expecting Punctuality

Europe isn’t like the United States when it comes to things being exactly on time.  While some European countries are better than others, a lot of them tend to fall behind on punctuality.

Train and plane times, for example, can be up to hours delayed frequently.  Make sure that you go into the experience expecting this possibility rather than getting a rude awakening.