Spending a few years traveling Europe is only a dream for most of us. But you can make it work if you’re dedicated. If you’re worried about finances, click here for ways to earn money while you travel. The first thing you need to figure out is how long you’re legally allowed to stay. The Schengen Area encompasses most of Europe. You can travel within this area on a traditional passport for 90 days within a period of 180 days.
With a Schengen Visa, you can stay in the area for more than 90 days. Countries outside the Schengen Area all have different Visa requirements. You can learn about the requirements for US travelers from the US State Department.
If your parents or grandparents are European citizens, look into the process of obtaining an EU passport. Otherwise, here are some ways to prolong your stay without obtaining a Schengen Visa:
Thinking about the delectable dishes and fine wines of Europe might make your mouth water, but did you know that some people actually travel to Europe to lose weight? Staying at a weight loss spa is pricey, but we guarantee you’ll return home relaxed, rejuvenated, and a few pounds lighter.
Along with traditional spa services, weight loss spas also offer detox programs, exercise classes, nutritional advice, and medical procedures. Personal trainers and nutritionists are on hand for advice, personal meetings, and lectures. Some of these institutions focus on relaxation and detox while others put guests through rigorous exercise.
All of Europe’s luxury health care facilities focus on:
- Long-term lifestyle changes
- Feeling young
What better place for a spa than Europe’s majestic landscape? Both you and your waistline will enjoy vacations to these outstanding weight loss spas:
Clinique La Prairie (CLP) in Montreux, Switzerland
Located right on Lake Geneva, CLP has gained worldwide fame due to its anti-aging technology. Using “CLP Extract” (sheep cells), the institute offers rejuvenation treatments that can be found nowhere else on the planet. These treatments are recommended for guests over 40. Results last for about two years. Just 17-minutes of “Corpotrim” produces results similar to one hour of aerobic exercise. “Corpotrim” was developed to help keep astronauts in shape without the help of gravity.
CLP isn’t a fat camp. The machine-based BeautyMed program lasts 12 days and is ideal for individuals aiming to lose just a few pounds. Each guest undergoes a daily electro session in which the muscles and skin are stimulated and lymphatic drainage increases. Guests have access to a wide variety of electro and laser therapies. A slew of professionals are available for advice and to help you form a personal exercise routine.
CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa in Anguilla, British West Indies
This intimate beachfront resort is located in the curve of Rendezvous Bay. The 10-day program is available to only 20 guests at a time. In the morning, participants enjoy a relaxing walk on the beach followed by classes such as aerobics and yoga. There are also many traditional and unique spa treatments available (like Aquatherapy) in the famous Venus Spa. Meals consist of nutritious foods made with ingredients from the resort’s hydroponic farm. In addition to fitness classes, guests will also undergo a health assessment and attend lectures about fitness and nutrition.
Visitors uninterested in spa treatments or weight loss can take advantage of the resort’s championship golf course, fine dining, and of course the beach.
Stobo Castle in Peebleshire, Scotland
Prepare to be pampered. Just 20 miles north of Edinburgh sits a gorgeous castle featuring a Japanese water garden, tennis courts, a unique Crystal Steam Room, and a hydrospa. The indoor, glass-roofed spa offers over 80 different treatments. At Stobo Castle, guests can float in mineral-rich water in the Dead Sea Flotarium. You’re sure to lose a little weight from the haggis-only diet. In case you don’t know, haggis is a pudding-type dish that contains sheep’s heart, liver, and lungs. These ingredients are minced with spices, suet, oatmeal, stock, and onion. Despite the description, haggis makes for a savory meal with a great nutty texture.
Visitors to Europe may be at a loss when it comes to purchasing cosmetics. This article will give you some advice on which brands to look for. London, Berlin, and Paris have the largest selection of beauty products. Keep in mind that each European country sells different brands. International names like Estee Lauder, Body Shop, Shiseido, and Chanel are found all across Europe, but it’s more fun to explore the brands unique to the country in which you’re staying.
If you’re on a budget, drugstores will be more than adequate for your beauty needs. Lots of European drugstores allow you to sample their products. This is a great feature lacking in US drugstores.
Bourjois is one of Europe’s most famous cosmetic brands. With a focus on the particular glamor of 19th century Paris, this brand can proudly claim to have created the first powder blush. If you’re looking for a makeup remover, go for Bioderma Crealine H2O. For a great moisturizer, try Embryolisse.
If you’re visiting Europe during the summer, you’re going to need sunscreen. La Roche-Posay Anthelios AC is recommended for oily skin and those suffering from acne. Unlike sunscreens that claim to be “oil free,” this one really is!
In France, look for Monoprix and luxury brands Galeries Lafayette and Printemps. When visiting Sephora stores (you can find these in France, Italy, and Spain), look for eye shadow and blush by Fred Farruggia. Sephora stores also carry Makeup For Ever products and drugstore brands like Maybelline and L’Oreal. Sephora often has sales on their more expensive products during the summer. Another French brand to look for is Lollipops.
If you like perfume and you’re visiting Paris, you’re in for a treat. Visit a boutique called Serge Lutens at the Palais Royale. Inside you can sample a gigantic array of perfumes.
In Italy and France, look for Kiko stores. Kiko is known for its wide selection of products, great prices, and sales. The Italian store Limoni Perfumeria has a wide selection with great packaging. Look for inexpensive brands Pupa and Collistar.
In London, look for EU-exclusive Illamasqua shades.
In Germany, look for brands Astor and P2. Both brands can be found in common drugstores. Their products are inexpensive and of good quality. P2 makes great lip products. Catrice (a little more expensive) and Essence (a little less expensive) are two more great drugstore brands found in Germany. Catrice has a reputation for wonderful nail polish. You can also find hair treatment tools, serums and creams there, wonderful for post curling or straightening treatment.
Germany is known for its focus on organic makeup and skincare. In Denmark, visit stores Matas and Magasin to find a great selection of products. If you see the name Nilens Jord, check out the mascara and eye shadow. All Nilens Jord products are free of paraben and perfume. The Danish brand GOSH is not recommended.
In the Netherlands, drugstore Kruidvat en Etos is recommended for beauty supplies. They carry aforementioned brands Catrice and Essence. They also carry MNY. Essence can also be purchase in Switzerland’s drugstores.
In the United Kingdom, visit House of Fraser. Look for brands Illamasque, Butter London, Sleek, 17, Models Own, and Barry M. International travelers often say that in regards to makeup, the UK is similar to the US.
In Spain, look for Agatha Ruiz de la Prada perfume and try out some skincare products from Instituto Español de la Piel.
The Scots are credited with the invention of modern golf, but the origins of the game are widely debated. Most believe that the game was first played in Europe during the Middle Ages. Evidence unearthed in 2005 suggests that Mongolian travelers may have been the ones who brought the game (called “chuíwán”) to Europe. Either way, golf has been around for a long time.
Golf was banned several times throughout the 1400’s, but finally spread from Europe to the United States in the 18th century. It was firmly established in Europe by the end of the 19th century. In 1880 there were only 12 courses in England; by 1914 that number had risen to 1,000. Golf became incredibly popular in the US during the 1920’s. When an American won the British Open Championship in 1992, the US claimed dominance over the sport – a status they still hold today.
The history of golf is preserved worldwide in these famous museums:
- British Golf Museum (Fife, Scotland)
- US Golf Association Museum (New Jersey, US)
- World Golf Hall of Fame (Florida, US)
- Canadian Golf Hall of Fame (Ontario, Canada)
Today, Europe has become a destination for wealthy golfers. The rolling hills and mild climate are perfect for the sport. Luxury golf resorts aren’t just about golf; they focus on attitude, prestige, exclusivity, and landscape. Most important, they place guests in the very lap of luxury. Here are two of Europe’s best luxury golf resorts:
Verdura Golf & Spa Resort, Sicily
On Sicily’s south coast you’ll find a resort boasting discreet exclusivity (there are only 203 rooms). The grounds contain a private beach and every room has a view of the ocean with a private terrace. The resort’s two golf courses were designed by Kyle Phillips, a leading golf architect. When playing The East Course, golfers will travel along a meandering route that brings them to the sea twice. The 18th hole is located alongside the cliffs and the end of the course brings you to an elevated, tumbling landscape. The West Course is less diverse but touches the Mediterranean in the middle and is capped with a magnificent seaside finale. Both The East Course and The West Course make ingenious use of the natural terrain and make for a fulfilling experience.
Vidago Palace, Portugal
A long ago destination for those seeking Vidago’s legendary mineral waters, Vidago Palace is a resort fit for kings. With Belle Epoque charm, the resort combines the grandeur of a palace with the coziness of a cottage. There are only 70 rooms in the palace. The resort is nestled in the mountains and surrounded by woodlands. The lush atmosphere, mineral water, and tranquil setting make for a magical, restorative vacation.
Vidago Palace’s championship golf course was built in 1936 (a Mackenzie Ross original). Redesigned by Cameron and Powell according to USGA specifications, the course will remind you of the sport’s inherent beauty and is an exhilarating challenge even for experienced golfers. Great contrasts in landscape evoke a respect for the palace’s natural surroundings. The course is located in Centennial Park, presenting players with magnificent views of rolling hills and small villages. The middle of the course dips into the historic Oura Valley. The course also includes a driving range, chipping area, two putting greens, and a golf school.
Transportation is a big concern when planning a trip to Europe. Renting a vehicle is more complicated and expensive than in the US. You’ll get the best deal if you rent by the week and select a package with unlimited mileage. Just like plane tickets, the earlier you book, the better. You can reserve a rental car online or with the help of a travel agent. Shop around and make sure to ask any and all questions you might have. Make sure to read the fine print before you agree to anything. Rental companies are notorious for tacking on extra fees.
You should definitely rent a car if you:
- Have lots of luggage
- Are traveling with a group of three or more
- Will be camping
- Plan to explore one area in depth rather than travel across Europe