Skip the Europe Trip if Any of These 12 Things Describe You

SAVING & SPENDING - TRAVEL
Discover the unexpected reasons why Europe might not be the right match for your travel personality.
Updated May 8, 2024
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You’ve finally reached a point where you’re ready to start traveling more. “Where should I start?” is a great question to ask yourself.

Plenty of fellow globetrotters might recommend Europe. The continent is definitely a top travel destination (after all, Paris was the world’s most-visited city in 2022). But just because something is popular doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for you.

So, if any of the following descriptors apply to you, we recommend skipping Europe entirely.

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Europe is inherently expensive

pashyksv/Adobe beautiful woman unhappy while holding receipt at restaurant

You could travel to Europe on a budget, staying in hostels and using a top travel credit card to travel for almost free.

But no matter how many excess costs you cut out, a trip to Europe is inherently expensive — if for no other reason than the currency exchange rate and passport or visa fees.

You don’t want to deal with the hassle of passport renewal

kieferpix/Adobe holding us passport at airport with airplane in background

If you have difficulty keeping up with paperwork and tend to miss crucial deadlines, international travel might not be for you.

Having your travel documents in order is crucial when planning to travel internationally. Passport processing takes seven to ten weeks, not including the time your passport spends in the mail.

You’re not thrilled about jet lag

Kittiphan/Adobe sleeping on the bed

After your seven-hour flight across the Atlantic, you’ll land in a time zone at least five hours ahead of the one you left.

For every one to one-and-a-half hours you leap ahead in time, your body requires about a day to adjust. You won’t feel quite like yourself again until five days into your European vacation.

And you can expect to take at least five days to recover once you’re back home, too.

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You hate flying

mrmohock/Adobe A woman frustrated on a plane

A non-stop flight from New York City to London is six hours and 55 minutes long. If you’re on the West Coast, it's closer to 11 hours (from LA to NYC) — not accounting for layovers or weather delays.

Luckily for the flight-averse, the United States is a remarkably road-trip-friendly country with plenty of beautiful new places you can explore within seven hours (by car) of your home.

You don’t have much vacation time

Piman Khrutmuang/Adobe pen mark on calendar date

If you can actually take a few weeks off, you might have enough to see the best sights Europe has to offer. But if you only get a week or so, a journey across the Atlantic just isn’t worth it.

You’ll have enough time to adjust to the new time zone before you fly home and start readjusting.

You don’t like walking

Alena Ozerova/Adobe woman hiking in the mountains

If spending a lot of time on your feet isn’t your idea of a good time, save your money by skipping Europe.

Touring the Colosseum, wandering London’s vast Natural History Museum, and exploring the Louvre all demand quite a bit of walking.

You don’t want to spend a fortune on plane tickets alone

Prostock-studio/Adobe senior tourists holding boarding passes

Plane ticket prices can vary depending on when you’re flying and how far in advance you manage to snag tickets.

No matter how early you get your tickets, expect to pay quite a bit for a round trip to Europe in this post-pandemic world: In the summer of 2023, the average plane ticket to the continent cost around $1,200.

Paying even more for gas doesn’t sound appealing

Daria/Adobe happy couple riding scooter while traveling

A trip outside the country can help put domestic gas pump costs into perspective. In Italy, for instance, a gallon costs around $5.96. In France, $5.54. And in the Netherlands, $6.48.

And that’s after gas prices stabilized, as they doubled during summer, coming to an all-time high. Needless to say, if you were planning on a Euro road trip, it could cost you a pretty penny.

You’re not a huge history fan

ake1150/Adobe Spiez castle with cruise ship

Europe’s cities are much older than America’s. Some by a thousand years or more. For instance, the Bulgarian city of Plovdiv has been continuously inhabited for around eight millennia!

While you can certainly find modern activities in any European city, your overall experience might be more interesting if you're passionate about the past.

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Public transit is your worst nightmare

Maridav/Adobe train woman leaving for work

Because Europe is both old and densely populated, most cities have robust public transit systems.

Sure, as long as you don’t mind the high petrol prices, you can get around many European cities by car.

While you can save a lot of time and money, navigating subways, buses, and trains has a high learning curve, especially for visitors who don’t speak a country’s native language.

You aren’t multi-lingual

Antonioguillem/Adobe angry couple complaining on a cloudy vacation

Many Europeans speak English, so even if you don’t speak a second language, you can likely manage in many metropolitan areas in Europe.

However, you shouldn’t count on those around you speaking the same language as you.

And even if you’re surrounded by English speakers, it can be frustrating to constantly ask for translations for menu items or street signs.

Museums just aren’t your thing

_KUBE_/Adobe young women watching arts

For many people, Europe’s biggest draw is its museums. The Louvre alone has 652,300 square feet to explore, which can take up to 65 days!

You can avoid wasting money by taking a trip closer to home. Spend half a day at a famous museum like Seattle’s Pop Culture Museum or New York’s Museum of Modern Art and devote the rest of your trip to other activities.

Or, if you prefer a more active, outdoorsy vacation, a national park or a mountain town like Asheville, NC, could be just what you’re looking for.

Bottom line

Syda Productions/Adobe senior couple on city street

For some people, traveling to Europe is the dream of a lifetime, but if you identify with any of the issues we listed above, you probably aren’t one of them.

Instead of visiting the region out of obligation or to fit in with the crowd, focus on finding travel opportunities closer to home to earn miles and travel more to places you want to go.

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Author Details

Michelle Smith Michelle Smith has spent a decade writing for and about small businesses. She specializes in all things finance and has written for publications like G2 and SmallBizDaily. When she's not writing for work at her desk, you can usually find her writing for pleasure near large bodies of water.

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