Planning a 6 month Europe trip – What to know

Seville alcazar 6 month europe trip spain

Travelling for 6 months is an exciting step away from ‘normal life’. We completed this bucket list style trip in 2022 and it is something we will never forget and don’t regret! If you are thinking about an extended trip, we urge you to take the plunge, it will definitely be ‘lifechanging’ (cliché, we know). Starting to plan such a big trip can be exciting, but also daunting. We planned in small parts over the course of 1-2 years, and have a few tips that may assist you. See the list below of our recommendations for planning an extended trip. We have also put together a complete guide to Europe travel here!



What to know when planning a 6 month Europe trip

Start planning early:

If you are planning a long Europe trip (or any destination), planning is needed, even if you want to be spontaneous when you are over there. It will take you longer than you think! There are so many things you don’t think about, and planning in advance makes things a whole lot easier. Additionally, planning in advance gets you excited about the holiday, and this anticipation is one of the things we love about holidays!

Book your flights early:

Similar to above, booking your main flight to/from your destination early can pay massive dividends. We booked out return flights to Europe over 6 months before we left, costing us about 50% of what the flight would have cost if we booked it last minute ($1500 per person return from Australia compared to over $3000). If you are booking early make sure there is an option for flexible date change or cancellation.

lots of research!

This is the fun bit! Start doing your research. Talk to friends who have travelled! Watch a travel documentary (we loved food based travel shows like ‘Somebody Feeds Phil’ when we were planning). Hit up Youtube, there’s heaps of great content out there! Read a travel blog (I’ve heard there’s a decent one called 2 Cups of Travel). But seriously, travel blogs are amazing for planning itineraries, or when looking at new countries you don’t know much about. Instagram is also a great place to get some travel inspiration. Watch some travel reels or check out some photos and ‘Save’ them for later. Tess also loved using our Europe Lonely Planet book! We started this ‘research’ at least 2 years out, and this was one of the most exciting parts of the trip.

We also found that our research allowed us to ‘find’ some unique locations like Lake Ohrid, Gjirokaster, Kas, Lake Bled, Polignano a Mare and more! These were some of our favourite places from our travels!

Visas & passports:

This is the boring but essential part of travelling. Your passport needs to have at least 6 months until expiring from the date you return! This is important, as if you have under 6 months you might not be allowed to continue/start your trip. Visas will vary depending on your country. Many countries like Australia have access to Schengen Visa’s, which is an ‘automatic’ visa that you get for many of the European countries. We have provided a few links below to help you learn more about it, but suggest you look into the Visa’s in more detail. The only country we had to apply for a separate visa for was Turkey, which can be done online up to a few days beforehand.



Bugeting – Save the $$:

Yep, travelling isn’t cheap. You will likely already know this, but saving is key. There are also many hidden costs that can come with travelling like fines, mistakes, last minute changes, medical expenses and much more. If possible, it is worth trying to save a little in an ‘Emergency Fund’ for these hiccups that may occur. You will also find that things can cost a lot more than you think. An example of this is how expensive we found the trains when travelling through UK and Europe. We also urge you to consider your daily budget, including things like accommodation, transport, spending money and more.

Need data? WIFI or travel sim card:

In the modern age, internet access is crucial for all parts of life, including travel. Popular apps like Google Maps, and access to all of your itinerary documents (e.g. boarding passes), happens with internet access. Whilst WIFI access is available in many locations overseas, if you rely solely on this, you will have times without internet. You can often pick up a local SIM card at airports or in cities which gives you calls and data for that country or region.

We used a travel E-Sim (through Airalo), a feature on modern phones where you can gain access to internet data without purchasing a physical SIM card. We found this a good process, particularly as we were regularly changing countries, and some of the local physical SIM cards didn’t cover all of the regions we visited.

Travel Insurance is a must!

You never think you need cover until you do! Baggage will regularly be lost (especially in peak season). Medical emergencies and accidents happen. Missed flights, delays and more aren’t unusual. Perhaps you will have to change your plans due to an emergency! Once you have booked your initial flights and have a set “plan”, we urge you to book travel insurance. Check if your credit card offers travel insurance when you purchase international flights (ours did), otherwise there are many companies out there providing policies to cover you. Important note: if you have a pre-existing medical condition, include this in your claim, and be sure to read the fine print of the policy to ensure you are covered.

We have included a link below to Safety Wing, a travel insurance company that we use. We find it is very reasonably priced, and geared travelers like us, especially those doing extended periods of travel. In particularly, Ky loves it as they have policies that cover gear like camera and drones when on the road.




Organize your travel bank and credit cards:

This is a really important point to save you $$. We organized a travel credit card (28 Degrees Mastercard) which allowed us to have no overseas transaction fees. However, we didn’t initially think to organize a travel friendly bank card. By the time we realized it was too late, and over the course of our trip, it probably cost us $100s in ATM and transaction fees. We used our credit card for all purchases where possible, however many countries in Europe are still ‘cash heavy’, thus withdrawing money was needed. Banks such as ING, HSBC, Citibank, and Chase all offer great travel card options. Check with your bank, or look into these options. Try to go for a card with no transaction fees and no or low withdrawal fees. Some cards also let you have more favourable currency exchange rates. Plan this early and you will save the $$.

Download some of the key travel apps:

There are so many great travel applications out there that make the process of planning and travelling so much easier. We have compiled a list of some of our favourites which can be found here! These help with everything from making reels to learning new languages.

Buy some packing cubes!

There’s lots of different travel items that can save you time and effort (a blog for another day). However, the one we think you absolutely MUST HAVE when travelling are packing cubes. Tess found these when we were planning our trip and they have saved us both many times. They make living out of a suitcase a lot easier and make the repacking of bags much faster. Buy them online (e.g. through Amazon) or through popular discount chains like Target/Big W etc. Don’t think about it, just do it! We used a similar set to the ones listed below (see here). Check out some of our other top picks of what to buy for your travels here!

Think about how you want to document & remember your travels:

Your dream ‘bucket list’ trip will be here before you realize, and also gone before you can even properly comprehend it. Therefore, we think it is a great idea to consider planning before you leave how you will best document and remember your trip. During many previous holidays we hadn’t found many good ways to document our travels. However, before leaving in 2022, we decided to start this blog, our social medial channel (see here), and also put together highlight video (e.g. see below). This allowed us a platform and method of recording our highlights and moments as we went, giving us an incredible catalogue of highlights to look back on. Additionally, we purchased extra equipment, like our drone, and our GDome, to allow us to capture some of the incredible moments we experienced.

While our methods may not be how you would look to remember your travels, we urge you to consider this before you leave. Perhaps it will be a journal? Or maybe photobooks when you return? Polaroid photos? A summary video of your highlights on return? Let us know if the comments below how you have documented and remembered your travels!



Enjoying our posts & advice? Subscribe to our blog!

Jump your email into the list below. We won’t spam you! It’ll just keep you updated whenever we post another travel-related adventure, memory or tid-bid!

Loading

WANT TO SEE MORE food recommendations & TRAVEL MEMORIES?

Take a look at some of the best hidden gems from our travels!

Find out a little bit more about the people behind 2 Cups of Travel!

Check out further highlights from our time in the Europe! Take a look!



Please note: this post contains affiliate links. This means that if you purchase or book anything using these links, we get a small percentage of the sale, at no extra expense to you. This helps us to run the site.

Comments (16):

  1. akun

    May 5, 2023 at 9:02 am

    Hi there! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow
    you if that would be ok. I’m absolutely enjoying your blog and look forward to new updates.

    Reply
  2. Brodie

    May 13, 2023 at 10:02 pm

    Hi,

    How did you get around the 90/180 days in the Schengen area? If you travelled for 6 months.

    Reply
    • Ky

      May 14, 2023 at 6:59 pm

      Hi Brodie, great questions. Did it in a few ways:
      1. Non-schengen countries – think most of the balkans, morocco, UK, croatia (isn’t schengen anymore), turkey etc
      2. Visa waiver exemptions – need to check through your country/embassy pages to determine if you have visa waiver options. We used one for the netherlands.

      Reply
  3. Kerry Watkins

    September 13, 2023 at 3:34 pm

    Thanks for a marvelous posting! I definitely
    enjoyed reading it, you will be a great author.
    I will ensure that I bookmark your blog and may come back later on. I want to encourage you to ultimately continue your great job, have a nice evening!

    Reply
  4. Freddy L

    November 29, 2023 at 12:56 pm

    whoah this blog is wonderful i really like studying your articles.
    Stay up the good work! You understand, lots of persons are searching around for this information, you can aid them greatly.

    Reply
  5. Claribel

    December 21, 2023 at 8:48 am

    I couldn’t resist commenting. Perfectly written!

    Reply
  6. Percy

    December 28, 2023 at 1:50 pm

    My spouse andd I absolutely love your blkog and find almost
    all of your post’s to be just what I’m looking for. can you offer guest writers to write content in your case?
    I wouldn’t mind writing a post or elaborating on a few of the subjects
    you write about here. Again, awesome website!

    Reply
    • 2CupsofTravel

      January 1, 2024 at 8:28 pm

      Thanks for the lovely feedback! We don’t usually offer guest posts but have partner websites which may – see out contact page to email us and discuss further!

      Reply
  7. James

    December 28, 2023 at 7:43 pm

    Thanks for finally writing about planning a 6 month Europe trip. Loved it!

    Reply
  8. France

    January 19, 2024 at 9:05 am

    Great article. Keep posting such kind of information on your blog.
    I’m really impressed by your site.
    Hey there, You’ve performed a fantastic job. I’ll definitely
    digg it and in my opinion suggest to my friends.
    I’m confident they’ll be benefited from this web site.

    Reply
  9. Ertha Jacoby

    January 30, 2024 at 2:01 am

    Thanks very nice blog!

    Reply
    • 2CupsofTravel

      February 8, 2024 at 4:23 pm

      Much appreciated! Thanks for taking the time to give feedback 🙂

      Reply
  10. Oma

    March 31, 2024 at 9:35 am

    Thanks to my father who informed me about this website, this webpage is really remarkable.

    Reply
    • 2CupsofTravel

      April 3, 2024 at 11:42 am

      Thanks for your kind words! Glad you got something from our guides!

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *