Guss is going to Europe for the first time and asks on the Rick Steve’s forums:
What would be something you wish you knew when you took your first Europe trip? Something you wish somebody would have told you that could’ve made your trip even better and more effective.
And the survey says … the showers can be tricky.
Number 1 answer.
virtually every shower I have encountered in Europe has operated differently. ~Nancy
There is very little continuity in Europe when it comes to design in operating the shower, toilet, sink, etc. If you stay at 10 different places you may have 10 different ways to turn on the hot water and control the pressure of the shower, cord, switch, dial, knob, etc. … you can usually figure it out, but sometimes, it’s just best to ask beforehand. ~Thomas
In Ukraine we ran into the first computerized showers we had ever seen. I almost had to get a hotel staff person in the shower with me in order to operate it. ~Monte
But the peculiarities of shower operations aren’t the only tips fellow travelers share, and this thread turns into a terrific discussion of the mostly little and sometimes big things a first-time traveler should consider.
And really, while Guss specifically asks in preparation for a trip to Europe, many of the tips are useful no matter where in the world someone might be traveling.
I wish I had know just how fast the time would fly by. Trying to see ‘everything’ is impossible. I’ve learned to spend more time, particularly in cities, to really see them. A day or two in a large city like London or Paris only allows for time to check things off a list or to say you’ve been there. In that amount of time you don’t really see them. ~Andrea
Expect everything not to happen perfectly and look at those days as an adventure. Be flexible in your schedule. ~Kristen
If you see something you love & think about buying it, buy it! You may not find it somewhere else, or you will go back to where you think you saw it & invariably, you will not find that cute little shop ~Priscilla
don’t touch the fruit at a market . . . the seller will pick the (usually) best pieces for you. ~Cyn
And the advice just keeps on coming – about 100 posts or so worth of tips at the time of this writing.
This thread is a great read not only for first-time travelers, but for anyone who travels. No matter how experienced a traveler you are, you are almost certain to learn something new.
Read the thread in its entirety: What would be something(s) you wish you knew before your first trip to Europe?