The little things that can make a big difference
- Drink Like a Local: Pick a Location for your Beercation and don’t try to see a country a day. There is much to see in each country and in each town you visit. Why not spend a few days and soak up the local vibes.
- Do Your Research if you are going on your own. If you are traveling with a tour company, they should have the 411 on openings and closings of local pubs and have set up appointments in advance for any touring you will be doing. If you are on your own, make sure to check in advance for opening/closing times and current info on the places you want to visit. Be aware of Holidays in the places you are visiting- this may affect everything from train schedules to brewery openings.
- Cash is King Although credit cards are accepted in many places, there are breweries and pubs in Europe that only accept cash, so if you are looking to pick up that logoed bike jersey than you should make sure you hit the cash machine prior to your visit. Speaking of the cash machine, cash machines tend to offer some of the best exchange rates. If you are paying with a credit card, make sure that if you have the option to pay in Euros or USD, you choose Euros. If you choose the other way, you will be paying an extra fee. Your credit card company will automatically change the euro amount back into USD before they bill you so no need for this added expense.
- Be prepared to pack your souvenir beers properly for the journey home. There is nothing worse than spending your precious Beercation time running around Brussels looking for packing tape and bubble wrap. Likely you won’t find the bubble wrap. Bring this with you, along with a duffle to put your clothes in when you fill your suitcase with beer. Take a look at our article “To ship or to Schlep” for more on this.
- Cover Your Butt Travel insurance is not only for old, sick people! Stuff Happens. That is just the way it is. Stuff can happen to family at home that causes you to need to cancel a trip, suitcases get lost or damaged, people have dental and medical stuff come up. Flights get delayed and connections get missed. I repeat, Stuff Happens. This is what Travel Insurance is for. Make sure you are covered by a reputable company and that your policy covers weather issues as well as medical. US Healthcare insurance is not worth much once you are outside of the US. For quotes on coverage, click here and use location number 08-9878.
- Make Reservations: Don’t miss out on the opportunity for great food and beer pairings. Do your research on restaurants as well as bars and breweries. Then reserve your spot in advance so you don’t have to worry about where to go at the last minute. Instead you can sit down, relax and enjoy some hopefully perfect pairings.
- Mind your Ps and Qs It never hurts and often helps to make sure you can say Please and Thank you in the local language. You’d be surprised how far just making the effort can go.