Visas & Passports
All travelers to Europe, including infants, require a valid passport. Some countries may not accept a passport that will expire within six months of your departure. Apply for a new one if this applies to you. Ask the embassy or consulate of the country or countries you wish to visit for visa regulations. Foreign visitors may obtain a single Schengen visa to visit any of the 25 countries in the Schengen area. These countries include Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, Germany, Greece, Holland, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. You may still need to obtain a separate visa to visit a European country outside this area. Should you lose your passport, report it to the local police. The nearest consulate or embassy for your country can reissue your passport when you are abroad. Carry a photocopy of your passport separate from your actual passport to speed up replacement time. In most cases, you cannot leave Europe without a valid passport.
It pays to know the customs regulations in your country of residence. Regulations vary, but usually travelers are allowed to bring in goods up to a certain value. Duty is charged on anything over that limit. Find out forms of payment accepted at customs in the event you must pay duty. Food can be the trickiest items to bring home from Europe unless it is commercially packaged and cooked. Sweets or chocolates are usually acceptable.