Step 1: Passport (4 months before your trip)

Before planning a trip outside the United States, it is crucial to check the status of your passport. Every U.S. passport expires ten years from the date issued (for adults). If your passport is expired, or if you do not have a passport, you must register for one at least four months before your trip. This precaution ensures you receive your passport on time.

Attention: For safety reasons, it is important to stash a photocopy of all important travel documents at home.

More information can be found at the link below.

We noticed in Moscow that the locals wear the same clothes from Sunday through Saturday. Then they change for the next week. And in Moscow you might only have hot water one day a week. Check before you leave home to see if the countries you will be visiting have rules regarding how much foreign currency (yours) you may enter the country with and how much native currency (theirs) you may leave with. Those amounts will be declared and checked when you arrive and depart.<br> <br> We also made a spreadsheet showing the exchange rate, forwards and backwards, in multiples of 10&nbsp; and 100 each way, and laminated it for easy reference.&nbsp; It was sized to be the size of a credit card.&nbsp; It was dollars to rubles on one side and rubles to dollars the other.&nbsp; That made it easy to check the value of items you might also see at home.&nbsp;
Thats interesting, I stayed in Moscow only 6 weeks after your post and we had hot showers every day. Maybe because we stayed in a privat flat, not an hotel.
We stayed in a private apartment...in 1998. Things may have changed but hot water would require an infrastructure change where we were. Just something to be aware of before you go.
It depents on where you want to fly to but I can hardly imagin any airport in Europe without an ATM. The same for train stations in larger cities. <br>
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This seems to be other peoples' pictures. You need to credit the photographers properly.
Check if your destination country in Europe actually USE euros before converting any money. <br> <br>No need to get US Dollars first if you don't live in USA. No need to find American embassies unless you are a US citizen. <br> <br>Not all European countries use the same electrical outlets, so do some research before buying.

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