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Eric Stoen is a friend and a well-traveled writer who has been to over 100 countries and all seven continents. He recently took to social media to share some sage advice, especially for those who are traveling to popular European destinations this summer. RELATED: 12 Things to Know Before You Travel to Europe

Crowds at the Vatican in the busy summer months.
Eric, who goes by the handle @Travelbabbo, posted the following on Instagram: “If you’re heading to Europe this summer and haven’t booked restaurants, ferries, museum tickets and everything else yet, BOOK NOW! I’m seeing restaurants already booked up through June. Some tour guides are booked until mid-August. Greek ferries are filling up. A decade ago you could be more spontaneous, but not anymore. Of course you don’t want to over-schedule a vacation, but you also don’t want to be wandering from restaurant to restaurant searching for an opening when your kids are hungry.”

He continues: “In March I went to buy Duomo climb tickets for my sister and her kids after we arrived in Florence and all entrance times for their entire stay were already booked. Lesson learned. Book a month or more in advance to make sure you’re not disappointed.”


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A post shared by Eric Stoen (@travelbabbo)

I ran into this problem last year when I took my family to Europe last summer (here’s my story). We took a Mediterranean Princess Cruise (here’s my review of the Enchanted Princess) and the one place my kids really wanted to see on our seven-day tour was the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

Unfortunately, we didn’t get to go because I hadn’t booked the cruise excursion and when I tried to do it on our own, it was impossible. I couldn’t get a taxi, a car service or bus to take us to Pisa from Livorno. As you can see from the photo above, neither could many others.

Our cruise ended in Rome and we spent a couple of nights there before taking the train to Naples so we could go to the beautiful island of Ischia. In Rome or, to be exact Vatican City (the smallest country in the world), the one place we wanted to visit was The Vatican.

I tried booking a tour for us about two weeks before we left for our June trip and all the tours were sold out except ones that cost $250 per person. I tried pulling some strings with friends who worked with tour companies and they couldn’t help either. In the end, I got lucky. It turned out that a good friend of mine was good friends with an Italian movie star who was able to work his magic and got us tickets. But it was stressful.

My advice to you is to follow Eric’s advice. If you’re heading to Europe this summer, book your tours now if you haven’t already. There are some reputable sites to search like the popular


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