Traveling to Germany: How to Get Insured, Plus Tips for a Smooth Trip
If you’re traveling to Germany, you’re probably dreaming about all the fantastic food and drinks you’re going to experience, and the cultural curiosities you’ll find around every corner. It’s an amazing country full of beautiful landscapes, quaint towns, and historical sites. You’ve got your itinerary in hand, deposits paid, and bags packed. But there’s one idea that’s likely escaped you until now: something going wrong during your trip. While you never anticipate an emergency or trip cancellation, it’s always smart to prepare yourself for every outcome, and that’s where travel insurance comes in. Here, we’ll review why you should consider getting travel insurance for your trip to Germany, as well as the costs associated with getting insured. Then we’ll share some of our top tips to ensure your stay in Germany is a memorable one!
Travel Insurance for a Trip to Germany
As you know, traveling can be expensive, and you might have even saved up for years to pay for this trip abroad. But what if something outside your control forces you to cancel your trip? In the event that you need to cancel unexpectedly or your trip is delayed, travel insurance can come to your rescue and save you from digging deeper into your pockets. And most importantly, travel insurance covers you in the event of a medical emergency while you’re abroad.
Do I Need Insurance to Travel to Germany?
No, you don’t need travel insurance to go to Germany. However, it is in your best interest to protect your investment in the event that an unexpected event occurs. If you need to cancel your trip because of a death, natural disaster, or a sudden loss of employment, travel insurance can help you get your money back. On top of that, travel insurance can potentially save you thousands of dollars in the event of a medical emergency while you’re abroad.
Of course, in a perfect world, none of these things would happen and you’d be off to Germany, with your lederhosen and a beer stein in hand, ready to polka! But unless you have a crystal ball, you never know what the future holds, and travel insurance is the smartest way to prepare yourself for any bumps in the road.
How Much Does Travel Insurance Cost for My Trip to Germany?
There are many travel insurance companies vying for your business, and the costs can vary significantly between them. Typically, basic coverage can cost you 3-4% of your total trip cost, while premium options and coverage can run up to 10-12%. Your specific cost will depend on several factors, including the options you choose, and whether or not you want higher levels of medical coverage and other benefits. Other considerable factors are the number of people in your party, their ages, trip costs to insure and the trip length.
It’s essential to make sure that you’re getting the best coverage for your specific circumstances. However, with so many insurance options flooding the internet, it can be tough to filter through each policy and decide on the ideal one for you. If you’re stuck, our travel comparison tool will lead you in the right direction. Simply fill out the form with your trip details, and you’ll be able to easily compare prices and policies from a range of vetted travel insurance providers. And when you find a policy that’s right for you, you can even purchase your insurance directly through this tool and receive your policy documents via email. It’s that easy!
Now that you’ve got your travel insurance taken care of, it’s time to get your itinerary situated! To help you transition seamlessly into German culture and daily life, we’ve put together a list of tips to help you prepare, including money, what to pack, as well as where to go and what to do for a truly immersive experience!
Money: Currency & Tipping
The official currency of Germany is the Euro, and it’s an excellent idea to have cash on you at all times. Many places in Germany do not take credit cards, but you can easily find ATMs throughout the country. It’s also essential that you keep coins on you, especially if you’re out and about in the city. In Germany, public bathrooms aren’t free, and you’ll need to deposit a few coins to use them. This is true even in places like McDonald’s or other fast-food joints. Typically, if you pay to use the bathroom at these places, you’ll also get a coupon to use towards your order for the same amount. So, make sure you use the bathroom and get your coupon before you grab yourself some McNuggets!
When it comes to tipping, it’s an expectation in German restaurants and pubs. However, unlike in the U.S., the expectation is generally about 5-10% of the bill. If you’re in doubt, just round up the check and leave the rest of the change behind for a tip.
Weather Conditions & Packing Suggestions
Germany experiences all four seasons throughout the year. If you travel between November and March, you’ll experience cold, wet weather and snow in most places. But this is a great time to go skiing in the mountains! April to June and September to October will be sunny most days – similar to Spring and Fall weather. But if you’re looking for amazing festivals, July and August are great times to visit Germany, where you’ll have great, warm weather to truly experience all the outdoor fun!
When it comes to packing, your best bet is to bring a lot of light clothing that you can layer. No matter what time of year you visit, you’re going to encounter rainy days. Depending on where you are in the country, you’ll also have to deal with some cold nights, especially in the mountains. Make sure you’re prepared with a variety of clothing options that you can take on and off to endure the various temperatures. Just remember to bring a good raincoat, collapsible water bottle, and some good walking shoes!
Immerse Yourself in the Local Culture
Traveling to Germany offers abundant opportunities to immerse yourself in the culture. As you move throughout the regions, you’ll be able to enjoy a variety of options when it comes to food, things to do, and places to explore. In Munich, experience Oktoberfest at a traditional beer hall, where you’ll be greeted with a beer stein and a giant Bavarian pretzel. But don’t be surprised when you’re charged extra for your first beer! This is called the pfand: a deposit on the stein or mug that you’re given. This fee is returned to you when you return your mug before you leave, so don’t forget to do that (or you can take it with you for a souvenir)!
Germans are notorious for their punctuality, and they are strict rule-followers. All public transit runs on schedule no matter what, so always make sure that you arrive at least 10 minutes early. It’s also in your best interest to never jaywalk, as this is a grave offense in Germany, and not only will you be ticketed, but you’ll likely be yelled at by several Germans for trying it!
As far as communication goes, German is the official language in Germany. Still, you’ll find that many folks speak English as well, especially in the urban and tourist areas. However, it’s a good idea to learn a few German phrases so that you can interact with folks outside these areas. Not only does it help you communicate your needs, but the Germans will appreciate your extra effort to understand and communicate with them while you’re visiting their home!
Popular Destinations in Germany
With so many places to go and sites to see in Germany, it can be overwhelming to decide what to add to your itinerary. To help you make your decisions, we’ve listed the top 10 most popular places to visit in Germany. Plus, we’ve thrown in a few less-popular, off-the-beaten-track places if you’re looking for a more local-like experience!
Top 10 Most Popular Places to Visit in Germany
- Rugen Island
- Rothenburg ob der Tauber
Top 5 Unique Places to Visit in Germany