Hi I'm Rick Steves back in Europe...this time with a focus on practical travel tips! In this three-part special edition, we travel my favorite 2,000-mile loop through Europe, rick 6splicing in all the essential skills to help you travel on your own — smooth and smart.

The point of this special: If you can learn from my mistakes rather than your own, you'll have a better trip. How well you're able to enjoy the delights of Europe depends upon how well you plan and how skillfully you travel.

And there's a lot to enjoy. From the monuments of Paris to folk dancing in Portugal, from the markets of Sicily to new friends in Bulgaria, and from the scalps of the Alps to the wonders of Rome, you'll want to get the most out of every mile, minute and dollar you spend in Europe.

In this three-part travels-skills special we start in the Netherlands, venture through Germany, dip into Italy, sweep through Switzerland and France before finishing in germany1England. In this first episode we start in Amsterdam, cruise the Rhine, visit Rothenburg and end in Munich.

The main tips this time: transportation — exploring Europe by train and car, changing money and arriving.

We landed at Amsterdam's Schiphol airport. To get to Europe, Americans need only a passport, plane ticket and money — every airport has ATMs.

Notice how easy it is for English-speakers to step over the language barrier. Here in Amsterdam, everything's in two languages: Dutch for the locals and English for everyone else.

The skills we'll cover in this episode: planning, packing, safety and — perhaps the most rewarding skill of all — connecting with the locals.

Today more people than ever are enjoying Europe. And it's great fun snapping photos of the predictable biggies and enjoying those cultural icons.

This concludes our three part travel skills special. Remember, anyone who's equipped with good information and wants to travel smart...can. Thanks for joining us. I'm Rick Steves...keep on travelin'. Cheerio.


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