Eastern Europe is emerging as an extremely popular tourist destination, combining the needs of the modern traveller with stunning natural beauty. Furthermore, it continues to offer great value. Many of the former Eastern Bloc countries, while not in the single European currency, have been impacted by the financial troubles within it, presenting good exchange rates and value for travellers.
From Sofia in Bulgaria to Prague in the Czech Republic, Eastern Europe offers classic architecture, and miles of unspoilt landscape, all of which is steeped in history. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the old Croatian city of Dubrovnik. Built in the 7thcentury, Dubrovnik still retains its medieval walls and fortresses. However, it is also recognised as one of the key battlegrounds in the Balkans war having been besieged by Serbian forces for seven months in 1991, the scars of which the city still bears.
If you’re looking for nightlife, however, Prague is one of the most vibrant cities in Europe, and is quickly becoming a centre for city breaks from across the continent. While famous for its beer and social scene, it also boasts high culture, with opera, ballet and classical concerts of the highest order and sightseeing tours from the Vltava river on which it sits.
With mountains, great natural lakes, coastline, beaches and cosmopolitan cities, there is something for everyone in Eastern Europe. However, preparing for a holiday here involves a little more than simply booking and packing. While it pays to familiarise yourself with local customs, laws and a few helpful phrases, you also need to consider the medical side of things. As well as ensuring you have a valid insurance policy in place, it is important to get the right vaccinations before travelling.
You can arrange travel vaccinations online to have them administered at your local pharmacy, or see your local doctor. Travellers from the US and Canada in particular need to ensure that they have the correct vaccinations in place, as this can be an important aspect of agreeing premiums and coverage for travel insurance.
The US Center for Disease Control recommends that travellers to Eastern Europe have routine shots for the likes of diphtheria and tetanus, while immunizations against Hepatitis A and B are also advisable. Tuberculosis and tickborne encephalitis can also be a problem in some areas. However, with the right preparation and care, Eastern Europe can offer a truly rewarding holiday experience on a budget.