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Most people have a dream of traveling across Europe and seeing the differences in culture. After spending some time in Germany I wanted to give a perspective into some of the cultural differences between Germany and the United States.
In Germany, there is no doubt that the citizens and the government alike have a great perspective on how to be efficient and not be wasteful.
First of all, when you buy certain glass/plastic/aluminum cans or bottles you pay a premium. The reason for this is because when you are finished it gives everyone an incentive to keep these products so that you can return the empty bottles in exchange for cash. Even being a visitor, you ALWAYS recycle.
Next, you might notice the low prices in grocery stores, however, you might also notice that the packages are small. At least in my experience, it is important to shop only for what you need for a few days and go to the grocery store more times per week than what you may be used to. This can be very helpful to save money by not wasting the food that you buy.
The public transportation system is extremely efficient and there are multiple different forms in each city. There simply are not as many cars on the road as one may be used to seeing the United States. Instead of driving many people take advantage of the direct routes available through public transit by means of subway, tram, bus or train, there are always options available. TIP: Always make sure to have a STAMPED ticket on your person while traveling on public transit. There is not always someone directly at the door to check your tickets but transit officials frequently board the passenger areas of the trams, buses, whatever you are currently on, and check your tickets. If you cannot produce a previously stamped ticket, chances are that you will be facing a hefty fine.
Across Europe and Germany especially, travel is fast and cheap. This allows you to see more and experience more with less money and less time. Some recommendations I have gathered over some time have been helpful to book using various apps and always book ahead of time if possible. First and usually the cheapest in my eyes in "FlixBus." You can't miss them, the big green buses that typically have wifi, fully reclining seats, and are great for keeping your budget while still getting you directly to most destinations. Next, are the ICE trains that will get you there faster most times but will cost a little bit more in most cases. Finally, if you're on a serious time crunch, take a flight. Flights across Europe are quite cheap and the best service I have found is "Ryanair." I have found tickets on their app for as low as 5 Euros each way. Not that this is going to happen for every trip or every destination but if you see it, take it. If you want to travel and want to make sure to get good prices, I would recommend downloading these apps: DB Navigator (for local/regional bus, train, tram times and prices in Germany), FlixBus, Ryanair, and lastly GoEuro (this is a great app that shows you comparable prices for planes, trains and buses).
Germany is a beautiful country, with some great sights, great food and drinks, as well as some of the best people you will meet. If you are ever presented with the opportunity to travel here, I would highly recommend it. I enjoyed my time there greatly and made memories that I will cherish forever.
Thank you for reading and I hope these tips were helpful!