Are you traveling to Germany? 6 questions to ask yourself before you leave – Lonely Planet

Oktoberfest, Christmas markets and ski trips in the Alps make Germany a year-round destination – but this beautiful country really shines in summer.

However, COVID-19, European flight chaos and extreme weather conditions across the continent are all factors that could impact travelers heading there this summer and beyond. Do you have a trip planned or are you planning to go to Germany soon? Here are 6 questions to ask yourself before you leave.

1. Have you packed FFP2 masks?

Wearing a medical grade mask is mandatory on flights to and from Germany when boarding, on board the aircraft and when disembarking. Only medical grade masks (FFP2, KN95 and N95 masks without values) are allowed, although there may be some deviations when departing from Germany depending on where you are heading. According to German airline Lufthansa, on all flights to and from the United States, all passengers over the age of two must wear masks.

Pack at least a few masks, as you will also need FFP2 masks once you arrive: passengers are required to wear them on public transport across the country. Get some ahead of time to be ready for your flight and the drive to your accommodation, but others will be readily available from pharmacies and shops to stock up on arrival.

How to get around in Germany

People stand on the platform wearing masks and waiting for a train.
Traveling to Germany made easy this year, but don’t forget to pack a mask © Shutterstock / hanohiki

2. Do you have a €9 public transport pass?

When Germany announced it would be launching a new €9 monthly pass for the summer, it made headlines around the world, delighting locals and travelers to the country.

The ticket, which applies to the entire calendar month at the time of purchase, entitles its holder to unlimited travel on all buses, U-Bahn, S-Bahn, trams and local and regional trains. However, this does not apply to long-distance intercity trains like IC or ICE.

Either way, the pass is an amazing deal for anyone visiting Germany, giving travelers the freedom to explore as much local transport as possible. The ticket offer only lasts until August 31, 2022, so make the most of it if you visit next month.

Explore Germany for €9 this summer: here are the best routes

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3. Are you ready for the hot weather?

While Germany typically experiences hot summers, Europe once experienced a killer heat wave in July. Much of the extreme heat has so far affected Portugal, Spain and the UK, but Germany has also reached temperatures as high as 38 C (100 F).

The heat has passed for now, but August could bring warmer days. Be prepared for high temperatures with clothes that will keep you comfortable, and pack a refillable water bottle and use it frequently.

How to stay cool while traveling as extreme heat waves continue in the US and Europe

Friends having fun at the lake in summer.
Berlin is full of stunning lakes and beaches where you can swim © Luis Alvarez / Getty Images

4. If it’s hot, have you planned a trip to the beach?

A day at the beach might not be the first thing that comes to mind when traveling to Germany, but the country is home to incredible lakes, urban beaches and Baltic Sea and the North Sea. Join the locals as they cool off at some of the country’s finest swimming spots.

The best beaches in Germany

5. Is your flight with Lufthansa?

It is no secret that Europe is one of the regions suffering from airport chaos; passengers were hit by long queues, lost luggage and canceled flights. German airline Lufthansa has canceled thousands of flights this summer, in Germany and on short-haul routes, due to staffing issues and strikes. Although the airline will notify passengers of cancellations and, if possible, rebook you on another flight, it is always best to check your flight status to make sure everything is sorted out before you fly.

Lufthansa also advises passengers to use their online services, as digital check-in is permitted 23 hours before departure. There is also a free digital document verification service for COVID-19 documentation that can be used between 72 and 8 hours before your trip. This can be used to show proof of vaccination or a test if this is required for your trip.

Airport chaos in Europe: how to deal with delays, cancellations and strikes

Two backpacks are placed in the doorway.
Make sure your luggage is easily recognizable to you © sigurcamp / Getty Images

6. What color is your luggage?

If you’re flying to Frankfurt Airport this summer, make sure your bag isn’t black. According to the Guardian, German media reported that the airport – which is a major transfer hub in Europe – attributed some of the lost baggage delays to too many similar-looking bags as they take longer time to be identified and returned to their owners.

While the airport’s reasoning for the baggage chaos has raised some eyebrows, it’s a good reminder to make sure your bags are clearly identifiable to you. When a passenger’s bag is lost, they must fill out a form describing what their bag looks like: colored bags, stickers, labels and other customizations can make it easier to identify yours — and therefore return it to you.

Another option is to try carrying only hand luggage, but if you need more luggage and want to be as secure as possible, you can always try electronic luggage tags.

What to do when an airline loses your luggage

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