Umbrellas are seen in front of the sea at Falaserna (Phalasarna) beach on the western coast of Crete island on May 15, 2021. - Tourists basked in the warmth, sun and crystal waters of Crete for long-awaited holidays as Greece kickstarted its tourism season after last year's pandemic misery. (Photo by Louisa GOULIAMAKI / AFP) (Photo by LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP via Getty Images)
CNN  — 

What awaits American visitors to Europe this summer is a byzantine and constantly-changing array of Covid-related restrictions and registration requirements. It’s sort of like shifting mask mandates in the US, just with lots of paperwork and foreign languages thrown in. This is what I discovered on my Kafkaesque odyssey to Greece in June as an eager but under-prepared American.

Would I do it again? In a heartbeat. But first, here are all the mistakes my husband and I made on our six-day trip to Europe (about all we could swing with two toddlers at home), so that you don’t make the same ones.

When we arrived at a mostly empty Newark airport on a Sunday night, the Lufthansa check-in agent told us we would not, even as fully vaccinated travelers, be allowed out of the airport into Germany if we missed our connecting flight from M