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Old 08-16-2011, 08:43 PM
 
Location: California Mountains
1,448 posts, read 2,587,597 times
Reputation: 2334

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Quote:
Originally Posted by elnina View Post
It might be the law in Austria, but I didn't experienced that in Germany.
Not "presenting yourself at the district police station" .
Giving passport or Drivers License in a hotel ( to make a copy ) is normal procedure pretty much all over the Europe. In Germany, I usually stay in a hotel, or rent an apartment for several days and never had to go myself to district police station to get registered.

It's the law in most of Europe even before 9/11, but usually not enforced outside of hotels. Everyone was supposed to do it, but I can safely say not many did. It's more or less up to the property owners and tourists to adhere to the rule.

We traveled to ~25 (give or take a couple) European countries, staying half of the time in hotels and the other half in apartments. Only one apartment owner asked for our passports. We ourselves never reported to the police station, although we knew what the law said. It's not that we tried to avoid doing the right thing, but we experienced first hand the lackadaisical of the personnel involved in the recording. We took our guests to the police station three times, only once the information was written down (by hand, mind you!), the other two times, the passports were glanced at and returned to the visitors.

We spent every other winter in Austria (Germany or Italian Alps for the alternate winter) and not once the property owners asked us to do anything. If property owners take every tourist who stays in their places to the police station, or if the tourists take themselves there, I imagine the Austrian and German police forces would have to operate 24/7 throughout the winter to deal with the crowd, since those are the two countries that offer some of the best skiing and/or Christmas Markets.

Last edited by Ol' Wanderer; 08-16-2011 at 08:51 PM..
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Old 08-16-2011, 09:56 PM
 
Location: California Mountains
1,448 posts, read 2,587,597 times
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Just to lighten up the discussion, which seems to get a bit serious, I'm sharing with y'all a story about police and tourists:

One year, we had friends who stayed in our house for seven weeks while we were away. (We went back to the States for family reasons, the house was empty, the friends loved Italy, so we told them to use our home for their base while touring around.) We didn't bother to report to the police (three previous experiences were more than enough IMO) but we did introduce our friends to two neighbours before we left.

Well, either the neighbours forgot to tell everyone in town, or some concerned citizens felt the need to announce to the police the presence of two strangers among their flocks.

The week after we left, three carabinieri came (carabinieri are machine-gun-toting police,) rang the doorbell at the godforsaken hour of 7:45 AM. Our friend the husband opened the door, smiled and invited them in for coffee, believing it was the hospitable thing to do. The police did not speak English, so they stared at him suspiciously. After 10 minutes, the wife finished with her shower and came downstairs. Thank goodness, her Italian was good enough to explain the situation to everyone's satisfaction. However, since the police were there, they felt the need to ask for some IDs. Our friends' passports were in the bedroom upstairs – 35 steps up. She ran 35 steps up, took both passports out of the suitcase, and ran 35 steps down again.

While she was running up and down, the husband remembered he had a CA driver's license in his wallet, which was in his back pocket, so he showed it to the police while trying to explain (again, in English, that he had more hair in the picture.) The police looked at the driver's license, looked at him, looked at one another, shrugged, gave the license back to him, then politely wished him a good stay, and left.

Our friend the wife came downstairs; saw no one there but her husband who beamed from ear to ear at her: "You didn't think I could talk to them, didn't you?"
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Old 08-17-2011, 03:30 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,548 posts, read 39,934,465 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chatteress View Post
1. Acceptable daily budget? That's a tough question but I would prefer to spend less than $100 per night and possibly less than $50 per day miscellaneous (eating, sight-seeing, etc). Since food is an important part of any culture, I do not want to scrimp too much on eating as I want to experience authentic cuisines from each country I travel to. Eat Local WITH locals, its very cheap

2. I would love to visit London, Paris, Rome, etc but I'm open to visiting other countries ... To be honest, I would not even know where to begin in terms of planning a trip overseas
get busy with "REASONABLE" research... some points on this thread are legimate, but costs are WAY out of my 'budget'


Quote:
Originally Posted by annerk View Post
Stay outside the big cities and "commute in" via train. If you want to stay in the city, rent a flat for the week, shop at the local markets, and make your own meals--that's a huge money saver.

...
Do this ^^^^

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chatteress View Post
Thanks guys for the wonderful tips. ...It's just overwhelming the idea of traveling solo overseas and dealing with the differences in how things are done as I'd like to visit multiple countries during my visit since I'm flying for 12+ hours each way. I definitely want to make the most of my time in Europe. I'll do some research and see if it's feasible to do a trip as early as next year. I'm just not knowledgeable about exchange rates, etc in the various countries although I did great traveling to Victoria, BC in 2008 and mastered their currency (on my own, I might add).

One of my biggest concerns is the long flight from LAX, ...
Traveling SOLO is a blessing in disguise and is SO MUCH EASIER / FUN... Long Flight? Europe ? I don't think so...!!! I was commuting to Asia (19 hrs each way) long before iPods and ebooks. There is plenty to do on a long flight, including sleeping ! You will go over the pole from LAX and it is just one night, very simple. Go to sleep, wake up in Europe. Get up, have a blast. (and don't waste anymore time sleeping till on your way home !)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles in PGI View Post
Just to lighten up the discussion,

OK, most Advice seems WAY out of touch for me too. (I have no TV / Cable... and drive a $35 car that gets 50 mpg on free fryer grease) BUT I have traveled / lived / worked internationally.

thus
Quote:
How does one travel overseas to Europe cheaply ?
You are an educator, correct?

The cheapest way to travel is to get a job and have THEM pay you to travel, there are many appropriate 'teacher' ways to do this.
1) I have several friends who have taught in DoD schools throughout the world. They have found it to be VERY rewarding and fun way to travel / live. They ESPECIALLY were impressed with the quality / learning desire / behavior of the students.

2) teach in an International School (low pay, great contacts)

3) Swap homes with teachers, VERY POPULAR with Europeans and Americans.

4) Do some adjunct teaching / paid internships

5) Do a grant funded international study / research project (Very viable since about 'anywhere' teaches better than USA),

6) get a paid 'learning' project where you can bring back / deliver shared resources / technologies with other countries (popular with USAID or USDA or NGO)

7) go to 'advanced learning' program (this may still be cheaper than 'traveling')

8) go on an 'assignment' for a foundation / charity doing edu / information gathering for them

or... conventionally

1) I have traveled SAFELY with private guest homes for over 25 yrs. ~ $20 / night all over the world. Pre-screened hosts / homes with detailed host profiles so you know how to chose folks with interests that can compliment your experience. Even the homes are fully profiled (pets / smoking / currencies / transportation / # of sleeping qtrs, / age and sex of children, neighborhoods ...)

2) My family ALWAYS stays in local neighborhoods and eats / entertains as a 'national' NOT a tourist. Usually travel back roads and find all kinds of adventure, and VERY FEW 'programs'. (often stay on farms and help with chores / harvest / work)

3) MANY transportation options not covered, Most expensive is acting like a tourist (rental cars / taxis / charter buses). See how the locals travel and emulate it (I do this in USA too, mainly for time saving). In Europe / developing world it means $$$$$ savings but NOT time saving. Make your trip a 'cultural' adventure where you get immersed in THEIR culture and discover the benefits of it. (They may not seem like benefits to YOU, but remember, YOU are the odd-ball, and very well may not have the 'centuries of experience' many European cultures have struggled with each other.)

4) be VERY flexible, especially being sensitive to their culture. as in many countries eat for a LONG time, the purpose / benefit is NOT the meal.

5) be VERY adventurous. Stay at a Monastery, visit work places (schools), take time to help people and ACCEPT help from others. Smell (and pick) the roses. Smile and ask questions, take lots of side trips.

DO NOT BE LOCKED into an agenda or schedule. Get a rough idea, but enjoy the jewels in the 'delays' (they WILL happen).

I would say I could still do Europe on $50/day + transportation, BUT I would first be inclined to find a job that would pay ME to travel (It REALLY helps on your resume in the future, well worth the hassle)
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Old 08-17-2011, 11:18 AM
 
26,589 posts, read 52,277,138 times
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^^^ Excellent Advice as always

Or you could do what one of my best friends did... joined the airforce to see the world

Last edited by Ultrarunner; 08-21-2011 at 11:22 PM..
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Old 08-17-2011, 11:41 PM
 
Location: Dublin, CA
3,813 posts, read 3,656,997 times
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Another way, when my wife and I didn't have alot of money and we traveled to Europe. MOST hotels have a full breakfast included in their prices. The breakfasts are of eggs, sauguge, cold meats, cheeses, rolls, yogurt, etc. We would eat a really full breakfast. The package up some cold meats and cheese. Grab a few bread rolls, two bananas's and two apples. Put these items in our day pack. when we got hungry for lunch; if we even did, we'd get a couple cans of Coco Cola Light (diet coke) and slap the meat on the bread. Instant lunch.

Its not the greatest lunch, to be sure. But, when you are spending 30+ mins watching the Eiffel Tour, it makes it all worth it. This way, the only meal we paid for was dinner. I never saw anyone complaining about what we did either. And, i've done this sever times.
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Old 08-18-2011, 05:27 AM
 
Location: Fairfax
2,880 posts, read 6,167,376 times
Reputation: 1230
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ultrarunner View Post
^^^ Excellenat Advice as always

Or you could do what one of my best friends did... joined the airforce to see the world
Of course "the world" could end up being an airbase in North Dakota hahaha
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Old 08-18-2011, 08:11 AM
 
Location: England
24,791 posts, read 6,167,989 times
Reputation: 30389
A good, and cheap way to visit specific parts of England are caravan parks!! English people
stay in static caravans on sites all over England. They are generally about 35 feet by 12 feet.
These parks are everywhere, hundreds of them, these are for holidays, not residential. They
can be quite expensive in July and August, but quite cheap outside these months. I've stayed in them for $300 a week in June or September. They are fitted out quite nicely,
kitchen, sitting room, bedrooms and shower room. The sites normally have a bar, swimming
pool, eateries etc. There are lots of them all round the coast of England, and internally in
beauty spots. One website is www.hoseasons.co.uk. Another is www.haven.com. Just an
idea. If you have one of these caravan's, they're a good base for exploring the area around
them.
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Old 08-19-2011, 04:14 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,548 posts, read 39,934,465 times
Reputation: 23673
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil306 View Post
...we traveled to Europe. MOST hotels have a full breakfast included in their prices. The breakfasts are of eggs, sauguge, cold meats, cheeses, rolls, yogurt, etc. We would eat a really full breakfast. The package up some cold meats and cheese. Grab a few bread rolls, two bananas's and two apples. Put these items in our day pack. when we got hungry for lunch; if we even did, we'd get a couple cans of Coco Cola Light (diet coke) and slap the meat on the bread. Instant lunch.

...
a Full breakfast in Europe Hotel ! I must go back !!! the company put me up in some decent joints, but petrified Melba Toast, marmalade, and thin and salty hamon seemed to be our BEST breakfasts. (GAG A MAGGOTeek Kids insisted we go to McDonalds and get some grub. Tho we seldom listen to kids, it was great to get some Hotcakes.
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Old 08-19-2011, 04:15 AM
 
Location: Sverige och USA
702 posts, read 2,796,898 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chatteress View Post
After reading many of the responses in the Americans and Foreign Travel Thread: Americans and Foreign Travel ... I have a question for folks who thinks that Americans can travel cheaply in Europe ... HOW is it possible?

Aside from staying in hostels and other questionable motels (which I refuse to do due to safety and privacy concerns), how can Americans afford a European vacation when the currency rates does not favor Americans? Also, Please refrain from posting any drivel about cutting back on expenses as I, for one, have very few expenses and do not even own a car nor pay for cable TV! Thank you!
First, don't try to see the whole of Europe in one trip. Focus on a region and just take the time to explore that area. If you must travel to other European countries, try to use the low cast carriers like Ryanair, Easyjet, Germanwings, Norwegian, etc.

Have a credit card that does not charge foreign transaction fees. (Capital One is the biggest). Credit cards give the best exchange rates.

Never use foreign exchange companies like Travelex and Forex. Instead try to use your debit card at ATMs to get cash, but make sure your bank does not have added fees. Bank of America, for example have no fees in only a few countries like Germany, UK and Spain. Cards like Fidelity and Schwab have no fees and have no restrictions on ATM usage, which is awesome. Note, that most of Europe are now using smart cards with a chip so it might be an issue at some ATMs.

Get off the beaten path, pack plenty of picnics and don't discount a place just because it is a "hostel". In Stockholm, for example, you can find a hostel on a ship "Af Chapman" with stunning views of the city. Good luck.
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Old 08-19-2011, 01:40 PM
 
Location: on an island
13,382 posts, read 40,914,616 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChunkyMonkey View Post
In Stockholm, for example, you can find a hostel on a ship "Af Chapman" with stunning views of the city.
My kid stayed there. He loved it.
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