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Old 11-30-2012, 06:41 AM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,651,031 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil306 View Post
One of the greatest travel advices I ever received:

Take half of what you pack. Take double the amount of money you think you are going too need.
This is so true. I travel with a 20" roll-on suitcase and a tote bag whether I'm going for three days or three weeks. Not having to check a bag, being able to utilize public transit even where I need to go up and down stairs to do so, and having very little to keep track of makes a huge difference.

Also don't ever spend your last money thinking the trip is almost over. On my most recent trip our flight was delayed by almost eight hours, causing me to miss my connection which meant an extra hotel night in a very expensive city. (I'm too old to sleep in an airport.) I also had to pay for several extra meals.

I have seen people numerous times in airports when they've missed connections or had their flights cancelled who have spent their last few dollars and can't even scrape together enough money to get something off the dollar menu at McDonalds.

It's one thing to spend down your foreign currency on your last day, but you should always hold back enough to buy a meal or two, and have an emergency credit card.
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:25 AM
 
7,078 posts, read 2,617,892 times
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You may want to consider renting short term studio through a site like VRBO. It can often be cheaper than a hotel room. Usually there is a kitchenette so it can also help reduce food costs. Just came back from Rome so if you go there here a few tips.

If you plan on going in the coluseum buy the Roma Pass. It's good for three days and covers most museums and archeological sites. It also covers use of metro and buses. It is especially useful in avoiding the hour or more line to get ito the Colosseum. You can get it online or at locations in Rome (one location is across the street from the Coloseum). Roma Pass costs 30 euro.

When using buses and trains remmeber to validate the ticket in the validation machine. Buying a ticket is not enough. It must be stamped by the validation machine. If a conductor sees your ticket is not validated it is a 50 euro fine.

You can eat cheaper across the Tiber in Travestere than in Ancient Rome. Also, no need to tip in Italy. It is not customary.

You can see alot of great artwork in churches which are free, There are closed between 1-4:30 pm so plan accordingly.

Use a money belt when taking the bus or around major crowded sites like the Trevi fountain. Rome is famous for pick pockets.
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Old 11-30-2012, 10:36 AM
 
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Actually it is customary to leave a small tip in Rome (and most of Europe), generally round the check up to the nearest Euro or if that's only a few cents, add an extra Euro or three depending on the size of the check.
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Old 12-08-2012, 09:45 AM
 
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Cheapest! Way to travel around in Europe is flying with Ryanair. Its a low cost airline. Using the Train is VERY expensive.
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Old 12-08-2012, 02:17 PM
 
Location: Dublin, CA
3,813 posts, read 3,662,669 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annerk View Post
This is so true. I travel with a 20" roll-on suitcase and a tote bag whether I'm going for three days or three weeks. Not having to check a bag, being able to utilize public transit even where I need to go up and down stairs to do so, and having very little to keep track of makes a huge difference.

Also don't ever spend your last money thinking the trip is almost over. On my most recent trip our flight was delayed by almost eight hours, causing me to miss my connection which meant an extra hotel night in a very expensive city. (I'm too old to sleep in an airport.) I also had to pay for several extra meals.

I have seen people numerous times in airports when they've missed connections or had their flights cancelled who have spent their last few dollars and can't even scrape together enough money to get something off the dollar menu at McDonalds.

It's one thing to spend down your foreign currency on your last day, but you should always hold back enough to buy a meal or two, and have an emergency credit card.
When I was alot younger, my girlfriend (now wife) and I went to Disneyworld. We were kids back then and I didn't even have a credit card. Well, it was the last day there and I didn't even have enough money to take a taxi to the airport, to fly home. Of course, the airplane tickets were paid for. Luckily for me, the hotel agreed to cash a check for me for $50.00 bucks. Funny, I do all my transactions online now and I don't even have a checkbook anymore.

Ever since then, I always carry one credit card with a significant credit limit and stash away at least 100 bucks in my wallet, for just such an emergency. Its amazing how stupid mistakes shape how you do things in the future.
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Old 12-09-2012, 02:38 PM
 
Location: NYPD"s 30th Precinct
2,449 posts, read 4,444,854 times
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I went with a couple friends around Europe in May/June of 2009. We were gone about 3 weeks and went to Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Budapest, and Barcelona.

We got round trip airfare from JFK for $600, which is tough to do nowadays, but can be done for close to that if you try. Play around with Kayak's tool here. Tell it how much you're willing to spend on airfare, and it will show you everywhere in the world you can get. Just taking a quick glance at it, there's a roundtrip fare from JFK to Amsterdam in February for $632.

For transportation, we flew from JFK into our first city, Amsterdam, then took the train to Berlin for around 40 EUR, took a train from Berlin to Prague for something like 30 EUR, then a bus from Prague to Budapest for $20, and then a one way flight on Wizz Air from Budapest to Barcelona for around $90.

Our hostel in Amsterdam was the most expensive one at about $50 a night (we paid a little extra to have a 4 person room, so you can get that cost down if you're willing to bunk with more people). Prague was $22 a night, Budapest was $24 a night, Barcelona was $32 a night, and I can't find the confirmation e-mail from Berlin, but was around $30ish a night as well. So all of our lodging for the whole trip was $500ish per person.

Add that to what our transportation cost (roundtrip flight from the states, 2 train rides, 1 bus, and 1 plane from from BUD to BCN) and we spent about $1,300 per person on transportation and lodging. Obviously you're going to be spending hundreds of dollars on going out and seeing the sights and whatnot on top of that.

I think the cities you're looking at are a bit more expensive, so keep that in mind. In Prague, we had a night or two where we just stayed in the big lounge area at the hostel with a ton of people. We'd walk to the local corner store and grab a bunch of beer for around $1 each and just party at the hostel the whole night.
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