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Old 10-06-2017, 08:06 AM
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
37,174 posts, read 45,735,086 times
Reputation: 61897

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Quote:
Originally Posted by StealthRabbit View Post
Other Euro trip ideas:
1) A retired couple on their first trip this summer bought a used campervan and will spend 6 months in UK and Western Europe., Then resell it.
2) There are some great blogs about taking vacations via "Euro delivery cars". (Your new car purchase, delivered (to you) in Europe, but shipped home after you use it in Europe. (currently limited options are limited to only Audi, BMW, MB and Volvo.) Ends up being about 10% discount.

Porsche will do it too, but you don't get a discount.

Car / van rentals were a significant hit to our last trip, ($1k / month is typical).
We will buy 'used' next time if staying more than a month.

I know a couple from Canada who sent their mini RV to Europe in a shipping container. (It has remained there 6 yrs).

Driving on the left, is not too bad, just follow some simple rules...
  • Keep steering wheel toward center of road, (with a vehicle suited for the country)
  • Make WIDE Right turns to avoid meeting oncoming traffic...(you are CROSSING traffic when turning RIGHT (Similar to turning LEFT in Right hand drive areas)
  • Keep in the OUTSIDE lanes ' slower'
  • Watch our for tractors (they drive on the freeway)
  • Traffic Circles go CLOCKWISE.
  • Local routes seldom have signage with route number, it is typically indicated as the 'Next Town' (important to know when you enter a 6 lane 'rotary' at 60 Kph)
  • Be very cautious when passing.
When renting a car (Called 'Hire Car" in UK).
If you want an Automatic transmission RESERVE one!(automatic trannys are uncommon, ut rental companies usally keep some around for USA renters.
I had a feeling that one could acclimate pretty quickly, but Iím still not doing it. We are fully functional manual transmission drivers.
Those Brits must really hate watching for new leftside drivers.
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Old 10-06-2017, 08:11 AM
 
5,823 posts, read 10,169,058 times
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Don't go to Barcelona, there's a civil war brewing there. Even local banks are being relocated in the rest of Spain.
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Old 10-06-2017, 09:37 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,691 posts, read 40,062,283 times
Reputation: 23834
Quote:
Originally Posted by gentlearts View Post
I had a feeling that one could acclimate pretty quickly, but Iím still not doing it. We are fully functional manual transmission drivers.
Those Brits must really hate watching for new leftside drivers.
Much harder on a motorcycle / scooter (no steering wheel to center). (2) Brits rented motorcycles in SLC and pulled back out on the 2 lane road after their first fuel stop and ended their trip real quick. Both stuck to their "Wrong" lane and hit a truck (who, as a commercial vehicle was REQUIRED to stay in his lane). He flashed them, he skidded, they thought they were RIGHT, but they were LEFT. and now they are GONE.

So... it is not ez be adapt and less EZ to be always right. I often find myself on the WRONG side at my TX home. Something about the rural driveway (?). I just returned yesterday from Singapore and Malaysia (Left hand drive) and still adjusting (again). Usually it is first getting in the car to drive away, and wondering why the steering wheel is on the passenger side. My Singapore buddy did the same thing last trip to USA, just after I warned him of my mistakes, I let him out and he ran to the passenger side of his rental car and jumped in, expecting to 'Drive-off'. Whoops, "Hey, where is the STEERING WHEEL, what is it doing on the passenger side!!"
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Old 10-06-2017, 10:59 PM
 
Location: Florida Baby!
5,230 posts, read 674,172 times
Reputation: 3140
I had always wanted to go to Ireland but was never really into following through. One day at the end of July 2010 I was skimming through the newspaper and saw an add for bus tours through Ireland. All of a sudden it hit me that I should go. I told my then-husband that I was going to Ireland. Knowing that I pretty much never follow through (PLUS I hate travelling alone) he just said OK.

But I DID follow through, however, I didn't want to spend most of my time on a bus hitting 20 towns in 10 days. My wish was to check out religious landmarks and spiritual sites during the day and then go pubbing at night. So I googled something like "spiritual tours Ireland." What popped up was this:

Spiritual Journeys | Spiritual Travel | Sacred Sites Tours

...and this was the exact tour I ended up on: Sacred Travel Tours to Ireland | Ireland Holidays & Vacations

It was the best thing I ever did. I became the "accidental pilgrim" because the theme of the tour was about being on pilgrimage, and I was the very last person to book the tour. Phil Couisineau is a writer, producer (see: Global Spirit: The First Internal Travel Series - Join the Global Spirit Community) and an excellent tour guide. We got to meet many interesting speakers and Phil's enthusiasm for Ireland is palpable (he's like a kid in a candy store!)

We were fortunate as we became a very tight knit group by the end of the 2 weeks, and many of us still stay in touch via facebook. One of the ladies I met on the tour lives in Santa Barbara (we're from CT) and befriended my daughter who's currently stationed at Vandenberg AFB. She helped my daughter find a place to live and showed her around the area. This weekend Lynn is taking my daughter to the SB zoo!

Phil's tours are very popular with many repeat customers. Currently, two people from our original group are on the The Connemara Writerís Retreat with Phil. They're posting pics and checking in on FB and it's like being there all over again for the rest of us!

This is really the way to go if you want an immersive travel experience. It will change your life.
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Old 10-07-2017, 07:31 PM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
7,688 posts, read 16,133,353 times
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I would also look into the Rick Steves tours. They've got a good reputation for putting a love of travel into people instead of just shuttleing you from gift shop to gift shop where the tour guide gets commissions like some of the cheap tours do. Price-wise, they seem to be in the middle of the options.

Do spend a few extra days in London at the end. I'm firmly in the camp that thinks, as the saying goes "When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life". All tours offer add-a-day (or three or four) options, often at pretty steep rates. You can cut costs there by making your own reservations at one of those rather generic limited service hotels. There are a number of perfectly respectable European chains (Premiere Inn, Ibis & Ibis Styles, Motel One) that typically price under the brands Americans have heard of. Just check the reviews on sites like booking.com and Tripadvisor to get a feel if the current management is doing its job and how long it's been since the property has been refreshed.

For the most part, it's easy to navigate the London Tube and train system. But there are a few stations where you get 3 different lines meeting, 5+ ways to the surface and a whole bunch of patched togetherness in a system that was assembled around existing building foundations and water & sewer lines. But the signage is generally good, and if you're feeling like you've gotten turned around, just step out of the way of people walking by, regather yourself and take your time finding the right way to your next train or the correct route up to the museum.
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Old 10-08-2017, 10:44 AM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
7,688 posts, read 16,133,353 times
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I was reminded of another good tour company that has better in my eyes tour options:

https://www.roadscholar.org/
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Old 10-08-2017, 11:42 AM
 
Location: Phoenix, AZ > Raleigh, NC
15,109 posts, read 19,072,338 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beachmouse View Post
I was reminded of another good tour company that has better in my eyes tour options:

https://www.roadscholar.org/
I've heard wonderful things about Roadscholar, but it really is geared and market towards people of a 'certain age.'
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Old 10-11-2017, 05:57 AM
 
Location: Florida Baby!
5,230 posts, read 674,172 times
Reputation: 3140
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jkgourmet View Post
I've heard wonderful things about Roadscholar, but it really is geared and market towards people of a 'certain age.'
You mean me, don't cha?? Definitely will check them out once I retire.
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Old 10-20-2017, 02:18 PM
 
Location: Coastal Georgia
37,174 posts, read 45,735,086 times
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Pulled the trigger today. 12 day tour, GB, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, in May. Itís a relief to have decided.
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Old 10-21-2017, 01:55 PM
 
8,169 posts, read 8,654,862 times
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Enjoy! Don't forget to come back to this thread and tell us how it went after the tour.
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