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Old 06-20-2007, 01:01 PM
 
Location: California
143 posts, read 392,745 times
Reputation: 65

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a lot of the old eastern block has joined the EU and become American friendly, which makes it great for the curious American!
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Old 06-20-2007, 02:17 PM
 
Location: on an island
13,386 posts, read 41,514,892 times
Reputation: 13277
Quote:
Originally Posted by iamman View Post
a lot of the old eastern block has joined the EU and become American friendly, which makes it great for the curious American!
It also makes it more expensive.
Actually, Croatia is already more expensive than it used to be, and they still haven't yet joined the EU, though I believe they will in the next couple years.
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Old 06-20-2007, 02:28 PM
 
16,092 posts, read 37,242,883 times
Reputation: 6280
I have traveled Europe by myself several times. Some might be too intimidated to do that. But I have made several good friends over there and I keep in touch with them. I might not have met them had I not been traveling alone. So, Good Luck and enjoy - this trip will boost your confidence for the rest of your life. You might want to budget some money to get a great watch in Switzerland.

Also check out lonelyplanet and the Rick Steves books for hotel and sightseeing info.

p.s. Those train seat reservations can be difficult at train stations in Italy, should you go there (and I recommend you do) so if you can plan get the reservations in advance through raileurope. But there's really something great about arriving at say Frankfurt station and thinking, well do I want to take the train to Berlin or the one to Budapest?
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Old 06-20-2007, 07:43 PM
MB2
 
Location: Sebastian/ FL
3,496 posts, read 8,804,442 times
Reputation: 2707
Default I really don't want to be the "doom and gloom" person here, but...

Quote:
Originally Posted by iamman View Post
a lot of the old eastern block has joined the EU and become American friendly, which makes it great for the curious American!
I have several cautions for you about Germany (my country), as well as europe in general.
Most all of europe is very and still american and foreigner friendly. Nonetheless, here are some "heads up" for you.....
BEFORE you go, please make copies of ALL IMPORTANT papers and credit cards, you will be taking with you. Store it in a separate suitcase, bag, carryon...etc.
Don't wear expensive jewelry...... Thieves and pick-pockets are working in such enormous groups anymore, it's scary. (And they are mainly at bus stations, train stations...tourist areas.)
If your wallet, passport, credit card is stoled, at least you have the copy and can PROOF you had it, have the number to call, and have the number of the account to freeze.......saves a lot of crucial time.
Second, do youself the favor and read travel warnings, posted by the US embassy...they usually know best, and have your best interest and well being at heart.
Don't worry about the train tickets...get the german ones here, get your butt over there, and make up your mind where you want to take the train to, and buy then.......Most of everything is also written in english, french...etc., and just about ALL germans speak english, one way or another (if not, give them a couple of beers, and they will become multi lingual )
If you need to ask for directions, don't necessary ask someone on the street...rather go into a business.
(There are bad people praying on tourists everywhere in this world!)
The possibilities are virtually ENDLESS!!!!!
And, last but not least....have a BLAST!!!!!!
P.S. Don't forget to "test drive" the german beer while you are there....*big, big grin*...)
Have fun, have fun, have fun.....
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Old 06-21-2007, 06:28 AM
 
Location: on an island
13,386 posts, read 41,514,892 times
Reputation: 13277
Quote:
Originally Posted by MovingBack2PA View Post
Second, do youself the favor and read travel warnings, posted by the US embassy...they usually know best, and have your best interest and well being at heart.
Don't worry about the train tickets...get the german ones here, get your butt over there, and make up your mind where you want to take the train to, and buy then.......Most of everything is also written in english, french...etc., and just about ALL germans speak english, one way or another (if not, give them a couple of beers, and they will become multi lingual )
If you need to ask for directions, don't necessary ask someone on the street...rather go into a business.
The German train website is the absolute best (covers many countries.)
Click on "International Guests."
You can plan your entire itinerary with its help.
And once you are in Germany, if you find an English speaking counter, they help you figure out the best deal.
Die Bahn
Petty crime can indeed happen, though with all my travels, nothing has ever happened to me <knocks on wood> whether I traveled alone or with a buddy or family. It is indeed a good idea to make copies of everything; we do this, and then use a neck pouch or money belt, keeping the copies separate.
I think sometimes the USA travel warnings might be a bit overly cautious and/or outdated but I realize that they are just trying to help.
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Old 06-21-2007, 06:41 AM
 
5,023 posts, read 4,487,929 times
Reputation: 3063
We went to Frankfurt a few years ago. Then decided to rent a car and drive to Salzburg, oh heck, we were almost in Italy so we decided to go ahead to Venice. It was the best week of our life. Then we went back to Ireland, hopped on a plane and got home to NY.

It was a fantastic experience and I hope to do it again for a longer amount of time with our boys. Travel is a HUGE education, one that you will never get in school.

Go for it, Have a blast. and be safe.
dorothy
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Old 07-19-2007, 12:04 PM
 
Location: California
143 posts, read 392,745 times
Reputation: 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by MovingBack2PA View Post
I have several cautions for you about Germany (my country), as well as europe in general.
Most all of europe is very and still american and foreigner friendly. Nonetheless, here are some "heads up" for you.....
BEFORE you go, please make copies of ALL IMPORTANT papers and credit cards, you will be taking with you. Store it in a separate suitcase, bag, carryon...etc.
Don't wear expensive jewelry...... Thieves and pick-pockets are working in such enormous groups anymore, it's scary. (And they are mainly at bus stations, train stations...tourist areas.)
If your wallet, passport, credit card is stoled, at least you have the copy and can PROOF you had it, have the number to call, and have the number of the account to freeze.......saves a lot of crucial time.
Second, do youself the favor and read travel warnings, posted by the US embassy...they usually know best, and have your best interest and well being at heart.
Don't worry about the train tickets...get the german ones here, get your butt over there, and make up your mind where you want to take the train to, and buy then.......Most of everything is also written in english, french...etc., and just about ALL germans speak english, one way or another (if not, give them a couple of beers, and they will become multi lingual )
If you need to ask for directions, don't necessary ask someone on the street...rather go into a business.
(There are bad people praying on tourists everywhere in this world!)
The possibilities are virtually ENDLESS!!!!!
And, last but not least....have a BLAST!!!!!!
P.S. Don't forget to "test drive" the german beer while you are there....*big, big grin*...)
Have fun, have fun, have fun.....

I learned while living abroad it is best to keep your hand on your wallet in a front pocket (not in the back pocket) and if possible cover it with a bag as well. while on a crowded bus, or metro, town square or busy train station. a copy of everything is a must!

I've never had anything stolen (although I have had a few 'attempted' muggins ) but i have been with people when they were pick pocketed! I like to think my 'techniques' helped.
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Old 07-19-2007, 12:27 PM
 
Location: Ohio, but moving to El Paso, TX August/September
431 posts, read 1,559,699 times
Reputation: 285
If you are a student or young adult, you can look into staying at hostels.

Also check out RyanAir's website for cheap (but shoeboxed sized) rooms.
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Old 07-20-2007, 07:11 AM
CBB
 
Location: Munich + FL, 32082
481 posts, read 2,073,920 times
Reputation: 390
Two things about Germany:

1. I don't know when you're planning to do the trip, but I just read that the engineers of the Bundesbahn (German train) are most likely to go on strike as of Aug 6, 2007. This will cause massive delays and trouble throughout the country.

2. When you're not a Caucasian, please avoid former Eastern Germany. There are lots of xenophobic dumba**es over there.
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Old 07-22-2007, 02:10 PM
 
Location: Anchorage, Alaska (most of the time)
1,226 posts, read 3,388,339 times
Reputation: 1902
Default No VISA required within the EU

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mexi-in-Arlington-Heights View Post
For which countries do I need a visa to travel in?
If you stay within the EU, you won't need a VISA (if you are an American citizen with an American passport)
Travelling in Europe - Documents you will need (http://europa.eu/abc/travel/doc/index_en.htm - broken link)

If you want to travel to Sweden (and maybe to Norway through Swe) you can go over the Öresundsbron from Copenhagen(Köpenhamn/Köbenhavn) to Malmö. It's a bit expensive perhaps (that's how I see it, don't know about your perspective) but it's faster than by ferry.
The prices:
Priser

Above is if you have a car. You can take the bus or the train from either Copenhagen to Malmö (or a town further up the country, such as Jönköping or Stockholm) or from a German town to Sweden. Unfortunately, the website I found only have the information about buses in Swedish and Danish, but there was some info about trains:
http://osb.oeresundsbron.dk/documents/document.php?obj=988 (broken link)

Good luck with what ever you do
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