Worth looking into. Most banks will charge an international fee every time you use your card plus atm fee. Commonwealth bank have an awesome travel money card best around.
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02-11-2012 21:57 #31
Re: Travel tips - 3 weeks in europe
03-11-2012 15:20 #32
yeah I used a travel card (NAB). You could load different currencies too, so no fees.
I didnt find any hassles in relation to personal safety or pickpockets. Just took basic care. I had a cross body bag, and made sure that if I was in a big crowd I had my hand on the top.
the trains are fantastic and easy (I assume that is how you are getting around). For the Eurostar London to Paris you need to check in 30 minutes before, but all other trains you just need to be there a few minutes before the train leaves.
Only places that really had me a little concerned was
- around Sacre Couer (loads of dodgy people)
- eiffel tower at night
- trevi fountain in Rome and
- a couple of times on the metro there were people causing a disturbance/distraction type thing.
Basically if someone comes up to you and asks you something, tries to sell you something or offers to take your photo etc ... hold onto your bag and just be polite but strong.
We did a couple of the Hop on Hop Off buses - some where good and some where crap, just depends on which ones you used and how much time you had. Look carefully at the actual loop they do and whether that fits your timing/itinerary before you commit. Mostly if you know where you want to go, the metro/bus and taxi's are cheaper.
the app Paris2go is great ... has offline map of paris with gps which does not need cellular data turned on.
I didnt bother too much with language. In the bigger cities most people spoke enough english to get by, and as long as you were polite they were happy to help. (learn excuse me, please and thank you in all the languages of countries you are going to).
I actually found french people really helpful and friendly.
03-11-2012 17:00 #33
There are a zillion things to do and see in London. I would recommend spending day 1 on a hop-on-hop-off bus tour. You will get to cram as much as you can in one day.
European cities can be extremely expensive though. Take pre-packed lunches and drinks if possible. I would recommend going into a Boots to get a sandwich and drink if needed - it's probably the cheapest and most ready option.
Comfy shoes are a must as you will most likely spend most of the time walking. I spent 3 days walking around Paris and my feet hurt for a week afterwards. Everyone was so amazingly stylish and there was I in jeans and trainers letting the side down.
How much of the languages do you know? There are some basic words I would try and master in each language where possible or take a phrase book and point to the words.
Hello, Goodbye, Yes, No, One, Where is/are the toilets, I don't speak (insert language), Please, Thank you, Here, I am Australian.
You can then point to a menu or food in a counter and say "one please" in the language, you can point to a map if you're in a taxi and say "here please", you can ask .
Take change for the toilets. In my experience it's worth paying for toilets as ones that don't cost can be, well, rather scary.
Be prepared to see beggars and be approached by beggars. If you don't want to give them anything then just say a firm "no" and walk on.
Some European countries charge you more for sitting at a table than for standing at a counter to eat/drink.
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