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Old 13th June 2015, 21:46   #61
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I have my doubts on buses. Intercity buses are pretty rare, I've mostly seen only short haul airport-nearby city kind of buses. I'd say if you don't have direct (or one stopper) trains, please fly. Not worth it with luggage in tow.

.

I can assure you that intercity buses is not a problem at all. In fact, Munich has excellent bus services. Luggage is well taken care of in the stowage. Don't worry about taking a bus.

For flight tickets please compare with the prices quoted directly on the airline site.
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Old 14th June 2015, 12:34   #62
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Default Re: 2 week holiday - Where on this planet?

So I read this - http://www.theguardian.com/money/201...ing-ripped-off

Now how do I go about the car rental process?

I read that economycarrentals.com is merely a broker and at times the experience has been very unpleasant when they directed the customer to a small local car rental provider.

I don't mind paying 2-3k extra for peace of mind.

About the insurance, does the above article make sense. While I can easily take the insurance from outside but what about the claim settlement process in case there is damage. I can't go there again in case there are legal hassles.

And why would it be better to buy the basic deal online and then upgrade to insurance and all at their front desk. Wouldn't the deal be better online?
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Old 15th June 2015, 16:38   #63
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I read that economycarrentals.com is merely a broker and at times the experience has been very unpleasant when they directed the customer to a small local car rental provider.

I don't mind paying 2-3k extra for peace of mind.

About the insurance, does the above article make sense. While I can easily take the insurance from outside but what about the claim settlement process in case there is damage. I can't go there again in case there are legal hassles.

And why would it be better to buy the basic deal online and then upgrade to insurance and all at their front desk. Wouldn't the deal be better online?
I have used economycarrentals.com 3 times and never had a problem. On 2 occasions the rental was through Enterprise and once through Europcar. But this is only my experience and others may have less kind words to say about them. On 2 occasions that I had booked in advance for long rentals, car was in fact better than advertised. Once I booked at 6pm for a pick-up the following morning at 9am, the rental company only had a car one notch below what I had booked. They agreed to reduce the tariff a little bit and I agreed to compromise on the category. The car itself was in excellent condition.

At the end of the day, they are an intermediary and the booking provider may either goof up or not honour his commitment. This can happen irrespective of whether you do the booking directly with the car agency or through economycarrentals.com.

Insurance is a complicated subject, and every rental company will try to upsell insurance to cover the excess, which is very expensive. Avoid buying at the counter. I don't think it makes a difference if you buy it directly at the time of booking, the charge is still the same. But 3rd party providers may be cheaper. I would suggest research this topic a bit before buying excess insurance. And ask around on other forums here - maybe the international driving thread.
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Old 15th June 2015, 17:10   #64
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At the end of the day, they are an intermediary and the booking provider may either goof up or not honour his commitment. This can happen irrespective of whether you do the booking directly with the car agency or through economycarrentals.com.
Hmm...makes sense.

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Insurance is a complicated subject, and every rental company will try to upsell insurance to cover the excess, which is very expensive. Avoid buying at the counter. I don't think it makes a difference if you buy it directly at the time of booking, the charge is still the same. But 3rd party providers may be cheaper. I would suggest research this topic a bit before buying excess insurance. And ask around on other forums here - maybe the international driving thread.
When you booked online, were you able to get the Zero Excess option on economycarrentals.com? I'm not able to find it.

Isn't zero excess a good thing even if I have to pay extra. I mean what happens if there's a dent on the car. Wouldn't I have to pay for all damages up to ~800 Euros (Excess amount) as per the rental terms & conditions?
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Old 15th June 2015, 17:56   #65
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When you booked online, were you able to get the Zero Excess option on economycarrentals.com? I'm not able to find it.
It should be available as an add-on, but I did not elect for it through economycarrentals.com. I would suggest avoid doing through them as I am suspicious of how this would be executed and honoured.

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Isn't zero excess a good thing even if I have to pay extra. I mean what happens if there's a dent on the car. Wouldn't I have to pay for all damages up to ~800 Euros (Excess amount) as per the rental terms & conditions?
In principle I agree. Though there is still an amount (much lower than EUR800 though) which will be withheld in case of damage, till the claim is closed. I was just saying that there may be a more cost effective way of getting this insurance, than either economycarrentals.com or the rental company. But please seek more knowledgeable advice than mine on this topic.
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Old 17th June 2015, 10:52   #66
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Default Re: 2 week holiday - Where on this planet?

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Originally Posted by fine69 View Post
When you booked online, were you able to get the Zero Excess option on economycarrentals.com? I'm not able to find it.

Isn't zero excess a good thing even if I have to pay extra. I mean what happens if there's a dent on the car. Wouldn't I have to pay for all damages up to ~800 Euros (Excess amount) as per the rental terms & conditions?
Hey so I see you're renting in Munich. Munich is BMW heaven, and Sixt has a tie up with BMW. Just saying.

My suggestion is to still book through Sixt directly. Good chance of getting a free upgrade, and fully loaded and very new cars.

For the excess waiver, you will get options in Sixt while booking to lower it to 300 euros or 200 euros. All those options are present while booking.

EDIT - Also check your credit cards, I know some Visa cards give you complimentary Hertz gold membership which could benefit you since you are renting for a couple of days.

Last edited by Akshay1234 : 17th June 2015 at 10:54.
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Old 17th June 2015, 11:43   #67
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My suggestion is to still book through Sixt directly. Good chance of getting a free upgrade, and fully loaded and very new cars.
Sixt is costing me 250% when compared to economycarrentals.com. I really wanted to rent through sixt but 2.5x is a little too steep.
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Old 17th June 2015, 13:00   #68
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Default Re: 2 week holiday - Where on this planet?

Another question, since I'm planning to land in Prague and then go through several other countries. Is it possible that I might not even get a Visa in the first place?
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Old 17th June 2015, 13:11   #69
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Another question, since I'm planning to land in Prague and then go through several other countries. Is it possible that I might not even get a Visa in the first place?
Why not? Czech Rep is in Schengen and there is no reason for them to deny you a visa. Quite routine for Schengen visa holders to travel through multiple countries.
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Old 17th June 2015, 13:12   #70
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Default Re: 2 week holiday - Where on this planet?

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Originally Posted by fine69 View Post
Isn't zero excess a good thing even if I have to pay extra. I mean what happens if there's a dent on the car. Wouldn't I have to pay for all damages up to ~800 Euros (Excess amount) as per the rental terms & conditions?
No doubt, getting zero excess is a very good thing and will give you complete piece of mind when driving the car. But as has been discussed here - Zero Excess can get costly. IF you do decide to opt for it and are worried about settlement procedures, don't buy it at the time of booking. Buy it otc when you are picking up your car. Also, if you do buy at the counter while picking up your car, the rental company / agent will usually give / offer a free upgrade - which sometime can be substantial and a very pleasant surprise.

Another option is to buy insurance for car driving holidays abroad here in India. I never really explored this option - but I think ICICI and maybe Bajaj-Allianz offer it. You will have to check this out. As I said I dont have much idea about for this option and you may again wonder about the settlement procedures, which will in all probability be reimbursement type.

Having said that - I did not opt for zero excess but for SCDW (super collision damage waiver) and - just drive carefully and make sure that wherever you stay has covered / in house / designated parking slots. It is so much easier to drive abroad and you will witness this fact in that hardly any vehicles on the road will bear scratches / dents etc!

Last edited by PGNarain : 17th June 2015 at 13:17.
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Old 17th June 2015, 21:59   #71
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Default Re: 2 week holiday - Where on this planet?

So I booked 3 hotels across Amsterdam and Prague today and all of the hotels charged me 1 day worth of stay. When I wrote to them they said that they are just blocking the amount and not really charging it and that's the only way to pre-authorize the credit cards and check their authenticity.

How does this work with Credit Cards? Is this amount not going to show up in my next credit card statement? Any idea guys?
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Old 17th June 2015, 22:40   #72
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How does this work with Credit Cards? Is this amount not going to show up in my next credit card statement? Any idea guys?
Yes Fine. This is how it works. This won't show up till you actually swipe during check out.

Having sad that please check and read carefully the hotel cancellation policies. They do initiate charges on no-show.
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Old 18th June 2015, 06:48   #73
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Yes Fine. This is how it works. This won't show up till you actually swipe during check out.

Having sad that please check and read carefully the hotel cancellation policies. They do initiate charges on no-show.
Travellers!

Suggest you use Booking.com like I have been doing for the last dozen odd years. You get to book the hotel. They take your card as a guarantee and for the most part you only get charged when you actually stay. But do read the fine print around each hotel you book because sometimes individual hotels do block an amount on your card and there are cancellation fees depending on the season and the hotel. But 95% of the time I ve never had to pay anything until I actually stayed.

Ref the 2 week holiday - a perfect place to consider is Australia.
Lovely for 2 weeks. Singapore Airlines and Malaysian are offering superb fares right now. Visa cost is about 7K per head.
You can have a real blast for 4 lacs if that is your budget!
Have fun!
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Old 18th June 2015, 12:59   #74
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Default Re: 2 week holiday - Where on this planet?

I was using booking.com only. Just got responses from the hotels that they've only blocked the amount, will wait for the credit card statement to conclude whether it really doesn't show up in that.

Amsterdam is a REALLY expensive place to stay, I mean sharing a 6-12 bed hostel is costing higher than what I'd pay for staying in a 3-4 star hotel in Munich, wow!

EDIT: Any recommendations for the area I should stay in Prague, Amsterdam & Munich?

I'll be in Prague for 2-3 nights, 1 night in Munich and 3 nights in Amsterdam.

Last edited by fine69 : 18th June 2015 at 13:03.
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Old 18th June 2015, 14:12   #75
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Amsterdam is a REALLY expensive place to stay, I mean sharing a 6-12 bed hostel is costing higher than what I'd pay for staying in a 3-4 star hotel in Munich, wow!

EDIT: Any recommendations for the area I should stay in Prague, Amsterdam & Munich?

.
Yes, although I rarely stay in hotels in the Netherlands, as we have our own home () I do know hotel prices are high compared to other countries especially Germany.

I would suggest to try and get yourself a hotel in the centre. Of course, it is not going to be cheap, but it will get you close to all the interesting places, its nice to be walking around any part of Amsterdam city, be it strolling along the canals, the little lanes, shopping streets etc. So it just saves time. Also, Im not sure if moving outside the city centre would get you a much cheaper hotel. Just to put things into perspective, Amsterdam Airport, (Schiphol) to Amsterdam City centre is about 20 minutes by taxi. The Hague about 35 minutes. This is the most densily populated part of the Netherlands with lots of commuters, business and tourist alike.

Good luck and I hope you will enjoy Amsterdam

Jeroen
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