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Old 10th August 2015, 18:02   #91
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Default Re: 2 week holiday - Where on this planet?

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I got one (from Janak Puri authority) last year myself without an agent. Seamless process actually. If you have a smart card based license, it's only a half day job.
I do have the Smart card based license, hope its the white one, about PAN card size. Can you elaborate a little on the process please.

I was checking out a few forms I found online and some ask for the proof of birth place also. Is that required?
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Old 10th August 2015, 18:11   #92
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Default Re: 2 week holiday - Where on this planet?

Yes, that's the one.

The process is quite easy actually - reach there early in the morning and fill up the form. You'll need a copy of your existing license (should be valid for more than a year from the date of IDP application), VISA & passport copy, residence & nationality proof. There are enough doctors in the compound who issue medical certificates.

Deposit the form, pay the fees and collect the IDP booklet at a designated time the same day.

Which license authority will you apply from ?

PS: The proof of birth place is actually proof of nationality. Your passport will suffice.
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Old 10th August 2015, 18:26   #93
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Default Re: 2 week holiday - Where on this planet?

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The process is quite easy actually - reach there early in the morning and fill up the form. You'll need a copy of your existing license (should be valid for more than a year from the date of IDP application), VISA & passport copy, residence & nationality proof.
Do the copies have to be attested?

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There are enough doctors in the compound who issue medical certificates.
For a fee I assume, how much? And can I get the medical beforehand or does it have to be their doctors only?

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Which license authority will you apply from ?
Chirag Delhi I think. The place where I reside is the same when I got my license made and it was from Chirag Delhi RTO. Or is there a list of RTOs who would give IDPs and not all?
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Old 10th August 2015, 19:46   #94
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Default Re: 2 week holiday - Where on this planet?

- Copies to be self attested only
- INR 100 - 200. You can get your own, no issues.
- I think all RTOs issue the license. I asked because I know that Janan Puri RTO issues it the same day, not sure about Chirag Delhi.

I suggest that you get this done asap, govt processes can get lengthy sometimes.

Edit - Carry all originals for verification.

Last edited by Eddy : 10th August 2015 at 19:47.
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Old 10th August 2015, 21:01   #95
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I didn't quite understand reflective jackets part ?!

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2. Swiss Pass - Which pass makes most sense? Or do I have finalize my places of visit before one can recommend.
Given that you are driving, am not sure Swiss Pass makes much sense (you'll not be using trains,buses that way). You get partial/full discounts on some cable car rides, but I still doubt if it will exceed induvidual tickets per ride.

Yes, finalize your places and work out the economics.
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Old 11th August 2015, 00:48   #96
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3. I read something about the vignette for using Swiss roads? Would I be able to get it from the Sixt counter or I should purchase it online?
4. What's a good place to start working on my knowledge/awareness of Swiss/German road signs etc.

You should be able to buy the vignette at the border or at any fuel station near the border. Sometimes, the rental agencies can also help you in advance (if you inform them of your Switzerland travel plan) by ordering and providing it to you when you rent. Otherwise, pretty easy to buy on your journey.

You could look up Rick Steves site for tips on driving in Europe. Apart from road signs (which are quite easy to comprehend), the one area that you should familiarise yourself with is parking systems, especially if you are going to park on the streets. There are a variety of different symbols and it will be useful to understand where it is on acceptable to park and the manner of payment of toll, if any.

In Switzerland and Germany, you will not have to worry about highway tolls.
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Old 12th August 2015, 00:19   #97
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Default Re: 2 week holiday - Where on this planet?

Here's the final list of places that we'd like to cover. In case any of these places aren't really worth the time please let me know.

I'd have 4 complete days and one half day for all this, not sure whether I can cover everything. Lakes are missing from the list as I guess I'd anyway spend some time if I'm passing by that lake or town which it is in.

1) Jungfrau - honestly, not sure if its worth the money and has views comparable to Aletsch glacier. But this seems like on top of everybody's list so maybe its a good place to be at.
2) Aletsch Glacier
3) Matterhorn - Zermatt
4) Creux du Van - Jura & Three-lakes
5) Chapel Bridge - Lucerne
6) Chillon Castle - Geneva region
7) Swissminiatur - Ticino region
8) Trift Bridge - Bernese oberland - if time permits else can strike it off
9) Aare Gorge - Bernese oberland - if time permits else can strike it off

EDIT: Most importantly, what are my cheap and best stay options? Do I stay somewhere in Bernese Oberland only as its the center point?

Last edited by fine69 : 12th August 2015 at 00:24.
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Old 17th August 2015, 23:27   #98
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Default Re: 2 week holiday - Where on this planet?

Update: I've figured out the itinerary for Switzerland, only Prague & Amsterdam remains now :P I know I'm efficient!!

I've also ordered Bernese Oberland Regional Passes, figured out the stay points etc.

Now couple of things:
1) How much forex do I carry and do I carry Euros and get it changed at each location or carry CHFR, Euros and CZK?
2) Can I stop my car to the side of the road anywhere I like or are there rules around that also?
3) Pee breaks, do I do my business like I do in India or I never ever dare to pee in open fields, only rest stops etc.? I guess I know the answer already but what the heck, I'll ask.
4) Do I have to drive with headlights on in Germany, Austria, Italy and Switzerland or only a specific country out of these?
5) What is a newbie most likely to get a ticket for?
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Old 18th August 2015, 01:09   #99
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Default Re: 2 week holiday - Where on this planet?

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Originally Posted by fine69 View Post
Now couple of things:
1) How much forex do I carry and do I carry Euros and get it changed at each location or carry CHFR, Euros and CZK?
2) Can I stop my car to the side of the road anywhere I like or are there rules around that also?
3) Pee breaks, do I do my business like I do in India or I never ever dare to pee in open fields, only rest stops etc.? I guess I know the answer already but what the heck, I'll ask.
4) Do I have to drive with headlights on in Germany, Austria, Italy and Switzerland or only a specific country out of these?
5) What is a newbie most likely to get a ticket for?
In the last 3 months, I managed to drive for 5000km+ (Local France, Pris-Interlaken, Paris-Belgium-Delft-Amsterdam) in Europe so let me try and help

1. In Switzerland, I did not encounter a single place that did not accept Euros. And they gave a pretty fair rate (100 Euros=105 CHF). So my suggestion would be carry Euros
How many is difficult because Switzerland aint cheap.

2. All motorways generally have a SOS area to stop every 20-30 minutes. But I have seen people stopping all over. In the cities, I wouldn't just stop anywhere.

3. Motorways have a gas station/food joint/washrooms/rest areas every 50 kms.

4. Curious to know the answer to this. I followed what others were doing and just had my DRLs on.

5. Speeding! Speed limits are pretty decent but roads make it hard to respect them. And there were plenty of cameras everywhere.

I don't know where you are renting the car from, but you can ask the rental company to find a car which has a Vignette 2015. Will save you 40 Euros.

Have fun!
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Old 18th August 2015, 11:16   #100
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Default 2 week holiday - Where on this planet?

In Europe you cant just stop anywhere. For instance in most European countries stopping on the motorway is strictly forbidden, unless in an emergency. Having to pee is not an emergency.

There are different rules in different countries where you can and can not stop. In built up areas you will likely see specific signs depicting where you can and cant stop and or park. Note there is a difference between being allowed to stop and to park. One thing across Europe, no matter what it is your responsibility to make sure you stop in a safe matter. So the typical Indian way of just stopping in the middle of the road and letting people out, is just not done. If there is a cop around you are likely to be fined for endangering traffic.

On most motorways you will find signs showing the distance to the next stop/petrol station so you can plan your stops accordingly


In a number of European countries it is mandatory to have your headlights on always. Not sure these days, but on the Volvo's I owned they came on as soon as you started the engine. If anything, even if not mandatory, in most countries it is advised to keep your lights on dipped during the day as well. So, I always drive with my lights on in Europe everywhere, except with my classic cars as the electrics are a bit wonky.

Last edited by Jeroen : 18th August 2015 at 11:18.
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Old 18th August 2015, 15:11   #101
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Default Re: 2 week holiday - Where on this planet?

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1. In Switzerland, I did not encounter a single place that did not accept Euros. And they gave a pretty fair rate (100 Euros=105 CHF). So my suggestion would be carry Euros
How many is difficult because Switzerland aint cheap.
I meant to ask that is there a limit to the amount of Euros I can carry from India?

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Originally Posted by akshaymahajan View Post
I don't know where you are renting the car from, but you can ask the rental company to find a car which has a Vignette 2015. Will save you 40 Euros.
I actually mailed Sixt already and they said that they wouldn't have the Vignette that's needed in Switzerland and Austria. I guess I'll purchase this once I reach there.

Or can I order it online also?

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In Europe you cant just stop anywhere. For instance in most European countries stopping on the motorway is strictly forbidden, unless in an emergency. Having to pee is not an emergency.
It could be an emergency depending on when your last rest stop was.

India has spoiled us a little too much. All these RULES!
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If anything, even if not mandatory, in most countries it is advised to keep your lights on dipped during the day as well. So, I always drive with my lights on in Europe everywhere, except with my classic cars as the electrics are a bit wonky.
I guess I'll simply drive with lights On and dipped.
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Old 18th August 2015, 16:41   #102
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Default Re: 2 week holiday - Where on this planet?

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I meant to ask that is there a limit to the amount of Euros I can carry from India?


I actually mailed Sixt already and they said that they wouldn't have the Vignette that's needed in Switzerland and Austria. I guess I'll purchase this once I reach there.

Or can I order it online also?


It could be an emergency depending on when your last rest stop was.

India has spoiled us a little too much. All these RULES!

I guess I'll simply drive with lights On and dipped.
Whoops. I dont know that actually. I remember reading it was USD 10000 without any deceleration if bought with a bill. Double check as I prefer carrying Forex cards now and haven't had to go over 10k ever.

And no, you cant buy them online AFAIK. I bought mine from a gas station just 100 m inside the Swiss border. Funny Sixt told you that, considering many people like me do return cars with a vignette attached to the windscreen. Check again at the counter once when you pick the car. Also Sixt has done this to me twice so remember to double check: they always add GPS charges in the bill even though neither did my car have an inbuilt unit and nor did I rent one.
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Old 18th August 2015, 19:54   #103
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Default Re: 2 week holiday - Where on this planet?

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I meant to ask that is there a limit to the amount of Euros I can carry from India?
I don't think you will hit the limit if you are carrying reasonable amounts of cash. Also if you have an international debit card, it will work at cash machines in Europe, and the charges are quite manageable.

My suggestion is to carry about EUR 100-120 per day for expenses, other than hotel stay, car rental and train/entry tickets, which are on actuals. This will cover 2 meals a day (non fancy), couple of coffee stops, incidental local expenses, petrol and local transport. But also have a card option in case you are overshooting (usually shopping and partying are the culprits)

Goes without saying, Switzerland (and maybe Amsterdam) will be more expensive, and I am guessing Czech will be cheaper (guessing because I have never been there).
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Old 18th August 2015, 20:09   #104
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Goes without saying, Switzerland (and maybe Amsterdam) will be more expensive
Amsterdam isn't expensive, we were there just 3 months back. And would conform to the 100-120 /day budget (infact would be well within that). Yes, Switzerland is very expensive. Just for comparison, an Indian restaurant visit in Lucerne costed about 115 in comparison to around 30 in Paris (for a family of 2.5).
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Old 22nd August 2015, 20:53   #105
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Amsterdam isn't expensive, we were there just 3 months back.
Stay in Amsterdam is really expensive, way more expensive than Switzerland. For now I've booked a hotel but its the smallest room in the entire trip and the costliest!
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