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Old 22nd November 2009, 17:13   #151
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Wonderful narration of your travel. I was in Switzerland for the past 3 weeks. Will post my experiences in a new thread once I get time.
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Old 22nd November 2009, 21:17   #152
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Arrow Costs Of The Trip

@LLL: Attaching excel sheet of the cost work out. The cost with Thmoas Cook is a secret; got a corporte rate, what I have given is normal printed rates, I'd be breaking a promise if I give details of inclusions and actual rate; sufface it to say it's much lesser than what's in the attachment. The UK costs are correct.

@arsudarsan: Thanks. Would be great to get your t-log with photos and details. Go for it..
Attached Files
File Type: xls EU+UK -COSTSOCT 09.xls (16.5 KB, 275 views)
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Old 24th November 2009, 19:28   #153
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Thanks Ramky. The sheet helps a lot.
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Old 8th March 2010, 13:52   #154
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I just checked out today and the details were good. I'll go through the entire thread in my free time. I'm planning for a trip to UK. Is it possible to go on a European tour from with Indian tour operators or we shall choose from here only?
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Old 8th March 2010, 17:02   #155
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I just checked out today and the details were good. I'll go through the entire thread in my free time. I'm planning for a trip to UK. Is it possible to go on a European tour from with Indian tour operators or we shall choose from here only?
Ideal to go with a known Indian operator and choose from here because:
  1. They try to give Indian Cusine and know the hotels where Indian food is available.
  2. Explain in English and Hindi historical data (when english alone is a problem for some people in the group)
  3. Know the psychology and kinds of an Indian tourist like fasts, temple/mosques/churches etc.
Foreign Operators like KonTiki and others who operate off UK are also OK if you are fine with a predominant white crowd and the cultural differences it brings with them.

All depends on the prespective of the person traveling/ his family needs etc.,

Have a nice trip and search the web for some reviews of the operators. The best I found was Thomas Cook, though expensive, they did a professional job in Europe. I would strongly suggest you terminate in UK, hire a self-drife car drive off to Lake District and driv around there, you'd have a grand time there.

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Old 8th March 2010, 17:13   #156
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You can also approach startours.co.uk from UK. They organise very good coach tours around europe starting and terminating in UK. You get indian food. Even vegetarians are specially taken care off.
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Old 13th March 2010, 14:28   #157
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How did you access Internet in UK and Europe? Did you carry a Laptop? What are the charges in case of accessing Internet Cafe'?

Are the Matrix Cards worth? It says the SIM Card is Free and free Incoming Calls in UK. Even they're issuing Data Card for Internet, which I've to enquire about the Cost.
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Old 13th March 2010, 15:41   #158
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaaz View Post
How did you access Internet in UK and Europe? Did you carry a Laptop? What are the charges in case of accessing Internet Cafe'?

Are the Matrix Cards worth? It says the SIM Card is Free and free Incoming Calls in UK. Even they're issuing Data Card for Internet, which I've to enquire about the Cost.
Internet cafe's are one thing you'd love in UK. it ranges anything from 50 pence per hour to 2 gbp per hour depending on the place.

In Europe, it's slightly costlier. So I'd suggest to take a mobile that can be used as a modem. You can take prepaid sims there (which will come with internet bolt-ons, where you pay a fixed amout for some fixed amount of browsing). Getting a pre-paid sim is damn easy over there. Use the sim on your mobile and use the mobile as a modem. You can get real good speeds and you get internet on the go!

If you travel in UK on nationalrail, you get free wifi there. So do some of the bus services, which offer free wifi.

Just don't bother about data card. Surf this way.


You can save on costs by going over to the cyber cafes where available
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Old 13th March 2010, 17:00   #159
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Internet cafe's are one thing you'd love in UK. it ranges anything from 50 pence per hour to 2 gbp per hour depending on ...............

If you travel in UK on nationalrail, you get free wifi there. So do some of the bus services, which offer free wifi.

Just don't bother about data card. Surf this way.

You can save on costs by going over to the cyber cafes where available
I used Uniconnect for voice calls which worked for me. I've explained details in Post No.35, in this thread.

For Internet, the places we stayed at like Park Inn Hotel, London and other Bread and Breakfast places in Inverness & Keswick has wi-fi free (we ensured this while booking in). In our relatives places in Bristol and Croydon also they were wired so we had no problems in being connected to the world.

I'd again suggest for voice calls, buy a local card with your passport, its much much more cheaper than any international card. For Internet access, lots of internet cafes around and many public places free wi-fi.

---
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Old 13th March 2010, 17:11   #160
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ramkya1 View Post
I'd again suggest for voice calls, buy a local card with your passport, its much much more cheaper than any international card. For Internet access, lots of internet cafes around and many public places free wi-fi.

---
I'd also suggest 3 mobile sim there in UK. Incoming is free. You can take a bundle of internet for 5 GBP for a month (there's download limit of 1gb I guess).
So anytime you want, you can connect your mobile to your laptop and use it as a modem to start surfing the net with 3 mobile. Takes 1 min to set it up and surf.
3 mobile offers the cheapest internet through mobile there.
Look out for free wifi as Ramkya suggested. Most bed and breakfast offer free wi-fi!
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Old 15th March 2010, 13:18   #161
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Well, thanks for your replies. The Idea of carrying Mobile is good and convenient. But my Mobile Nokia N73 doesn't have Wi-fi. And I'm in a fix whether I should carry my Laptop? It may become another Luggage for me since I'll be travelling with a kid and wife. Anyhow, I got the details and thanks for both of you.

I've got one more query - What are the hire charges per day for the Cars? - the range starting from a hatch and upto a Sedan. Don't bother about the Luxury Models, I need only the lower end models. The Deposit part and Fuel part, I understood, but the actual per day charges, I didn't understand. Also, are there any Scooters available in the same way (Hire) - I heard London is too congested (Parking Problem) and also you need to pay some 8 pounds Congestion Charges each time you enter into Central London.
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Old 15th March 2010, 13:47   #162
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaaz View Post
Well, thanks for your replies. The Idea of carrying Mobile is good and convenient. But my Mobile Nokia N73 doesn't have Wi-fi. And I'm in a fix whether I should carry my Laptop? It may become another Luggage for me since I'll be travelling with a kid and wife. Anyhow, I got the details and thanks for both of you.

I've got one more query - What are the hire charges per day for the Cars? - the range starting from a hatch and upto a Sedan. Don't bother about the Luxury Models, I need only the lower end models. The Deposit part and Fuel part, I understood, but the actual per day charges, I didn't understand. Also, are there any Scooters available in the same way (Hire) - I heard London is too congested (Parking Problem) and also you need to pay some 8 pounds Congestion Charges each time you enter into Central London.
just go to any rental company's website (for UK it's co.uk mostly). They'll give you the rates online and you can as well book it. The rates tend to increase with the days passing.

Scooters are hard to find. And what will you do in a scooter with a kid and a wife?
Yes the congestion charges of 8 gbp applies in Central london (or zone 1 as they call it). Check with the rental agencies. Sometimes it is covered in the per day rent itself, in which case you don't need to pay separately.

Further, parking in central london doesn't come free. You may get cheaper tickets to scotland than parking charges there!
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Old 19th March 2010, 14:26   #163
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just go to any rental company's website (for UK it's co.uk mostly).

Scooters are hard to find. And what will you do in a scooter with a kid and a wife?

We'll be leaving the Kid with our Cousins. Only two of us wanted to enjoy if the weather permits.

Further, parking in central london doesn't come free. You may get cheaper tickets to scotland than parking charges there!
Rightly said. So it's better take the Metro or walk walk and walk.
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Old 19th March 2010, 16:41   #164
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Wow .Amazing just enjoyed your travelogue , have been planning a similar trip thru TC along with my friend in sep this year . will definelty print this thread and keep it for ref. BTW are you from tamilnadu , some comparison to places around here .
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Old 19th March 2010, 17:32   #165
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaaz View Post
Well, thanks for your replies. The Idea of carrying Mobile is good and convenient. But my Mobile Nokia N73 doesn't have Wi-fi. And I'm in a fix whether I should carry my Laptop? It may become another Luggage for me since I'll be travelling with a kid and wife. Anyhow, I got the details and thanks for both of you.

I've got one more query - What are the hire charges per day for the Cars? - the range starting from a hatch and upto a Sedan. Don't bother about the Luxury Models, I need only the lower end models. The Deposit part and Fuel part, I understood, but the actual per day charges, I didn't understand. Also, are there any Scooters available in the same way (Hire) - I heard London is too congested (Parking Problem) and also you need to pay some 8 pounds Congestion Charges each time you enter into Central London.
If possible carry a laptop, I did, we were only 2. It was useful to dump the pictures and videos and also see the pictures immediately; my laptop had wi-fi and where we got connectivity it was good to send mails / photos home and to friends.

Basic cars without A/C starts around 22GBP per day, I opted for the 30 a day range with A/C and heater, the heater was more useful in Scotland and Lake district, it was pretty cold. The comprehensive isurance is a killer, but no other way to go. Take a FULL COVER even if it costs more and also an additional driver (if your wife know driving), many places in UK are pretty remote. Though I am fit and healthy, didn't want to take a chance and wanted my wife to be a back up in an emergency, took an IDP for her too and an additional driver endorsement on the insurance policy.

Check with National Cars / Alamo, they have the best range of cars, rates and service. They have merged and have lots of idle assets and are hungry for volumes right now. Fuel is very expensive there, about 1 GBP per ltr.

In London, use the tubes and buses, we found them to be the best option, driving in London can be pretty tough and you have to pay congestion charges in some sections, parking can be a horror story too.

@ rm_arjuna: Thanks. I am from the border town to TN and speak the language, but have been knocked around all over India.

Are you planning a trip through UK?

========

Last edited by ramkya1 : 19th March 2010 at 17:34.
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