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Old 31st August 2017, 11:21   #466
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by racer_ash View Post
Please don't bother with activating international roaming from any Indian operator.
I generally activate IR (at some Rs. 30/month) just for those pesky OTPs that you tend to need for almost every banking transaction.

Esp. when you're abroad and the bank senses the IP as different from the regular one.

Quote:
The first thing you should do once you land in any EU country is to walk to the nearest news agent and buy a prepaid Lyca (http://www.lycamobile.es/en/) or Lebara SIM. Recharge packs are dead cheap and they also have very very competitive international calling rates (as cheap as 1cent per minute).
Lycamobile is a great option; for the time I was in Switzerland, I took the 50 Francs/month deal: unlimited calls within Europe, India (among other countries) and 1 GB data.

Quote:
No ID proofs needed either to buy these.
Negative. The issuing shop will take a photocopy of your passport and visa.

Last edited by libranof1987 : 31st August 2017 at 11:22.
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Old 31st August 2017, 12:13   #467
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
I generally activate IR (at some Rs. 30/month) just for those pesky OTPs that you tend to need for almost every banking transaction.

Esp. when you're abroad and the bank senses the IP as different from the regular one..
I never had to activate IR for my airtel postpaid connection when I was in the UK for almost 3 years. It was active by default and picked up the local 3 network signal. But I am not sure of other operators/connections.

Quote:
Originally Posted by libranof1987 View Post
Negative. The issuing shop will take a photocopy of your passport and visa.
I think its different in EU countries then. In UK, no IDs are required. Even if they do take PP photocopy, then the OP should not have any issues whatsoever. As long as they do not demand local address proof, its all good.
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Old 31st August 2017, 12:28   #468
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

Just to add:
The EU has done away with international roaming cost for voice and date as of this summer.

So as an example, if I use my Dutch Mobile Phone / SIM anywhere in the EU I will be charged as if I'm making a regular call / using data in the Netherlands. No differences or additional roaming charges anymore.

Please note, that is only for a subscription be it post or prepaid from a EU operator of course.

Jeroen
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Old 31st August 2017, 14:41   #469
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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Originally Posted by racer_ash View Post
Please don't bother with activating international roaming from any Indian operator.
Airtel has amazing IR plans with billing cap. I used it to travel all over Europe, and in most places it worked without any problems. For 3999 you get free incoming, 5GB data and 500 minutes of outgoing calls to India and in the local country of travel. This plan worked in the UK and all Schengen states. You can check their website for more info.

I've got my latest bill for this usage and all is as expected. This has probably worked out less expensive than if I'd bought an EU sim. Also, you get to keep using your number, everyone from India can just call you without dialling international, and 5GB should be enough unless you need it for work or use social media a lot. Plus, almost all accommodations now provide free wi-fi.
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Old 31st August 2017, 17:05   #470
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I always tend to pick up the local SIM of the nation I'm visiting, and the reason is because I use Uber/Lyft and other taxi apps for which you need a local SIM to contact the driver.
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Old 3rd September 2017, 16:02   #471
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

Thanks much for the response guys, really helped in preparing for the trip. She reached Madrid safe and sound.


Quote:
Originally Posted by selfdrive View Post
Whatsapp calls are not possible from Ab Dhabi airport. My experience with Etihad and at Abu Dhabi has been terrible. Please do try for alternative options.
Didn't try the whatsapp call, but chats worked fine over Wifi. In fact the free Wifi connected without any username/password.

Quote:
Originally Posted by racer_ash View Post
Abu Dhabi is perhaps once of the most crowded airports I have ever seen. It is total chaos sometimes. Add to that Etihad is one of the most uncomfortable airlines I have ever travelled (even B777s). So, if possible, please explore either Emirates or Qatar airways, both of which are much better as per my experience. Wifi is available at all airports, so you can make Whatsapp or Viber calls

Fiumicino, which will most probably be your transit airport in Rome, is a relatively small airport, but it manages immigration/transit queues rather efficiently. I also think this will be the airport where the Immigration check will happen (first entry point in Schengen area). Rome to Madrid is almost like a domestic flight, but you will have another Immi check at Madrid as well.

Please don't bother with activating international roaming from any Indian operator. The first thing you should do once you land in any EU country is to walk to the nearest news agent and buy a prepaid Lyca (http://www.lycamobile.es/en/) or Lebara SIM. Recharge packs are dead cheap and they also have very very competitive international calling rates (as cheap as 1cent per minute). No ID proofs needed either to buy these.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jacobvarughese View Post
Reckon she is travelling via Etihad, whose hub is the capital of the UAE, Abu Dhabi. This airport has nothing to boast of unlike it's other bigger neighbour, Dubai !

Nothing could be done to change the airlines. Etihad it was and as imagined it was awful and got literally starved by the end of the journey. They served only one meal for the 5.5 hr flight from AbuDhabi to Rome and that too a repeat menu of the Bangalore-AbuDhabi flight . Only saving grace is the fact that return journey is only one hop.

Luckily there were no delays except the last flight operated by Alitalia that got delayed by an hour. The transit at AbuDhabi was chaotic and also at Rome (mostly due to less time and inadequate signage). She didn't had the boarding pass for the last flight, since checkin was too early at Bangalore, so lost more time at immigration, as she started to look for a e-ticket copy, realized that the bangalore counter did not return the e-tcicket printout.


Quote:
Originally Posted by AMG Power View Post
Rome and Madrid airports have free wifi that you can use to make Whatsapp calls. Wifi at the Madrid airport is difficult to log into and needs repeated attempts.

Buses, taxis and local trains offer connectivity within Madrid city. The easy and economical way are the local buses if the stops are close to your pick up and drop off points. Taxis are the most convenient and easily available but obviously more expensive - a lot of Laura's / New Octavias / European Rapids.

Most hotels have free wifi so Whatsapp / Viber / Skype calls can be made and received easily.

The baggage claim at Madrid also was long wait, took cash from ATM (official AMEX card) and finally came out of the airport after an hour. Getting taxi (Laura indeed!) was very easy and got to the hotel in 10 mins. €30 paid using AMEX. And it was bright and sunny at 7:30 PM

She had activated Airtel International Roaming (₹149) and additional pack for ₹2999. (10 days Validity, 3GB data and free incoming calls/sms and 250 minutes of free call to India.) She couldn't find the SIM cards Madrid airport, but a colleague who arrived later bought the SIM from airport! Will try for Lyca sim in coming days.

Also kudos to FlightRadar24 for tracking all the flights and delays

Last edited by bejoy : 3rd September 2017 at 16:07.
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Old 4th September 2017, 12:53   #472
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

So we've firmed up our itinerary for Europe trip later this month. Thanks to BHPians and some kind Tripadvisor experts

My last query is regarding metro/ tube passes in Paris and Munich. We're a group of 4 and we'll need passes for 2 days in each city. Particularly confusing is Munich. Which pass should we get? The plan is stay within city and visit local sightseeing places (and Oktoberfest grounds in Munich)
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Old 4th September 2017, 21:23   #473
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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Originally Posted by Nonstop-driver View Post
So we've firmed up our itinerary for Europe trip later this month. Thanks to BHPians and some kind Tripadvisor experts

My last query is regarding metro/ tube passes in Paris and Munich. We're a group of 4 and we'll need passes for 2 days in each city. Particularly confusing is Munich. Which pass should we get? The plan is stay within city and visit local sightseeing places (and Oktoberfest grounds in Munich)
Look for "Gruppen Tageskarte" - costs 12.60 per day for inner circle, and allows 5 adults to travel (2 children are counted as 1 adult). This will cover all the tourist places within the city centre. The group ticket for all the rings costs 23.90 per day.

Or book a Bayern Ticket if you intend to go out from the city.

https://www.bahn.de/p/view/angebot/r...14_lt-bay_LZ01

Spike

PS - Avoid Oktoberfest grounds with children, there are drunk people and puke all around.

http://www.muenchenkotzt.de/
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Old 5th September 2017, 00:13   #474
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nonstop-driver View Post
So we've firmed up our itinerary for Europe trip later this month. Thanks to BHPians and some kind Tripadvisor experts

My last query is regarding metro/ tube passes in Paris and Munich. We're a group of 4 and we'll need passes for 2 days in each city. Particularly confusing is Munich. Which pass should we get? The plan is stay within city and visit local sightseeing places (and Oktoberfest grounds in Munich)
For Paris just buy a bunch of 10 one time use tickets and use as you go.usually that turns out better as most of the times you end up walking the shorter distances. Ditto in Munich for me,but then I didn't go for Oktoberfest and had a lot of time on hand
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Old 5th September 2017, 08:39   #475
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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Originally Posted by SPIKE ARRESTOR View Post
PS - Avoid Oktoberfest grounds with children, there are drunk people and puke all around.

http://www.muenchenkotzt.de/
Thank you.

No children with us, but we're reaching Munich on a Saturday evening and leaving on Sunday night. I don't see finding a table in a beer tent for outselves so we'll probably have to see it from afar and visit a Garten instead
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Old 9th September 2017, 07:10   #476
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Default UK Visa

Planning an UK trip with family during Christmas holidays starting 24th December.

The UK Govt website says this regarding Visa application:
The earliest you can apply is 3 months before you travel.
So I can apply from 25th September if I plan to travel on 24th December.

Now does this three month date start from the appointment-date I select when I pay the visa fees or does it start from the date I pay the fees itself?

I paid the fees of Rs.8,010 yesterday and booked an appointment for 26th September. However I am worried as my application says that I have now applied on 8th September.

Should I now cancel this application and reapply again only after 25th Sep?

Help
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Old 9th September 2017, 14:31   #477
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Default Re: UK Visa

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Originally Posted by manim View Post
The UK Govt website says this regarding Visa application:
The earliest you can apply is 3 months before you travel.
So I can apply from 25th September if I plan to travel on 24th December.
My mother country shocks me. For travel at that busy time, one could be left holding an expensive visa and no flights.
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Old 9th September 2017, 16:57   #478
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Originally Posted by Thad E Ginathom View Post
For travel at that busy time, one could be left holding an expensive visa and no flights.
I took a calculated risk, I have blocked flight to and fro from Chennai via British-Airways for a relatively small deposit, since it was Christmas holiday time. (British-Airways has this plan where if you combine flight+hotel they hold that booking till 35 days before the travel date).

So the worst case is I will lose that deposit if denied Visa.
My last visit to UK was in 1995 when I was very much younger!

Regarding my query of applying before the three month period, I have raised this question via email on the UK Govt website, they charge a fee of 5.48 GBP for this :(
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Old 9th September 2017, 17:50   #479
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Default Re: UK Visa

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Originally Posted by manim View Post
I took a calculated risk, ... ... ...
So the worst case is I will lose that deposit if denied Visa.
You have this pretty well sussed!
Quote:
My last visit to UK was in 1995 when I was very much younger!
That's before my first trip to India!
Quote:
I have raised this question via email on the UK Govt website, they charge a fee of 5.48 GBP for this :(
What a scam that is, eh?

Thankfully (well, in a way) my wife feels she has now seen enough of UK, especially as my visits are friend/family, and thus same-places, focussed, so we don't have to go through this stuff now. It was a lot easier a decade ago.

She wants to go to America

Wishing you a good trip and a happy UK Christmas. If you're really lucky you might even see some snow, although White Christmases are not that common.
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Old 16th September 2017, 17:14   #480
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Default Re: UK Visa

Quote:
Originally Posted by manim View Post
The UK Govt website says this regarding Visa application:
The earliest you can apply is 3 months before you travel.
So I can apply from 25th September if I plan to travel on 24th December.

Now does this three month date start from the appointment-date I select when I pay the visa fees or does it start from the date I pay the fees itself?

I paid the fees of Rs.8,010 yesterday and booked an appointment for 26th September. However I am worried as my application says that I have now applied on 8th September.

Should I now cancel this application and reapply again only after 25th Sep?

Help
I received this reply from 'UK Visas and Immigration':
With regards to your query, you may cancel these applications forms and request refund on visa fees.

So, I have now cancelled the applications.

I plan to go to Chennai VFS center on the exact date my three month window starts. Anyone here has any experience in 'Walk-in without an appointment'?
and 'Form Filling Assistance'?

Can I just walk-in with the required documents and use the above services (I pay extra) and input a fresh application and finish everything that day inside VFS itself ?

And how about 'Premium Lounge'? Is it worth to pay for this?
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