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Old 16th September 2017, 17:21   #481
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Originally Posted by manim View Post
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?
I believe you could have gone ahead with the application and given your dates of travel. Visas are usually based on the date of travel you mention in the application, and not based on the application date.
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Old 17th September 2017, 00:42   #482
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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Originally Posted by latentpotential View Post
I believe you could have gone ahead with the application and given your dates of travel. Visas are usually based on the date of travel you mention in the application, and not based on the application date.
I don;t know about British visas: Indian ones are not. Date of travel is a redundant field on the form, they stamp the visas out the door with that day's date on them. One cannot apply "in advance."
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Old 17th September 2017, 11:56   #483
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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Originally Posted by latentpotential View Post
I believe you could have gone ahead with the application and given your dates of travel. Visas are usually based on the date of travel you mention in the application, and not based on the application date.
Here are the exact words:
"The earliest you can apply is 3 months before you travel.
Example: you can apply from 16 March if you plan to travel on 15 June".

So what happens if one applies before 16 March?
I don't know.
The website does not give any warning or software-validate the application date vs the travel-date. I was just worried after spending big amounts to get rejected due to some simple error.

Also going to the VFS Center again in Chennai is a major expense in itself from my home-town

Last edited by manim : 17th September 2017 at 12:00.
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Old 17th September 2017, 12:46   #484
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by manim View Post
Here are the exact words:
"The earliest you can apply is 3 months before you travel.
Example: you can apply from 16 March if you plan to travel on 15 June".

So what happens if one applies before 16 March?
I don't know.
The website does not give any warning or software-validate the application date vs the travel-date. I was just worried after spending big amounts to get rejected due to some simple error.

Also going to the VFS Center again in Chennai is a major expense in itself from my home-town
The wordings are quite simple as provided by you.

In our case, we had bought tickets and applied for EU visas quite in advance. Our visa's, however, came with the dates as per our specified travel dates (minus one and plus four days).
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Old 17th December 2017, 18:02   #485
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Waking up an old thread. Planning to do a Europe vacation in sep 2018 (planning ahead!). Confused on intenary. I want to do Paris and Italy. Thinking of a 3 week trip. Two adults and a 13 year old.

What would you guys suggest ?
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Old 18th December 2017, 00:18   #486
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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Originally Posted by bharanidharang View Post
Waking up an old thread. Planning to do a Europe vacation in sep 2018 (planning ahead!). Confused on intenary. I want to do Paris and Italy. Thinking of a 3 week trip. Two adults and a 13 year old.

What would you guys suggest ?
Well, thatís certainly do-able, but it might be useful if you come up with a few more suggestion on what you would like to see, what you enjoy, what does the family enjoy, what are the interests, how you would like to travel.

Jeroen
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Old 18th December 2017, 05:57   #487
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

We are a confused lot. My wife just pushed the options to Christmas next year. I have a 13 year old brat who needs to be occupied too (Cars, Miniature stuff etc). I am fixing France (Paris) as a base.

Confusion starts now, whether to do France, Belgium and Netherlands or France/Italy. I am pretty sure too much of architecture will be ticked off by the kiddo (I am not sure though).

I am open to explore all routes in either Train or Road. I am knocking off flying off this list as I dont want to be paying overboard for luggage we lug around.

I am pretty sure we are a confused lot and hope to make all of you one as well.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 17:54   #488
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

By early next month of towards end of this month, I will be in UK for around 3 months for official trip if all goes well.

Do I need to have international driving license ? As per my search, I am eligible to drive in UK with my Indian Driving License (https://www.gov.uk/driving-nongb-licence) but I am still surprised to know that Indian driving license is valid in UK.

And any experience in getting car rentals ? Avis seems to be more value for money than Hertz. My daily travel could be to the tune of 20-30 kms. hence the need for car but if public transport is good enough, I dont think I will rent car for weekdays.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 18:11   #489
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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Originally Posted by aaggoswami View Post
By early next month of towards end of this month, I will be in UK for around 3 months for official trip if all goes well.

Do I need to have international driving license ? As per my search, I am eligible to drive in UK with my Indian Driving License (https://www.gov.uk/driving-nongb-licence) but I am still surprised to know that Indian driving license is valid in UK.

And any experience in getting car rentals ? Avis seems to be more value for money than Hertz. My daily travel could be to the tune of 20-30 kms. hence the need for car but if public transport is good enough, I dont think I will rent car for weekdays.
Driving license issued in India is valid for 1 year from the date of first landing in the UK. The only thing you need to keep in mind is that the DL should be in English and the name should match the name exactly as specified in your passport.

Coming to car rentals, do give Enterprise a try as well. I found them to be easy on the pocket as well as better towards foreign licenses.

Public transport in the UK is among the best in the world, even in small towns and tier 2 cities as well as between them. So you really shouldn't have much issues.
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Old 3rd January 2018, 19:19   #490
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by aaggoswami View Post
By early next month of towards end of this month, I will be in UK for around 3 months for official trip if all goes well.

Do I need to have international driving license ? As per my search, I am eligible to drive in UK with my Indian Driving License (https://www.gov.uk/driving-nongb-licence) but I am still surprised to know that Indian driving license is valid in UK.

And any experience in getting car rentals ? Avis seems to be more value for money than Hertz. My daily travel could be to the tune of 20-30 kms. hence the need for car but if public transport is good enough, I dont think I will rent car for weekdays.
Indian DLs are more than enough for renting out a self drive in the UK.My license booklet was ancient and almost in tatters and never had a problem,the executive said they get licenses from other countries in worse-off conditions.Like Racer_ash suggested try Enterprise too,they have a free pickup and delivery at all locations.They pick you up,take you to their office,complete the formalities and then hand over the car at their location.Very convenient.I hired from them when I was there for a month.

If this is your first experience there,then the following points might come in handy:

- Shocker would be at the petrol stations wherein you need to fill fuel by yourselves.Some Shell pumps have attendants but by and large it is by the customer themselves.It can be overwhelming at the beginning,and petrol is mentioned only as Unleaded at the pumps.So you fill first,go to the counter,tell them the nozzle number that you used and pay up in cash or card and leave.
-Make sure you know what fuel your car is,the one I got did not have the fuel mentioned anywhere and finally I had to call the helpline to confirm type of fuel.
-Opt for the Collision Damage Waiver-helps you drive with peace of mind,else in the eventuality of a collision,you end up paying a fortune
-Would be good to ensure you familiarize yourself with the speed limits as the speed limits are designated on boards via signs at many places and not by numbers.http://www.direct.gov.uk/highwaycode
-parking is rarely free anywhere in the UK,would be good to have the Ringo app downloaded on the phone www.myringgo.co.uk
-almost all the cars have the start/stop system(Fuel Save Mode) that shuts down the car's engine when you begin to idle at signals etc.It can be confusing at the beginning,so either you switch that option off or learn to operate it quickly!I switched it off because I went into panic mode during the initial days .When I wait at a signal,the engine suddenly dies on you,something that I was not used to in India.
-Flashing lights there,means you are letting the other car pass and not asking for you to be let through.
-Choose a car that has a GPS unit in it,else most of them have screens that let you mirror your GMaps onto their screen via a cable.Using their custom GPS is good,because it gives out warnings on speed limits,while Gmaps rarely gave out warnings in my case.Waze too is good to have,but does not give out speed limit warnings.
-driving in the UK is just like driving in a better India,no other difference.

Hope this helps.For more on my experience,you can refer to the post at http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/route-...ml#post4195073
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Old 3rd January 2018, 19:29   #491
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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Originally Posted by aaggoswami View Post
By early next month of towards end of this month...but I am still surprised to know that Indian driving license is valid in UK.
As a non resident you'll be able to drive. Usually non-resident visas aren't long so the validity question doesn't arise. As a resident, what racer_ash says applies. Though some rental agencies do insist on IDP even though your driving license is in English

On the transportation, you might want to check:

- Google Maps with public transportation for your stay and work places. Based on the time you'd be there. If the frequency is < 15 mins and encompasses the entire day, its fair enough. Also commute time, number of transfers needs to be factored in. Anything beyond that is not worth relying on. Very small towns and villages, frequency is pretty sad. Even cities, not all parts are so well connected. There would be buses, but they have to fit your schedule.
- Food, if you stay in a hotel for the entire stint you should be fine. If its in an apartment, you might have to look for walkable food options as well.
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Old 11th January 2018, 08:42   #492
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

I am planning an Europe trip this summer with wife and 9 year old daughter.
Initially, I was thinking to do all the planning myself but I am really not getting time and time is running out.
I know people here don't recommend package tours but among the ones available, which one you recommend? Looking for a slightly leisurely paced tour with peace of mind
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Old 11th January 2018, 10:07   #493
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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Originally Posted by bharanidharang View Post
We are a confused lot. My wife just pushed the options to Christmas next year. I have a 13 year old brat who needs to be occupied too (Cars, Miniature stuff etc). I am fixing France (Paris) as a base.
there would be a lot of difference between travelling in September and December. Road travel could be a bit painful and the sceneries very different between autumn and winter. Depends what you want to do really.

Quote:
Originally Posted by adimicra View Post
I am planning an Europe trip this summer with wife and 9 year old daughter.
Initially, I was thinking to do all the planning myself but I am really not getting time and time is running out.
Package tours are not recommended if you want peace of mind during your travel. They are good only to save you some headache earlier and to ensure that you don't miss out on the key attractions in that place (whether those interest you or not).
It doesn't take too long to build an itinerary based on some reasearch on tripadvisor. In fact it could be a fun family activity where you can involve your daughter. If you want to get a template plan try a trip planner like inspirock.com. You can add/ remove destinations as you wish.

If you want specific itineraries for France, UK, Germany or Switzerland, feel free to as specific questions on this thread or pm me.
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Old 11th January 2018, 12:19   #494
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

Quote:
Originally Posted by bharanidharang View Post
We are a confused lot. My wife just pushed the options to Christmas next year. I have a 13 year old brat who needs to be occupied too (Cars, Miniature stuff etc). I am fixing France (Paris) as a base.

Confusion starts now, whether to do France, Belgium and Netherlands or France/Italy. I am pretty sure too much of architecture will be ticked off by the kiddo (I am not sure though).
Pros of traveling during the Christmas timeframe:

- Every place is decked up beautifully for Christmas

Cons of traveling during the Christmas timeframe and pros of traveling in Summer/Fall:

- Temperatures: apart from Italy, all your intended countries get a generous amount of snow and hence, 0/sub-0 temperatures. This limits the amount of time you can spend outdoors
- Active hours: during summer, you can essentially utilize the entire day as sunlight persists until 9pm. In the winter, tourist spots tend to shut by 6pm
- Activities: frequency of activities is better during non-winter
- Uncertainty due to weather changes: flights can get delayed, activities can be cancelled
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Old 11th January 2018, 13:19   #495
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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Cons of traveling during the Christmas timeframe and pros of traveling in Summer/Fall:
Completely agree. Dec last week is not a great time to travel to Europe, unless your agenda is to see the Christmas lights. If not, and if you intend to participate in some really cool activities that Europe offers then Jul/Aug/Sep is a good time. Personally I prefer May. It's school holidays in India, it's still a little cold in Europe, but not freezing. And most activities are open post 15th May.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bharanidharang View Post
Confusion starts now, whether to do France, Belgium and Netherlands or France/Italy. I am pretty sure too much of architecture will be ticked off by the kiddo (I am not sure though).
Your preference and your 13 year old's preference is NOT going to match. Don't even attempt to match it; I have tried and it's like trying to convince a wall.

I notice you are going for three weeks. Why are you limiting yourself to two countries. You can cover so many places in three weeks.

My suggestion would be France-Switzerland-Austria-Italy, as this will keep your kid occupied as well.
- France (Paris) is great for architecture, walks, eat-outs.
- Switzerland & Austria are great for outdoor activities, snow activities, nature walks etc. Keeps both parties happy. If you haven't been to Swiss, places like Mt. Titlis, though touristy, are great family destinations. You have 365 days snow activities there. Interlaken is great for outdoor activities.
- Italy is, as we all know, awesome. Historical and beautiful. So many places to cover.

Now coming to travel. If you are upto it, why not drive? (If it's December, then avoid it, as some roads will be closed and some will have ice & snow issues). You can cover some really non-touristy places, which are simply superb in Europe. I am personally planning a drive trip in EU in 2019. I am planning to start in Germany and end trip in Germany, as the car rentals are most affordable in Germany.

If you don't want to drive then trains is simply the best option in Europe. Buy a three country pass or a four country pass and you are set. Check out this website to buy your passes. http://www.raileurope.co.in/. Trains is the best option in Europe. Don't bother with flights, unless you have some long haul travel. Otherwise trains is awesome.
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