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Old 15th February 2018, 13:47   #526
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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Originally Posted by Prodigy07 View Post
I'm planning to book the tickets through agent as they would help me verify if the papers required for Schengen visa are good.
Schengen visa is a fairly straightforward process. They have a checklist which if you use carefully, there would be no issues. Just need to spend a couple of hours arranging them and preparing your itinerary/cover letter. I don't think it requires agent at all.

Regarding tickets, its best if you can do it yourself. Additionally many websites run cashback and discount offers on various banks which can help you save around 5-6k per head in addition to the ticket difference, increasing your saving further.

You can PM me if you want more details.
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Old 25th June 2018, 15:07   #527
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

Hi Guys,

I need suggestions from experts here for helping me choose a destination in Europe. I want to go for a 8-9 day trip with my wife sometime in September. I am not sure if September is an ideal time to go to Europe. Can experts here help me with suggestions on which places would be good to visit in Europe in the second half of September? We have been to Switzerland last year and would like to explore some other country. I wanted to know I should be careful regarding weather in some European countries for the month of September? Both of us are excited by the option of Italy/France/London. We do not intend to cover 2/3/4 countries in these 8/9 days and would prefer to stay in a single country for the entire trip duration.

Last edited by Saanil : 25th June 2018 at 15:15.
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Old 25th June 2018, 16:03   #528
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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Originally Posted by Saanil View Post
Hi Guys,

I need suggestions from experts here for helping me choose a destination in Europe. I want to go for a 8-9 day trip with my wife sometime in September. I am not sure if September is an ideal time to go to Europe. Can experts here help me with suggestions on which places would be good to visit in Europe in the second half of September? We have been to Switzerland last year and would like to explore some other country. I wanted to know I should be careful regarding weather in some European countries for the month of September? Both of us are excited by the option of Italy/France/London. We do not intend to cover 2/3/4 countries in these 8/9 days and would prefer to stay in a single country for the entire trip duration.
1. September is fine, if you can live with chilly winds and rainy days. Expect temperatures around 18 deg C (if you are lucky), if not less and around 15 C. But with climate change this has been quite erractic, so try your luck.

2. Southern Italy, should be mild weather wise and should pose no problems whatsoever. France will be mild and colder than Italy. Expect rains and stupid weather in London (as always!).

3. Why not Germany? There are lots of BHPians here and can guide (including myself). It is a good idea to stay in one country and travel around within that country. Eitherway, if all your planning comes down to weather, I would suggest, stick to Italy and you are safe. If you can put up with some bad weather days, rest of europe is fine. If you want to spend loads of money, goto London.
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Old 25th June 2018, 16:10   #529
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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Originally Posted by AlphaKilo View Post
2. Southern Italy, should be mild weather wise and should pose no problems whatsoever. France will be mild and colder than Italy. Expect rains and stupid weather in London (as always!).
Paris is a little chilly in September, but quite nice. Way better than in August, when it is quite hot.
The south of France (Nice, Cannes) and Monte Carlo is actually very pleasant and quite crowded in September.
Again with weather change, everything could go out of the window one fine day. Though it will most definitely not snow in September in Paris.

Again, it depends what is ideal weather for you. For some, December/ January is a nice time to visit Europe too
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Old 25th June 2018, 16:48   #530
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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Originally Posted by Saanil View Post
Hi Guys,

I need suggestions from experts here for helping me choose a destination in Europe. I want to go for a 8-9 day trip with my wife sometime in September. I am not sure if September is an ideal time to go to Europe. Can experts here help me with suggestions on which places would be good to visit in Europe in the second half of September? We have been to Switzerland last year and would like to explore some other country. I wanted to know I should be careful regarding weather in some European countries for the month of September? Both of us are excited by the option of Italy/France/London. We do not intend to cover 2/3/4 countries in these 8/9 days and would prefer to stay in a single country for the entire trip duration.
Hi Saanil,you have got your priority right by shutting out traveling to multiple countries in a short 8-day visit. That's a very positive start. Ideally though, you could think of two bases within a country or in nearby countries [Note: country boundaries are man-made. Nowadays, with a Schengen visa, staying in say two cities from different countries which are well connected by rail should be a breeze]. Weather-wise, I believe south of the Alps will generally be better.

That said, picking a place to visit is best decided only by you...Europe is a vast continent and there are plenty of places to see. Internet search for best places in Europe in Fall will probably list out almost all the places, each suggested by a different site :|

A few suggestions:
Croatia: Split and Dibrovnik are tourist-heavy especially, in summer. Fall may be the best chance to soak in the place with still pleasantly warm weather.

Transylvania in Romania: Beautiful countryside and heavy foliage which will be great in fall. Transylvania also boasts of Tuscan-like countryside.

Tuscany (and Rome / Florence thrown in): I believe Sept is actually peak season for Tuscany! You will get the best of rolling hills and cypress trees.

Munich and surroundings? If you want to hit the party spirit during Oktoberfest, you can go to Munich and then head over to Salzburg in Austria. The Bavarian Alps are a great region in fall season as well. You can also think of Black Forest and the castles.

Slovenia, especially the Lake Bled region?

The lake district as well as Scottish highlands? Weather may be quite unpleasant though

The list can go on
I suggest you look for places that are in the midst of heavy foliage, or forested regions near lakes.
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Old 25th June 2018, 17:31   #531
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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1. September is fine, if you can live with chilly winds and rainy days.
Hi AlphaKilo,

I think 15-25 degree range should be good. The weather is not the sole criteria for selecting the location. I was more worried about the amount of daylight. I have been to London in the month of May/June/July and I loved the weather. It was chilly and windy and I was lucky to get almost no rain. I liked the fact that there used to be decent light till 8pm almost every day. This gives plenty of time to see things and explore the surroundings. I hope I can find daylight till about 7-8pm in France/Italy/Germany in September as opposed to a situation where it gets dark by 4pm (which happens in London in December).

I know London is very expensive and I was under the impression that Germany might also be equally expensive. One good thing about London is the popularity of English language. How is the tourism scene in Germany/Italy with respect to local usage of English? I am more than happy to consider Germany too apart from Italy and France.

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Originally Posted by selfdrive View Post
Paris is a little chilly in September, but quite nice. Way better than in August, when it is quite hot.
Hi selfdrive,

It seems that France should be good weather wise in September. Since these places are popular tourist spots, they will invariably be crowded. I spent a week in Switzerland in June and I was surrounded by Indian and Chinese tourists almost everywhere.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chetan_l View Post
Hi Saanil,you have got your priority right by shutting out traveling to multiple countries in a short 8-day visit.

I suggest you look for places that are in the midst of heavy foliage, or forested regions near lakes.
Hi Chetan,

Thanks for the suggestions! I had not considered Romania at all. Any view on Czech Republic or Hungary? I have heard that these places are cheaper compared to Italy/France/Germany.
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Old 25th June 2018, 18:24   #532
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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Originally Posted by Saanil View Post
I know London is very expensive and I was under the impression that Germany might also be equally expensive. One good thing about London is the popularity of English language. How is the tourism scene in Germany/Italy with respect to local usage of English? I am more than happy to consider Germany too apart from Italy and France.
.
You cant really compare a city to a whole country.
London is quite expensive, but you don't need to move that far out to find cheaper locations with plenty to do. The problem is of course, if you want to see say, London Brigde and the V&A Museum you need to be in London, obviously.

Same for Germany, the big cities tend to be more expensive. Although I would say you will most likely find the big Germany cities cheaper than London. I just spend a weekend in Bremen, Germany, which isnt that large a city, but it attracts quite a few tourist. I was pleasantly surprised by the price for food and drinks.

In general I find German hotels, and or B&Bs much more reasonable prices than the London one, or in general compared to UK levels.

These days you will find most Germans, especially the younger generations do speak good English too. Especially if you find yourself in the more cosmopolitan and or touristy parts, it should not be a problem at all.

Italy you will be fine with English in the touristy places, but moving away from there it becomes less common. Although, Italians are a bit like Indians. Everybody is friendly and everybody loves talking and will flop around their arms and head. The fact that you dont understand the language becomes less relevant! So usually things like ordering food, asking directions etc will work out fine!

Enjoy

Jeroen
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Old 25th June 2018, 18:25   #533
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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Originally Posted by Saanil View Post
The weather is not the sole criteria for selecting the location. I was more worried about the amount of daylight.
You should get around 12 hours of daylight in second half of Sep for most places. Check out the site https://www.timeanddate.com/sun/ for the day-wise sunlight time. You will notice that the daylight starts to fall rapidly from Oct.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saanil View Post
I know London is very expensive and I was under the impression that Germany might also be equally expensive.
...
How is the tourism scene in Germany/Italy with respect to local usage of English? I am more than happy to consider Germany too apart from Italy and France.
Parts of Germany are relatively cheaper than London, though it depends on the city again. Check out https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/ and select any city to compare with another. For ex, within Germany, Stuttgart will be much cheaper than London but Munich is almost comparable.

If you stick to the major cities and tourist places, you can get by easily with English. Speaking a few key words in the local language will warm them up to you. I also used Google Translate effectively when reading menus, signs, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Saanil View Post
Any view on Czech Republic or Hungary? I have heard that these places are cheaper compared to Italy/France/Germany.
Prague is quite cheaper than Western counterparts, and Budapest is even more economical.

These are great cities to visit
Only point is that if you are looking at cities, then you will miss out on the colorful forests and countryside during fall season. Anyway, you should decide what would be your priority.
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Old 25th June 2018, 19:47   #534
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

Go to Italy or Spain (Canary Islands), you cannot go wrong there. In Germany, we are still asking around, did Summer come this year or has winter started?

You will be able to manage with English in most cities in Europe, problem comes when you go to the interior parts.

Spike

Last edited by SPIKE ARRESTOR : 25th June 2018 at 19:49.
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Old 25th June 2018, 21:29   #535
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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Originally Posted by SPIKE ARRESTOR View Post
Go to Italy or Spain (Canary Islands), you cannot go wrong there. In Germany, we are still asking around, did Summer come this year or has winter started?

You will be able to manage with English in most cities in Europe, problem comes when you go to the interior parts.

Spike
Spikey!! summer is coming starting next week.

It might be a late summer this year though. But don't expect 25deg C in september. It also depends on what you want to see. English is generally never an issue, atleast in big cities or touristic places.
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Old 25th June 2018, 21:35   #536
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

You need to decide what you wish to explore. Whether you wish to explore mountains, or beaches or architecture. Is there any particular place you have to visit?

What Europe has are many popular destinations with high costs with neighbours which have similar places but at a lower cost.

For mountains, go to Austria. Its next door to Switzerland, with pretty much similar sceneries and facilities as Switzerland but at a lower cost.

For beaches, hit Croatia. Again, this is next to Italy, but with some of the most stunning beaches you will see in Europe. Water is as clear, if not clearer than its neighbor Italy, but again at a lower cost.

For architecture, hit Prague/Budapest along with smaller towns in the vicinity. Both are lovely cities with jaw dropping architecture and at much lower cost than what you would pay in Italy/France.

You can chose any 2 of these 3 and have good 10 days there. Luckily these are neighbouring countries and you can use services like Flixbus to cover them.

Most importantly, don't think of it as your last trip. You will get to cover more places as time progresses. For first trip, people are generally more cost sensitive, so better to not ruin experience with cost cutting, and go to places where you can definitely afford to go and have a good time.
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Old 26th June 2018, 10:24   #537
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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Since these places are popular tourist spots, they will invariably be crowded. I spent a week in Switzerland in June and I was surrounded by Indian and Chinese tourists almost everywhere.
True, on an average, tourists would want to go where other tourists don't go

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Originally Posted by SPIKE ARRESTOR View Post
In Germany, we are still asking around, did Summer come this year or has winter started?
It will arrive in the second half of December when you would be expecting a white Christmas. I think it was around 15 degrees last December?
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Old 28th June 2018, 10:35   #538
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

Hello Folks,

I am travelling to Rome, Italy for 5 days in July.

I need some information regarding currency exchange and international roaming.
  • Should I carry Euro in cash or Forex card? I have Citi bank credit card but they charge 3.8% fees for conversion.
  • What is the best place to get Euro in cash bank or local agents?
  • I have Vodafone prepaid card, they have below roaming package, I am planning to buy iRoam free. Is there any better alternative?
Travelling to Europe. Need advice-vodafoneplan.jpg
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Old 28th June 2018, 10:54   #539
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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Originally Posted by Who_are_you View Post
Hello Folks,

I am travelling to Rome, Italy for 5 days in July.

I need some information regarding currency exchange and international roaming.
  • Should I carry Euro in cash or Forex card? I have Citi bank credit card but they charge 3.8% fees for conversion.
  • What is the best place to get Euro in cash bank or local agents?
  • I have Vodafone prepaid card, they have below roaming package, I am planning to buy iRoam free. Is there any better alternative?

As someone who had traveled to Italy 2 months ago, I guess I am qualified to answer this.
  • Take a forex card. Plus a little cash. My usual formula is for every 100 EUR, 90 on the card, 10 in cash. This website usually gives the best rates closest to the ones you see on XE and Google.
  • Do not use the credit card except for a car rental deposit or a hotel deposit.
  • Yes you can take the Vodafone prepaid card iRoam feature, but I would suggest just activating international roaming at 150 and buy another Vodafone Tourist SIM in Italy. I just paid EUR 15 for my two weeks trip.
You can PM me for any more tips or doubts that you may have, especially related to driving in Italy.
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Old 28th June 2018, 10:58   #540
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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[*]Should I carry Euro in cash or Forex card? I have Citi bank credit card but they charge 3.8% fees for conversion.
Carry some cash and a forex card. I actually used my HDFC card everywhere (got it enabled for international use first). Using a forex card vs. using your Indian card doesn't work out that different when you're going short term.

But do keep some cash handy. Say 50 Euro.

Quote:
[*]What is the best place to get Euro in cash bank or local agents?
I always get any forex from a counter at the airport (even if the rate is lower). Centrum etc.

Quote:
[*]I have Vodafone prepaid card, they have below roaming package, I am planning to buy iRoam free. Is there any better alternative?
Do you expect to make a lot of calls? What I did was: enable international roaming (250/month or something), and, download offline maps of every place I was visiting: Rome, Naples and Florence.

Almost every place (hotels, restaurants, trains, airports) in Italy (most of Europe actually) offers free wifi. So, that took care of most my needs. In the rare occasion I had to make a phone call (airbnb), I just called the guy (cost me Rs. 15).

Quote:
Originally Posted by deepakchan View Post
You can PM me for any more tips or doubts that you may have, especially related to driving in Italy.
Discussing it here can help many more people, don't you think.

Last edited by libranof1987 : 28th June 2018 at 11:02.
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