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Old 3rd November 2018, 14:44   #601
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

Can you please let me know how good or bad the idea of traveling to Europe is, in late December (after 20th - till New year).

Mainly in terms of weather across a few popular countries , destinations like Germany, Italy, Austria etc.
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Old 3rd November 2018, 18:26   #602
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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Can you please let me know how good or bad the idea of traveling to Europe is, in late December (after 20th - till New year).

Mainly in terms of weather across a few popular countries , destinations like Germany, Italy, Austria etc.
Short answer. Crisp and really cold with some serious wind-chill factor thrown in.

Though this year the summer was pretty hot and pretty late too, which resulted in the Wine harvest ending up happening earlier than usual.

Saying that, Dec-Jan is a beautiful time in Europe with all the lovely little Christmas markets and Christmas decorations up! I love Christmas time in that part of the world, especially in the quaint older parts of the cities and of course, in the countryside.

Enjoy!
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Old 3rd November 2018, 20:15   #603
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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Can you please let me know how good or bad the idea of traveling to Europe is, in late December (after 20th - till New year).

Mainly in terms of weather across a few popular countries , destinations like Germany, Italy, Austria etc.
Austria and Germany will be cold, dry and snowy. Italy (barring the extreme north) will be crisp and sunny (but not below 5 deg C).

Christmas in Europe has its own charm; it is worth visiting. Christmas lights, Gluhwein, all the winter festivities are just terrific. Only drawback: most places will shut down early, and you wouldn't be able to walk around as much as you would during summer.
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Old 4th November 2018, 08:27   #604
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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Can you please let me know how good or bad the idea of traveling to Europe is, in late December (after 20th - till New year).

Mainly in terms of weather across a few popular countries , destinations like Germany, Italy, Austria etc.
If you are not used to really cold weather, I would advise against it. Most people in India think they would love cold weather but in reality it's not so. Summer is always the best time to do a vacation, sightseeing, traveling etc unless your vacation is specifically something like ski trip etc. Cold weather is uncomfortable & inconvenient. December is the time to vacation in India.

Last edited by carboy : 4th November 2018 at 08:29.
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Old 4th November 2018, 21:16   #605
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

An added issue with winter trip is, intra EU flights can get delayed due to bad weather. This may cause your tour itenary go haywire.
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Old 5th November 2018, 11:32   #606
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Default Re: Amsterdam and nearby places to visit- travel query

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Hi Guys!



I have a few queries.

- Do we get the Amsterdam city pass ?
- Is there a chance that we book a self drive car and go out of town or maybe a nearby country for one day and come back in the same evening. If yes, what's the international driving license situation like?
- what are the must-visit places in Amsterdam?

Any other suggestions are most welcome.
Hi,

I was in Amsterdam for a week in August. I had gone for the music festival called Mysteryland.

I had bought a 4 day GVB pass costing around 22 euros. This pass is available at almost all stations. This pass has unlimited travel on trams, bus, metro ferries as well as night buses. It was a blessing for me regarding local transport. Amsterdam trams are most convenient to travel and has a very large network. Google maps is spot on regarding your destinations with exactly showing trams nos. to take, interchange, etc etc.

We were 4 friends and since we were not interested in museums and things like that, we used to chill in breweries and cafes by the canals and coffeshops. We rented bicycle for two days and it was most amazing part of the trip. Exploring Amsterdam on a bicycle was one amazing experience.

Few places which I loved in Amsterdam
- Vondelpark
- Amsterdam Noord
- Canal cruise
- Jordaan
- Dam Square
- Rembrandtplein
- De Wallen (Red Light District)
- Leidseplein
- Food Hallen

Exploring places outside Amsterdam, there are plenty of tours operating. However we chose to explore on our own as its cheaper and transport system is very friendly. In case you want to take a tour, I suggest to try AirBNB experiences. Its cheaper than local tour operators. I dont know about self drive as I had never done any research on that.

If you plan to travel to another country, I suggest book tickets on line a week before as it saves lot of money compared to buying it on day of travel.

Hope this is helpful. Let me know if you need any more info.

Cheers!!
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Old 5th November 2018, 12:06   #607
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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An added issue with winter trip is, intra EU flights can get delayed due to bad weather. This may cause your tour itenary go haywire.

Yes. I remember in 2004 December when I was traveling from USA to India with a stopover in Europe & practically all flights in Europe were cancelled or delayed by 8-10 hours or more. I am sure it happens often.
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Old 5th November 2018, 17:28   #608
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Yes. I remember in 2004 December when I was traveling from USA to India with a stopover in Europe & practically all flights in Europe were cancelled or delayed by 8-10 hours or more. I am sure it happens often.

8-10 hours delays, really are the exception. There must be something very extreme for such delays to occur. We have seen some major problems with Volcanic ash in the past. In particular snow and very high winds (over and above force 8) can cause delays. Mainly because it leads to fewer runways being available.

In a very densely populated airspace such as Europe, there is also knock on effects. Delays around one airport can quickly start affecting operations at other airports.

I fly every month several flights, all year long. I don't think I have ever got stuck in an European airport for very long.

But you never know of course,

Jeroen

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Old 9th November 2018, 13:41   #609
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Hi,



Cheers!!
What is the mobile phone network scene like? Any specific carriers we can use? Need minimal internet for Google Maps and coordinating with my friend since we will be staying at different places .
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Old 9th November 2018, 13:53   #610
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What is the mobile phone network scene like? Any specific carriers we can use? Need minimal internet for Google Maps and coordinating with my friend since we will be staying at different places .
If you are on Vodafone you can ask the Vodafone service in India to activate a 10 day I Roam Free pack for you - it costs Rs 3500/- for ten days. Alternatively you can just activate it using your Vodafone app.
Or you can opt for a Rs 500 per day I ROAM FREE pack which becomes active only on any day that you use it. So if you use your phone while there on any given day, you will be charged 500. If you dont use your phone on any day, you will not be charged.
For Europe you get unlimited calls but only 3GB of data for the 10 days period. Plus some 50 sms per day and stuff like that.
Taking a pack is worth it because anyone who knows you can reach you on your regular mobile number if they need to.
Or else, if you plan to switch off completely, you can buy a local sim and use it while you are there so that only those who really need to call you and whom you dont mind if they call, can do so.
Using the pack is easy. You ll have to manually select the prescribed network because in most of these kinds of packs, the benefits apply only to specific carriers. So be watchful of that aspect.
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Old 9th November 2018, 15:02   #611
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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Originally Posted by Jeroen View Post
8-10 hours delays, really are the exception. There must be something very extreme for such delays to occur. We have seen some major problems with Volcanic ash in the past. In particular snow and very high winds (over and above force 8) can cause delays. Mainly because it leads to fewer runways being available.

In a very densely populated airspace such as Europe, there is also knock on effects. Delays around one airport can quickly start affecting operations at other airports.

I fly every month several flights, all year long. I don't think I have ever got stuck in an European airport for very long.

But you never know of course,

Jeroen

Jeroen

Remember when that Icelandic Volcano blew its top?
All major Northern European Airports were shut down.
People were stuck in Frankfurt and Heathrow etc for days...
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Old 9th November 2018, 15:06   #612
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

I have still not decided whether I will plan the holiday myself or take a packaged tour. I am thinking of taking a tour through Cosmos. How does the following tour look like -

https://www.cosmosvacations.in/tour/.../6400/?yr=2019

Also, I am planning fly from Rome to Santorini, Greece.
Any suggestions about where to stay in Santorini (town/hotel)?
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Old 9th November 2018, 15:27   #613
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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Remember when that Icelandic Volcano blew its top?
.
Not only do I remember, if you read my post, you will see I mention volcanic ash specifically.

But let’s be realistic, tell me how many of these Volcanic Ash situation have disrupted European air space in the last, let’s say 40 years????

So I think it is fair to say, that is really an exception.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_tr...ökull_eruption

I was actually caught in the middle of this particular one: My wife and I were visiting my wife’s family in Barbados. We had to fly from Barbados to London Gatwick where we had rented a car to spend a week or so in the UK.

Of course we had been monitoring the flight delays from days onwards prior to our scheduled departure date. It was bedlam!! But in the end our flight did leave on time. By that time flight schedules were returning back to normal.

When we landed at Gatwick we got to see the after math of all these delays. When we walked into the luggage area we could not believe our eyes. There was luggage everywhere. It was stacked up on huge piles, people wandering around trying to figure out where their luggage was, shouting in their phones, ground staff in tears, kids crying. It was a scene from hell.

So we did not hold much hope of our luggage arriving anytime soon. But within ten minutes the carousel on which our luggage was supposed to be delivered was switched on. And would you belief it, the very first two pieces on the belt were ours!

So we grabbed our suitcases and made our way over to the Hertz place to pick up our rental. There was a monumental queue of very upset people. It must have been at least half a mile long. So my wife got in line and I walked passed the queue to the Hertz office to try and figure out what was going on.

Turns out that due to all these flight delays, people had not returned their rentals yet. And Hertz had completely ran out of cars. Only a few cars trickled in as flight operation returned to normal. A lot of folks in the queu were families with kids, lots of luggage. So most of them needed at least a mid sized saloon.

I watched from next to desk and I must say these poor Hertz staff members were getting the full brunt of mums and dads being extremely upset that after a long flight they had no car. I watched all of shouting, name calling, verbal abuse for some time. Then I noticed that a few small cars apparently had been returned and were being offered to them, but they were no good for these poor families. They just kept shouting at the Hertz staff they wanted a proper family car.

One of the Hertz lady at some point stepped aside, tears in her eyes. I managed to catch her eye and smiled at her. I told her I was very sorry to see her being treated in such a fashion. She thanked me and we had a little chat. I said my wife and I would be eternally grateful for any car. Anything with four wheels we will take, no matter how tiny.

We were on our way within minutes!

Jeroen
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Old 9th November 2018, 15:28   #614
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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Originally Posted by adimicra View Post
I have still not decided whether I will plan the holiday myself or take a packaged tour. I am thinking of taking a tour through Cosmos. How does the following tour look like -

https://www.cosmosvacations.in/tour/.../6400/?yr=2019

Also, I am planning fly from Rome to Santorini, Greece.
Any suggestions about where to stay in Santorini (town/hotel)?
Good choice if you want to really chill and see all the sights. Cosmos are really a very very good tour operator. (As per my experience from the early 2000’s).
I suggest consider AirBNB for your stay options.
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Old 10th November 2018, 11:09   #615
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Default Re: Travelling to Europe. Need advice

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What is the mobile phone network scene like? Any specific carriers we can use? Need minimal internet for Google Maps and coordinating with my friend since we will be staying at different places .
i had bought data only sim from local Vodafone store there. It worked flawlessly. Costed around 15 Euro for 6GB and valid for 3 months. Good part is it's covers whole of Europen Union. 6 GB was sufficient for me for 10 days. Used it in Netherlands and Belgium.
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