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  1.    #1  
    This has nothing to do with my phone.... however i want to travel Europe and the most inexpensive is bag packing, i'm asking anyone and everyone here on Precentral if they have done it, any suggestions will be appreciated.
    How much will it cost?
    What to look for?
    Any suggestion on where i should visit (i'm thinking London, Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, Monaco, Rome, Venice, Amsterdam and back to London in order)
    Transportation?
    Hotel, motel, and hostel?
    Is 2 weeks enough time?
    Any books you suggest i should read or video i should watch?
    Any food you suggest i should stay away from or i should try?
    Health and safety?
    Hospitals and doctors?
    Culture differences i should be aware of?
    Whats the best time of the year? (i'm thinking April or May)
    Special events that's a must see? (i want to catch a F1 race also white sensation if possible)

    Is there anything i'm missing?

    How great is wifi connection? cause i want to upload pictures and check email rather than roam on my phone. If there is great wifi connection and i hook up a camera to my phone and use that to upload pictures and video on a cloud storage rather than taking a netbook, Palm Pad to do that?
    How good is CDMA network if i need to make emergency calls? or should i take a GSM phone?
  2. #2  
    haven't done europe in few years -- but...


    I'm a big fan of the Lonely Planet books -- most anyone you'll want to know will swear by them as well.

    There's probably digital versions available now -- but haven't checked. (bloody heavy otherwise, but valuable).

    Czechoslovakia -- Prague is one of the best places I've ever been.

    I take my bike with me pretty much where ever I go. Europe is especially civilized when it comes to bikes -- some trains have baggage cars which take checked bikes. (not every train has bike storage, usually not more than 1-2 trains per day, and they're not usually the express trains. If you're on a tight 2 week jaunt, the logistics of getting a bike between cities on your route are unlikely to be worth it to anyone but me.)

    I admittedly don't know the iPad well, but my inclination would be to take a cheap netbook over the iPad. (maybe with an extra battery).

    Weight and size are similar, the netbook is maybe more robust in a backpack, they're cheaper, and its much easier to type on a netbook ...

    Internet cafes are readily available -- but I prefer having my own device. (again haven't been to Europe recently -- Asia and S America the last few years. In those places having my own netbook gave my many more options than trying to persuade some cafe clerk to allow me to hook something to their PCs.).

    There is no such thing as CDMA there. None. If you bring a GSM, check that it uses European bands before you go.
    755P Sprint SERO (upgraded from unlocked GSM 650 on T-Mobile)
  3. #3  
    Is there anything i'm missing?
    Germany - Hamburg is good.
    Edinburgh(Scotland).

    Don't stay too long in Venice - worth seeing the Grand Canal, but not really that much to do otherwise.
    Barcelona is great, but watch for pick pockets (Place Real especially)
    Amsterdam has loads to do and see.
    London - Try and time it to see some event - such as the Boat Race.

    F1 tickets are pricey - Monaco is the one to see(and prob the most expensive by far).

    Transport - The no frills airlines are probably cheapest - Look at Ryan Air, EasyJet, BMI baby. They often take you to a second rate airport miles out of town, but there will be a cheap coach to take you to the city.

    There is no CDMA at all in Europe. Just GSM/UMTS.

    Free WiFi is availiable in most McDonalds, various coffee shops etc. It's not nearly as universal as it is in the USA, dont know how that compares to Canada.

    No real cultural differences you need to be aware of.
  4. #4  
    Quote Originally Posted by vic_singh View Post
    How much will it cost?
    Varies a lot.
    Venice (at least the touristy areas) and London are expensive.
    When you shop get away from the touristy streets and prices will go down a lot (but I guess that's universally true :-) ).

    The cheap airlnes were already mentioned above.
    Trains in Europe are great - but often not cheap.
    There's whole websites dedicated to ad hoc car sharing - but outside UK they won't be in english.

    Quote Originally Posted by vic_singh View Post
    What to look for?
    Any suggestion on where i should visit (i'm thinking London, Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, Monaco, Rome, Venice, Amsterdam and back to London in order)
    In summer Hamburg is very nice (late June to August - this year sucked though). Lake in the middle, great harbour, crisscrossed with canals (more bridges and canals than Venice or Amsterdam - bridges are nicer in Venice of course). Trees everywhere. If you ever get to Hamburg rent a canoe and paddle on the canals (during summer).

    Berlin can be a blast.

    Glasgow is very nice too.
    There's wine country in southern germany and all over france.

    Quote Originally Posted by vic_singh View Post
    Transportation?
    Trains get you everywhere.
    Bikes can be easily rented and are used a lot.

    Quote Originally Posted by vic_singh View Post
    Hotel, motel, and hostel?
    Motels are not nearly as widespread as in the US.
    Hostels and Hotels are everywhere, quality varies a lot.

    Quote Originally Posted by vic_singh View Post
    Is 2 weeks enough time?
    Of course not.
    8 wonderful cities and you budget a day and some change per city.
    Spend 2 weeks in any of those and you have will have scratched the surface.

    Quote Originally Posted by vic_singh View Post
    Any food you suggest i should stay away from or i should try?
    Depends on your taste.
    Nothing will kill you (unless you're allergic).

    edit: Almost forgot: Don't eat native british food. I guess it's not officially poisonous ;-) - but one needs a few generations of adaptive mutations to consider it tasty or even edible. (slight exaggeration is a possibility here - don't get me wrong - I love almost anything on the british isles - humor culture, legends, language - just not the food.)
    London has plenty of good indian restaurants - highly recommended.

    Quote Originally Posted by vic_singh View Post
    Health and safety?
    Available. :-)

    Outside of hunting associations few people own guns. Nobody carries handguns around. Weapons in general are heavily regulated in most places.

    There's no widespread disease.

    Use condoms.

    Quote Originally Posted by vic_singh View Post
    Hospitals and doctors?
    What's the question?
    Probably works just like where you come from.
    If you need any treatments you get a phonebook and look up a doctor or get to the next hopital.
    If you have an emergency a car making a lot of noise will get you to a hospital. :-)
    Details and prices will vary of course. In doubt inquire about some sort of travel health insurance if you're not otherwise covered by whatever insurance you have.

    Quote Originally Posted by vic_singh View Post
    Culture differences i should be aware of?
    No turn on red generally.
    Traffic lights in Italy are taken as mere suggestions. ;-)

    Tipping is different. In the US a certain percentage is expected and a major part of the income. In Europe (details will vary by country) you also tip in restaurants, hotels and some other places but usually not as much.
    People will often just round up to the nearest number. More for higher amounts (> 20 Euros) and fancy places of course.

    There's usually much less service people around compared to the US. Many places like parking garages that in the US would have several people working there have only machines and perhaps 1 guy in a booth you have to look for in case you don't have the right change.

    Most restaurants don't have people to direct you to a table. You just pick a free table that you like (there are exceptions).

    Discos don't really get going before 23:00. Prime time is between 23:00 and 2:00 or so.

    In general you have more late evening options. (unless you're from NYC)

    Quote Originally Posted by vic_singh View Post
    Whats the best time of the year? (i'm thinking April or May)
    London and Amsterdam might be cloudy and not very warm.
    The southern cities are probably nice already during that time.
    July is probably best for northern europe if you want sunny and warm. But might be too hot for southern europe. Depends on what you like.

    Quote Originally Posted by vic_singh View Post
    Special events that's a must see? (i want to catch a F1 race also white sensation if possible)
    Just about a zillion. Depends on your interests mate. Concerts, exhibitions, theatre, museums, regattas
    Here's one that fits your itinerary:
    Amsterdam Festivals - Queensday (Queens Birthday)

    Quote Originally Posted by vic_singh View Post
    How great is wifi connection?
    Varies a lot.
    In London go to Starbucks, get a Starbucks card for a few pounds (5 is the minimum IIRC - you can spend it all on coffee and it still works) - you get a code that allows you to use wifi for free at all UK Starbucks.
    Other places might have free wifi or it it might cost several Euros per hour.

    BTW - Most of the places you want to visit use Euros for currency. UK still has pounds.
    Credit cards (MC, Visa) will get you far - but are not accepted in quite as many places as in the US. And trying to pay small amounts (< 10 Euros) is unpopular and some places will not accept CCs for that.

    Quote Originally Posted by vic_singh View Post
    cause i want to upload pictures and check email rather than roam on my phone.
    Don't roam data on your phone (way too expensive). Only go via wifi for internet access. When I used my Pre in the US in June I had Airplane Mode on most of the time (also saves battery life - a lot) and only switched wifi on when I was at a Starbucks.

    Quote Originally Posted by vic_singh View Post
    If there is great wifi connection and i hook up a camera to my phone and use that to upload pictures and video on a cloud storage rather than taking a netbook, Palm Pad to do that?

    How good is CDMA network if i need to make emergency calls? or should i take a GSM phone?
    As mentioned above by others - Europe is standardized on GSM and recently UMTS (3G). Forget CDMA.

    Most of your questions can't really be answered in a way that generally true for all of Europe - or just the countries on your list.
    There are cultural difference to US/Canada (you didn't mention where you're from) and between european countries of course. In some cities you will see women sunbathing topless in the park. There's generally less concerns about nudity or language in Europe (but again - that varies) compared to the US.
    Beer is not hidden in brown bags.
    But most of the differences are small details. Traffic lights use green instead of Walk.
    Streets curve a lot and are almost never numbered.
    European "inner cities" are vibrant centers filled with upper class shops.
    Traffic is faster on european interstates - especially on german ones. City traffic is often way slower due to congestion. Parking is less orderly and often involves more looking for a free spot.
    Last edited by tholap; 08/24/2010 at 01:29 PM.
  5. #5  
    Forgot a couple of things.

    The european equivalent to sales tax is usually included in prices. What you see is what it costs.

    Prices are *nominally* often very similar to US prices (details will vary partly by region and partly by product category) - but if you are from the US then current exchange rate will make everything quite a bit more expensive (between 20-40% during recent 3 years or so).
  6. #6  
    I suggest Interrail-Tickets. You travel cheap with the train and you can save money in overnight trains because you don't need a hostel.

    InterRail Europe Train Pass, European Train Travel & Europe Train Tickets

    Don't you forget Berlin. I don't know what you like, but we have everything...

    I like Hamburg, too. Don't forget sitting at the waterside, eating a herring-sandwich with a beer on the side.
    Lissabon is supposed to be really great.
    In Paris people may give you bad looks when you make them speak english, don't take that personally... they are proud of their language and often bad at others... nice fellas otherwise. =)

    In Amsterdam lots of people try selling you drugs. Beware of anybody who is not standing behind his desk in a shop while doing so... Weed is legal, mushrooms, ecstasy etc. are not.
    Beware of pickpockets and enjoy the city at night!
    At daylight, usual tourist in Amsterdam visits Sex Museum, Wodka Museum and then Van Gogh... There's lots of architecture too. If you plan to travel a lot in the city, rent a bike for a day.
    If you don't mind sleeping with many other people in a room, Bob's youth hostel is pretty cheap and you get some rudimentary breakfast. No Wifi though, but internet for checking mails and trains is free.


    Have fun, I envy you!
  7. #7  
    While generally your North American demeanor will serve you well there are a few things that you can do to avoid inadvertently being regarded as rude or lessen your chances of getting ripped off.

    For example:

    • Place your currency or credit card on the counter when paying for things at a store (or in the small dish you will find at most cashiers) rather than handing it directly to the cashier. Thrusting your method of payment at the cashier, as is normally done in NA, is considered very rude.
    • In some cities like Prague it's important not only to take taxis only from official stands but to negotiate your fair prior to departure. Failure to do so will almost certainly result in a longer ride and extreme over payment.


    As others have mentions read the Lonely Planet and/or Rick Steve's guides for the places you intend to travel to. There are great tips that can substantially improve your experience particularly in the areas of travel, lodging and gastronomy.

    If your in the right cities these guys do a great bike tour. It's Yankee run so they are easy to understand and very informal/fun.

    The wife and I go every spring (mind you we prefer hotels rather than Waltzing Matilda) and haven't had a bad trip yet.

    As an aside you may wish to map out a few Canadian Consulates (in the absence of one a British Consulate will also help Canadian Citizens...American Consulates will not, don't waist you time there) in the event of an emergency. We found them helpful last spring during the ash cloud fiasco.
    Last edited by ryleyinstl; 08/24/2010 at 09:36 AM.
    Sprint|Samsung Epic
  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by The Day Pré Tomorrow View Post
    I suggest Interrail-Tickets. You travel cheap with the train and you can save money in overnight trains because you don't need a hostel.

    InterRail Europe Train Pass, European Train Travel & Europe Train Tickets

    Don't you forget Berlin. I don't know what you like, but we have everything...
    haven't been since '93, but I loved East Berlin

    it was 3-4 years after the fall, and it was an insanely vibrant time (as well for east Europe overall)
    755P Sprint SERO (upgraded from unlocked GSM 650 on T-Mobile)
  9.    #9  
    thank you guys... thats alot of info i got.

    you guys are the best
  10. #10  
    Quote Originally Posted by vic_singh View Post
    thank you guys... thats alot of info i got.

    you guys are the best
    We are the best, aren't we!

    You pick a date yet...one compatible with F1?

    That is one thing I miss about being in the USA, open wheel racing. Around here it's all oval racing (NASCAR), Puke! Edmonton Grand Prix was good times!
    Sprint|Samsung Epic
  11. #11  
    One more thing, don't forget to:

    1. Take your Pre charger because a new one will cost you thirty euros
    2. Take a voltage converter (I don't know if Canada uses 125v)
    3. Ryan Air is affordable but be prepared to fight your way in.

    I find Flightview and Google Maps very handy. I also think there is a guide book for London in the App catalogue. For your consideration, I had fun in Dublin this summer.


    "How art thou, thou globby bottle of cheap, stinking chip oil? Come and get one in the yarbles, if ya have any yarbles, you eunuch jelly thou!"
  12. #12  
    Voltage converter not required unless your bringing a hair dryer along or something like that. Nearly all micro electronics can handle 110-240v and 50/60hz. If in doubt check the back/underside for the ratings. The Pre charger is fine.

    However you will need a plug adapter and if your plans take you into the UK or Asia you'd best get one that covers all contingencies.
    Sprint|Samsung Epic
  13.    #13  
    I have to wait until F1 schedule get release for next year. I went to a few races in Montreal Canada its time for me to catch a race in Europe, I would love to catch the Monaco grand prix..

    we use 120v so it shouldn't be a problem I just have to get the adapter to fits for Europe.

    I don't really need any guide for London cause I have family there ...

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