Here’s Some Good Advice For Travelling Abroad
Whether this is your first group trip, or you are a seasoned traveller, it’s always good to review these handy tips to stay safe and enjoy your visit.
FOR YOUR SAFETY
Travelling in European countries is generally very safe; however, all travellers should take certain common sense precautions to protect themselves from petty crimes, such as pickpocketing, which are common in well-frequented tourist areas everywhere.
- Staying alert and walking with confidence can be especially challenging following a long flight when you’re jet lagged, so take extra care upon your arrival when you may not be quite awake and at your most alert!
- In hotels, use the in-room safes or those at the front desk to ensure your valuables are truly secure.
- Crowded buses and trains are prime places for pickpockets. Avoid the crowds, or if you cannot, take extra care in well-frequented tourist areas.
- Keep your possessions close to you and consider using a money belt to carry documents inside your clothing for maximum safety. Also, it’s a good idea to keep money in more than one place.
- Avoid wearing flashy jewellery or clothing that might attract attention.
- Make a photocopy of your tickets, passport, traveller’s cheques, credit cards and IDs and keep them separately from where you keep your valuables. It is also a good idea to make extra copies that you can leave with someone back home.
Ensure that you have appropriate travel and medical insurance for the duration of your trip and that you have the appropriate documents with you on at all times.
All countries have an emergency number in case you should need the attention of the police, fire or medical/ambulance services. The European Union countries all share a single European emergency call number 112.
In addition to their individual numbers, and 112 is also the emergency number used for GSM cell phones worldwide. When dialling112, the operator will speak in both the language of the country you are calling from as well as in English.
Have some local currency for each Country that you will be visiting. Credit or Debit cards are best and Travellers Cheques are not always welcome. You can take money out of a Cash machine ATM (Automated Teller Machine) / ABM (Automated Bank Machine), take advantage to retrieve money directly from your bank account, as this often results in the best exchange rates and lower transaction charges. Before leaving, INFORM your bank or credit card company that you will be travelling, the length of trip and countries that you will visit.
- Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Portugal, San Marino, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Estonia = EURO
- Hungary = Forint
- Latvia = Lat
- Lithuania = Litas
- Britain = Pounds (GBP)
- Bulgaria = Lev (BGL)
- Croatia = Kuna (HRK)
- Czech Republic = Koruna (CZK)
- Denmark = Krone (DKK)
- Estonia = Kroon (EEK)
- Hungary = Forint (HUF)
- Iceland = Krona (ISK)
- Norway = Kroner (NOK)
- Poland = Zloty (PLN)
- Sweden = Kroner (SEK)
DO NOT OVERPACK!
Winter : Remember to bring warm clothing and maybe an umbrella. Winters in Central Europe are not as cold as in some Provinces and States. Check the climate in the countries you are visiting on the Internet.
Summer: More or less the same as in Canada and the USA but again be prepared for some rain.
SHOPPING AND TAXES
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International shoppers may be entitled to tax refunds on the purchasesthey have made, so keep your receipts, ask what forms you need to fill out when you make your purchases, and be prepared to show the goods to Customs officials at the airport or other point of departure from the Europe Union.
Tipping in Europe is not the same as in Canada and USA. The prices are all final prices with everything included.The wages of Restaurant Services are included in the price but if you want to leave a tip, then not very much, for example the bill is 24.60 Euro, most would give 25 Euro and a good tip would be 26 Euro.
Any electrical device you wish to bring on your trip can be used with the aid of an electrical travel kit with variously configured plugs. You will need to bring along at least one adapter plug to fit the sockets in the country you are visiting, and a power converter if the voltage is different from that at home. Europe is usually 220 V at 50 Hz. Most electrical equipment is labelled with its range of voltage and sometimes can operate within either power range, but you will still need an adapter plug for the wall sockets.