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Budget Travel Gear Yo Nellie, which backpack should I git? Questions and answers on gear related topics (i.e. backpacks, sleeping bags, tents, hiking boots, stoves, etc.).

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Old 05-12-2006, 10:16 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by tumblezweedz@May 4 2006, 09:06 AM

In lieu of a clothesline, I'd take two bungee cords - you can twist em together and hang your laundry to dry, and they always seem to come in handy in a million other ways.*

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bungee cords are AMAZING. they held all of my shit on my bike PLUS came in handy with the tent. pretty sure mi papa's not getting his cords back. ever.
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Old 05-18-2006, 04:01 PM   #22
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got all the shopping done yesterday and I've started packing. Leaving on tuesday and I seriously cannot wait. Quick question. What does everyone recommend about bringing as far as cash goes? I was planning on bringing my atm/debit card and a credit card for emergencies, but should I be bringing any cash with me on the airplane for when we first get there? My mom said I should at least have 50 bucks American Dollars, but would I be able to easily exchange that for euros right when I get there? I thought it would be easier to find an atm when we get there. Let me know what the best option would be. In addition, if there are atms at shannon airport, do they charge any extra fees?
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Old 05-18-2006, 04:40 PM   #23
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Hey, I'm pretty sure there must be ATMs at the airport, I've not been to Shannon before, but I'm pretty convinced there are ATMs. Anyway, I personally would recommend exchanging a bit of money before you go... Not sure of the exchange rate, but even if it's not too great, it'll be more convenient.

Do you have a money belt, or something similar where you can keep your money safe? If so, what I would do is exchange enough dollars into euros to last you a couple of days at least. ATMs are going to charge you, and if you only withdraw cash as and when you need it, or spend on your card regularly, you're going to end up getting charged a fair bit.

What I plan on doing when I go away is probably take out enough cash to last me 2 or 3 days, then get more when it runs out. That way, at least I'm not getting charged for a withdrawal every day, or every time I spend on my card (although having said that, I've found a bank account over here in England that doesn't charge you for transactions or withdrawals abroad, so I might switch accounts).

That was a really long winded way to say that I would exchange money before you leave.
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Old 05-18-2006, 08:56 PM   #24
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awesome, thanks for the response. Would I be able to get euros at a standard bank or would I have to go elsewhere to exchange it? I was pretty much planning on taking out 200-300 euros at a time while I'm there just b/c there's the 1% international fee that my bank charges and I don't want it to add up. And yes, we do have moneybelts, so the money should be pretty safe.
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Old 05-18-2006, 11:06 PM   #25
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Most any bank (North American, I assume you mean) will be able to sell you Euros, they're pretty easy to come by. You may need to go to a head office, if you're in a small community, or they may need to order them in for you, but go in today and ask, and you'll likely be able to get Euros before you go. It's a good idea to have some before you arrive, and small bills or change if you can get it (sometimes you have to pay for stuff before you get to the main airport lounges.) - if anyone you know has been to Europe recently, ask if they have any loose change left over. Pay for it, if they ask, but chances are they'll just give it to you.

I've never heard of a major international airport NOT having ATMs, although sometimes they can be tricky to find. A useful pan-European word is "Bancomat", possibly spelled differently, it's a pretty common monniker for money machines. "ATM" isn't widely used.

It's also worthwhile having a bit of US cash along - you probably won't need to exchange it, but that way you'll have some cash on hand when you get back into the US. I made a critical error on a domestic flight last year - hadn't been in the States for two years, and didn't know that you sometimes have to pay for in-flight meals. With cash. I didn't have a dime, but fortunately, my 9 year old and 7 year old had some birthday money along and we managed to scrounge up $5 - enough to buy one "snack pack" to share between me and the four kids! Live and learn, and pass it on!

Good idea to take out a chunk of money at a time, those fees can really add up.

Sounds like you have everything under control, have a great trip.

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Old 05-19-2006, 01:39 AM   #26
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In Ireland, the ATM will probably be referred to as a cashpoint, or cash machine, as it is in England.

200-300 euros at a time sounds like a good amount at a time, you're gonna have a blast!
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Old 05-21-2006, 01:47 PM   #27
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tumblezweedz and lauren313, thanks again for all of the help. The advice has been very useful. I was photocopying all of my documents today, and I made copies for my parents and ones to take with us in case we lose something. Where's the best place to keep these copies? I was guessing my money belt, but the moneybelt will have all of the real cards in it as well. Thanks again. The days are counting down til we leave!
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Old 05-21-2006, 02:50 PM   #28
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Scan them and email them to yourself as well, just in case you lose your copies. Then you can find an internet cafe and print them out again.

What's your name by the way? I've been replying to a few of your messages, and feel rude not addressing you by your name!
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Old 05-21-2006, 09:36 PM   #29
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thanks.. my name is chris by the way. I'm assuming yours is lauren
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Old 05-21-2006, 11:12 PM   #30
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We usually travel with our original documents in a money belt, and the copies in our pack (secured) back at the hostel. Possibly not the safest choice, but we've never had any problems, so it has worked for us.

We try not to use a full up day pack when we go out (hands are too full of kids to take along anything more than we need - and we try to blend in as much as possible), but if you have one and are unsure about the security at your hostel, just tuck them in your bag. A couple sheets of paper isn't going to weigh you down too much!

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Old 05-22-2006, 05:12 AM   #31
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No, my name's not lauren...

Ok, I'm only kidding, sorry!

Hi Chris!
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Old 05-22-2006, 01:27 PM   #32
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tumblezweedz, thanks for the tips, we'll probably put the papers in our daypacks. What's your name by the way? My name's Chris and I'm very appreciative of all the help.

lauren, I figured I wasn't going out on a limb there with the assumption.. hah although you sometimes never know.

One more day.. flying to Boston tomorrow at 2 and then it's off to Ireland. We should be arriving in Shannon, Ireland on the morning of the 24th b/c of time changes, etc. Then it's off to Galway to start our adventures.
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Old 05-22-2006, 02:12 PM   #33
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Well, not sure if you'll check this before then, but have a wonderful time, I expect to hear all about it!
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Old 06-04-2006, 08:13 AM   #34
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thanks so much. We are having a great time in Ireland. We're currently in Derry and then heading back to Shannon tomorrow to fly out on Tuesday. This trip has been amazing and I'd like to thank everyone for their help. We flew into Shannon and immediately went to Galway. Spent 2 days there and then had an awesome time spending the night on the Aran Islands. Spent another day in Galway after that and then went to Kilkenny for a night and part of a day. Spent 3 nights in Cork and had a blast. The night in Dublin was great, but I'm glad we didn't plan to spend any more time there. Derry has been great so far and we've seen so much in all the areas we've been. Surprisingly, the weather has been amazing. Only rained maybe 2 days and even then it wasn't bad. We've met some great people along the way, but I'm kinda ready to go home now. I know I'll miss travelling once I get settled in at home, but it will be nice to dry off with a real towel, take a long hot shower, sleep in a room by myself, etc. I'm sure I'll post more about my trip and put up the 600 or so pictures we've taken on a photo hosting website.
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Old 06-06-2006, 02:57 PM   #35
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I expect you're probably on your way home now. Thanks for posting about your trip, I look forward to hearing more details from you!

I'm glad the weather was good for you! Sounds like you had lots of fun!

PS. I know what you mean about when you'r ready to go home, it's nice to have home comforts!
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Old 06-10-2006, 08:59 AM   #36
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like I said, the trip was amazing. Really didn't have any huge problems that couldn't be solved easily enough. The one thing that is tough is to decide whether to book ahead or not. On the one hand, if you don't book ahead, you have more freedom to choose if you want to stay somewhere longer or leave earlier. On the other hand, we learned that weekends book quickly. We had a hotel for the first 2 nights that our mom got us so that we could settle in first. That was in Galway and those first 2 days were fun, but we were still adjusting to the time change, etc. The next night we stayed on the Aran islands at a B+B (hostel all booked out). Splurging for a B+B isn't too bad. We probably got 3 of them for our trip, mostly b/c we couldn't find a hostel to live in. Before we left, we booked a night at the Galway Hostel for the night after the Aran Islands. That hostel was extremely cool. After us discovering the difficulty in booking on weekends, we decided to book for the rest of the trip online. We got a hostel in Cork for 3 nights, a hostel in Dublin for 1 night, and a hostel in Derry for 3 nights. The only places we couldn't get ones for were Kilkenny and Shannon(we were flying out in the mid afternoon on the 6th). In those cases, we just buckled down and got a B+B. After Galway, we headed to Kilkenny. Since we were there only a night and part of a day, we tried to find the train/bus station (our bus dropped us off on a street, but come to think of it, we probably could have just had it take us to the bus station as well..) and got lost b/c the entrance wasn't clearly marked. We eventually found it and it was good that we did, b/c the last bus leaving for Cork was at 3:30 and we were planning on getting to the bus station aroudn that time the next day. We checked into our B+B and took a long nap before hitting up the pubs later that night. The next morning, we woke up early so that we could see all of the sites. Luckily Kilkenny is pretty small, so we were able to fit everything in while still catching a bus to Cork. Cork was an amazing city and the hostel was really cool. It was a bigger city and it was surprisingly hard to find a good pub or any of the ones listed in my guidebook (granted the guidebook was a couple years old). We did have a great time there though. Dublin was fun and I'm glad we didn't spend any more than a day there. We got to see the Guinness storehouse and got to see some of the pubs and Trinity College. Next stop was Derry and that was one of the coolest cities. Derry City Independent Hostel is an amazingly comfy hostel. We booked for a 6 bed room, but we got a 2 bed room for the same price since there were no available 6 bed rooms. Also, there was free laundry and internet, which was a huge plus since we had to pay for internet everywhere else. It definitely felt like home and we had a great time there. We took a day trip to go to the Giant's Causeway and that was just an amazing site. We walked around there for hours before heading back to Derry. When it was finally time to leave, we left Derry on the 5th and headed to Shannon to relax before catching our flight the next day. The trip was great and we definitely learned some good lessons for the next time one of us does a trip like this.
1. If you book ahead, book ahead on the weekends at least
2. Get a pair or two of the fast drying underwear. We tried to wash and hang dry some of our clothes early on, but they just didn't dry fast enough. It was mostly boxers and socks and maybe one light shirt. I guess in the future, we should do the washing and drying at a place we know we'll be at for a couple days rather than a B+B that we were just at for a night)
3. Bring Jeans. I hated my pair of dark khakis b/c I didn't feel they went with stuff as well. I'm not huge into everything matching exactly, but I love jeans too much. Even if they do get wet, you can always pay to get them washed/dried.

overall, I felt like I packed the perfect amount of stuff. I didn't forget anything that I needed and I didn't regret bringing anything. 2 weeks was a perfect time for a first trip b/c I was definitely ready to come home at the end. I'd love to do a month long trip sometime after I graduate college (next year), so hopefully these 2 weeks will prepare me for an even longer trip. I'll post a link to pictures once I get around to uploading them.
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Old 06-11-2006, 11:03 PM   #37
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Sounds like a great trip, glad everything went well for you (except the jeans/khakis - ah well, live and learn!)



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Old 07-12-2006, 09:48 AM   #38
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So i was looking into buying packing cubes to organize my travel.
http://www.ebags.com/ebags/packing_cubes_3...m?modelid=13032

But then I was thinking if I really need to spend that money on those. So rather I looked into getting large clear plastic zip bags. Ziploc brand just came out with some enormous bags (10 gal and 20 gal) which I was about to buy until I realized how large they are. Then at Target I saw some 2.5 gallon bags with a sliding zipper on sale for $2.11 for 15 of them (hefty onezip jumbo 2.5 gallon). I'm starting to pack and these are going to be extremely helpful.

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