A lot of questions :] - TravelPUNK Backpacker College Student Budget Travel Message Boards!



Go Back   TravelPUNK Backpacker College Student Budget Travel Message Boards! > Members Lounge > General Travel Tips, Education, Advice > Dumb Questions for First Time Travelers

Dumb Questions for First Time Travelers Rule number one- There are no dumb questions!
First time travelers, please ask your dumb questions here=)!

Raileurope.com: See Europe by train
Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-26-2009, 08:40 PM   #1
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 9
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default A lot of questions :]

Hello everyone! I plan on embarking on a trip to Europe in the spring.

I plan on staying at least a month. Fly into Dublin and then it's kind of all up in the air as to where we go, etc.

I need to know, well, where to even start.

My budget is about 3200 USD and growing slowly. I have no qualms working at some farm or something to get enough money for food and a bus ticket or something along those lines.

Does anyone have any good recommendations on an airline? I'd hopefully leave from Dulles Int. in DC to Dublin.

What do I need in terms of a passport? Just a normal civilian one, correct?

Where should I go for money conversions?

Should I get a credit/debit card strictly for traveling?

I have a pretty basic Sprint phone. What do I need to do to get it to work overseas? Should I just buy a Tracphone and use that?

What about electricity? What kinds of converters should I get?

I'm sure there are tons and tons of things I'm missing. Feel free to point those out. :P Also, I know this is all vague, but I plan on getting a firmer grip on everything soon.
__________________
Remember your roots, remember your home.
xCelticWolfx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-26-2009, 10:47 PM   #2
TPunk Moderator
 
Elizabeth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 1,401
Thanks: 0
Thanked 3 Times in 2 Posts
Default

Welcome to Tpunk! Planning the first trip can be daunting but take a look around the boards and soak in the knowledge and soon you will be a pro!!! As for your q's:

airline: Aer Lingus flies from Dulles. Check their site now bc their spring fares are on sale!

passport: yes and no visas required, though depending on the mood of the Irish immigration officer he or she may want proof of funds (bank statement) and proof of flight home or onward travel

money changing: take an initial $100 dollars and change about 5 dollars in the airport - it only takes about 2 euro to get into dublin city center by bus, change the rest at a bank in the city center bc the airport always has the worst rates

debit card: take your bank card and use that to get money, there are ATMs everywhere, and there is a 99.9% chance your card will work (look for cirrus or plus logo on back, one of those major ones), your bank will assess a fee for using an ATM thats not theirs but generally this cannot be avoided (bank of america gives you free withdrawls at certain intl banks - may be worth looking into depending on where you're going)

phone: sprint does not work overseas - but the question now becomes are you trying to call home, local european numbers or both? best and cheapest way to call home is with skype (phone call thru the internet)...most internet cafes have it, if you want to call european numbers while there you need an unlocked quadband GSM phone (can be found on ebay with varying prices)

electricity: depends on what electronics you are planning on bringing
Elizabeth is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2009, 11:14 AM   #3
french touch
 
Esterina's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Québec
Posts: 3,251
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Welcome on travelpunk !

Based on your questions, here's how I'd plan the trip :
  • where to even start
»budgeting is the first step, that will determine your expenses limit within the timeframe
»then read a lot on various destinations and prioritize them
»roughly or tightly plan an itinerary (depending on how much you can tolerate insecurity !), including one day of transportation between your destinations
» now you can choose the means of transport for the itinerary, and see if a eurail pass would be worth it, see if there are low cost fligths available.
  • My budget is about 3200 USD and growing slowly.
»what will be eating out big chunks of your budget is transportation, lodging and food. whatever is left can be spent on souvenirs, activities, nights out...
» if your amount doesn't include the flight, 3200/30 days=$106 a day = you live like a queen/king !
» if it does include the flight then, and it costs around let's say $800, you'd still have around $85 per day which is excellent anyway! So you do the math if you choose to travel for more than a month : in Western Europe count $50-$75 per day ; in Eastern Europe $35-$60 per day depending on the country and city.
  • What do I need in terms of a passport? Just a normal civilian one, correct?
»What Lizz said. I'd add that most of European countries do not request visas from travellers from Canada, USA, Australia. Only a couple in Eastern Europe.

  • Regarding finding a job overseas :
»This is an option that is best when you travel for an extended period of time. It is often possible to work in hostels, also doing harvest for instance could be easy to find.
I have nothing else to add to what Lizz wrote. She's travelled a lot, she knows well.
__________________

people are people


Esterina is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2009, 01:16 PM   #4
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 9
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Awesome, thanks so much for the quick help!

As for cell phones, I'm looking at a Mini KA09 unlocked quad-band GSM etc etc etc on eBay. Assuming I buy it, well, then what? XD
__________________
Remember your roots, remember your home.
xCelticWolfx is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-27-2009, 04:53 PM   #5
Admin
 
travelpunk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: spiznain
Posts: 6,568
Thanks: 41
Thanked 13 Times in 11 Posts
Default

Welcome to the boards! Thanks for the tips Lizz and Esterina. Great stuff!

I would take a credit card and an ATM card. I would make it a habit of using the credit card as much as possible and paying it off online each month or pay month to month (as you wish). If you accidently misplace your atm or lose it, you could risk losing all of your cash and it will be a nightmare to deal with your bank to get it back. Meanwhile you'll be traveling and all you'll have is a credit card. For me, it's better to lose the credit card and have the ATM as backup. Hope that makes sense...

Once you buy the unlocked phone, you can buy prepaid gsm cards (sometimes direct from the atm machines) and just use as you go. Why do you need a phone? how often will you use it? Because there are internet cafe's all over Europe and you can talk through skype or msn or what not. It'll be cheaper.
travelpunk is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2009, 04:32 AM   #6
Dig
TPunk Moderator
 
Dig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Austin Texas
Posts: 667
Thanks: 0
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default

Prior to your trip call your debit/credit card co. and tell them of your plans. This is a must. Otherwise your card no worky.
__________________
Czech Republic, Austria, Slovakia, and Hungary FALL 2012!!!
Dig is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2009, 10:14 AM   #7
Admin
 
travelpunk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: spiznain
Posts: 6,568
Thanks: 41
Thanked 13 Times in 11 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dig View Post
Prior to your trip call your debit/credit card co. and tell them of your plans. This is a must. Otherwise your card no worky.
Agreed. After my first couple of weeks in Madrid (earlier this year), my bank had put a hold on my debit card for "strange activity." It was a bit of a hassle contacting them and letting them know that I now live here. They turned it back on, but have put 2 more holds on it since then. I guess it's a safety feature, but it's very frustrating when you go to pull out money and it's not authorized then have to go through the whole phone process again...

So don't forget to call your banks ahead of time!
travelpunk is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply






Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:09 PM.



 

Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.2.0

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121