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Old 07-26-2006, 06:02 AM   #1
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Well, I landed in London yesterday morning and so far this trip is a miserable disaster.
I never wanted to be in shitty over-expensive London in the first place but was advised to book a flight there cuz it's cheaper, then go to A'dam and on. Big stupid mistake. I would have saved money and a lot of headache to just go straight from US to A'dam instead. Now I'm desperately trying to figure out how to get to A'dam ASAP w/o getting screwed out of hundreds more dollars. Cheap flights on ryanair & easyjet? Wrong! Not if you didn't book over a week in advance, something I can't do bc I don't have a credit card. (Special thanx to the *%#+*'s who forgot to tell me this!) I've got a new visa debitcard but they won't accept that for online purchases. On top of that, they insist I buy fixed-date return fare to London because I'm not EU. WTF!!! How can I figure out where I'm going as I go if everyone wants you to buy fixed-date return fares?!? Isn't proof of my US return flight ticket enough?
Speaking of the visa debit card, after I bought it and loaded $3000 onto it, I read the fine print and found out I'm getting fucked out of 7% on the exchange rates when I use it, as opposed to the only 2 to 3% on regular credit cards. Nobody told me this either. There goes at least another $210 down the shithole.
Because I was so tired, I spent £60 (aka $120+, the best deal I could find) on a craphole room in Earl's Court. Another big mistake. It had no AC so was hot & sweaty and the bed was itchy, so I got absolutely no sleep. So now I'm on 2 days in a row with no sleep and am so tired and depressed right now I don't know what the fuck I'm gonna do. I can't even think.
I'm probably going to have to cancel my planned meetup in A'dam tonight bc I can't find any way to get there w/o getting assfucked first.
Does anyone have any ideas on how to get out of this hole (before it drains the rest of my money) so I can actually enjoy Europe? (please remember: unlike apparently everyone else on this forum, I don't have any credit cards and therefore can't book everything online weeks in advance)
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Old 07-26-2006, 06:41 AM   #2
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I'm going out on a limb here but maybe a travel agent can help you arrange the flights. Explain your situation and maybe they can help you book the flights and you pay them.

I'm sure others have better advice though!

Sorry your having a bad time!
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Old 07-26-2006, 07:09 AM   #3
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The ferry is a common way to get to A'dam from England, and shouldn't be too expensive either...no?
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Old 07-26-2006, 07:19 AM   #4
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You can get buses to mainland Europe, look up the bus companys. See what it costs for a walk on ferry ticket, the companys I know are stena line and Irish ferrys. Check all the Irish and UK airlines because they've all gone cheep to compete with ryanair and easyjet and their still proper airlines.

Can't you buy tickets direct at the airport?

I don't use credit cards ether it's just as easy to get around Europe without one.

Call your bank and see if there's any way of getting your money put into a regular current account using an ATM card to withdraw the money. Many Irish and UK banks are having a fees war and have stoped charging fees on certain transactions see if any of them can give you a good transaction rate.

I'd say your just going to have to take the hit on it though it's probably going to be near impossible to get that money back, never trust a bank the only assumtion you can make about them is that they will screw you.

Don't worry once you get to Amsterdam all your worries will go up in a puff of smoke.
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Old 07-27-2006, 07:34 PM   #5
 
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i think you can take a bus from london to amsterdam for about 20 pounds
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Old 07-27-2006, 09:11 PM   #6
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by AndyMcK@Jul 26 2006, 08:02 AM
Well, I landed in London yesterday morning and so far this trip is a miserable disaster.
I never wanted to be in shitty over-expensive London in the first place but was advised to book a flight there cuz it's cheaper, then go to A'dam and on. Big stupid mistake.
Advised by whom?

Quote:
I would have saved money and a lot of headache to just go straight from US to A'dam instead.
Did you compare the price of a direct flight to Amsterdam to the price of a flight to London?

Quote:
Now I'm desperately trying to figure out how to get to A'dam ASAP w/o getting screwed out of hundreds more dollars. Cheap flights on ryanair & easyjet? Wrong! Not if you didn't book over a week in advance, something I can't do bc I don't have a credit card. (Special thanx to the *%#+*'s who forgot to tell me this!)
Seriously, you flew to London, knowing that you'd just be passing through to go to Amsterdam...yet you didn't book your travel from London to Amsterdam before you left?! Did you check Ryanair or Easyjet's website AT ALL before you left the US? If you did, you'd probably have learned about the advance purchase requirements to get the best prices. Is it really the fault of the person who "forgot" to tell you that you have to book airline tickets in advance to get the best deals? After all, it's kinda a commonly known thing about air travel...

Quote:
I've got a new visa debitcard but they won't accept that for online purchases.
Yeah, this I understand because I'm in a similar position. When I tried to book with Ryanair, the booking engine wouldn't let me. However, easyJet, flybe, and regular booking engines like Orbitz DID allow me to use my card to book flights. Have you even tried?

Quote:
On top of that, they insist I buy fixed-date return fare to London because I'm not EU. WTF!!! How can I figure out where I'm going as I go if everyone wants you to buy fixed-date return fares?!? Isn't proof of my US return flight ticket enough?
Who is "they"!? I didn't have any problems booking one way fares in Europe. I flew one way to London, one way to Helsinki, one way from Tallinn to London, and one way from Liverpool to Belfast. I never had any problems booking those tickets.

Quote:
Speaking of the visa debit card, after I bought it and loaded $3000 onto it, I read the fine print and found out I'm getting fucked out of 7% on the exchange rates when I use it, as opposed to the only 2 to 3% on regular credit cards. Nobody told me this either. There goes at least another $210 down the shithole.
Where did you get this Visa card?

Quote:
Because I was so tired, I spent £60 (aka $120+, the best deal I could find) on a craphole room in Earl's Court. Another big mistake. It had no AC so was hot & sweaty and the bed was itchy, so I got absolutely no sleep. So now I'm on 2 days in a row with no sleep and am so tired and depressed right now I don't know what the fuck I'm gonna do. I can't even think.
You arrived in London with NO hostel (or hotel) reservation?
Even without a reservation, did you bother to print out or write down information for several hostels so that you could see who had a bed available once you got to London?

Quote:
I'm probably going to have to cancel my planned meetup in A'dam tonight bc I can't find any way to get there w/o getting assfucked first.
Yeah, certainly seems like it.

Quote:
Does anyone have any ideas on how to get out of this hole (before it drains the rest of my money) so I can actually enjoy Europe? (please remember: unlike apparently everyone else on this forum, I don't have any credit cards and therefore can't book everything online weeks in advance)
I don't have a credit card either, but between my reloadable debit card and other means, I was able to PLAN and BOOK most of my itinerary before I left for Europe. As for a cheap way to get from London to Amsterdam, you can get there by:
Bus for £24 if you're 25 or under, leaving tomorrow.
Train+ferry...if you're under 26, you can get the youth fare for £42 on the day of travel. You can get it as cheap as £25, but that requires 7-day advance purchase.

Also, tomorrow (Friday), there are THREE different flights available on bmi flying from London Heathrow to Amsterdam for a WALK-UP fare of £59. You could have done that instead of paying for your hotel room, if you had just done a little research before leaving. With taxes and surcharges, the total is £87.50.


The responsibility of proper research, planning, and booking your trip falls with YOU. The only time in which it doesn't is if you use the services of a travel agent, which in this case certainly would have saved your ass.
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Old 07-30-2006, 03:36 PM   #7
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Hope your trip is going better!
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Old 07-30-2006, 04:12 PM   #8
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Hey guys, let's try and be a little more helpful with our posts here... Yes more research should have been done, but we still have a fellow Punk not enjoying something they've probably looking forward to for a long time. Putting them down for lack of research and experience is NOT helpful and will not make their trip any easier

I agree that you should look into the ferries, and if that fails go to the airport and try to walk up and get a flight. (unless you've already left London) If you are stuck there for a while try to enjoy the city.. once you figure out how to save some cash it really is quite beautiful.

Also. changing your plans is not the end of the world.. if you really want out of London... ask the flight lady what is the cheapest flight.. and take it... branch out... find somewhere new.
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Old 07-30-2006, 06:38 PM   #9
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Hey Dude

Sorry your trip is going so shitty, but on the bright side it can only go up from here right!! Think of it as a chance to ... broaden your travelling horizons lol at the very least it will be a good story to tell when you get home, im pretty sure that if you go into the airport that you can pay for a ticket with cash/debit it might be a LITTLE bit more expensive but on easyjet you generally only end up paying 5 pound more than you do booking ahead (i could be wrong thats just wat it said on the websites) and while the ferries would be cheaper, considering wat a crappy time your having and your on a fixed amount of time i would just buy a plane ticket. I hope everythings works out well for you sorry to hear your trip started so bad.
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Old 07-30-2006, 06:57 PM   #10
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by MolsonGirl@Jul 30 2006, 06:12 PM
Putting them down for lack of research and experience is NOT helpful and will not make their trip any easier

[snapback]132973[/snapback]
Hmmm...last time I checked, I did give him suggestions on how to get out of his current situation. Thanks for playing.
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Old 07-30-2006, 07:23 PM   #11
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you were kind or rude though... i mean obviously he's upset and frustrated you could have been a little more uh tactful if you get my drift
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"Well, I had one that I was playing Quidditch the other night," said Ron, screwing up his face in an effort to remember. "What do you think that means?"
"Probably that you're going to be eaten by a giant marshmallow or something," said Harry, turning the pages of The Dream Oracle without interest.
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Old 07-30-2006, 08:07 PM   #12
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AndyMcK made it to Amsterdam on time !

Quote from another thread :
Quote:
Originally posted by AndyMcK@Jul 27 2006, 07:37 AM
Anyone in Amsterdam right now want to meetup?

I just got here last night and my friend I was supposed to meet had a family emergency and couldn't make it. Kinda sucks, so I'm just checking out the town by myself at the moment. (it's 2:30pm)
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Old 07-30-2006, 08:12 PM   #13
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Yah good for him lol
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"Well, I had one that I was playing Quidditch the other night," said Ron, screwing up his face in an effort to remember. "What do you think that means?"
"Probably that you're going to be eaten by a giant marshmallow or something," said Harry, turning the pages of The Dream Oracle without interest.
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Old 07-31-2006, 12:19 AM   #14
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Thank you Molson and Travelchick for pointing out that this is a place where we must ALWAYS be constructive and positive to our fellow Tpunks.

That's what make this community special. It's the fact that we are always there to help others in need. Whether it's to motivate, inspire, educate, and or to encourage them, we choose to do this in positive and in proactive ways.

And as long as I'm around, this community will always operate this way.


Congrats on making it to Adam, Andy! I would just say forget about percentages, having no visa, expensive cities, etc...What is done, is done. No use focusing on the past or the negatives. Chalk it up as experience. Many others that have gone before you have traveled with much less cash and resources.

Focus on finding the positives in any situation. Where theres a will theres a way .
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Old 07-31-2006, 10:15 AM   #15
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Thanx everyone for the friendly words.
Yes, I´ve made some stupid planning mistakes. I did a lot of advance planning but obviously not enough. I also listened to a now ex-friend with lots of travel experience who wouldn´t tell me shit for advice but instead just kept saying: "Don´t worry. Just go. Everything will work out fine." Thanx for nothing, Asshole!

Now I´ll try to answer Xanthous´questions:

Yes, I compared direct flights to A´dam and to London. London was about $150 cheaper. A russian friend told me it´s worth it to go to London first and easy to get to the continent ASAP. It wasn´t. I eventually found a train/ferry to A´dam package for $106 (there´s no pound sign on this german keyboard). But only after shelling out $120 for a bad hotelroom (the kind that wouldn´t get $30 back in the states) and missing the first of only 2 daily departures. The second one was 9 hours later and arrived in A´dam at almost 3am. Fortunately I still found a room for €45 right by central station. It was hotter than hell so everyone was sleeping in their underwear with the windows and doors wide open. But I digress...

Yes, it´s commonly known that booking airfare in advance is cheaper on regular airlines. Here´s why I didnt book ryanair/easyjet, etc in advance. My experienced traveller friends knew full well that I wanted to be able to hop from country to country on a whim when I felt like it w/o having a pre-planned itinerary, staying longer if I liked the place, leaving if I didn´t. Knowing that, they recommended the above-named budget airlines. Therefore I assumed that these legendary €30 or less fares would be available to purchase day of departure. After all, how can you travel on a whim if you have to book everything 7+ days in advance??? Kind of defeats the purpose, doesn´t it? So basically this means that if I want to take advantage of the deals, I have to book a flight and then wait wherever I am for 7 more days, even if the place sucks and/or I can´t find enough accomodation. This completely fucks up my whole plan for Europe. So now I´m just giving up on that idea and I´m looking for a cheap place to retreat to for a couple months to regroup & figure out what the hell I´m gonna do now. More on that in a seperate post.

"Who is "they"!? I didn't have any problems booking one way fares in Europe."

Are you EU? I´m not. They are the travel agents and airlines I talked to in London and A´dam. As non-EU they all want to make sure you´re going back to where you came from. Hopefully they don´t ALL force you to buy return fare, but the ones I talked to do.

I got the Visa "travel money debit card" at AAA, the only company in all of SW Florida where you CAN get it, according to Visa´s own location finder.

The reason I didn´t reserve a hostel in London is because I didn´t plan on spending any nights there. I didn´t even plan on walking outside of Heathrow. I stupidly assumed (based on the info I had) that there would be a ryanair or easyjet desk right there and I´d just hop right on. Not only was that not a possibility, but ryanair and easyjet don´t even go to Heathrow at all! You have to go to airports outside of London first.

I eventually caught the train/ferry combo for $106, thanks, but I never found out about the BMI same-day deal despite having "done a little research before leaving" and even asking around Heathrow for over 2 hours.

BTW, sorry for responding so late. I haven´t had much luck finding good internet cafes. And yes, "google is your friend", but like some friends, it can also waste a lot of your time. Sending you down blind alleys, particularly if you don´t have the exact right magic set of search words. Trust me, I´ve spent countless hours on google and most of it has been unproductive.

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Old 07-31-2006, 10:22 AM   #16
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I'm glad you got there OK! Shame you didn't like London much, maybe in better circumstances you wouldn't have found it so shitty! But I know how it is, you're stressed and tackling London just doesn't help matters!

Have a wicked time in A-dam now you're there, hope the rest of your trip goes smoothly!
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Old 07-31-2006, 03:54 PM   #17
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So glad you made it! and just think your trip can only get better from here.. and you'll have a great story to tell when you get back.
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Old 07-31-2006, 04:05 PM   #18
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good to hear your finally there. a trip to the coffee shops might help you forget all the stress of getting there
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