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General Travel Tips and Advice Have you traveled before?- Please share your tips and advice with fellow Tpunks!

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Old 02-18-2005, 12:50 AM   #1
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I'm going to Morocco and Spain from March 10-27. Have any of you guys been? Do you have any advice, tips, hints, warnings, etc for me? I'd love to hear about your previous trips. Thanks, Matt.
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Old 02-18-2005, 09:01 AM   #2
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I've been to Spain several times and lived there for a bit. The main thing I would tell you is to get out of the bigger cities and visit the towns and villages, the countryside is beautiful and there are lots of places to explore.

It you have any specific questions let us know!
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Old 02-18-2005, 09:28 AM   #3
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Hi blacklskater! Spain and Morocco are two of my most favourite countries It's a shame you only have such limited time.

Morocco can be a hard place to travel and rather tiring but the rewards are great. Expect to feel drained from the heat, heckling and negotiating/bargaining with people. There is poverty, dirty smells and rubbish in the cities and even villages.
A few tips are:
-Always negotiate the price of a taxi before leaving. They will try to charge 5 times the going rate because they know you're a tourist
-Train is more comfortable over bus. Mainly as its air conditioned. It also saves the hassling at the bus staion from private bus operators.
-If you know french it will help you substantially. But knowing Arabic will gain you lots more respect and they will be more helpful. Even Berber in those particular areas.
-Watch your stuff in tourist areas like the Jemma el-Fna square, Marrakesh. People will reach into your pockets.
-People will expect you to pay them to take photos of themselves.

That's about it for now. If you wanna know about certain places, shoot.

ev
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Old 02-18-2005, 11:33 AM   #4
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Hey! I second what Ev (urOZm8) said....we were both there just last summer so if you have more specific questions, shoot! I loved both countries immensely!

And be glad you are going in March when it won't be SO DAMN HOT!!!!! (I was there in July and it was the hottest I've been in my life )
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Old 02-18-2005, 02:36 PM   #5
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Rabat is kind of dull, tangiers is cool if you make it out of the port, Fez is beautiful but the people are assholes (think of new yorkers), Marrakech is incredible, Assilah is a lovely old fort town on the coast, spend a night there and wander around its just.. lovely. I got some of my best photos there. Visit Volubilis. It's near Meknes, take the train there and then from Meknes get a grand taxi. Awesome roman ruins, you can wander freely, lots of gorgeous mosaics which sadly are not even remotely protected from the elements or souvenir hunters. I like the food, and how cheap everything is. Get lost in the medina. If you're a chick and dont want to be hassled wear a headscarf. Seriously. Its not a sign of subjugation, believe me I am as liberated as the next person, but just wear it. You'll thank me. Especially if your hair is light. If you want really nitty gritty details, ask more detailed questions.... I'm here for you babe. Its my favorite place on earth.
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Old 02-20-2005, 09:37 AM   #6
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Spain's great! I think you'll find Barcelona pretty expensive, but it IS a cool city. I'd also recommend basing yourself in Madrid for a few days and take some day trips out of there, like to Toledo, Segovia, etc. I used the train when I did it because I enjoy train travel more (plus there's less of a chance of "missing" getting off at your stop. They're pretty clearly marked.

Weird thing, language-wise, though. The closer you are to Madrid, the more people pretend to speak only Spanish. The further away, the more friendly and willing to meet you halfway they become.

Oh, and Madridilenos LOOOOOVE to party!

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Old 02-21-2005, 07:45 PM   #7
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Well, right now I don't have any specific questions, I just wanted to see if there was any thing I overlooked or missed entirely. But if I have any specific questions in the next week or two I know who/where to ask.

Here's a general question though:

I have about 1500+ in my bank account and a credit card (which I'd prefer not to use, but am going to take incase). As stated before I'll be gone for 17 days. I have never traveled outside the US, with the exception of a few day trips to TJ. So, how should I disperse my funds? How much cash, how much on my ATM, how much in travelers checks (is this even necceary), etc? I certainly don't plan on spending 1500 dollars in 17 days, my budgets have forcasted between 650 and 950; I'm gonna shoot for even lower - we'll see. But it would be nice to know how much cash and how much plastic you guys carry.
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Old 02-21-2005, 08:16 PM   #8
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Don't even take any traveller's checks....you can get any cash you need from an ATM. They are everywhere.

I would say I averaged about $250 US a week last summer in Spain/Portugal.....maybe more when I started eating out and partying a lot
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Old 02-21-2005, 08:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2fan@Feb 21 2005, 08:16 PM
Don't even take any traveller's checks.
Good, because I didn't want to.
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Old 02-22-2005, 01:12 AM   #10
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Your credit card is just an ugly piece of plastic in morocco.
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Old 02-24-2005, 06:10 AM   #11
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My info's kind of dated re costs, as we went in '91 (many of you were in diapers, no doubt), but we took the ferry across from Algeciras, which is as seedy a port town as you could ever hope to meet. But I like that kind of thing. As soon as you leave the port in Tangier, expect to be hassled by lots of people who want to be your friend, but of course, really need your money. Best approach is to be polite but non-comittal, and that's tough because some of these guys are pretty persistent. Either that, or pretend you're Lithuanian and speak no other languages! We didn't have that advantage in those days. We got a lot more respect speaking French than English, unfortunately we don't speak Arabic,

We spent a week in Casablanca staying with Moroccan friends, so I don't have much useful about accommodations, food, etc., but the city was fun to explore, had some beautiful beaches and mosques etc., certainly worth a visit, but probably not for the bulk of your time. As a painfully white single girl, I wore a dress at first, but my Moroccan host told me it was totally unnecessary, my walking shorts were fine. I never felt uncomfortable in the city, but I have heard that that kind of attire is not well received elsewhere. Indeed, if we were not with our local friend, I probably would have stuck with the dress and if I'd been alone, would have definitely opted for the headscarf. Blending in is all about not standing out, after all!

Everyone I know, myself included, who has visited Morocco has been deeply affected by it. Go with an open mind and it will change your life. Enjoy!
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Old 03-03-2005, 11:10 PM   #12
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Alright I got a question now:

I'm cheap; are Malaga, Cadiz, Sevilla, etc practical places to find a nice spot in the park/beach/city to sleep without worrying about putting myself in to much danger or getting in trouble with the law?
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