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Tagged With "train trip"

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Re: Trains in Cuba

PHeymont ·
Great question...and possibly not an easy clear answer. Cuba's trains have generally been in poor shape in recent years as older equipment has run down and spares not available. However, according to Mark Smith (The Man in Seat 61), that's changing with the arrival of a fleet of new Chinese-built locomotives. On his site ( Seat61.com ) he has an extensive update of recent changes in schedules, routes and locations (that's important because Havana's main station is closed for a 3-year...
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Re: Trains in Cuba

Wilbur's Travels ·
Thanks for the info. I too love Mark's site. I will try my damnedest to do a train journey if I can so I can send you details. Wilbur.
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Re: Is Porto worth the trip?

PHeymont ·
Much as I loved my time in Porto...it's NOT a day trip. Much too much to do there, including evening stroll along the Douro, port-wine tasting across the river in Vila Nova de Gaia and more. I'd say take the advice above and save Porto for another trip. Of the recommended day trips above, I'd vote for Sintra. It's an easy trip--trains run about every 30 minutes, more frequently in rush hours, The town itself is interesting, the Moorish Castle up on the mountain and the Pena Palace above that...
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Re: World's scariest hiking trail?

Dr.Y ·
Actually, the Hua Shan (Mountain Hua) is close to the city of Xi'an (where Terracotta warriors museum is located). I visited both in a same trip few years ago. Regarding to the Hua Shan trial, there was a local advise "if you want to climb to the tea house, better do it during night, because you do not see what is around you, ha ha! ". Of course, now a days, you can get there comfortably by riding a Gondola.
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Re: How'd We Live Without Travel Apps?

Sunny ·
I love Yelp as well, and there is a app called Happy Hours. It shows me restaurants with their own happy hours and happy hour menu. I also like hiking trail apps. Those apps tells me hiking trails in the cities I am traveling in (in the US). I recently tried Wishbeen. It is a web application though. It's a travel planning and sharing web. I like it a lot because it helps me browse travel itineraries made by other travelers, and I can easily modify them for my own trip. It also has a map...
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Re: How'd We Live Without Travel Apps?

PAWeber ·
Google Translate was indispensable when my teenage son came down with a throat infection while in Bangkok. I typed in his symptoms, translated it to Thai, and showed the pharmacist. Ten minutes later he had a regimen of amoxicillin and some throat lozenges. I like XE Currency app for my tablet and iPhone. Also Groupon - there are franchises in foreign countries and right now I'm keeping an eye on Dubai Groupon for an upcoming trip. Finally I like Yelp when I'm traveling in the USA.
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Re: Finishing college. Need help planning trip to U.K,

Travel Rob ·
Hi Hank, I've actually found the UK a pretty reasonable destination in recent years, especially outside of London.(My budget was way under yours for a month long trip to Europe last June.)A lot of museums are free. Transportation costs within the country can be reasonable too.Not only do they have advance cheap train tickets but they have bus and budget air choices.And of course there are some good budget hotel chains as well, such as Travelodge and the Tune Hotel Have fun and keep watching...
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Re: Finishing college. Need help planning trip to U.K,

Hank ·
Again thanks, this is incredibly helpful!! So I think I'll look at trains for trips from bigger cities to other cities, and fill in the gaps with bus if the pricing works out. A little more planning is needed. Even though it's expensive, I do want to spend around a week in London. Being an architect, there's just so much to see and do there, like seeing the Houses of Parliament and Westminister Abbey. I plan on being on the go almost all day each day there -- can rest later, maybe in the...
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Re: Finishing college. Need help planning trip to U.K,

Hank ·
Wow, this is turning into a real education!! I checked with my uncle and yes, I can fly Chicago to Manchester and return from either London or Paris to Chicago. The ticket is free to him and he said he would cover any fees as a "graduation gift to me" (he's a pretty cool dude!), but I don't want to burden him with a heavy departure fee, so maybe Paris would be the way to go. I'd like to leave about Friday, May 9th and return 4 weeks later, June 6th. A few days later and returning a few days...
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Re: Spring Honeymoon Help

DrFumblefinger ·
Congratulations SueZee! We're delighted in your marriage, and you've picked a great country in which to honeymoon. May is not too early to go to Italy, although pack a light jacket just in case. The crowds won't be there yet and you'll save some money when compared to the peak summer season. Where to go is very much a matter of taste. Most definitely you need to go to Venice and I'd say spend at least 5 days here, maybe with a day trip or two (such as to the glass making island of Murano or...
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Re: Finishing college. Need help planning trip to U.K,

Hank ·
That's helpful too, Rob. So with your guys advice, I'm thinking of the following plan, which still has holes I need to fill. I actually like the idea of Paris more than Scotland for this trip, plus I worry about the cost of travel to Scotland back so unless I can get a really cheap plane ticket or train ticket to Edinburgh, I think I'll drop that and focus on eastern UK and then on to Paris. So this is where I'm at now: 1) Arrive in Manchester. Maybe ??2 days 2) Travel Liverpool. 3 days 3)...
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Re: Finishing college. Need help planning trip to U.K,

PHeymont ·
Here's a link to the current rates: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_Passenger_Duty The rates are based on distance from London to capital of the other country; for U.S., that's 3661 miles and the rate converts to about $108, twice that for any class above cattle class. The APD particularly bites for Caribbean people living in UK; they're in the next band up and that means a family of 4 visiting home pay about $750 round trip on top of the tickets!
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Re: Traveling for Local Food

Former Member ·
To be honest, Varsity ain't what it was when I was in college...there's better places around. Some good stuff on Marietta St. near the convention center, and lots of good places in Decatur area (we're near there). That's the kind of stuff I'm looking for to make up our road trip.
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Re: Finishing college. Need help planning trip to U.K,

Hank ·
Hi everyone! I'm back. Just arrived at my parents home for Thanksgiving. Not had a lot of time to work on this trip since I last visited TravelGumbo, but some progress to report. I have a firm ticket reservation for Manchester, returning from Paris, though a few days off the dates we talked about. But 29 days in Europe! Whooppeee!! I have a guidebook from the Library which I'm going to go through this long weekend (one by Fodors). I think this will help. Anyone know of a good pocket size...
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Re: Finishing college. Need help planning trip to U.K,

GarryRF ·
England is only as big as Florida ! I haven't seen a Guide book that sub-divides us! Wales is full of Castles, Mountains and Lakes. Tourists often divide England between the North and South. The North is often cooler and wetter than further South. But your Dollar will go twice as far up here in the North! And we're much friendlier. Have a look at places you'd like to visit. York (the old one) will keep you busy for 2 days. Train or Bus from Liverpool. Or a day or two in Europe from Liverpool...
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Re: Finishing college. Need help planning trip to U.K,

Hank ·
Hi guys, hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. It was good to be with my family again. Visiting and catching up with everyone took longer than I'd thought, but did do a little research into the trip and came out with this plan. Basically, with GarryRF's advice, I think I'll focus my time in the north to save money cause my budget is limited. After that I'll finish my vacation in London and Paris. I need to find places to stay but more important now just to frame the trip. The details I...
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Re: Finishing college. Need help planning trip to U.K,

Hank ·
Hi Everyone! Hope you had a good Christmas. I spent mine with my parents, which was nice. I've been busy planning this trip that you've helped me with and I think I'm making good progress. Largely starting to arrange places to stay and developing a list of "must see" things for myself. Using the hostels and airB&B I've been able to get decent looking and affordable places for me. I still need to find something for London and Paris, but the rest of the trip is mostly worked out. Might...
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Re: Finishing college. Need help planning trip to U.K,

Hank ·
Thanks for the info on Snowdonia, GarryRF. Sounds like just the place I'd like to be heading towards the end of my stay in Liverpool, to clear my head a little in nautre after all that history and culture I'll be absorbing. Trip planning is coming along fine. I think I've got most everything I squared away right now that needs doing, and need to focus on completing my last months of university and my thesis. Will post again if I have any questions before I go and will give some feedback when...
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Re: Renting an apartment in Europe

HeyJude ·
After rereading people's comments/replies, I also wanted to mention that I deal with concerns about cancellation policies by buying trip cancellation insurance. Happy Traveling!
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Re: Is Pre-check or Global Entry worth it?

Former Member ·
I dunno...most of my overseas flights have come home through Kennedy in NY or gone out that way, and the way it's been sometimes, I think at $100 for 5 years, I'd take it. I'd probably even take it as a $50 per round-trip deal. When you get off the plane, you want to go home, not wait hours in a line...
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Re: Minneapolis in the winter

Ottoman ·
Hi Theodore! I am a Mall of America fan. You can easily spend an entire weekend (or many evenings) at the Mall of America. First of all, the mall is very easy to get to by train from downtown (CICAK did a wonderful job explaining that), and fares are quite cheap (fares go for about $1.75 to $2.25 one way depending on what time of day you ride). As CICAK also mentioned, there is something for everybody at the mall. If you just want to find a warm dry place to walk and people watch, I believe...
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Re: Doctor List for Traveling

PortMoresby ·
SueZee, I'm sure there is but, as I mentioned, I just don't think you need to worry about it. As a last resort you can call the embassy if the first line of defense, hotels & pharmacies, can't help. Very unlikely. Tell your cousins only rank beginners and sick people spend time worrying that could be enjoyed planning their trip.
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Re: Doctor List for Traveling

PortMoresby ·
Mac says, a good travel insurance policy is an absolute requirement - The part he left off was "for me", for him. Insurance, any kind, is playing the odds. When you buy it you're betting you'll have a disaster. When you don't you're figuring the likelihood of a dire event is low. If you take an occasional trip of short duration and can afford insurance, sure, why not. When the number & length of trips begins to mount and the budget becomes more of an issue then maybe not. It's called...
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Re: Doctor List for Traveling

DrFumblefinger ·
As with many things travel, insurance is a matter of choice. Travel Health Insurance seems to be a lot more expensive in the US than elsewhere. Policies in the US usually include trip cancellation and medical coverage and often run 5-6% the cost of a trip. Given the amount you travel, Mac, the investment of a few hundred dollars a year seems prudent to me. But when I was 30 the thought of insurance never crossed my mind. Not once. A few years ago I did start buying trip cancellation (and...
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Re: Hi Everybody! I'm new here.

DrFumblefinger ·
By the way, Mrs. Briggs, the question about a road trip in California is a good one. Why don't you start a separate forum page (thread) on that? One way to make it easier for people in the future to benefit from our discussions. Ted, if you have suggestions for Mrs. Briggs, keep an eye out for that and help her out.
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Re: Is trip cancellation insurance really worth it?

Former Member ·
My elderly mother bought it when she went on a cruise. For her, it made sense because her health is not so good. She might have had to cancel and did not want to lose her deposit. The policy that she bought was specifically for trip cancellation but did not cover health issues or other unexpected issues during the trip. That policy would have covered a deposit refund but not all of them do. There are lots of different types of trip insurance so one has to ask lots of questions. As it turns...
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Re: Hi Everybody! I'm new here.

Former Member ·
Hi, Ted... Me and my family like to do road trips...we're planning one now from Atlanta to Denver...but we've never gone to California that way...too far. So if we wanted to fly somewhere in California and have a 10-day or so road trip with a few days stop at the end, where should we start and what should we see?
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Re: How to not miss a connecting flight

Travel Rob ·
Another thing I've noticed is I'm sometimes forced to go through Customs while transiting, even when the airlines tell me that won't be the case. On my last trip, I transited China twice and both times had to go through customs. I almost missed a connection because of that.
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Re: Air Miles vs Low Fare Airline

PHeymont ·
The AA-BA mashup is tricky, yes, but not as devious as it may seem. Between New York and Paris, for instance, AA has only two non-stops a day; BA has a half-dozen (or more, including Open Skies). And, BA has many seats LON-PAR, so availability is greater. A similar situation exists on this side of the ocean, where BA feeds many AA domestic flights. It's sometimes possible to get around better if you don't mind one stop...we've used AA to Madrid paired with Iberia to Paris (Iberia's charges...
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Re: Has Anyone Traveled With a Folding Bicycle?

PortMoresby ·
I've never traveled with a bicycle myself, but on my last trip to Asia I met an Englishman who travels often on business to China. We met in Yangshuo, in Guangxi, and he was traveling with a folding bicycle. He seemed a very practical sort, a designer of medical instruments and when I saw him off as he left to go to the airport, he seemed quite comfortable with his bag and another with the bicycle, going into the back of the taxi. I know nothing about it except what I observed, a happy...
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Re: GPS v. Sicily = WTF

PHeymont ·
Sounds like your GPS just wants you to have the most interesting trip! My wife and I refer to the GPS as Sybil, a nickname we gave after one we used in Chicago kept taking us into dead-ends and up wrong-way streets until we became skilled at interpreting her prophecies...as Heraclitus described an ancient Sybil: The Sibyl, with frenzied mouth uttering things not to be laughed at, unadorned and unperfumed, yet reaches to a thousand years with her voice by aid of the god. Enjoy the rest of...
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Re: London- multiple questions

chickpea ·
Thank you for all of the information. I am finally ready to finalize some things since we leave at the end of this month! We have decided not to do Liverpool...seems like we should come back and do that someday. I am thinking the Megabus option may be the way to go to Salisbury and catch the shuttle to Stonehenge from there. That way we can see the cathedral while we are there. Do you know if it is a short walk to the cathedral or will we need to take a taxi from the Megabus stop? Do you...
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Re: London- multiple questions

PHeymont ·
I can only help with one of the questions...but GarryRF, one of the TG Gurus, lives in Liverpool and can certainly help with that part. For Stonehenge without a car, there are really two main options. There are a number of tour operators who run coach tours from London to the site; or you can take a train from London to Salisbury and take a bus from the station to the Stonehenge visitor center. The visitor center is new since I was there; it's about 10 minutes by shuttle from the stones...
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Re: Impression about Perth, Australia

DrFumblefinger ·
I've actually visited Perth, attending a medical meeting there some years back. I really enjoyed the city. Mostly modern, but with historic colonial era buildings. Very friendly people, especially considering they're all descended from convicts (a point of pride and good humor with them, I found). Perth was a good springboard for a road-trip around southwestern Australia, including a drive up to Shark's Bay, through the wildflower way (am I remember that name correctly), down to the large...
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Re: Four Days in Berlin

DrFumblefinger ·
Thanks for the food info tour. Will definitely look into that. Did you do a cruise on the Spree and do you think it worthwhile in your opinion given the 4 day limit of our trip?
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Re: Beating Jet Lag

PHeymont ·
I hate to say it, but I think that Songhua Ni's advice—sleep as much as you can, and walk around a bit—is going to work much better for front-of-the-plane flat-bed-seat people like him than it is for the rest of us. I recently had the pleasure of New York-Doha round-trip on Qatar, bumped up to the front, and it made an immense difference in my sleep, especially the quality of it. Otherwise, my best advice, based mostly on trans-Atlantic travel, is get on the plane to Europe tired, sleep as...
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Re: Beating Jet Lag

DrFumblefinger ·
Some people claim the newer generations of jet-liners, like the Boeing 787, will reduce jet lag because they allow higher humidity in the cabin and higher air pressure (more oxygen). In fact that was discussed right here on a TravelGumbo during an interview with Norwegian Air . A few more points. I try not to have more than one or two connections on any flight, especially on overseas trips (for people traveling from small cities, this can be challenging). I find the fatigue factor clouds my...
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Re: How do you use the internet while traveling?

Travel Rob ·
Yes this trip some places I stayed that I thought I'd have internet didn't, so I really noticed the public Wi- Fi. Also that ferry strike happened when I already checked out and left me scrambling to find a different route. So a data plan for me would of been really worth the money.
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Re: How do occupy your time while flying?

Travel Rob ·
Great ideas and i especially like the audiobook idea! For me it depends whether I'm going on the trip or returning home. Going, I tend to organize my notes and read about some of the sights I'm planning on visiting. That used to be in guidebooks but now it's a combination of guidebooks and material I've printed off. Coming home, I try to relax and unwind. Maybe watch a movie or read a fiction book. My next trip I want to use that time to learn some French.
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Re: Airbnb Questions

PortMoresby ·
1. "...is payment for Airbnb places always processed in the US even for stays overseas?" Airbnb processes reservations for guests in their own currency, pays out in the currency of the host. So you, in the US, will always pay in US dollars, a UK resident will pay in £s, etc. The host posts prices in their home currency and when a guest in another country logs in and searches/books, the price is converted by the website at the current exchange rate and they always see the rate in their own...
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Re: Top 10 Tourist Places In Kerala To Visit During Summer

Priya Sharma ·
Yes Kerala is the most visited place in India in all session. Its my favorite destination for honeymoon trip.
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Re: Around the World in...10 low-cost airlines

Travel Rob ·
I didn't go around the world last summer, but I did take an array of budget flights, buses, trains and ferries on a two month trip. Norwegian was my favorite budget airline I took. I also enjoyed the Rail and Sail package from Virgin Trains to Dublin from England.
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Re: Take A Tour To These Patriotic Places of India

Professorabe ·
Just to underline your description of Jodhpur's fort as majestic - here is one of the (many) photos I took of it on a trip through Rajasthan last year. Interesting article!
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Re: How do you buy your travel?

TravelGirlJenn ·
Interesting topic and rather timely as I am in the midst of finalizing my plans for my upcoming trip. Hotels: This upcoming trip the first I've used Booking.com. I have used a variety of sources in the past (i.e. Travelocity, Expedia, etc.) and have also found that booking directly through the hotel is sometimes cheaper...sometimes. But, I love the option to be able to change or cancel my reservation, if needed. Flights: I prefer to book directly through the airline. Have never used a...
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Re: How do you buy your travel?

TravelGirlJenn ·
For my upcoming trip, after reading this thread, I did attempt to use an online booking agency for my flights when my attempts at booking directly through the airline's website kept giving me issues. I kept getting an error. Expedia gave me the same error - could not confirm the flights. Unfortunately, I ended up having to call the airline directly. But, I did find out that Lufthansa at least has awesome customer service in that the agent tried his darnedest to get me the right flight for...
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Re: How do you buy your travel?

PHeymont ·
Few more thoughts, following HistoryDigger and DrFumblefinger... 1. Definitely check all your affiliations on car rental; after years of getting better price through AAA than any other way I knew, I recently found that going to the same vendors through USAA (my car insurance) gets me even better. 2. Not only does Priceline have good pricing on cars, I've often found I can get 30-40% lower through their blind-bidding (Name Your Own Price) service. 3. RailEurope is something of a red flag for...
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Re: How do you buy your travel?

PortMoresby ·
There's been no mention, that I noticed, of consolidators for multi-segment air travel. I've had great success over the years using Airtreks and now, after a number of bookings, have a "relationship" with an agent there. The only job of a consolidator is to find their clients the cheapest fares point to point and string them together to make a unique personalized trip. They use airlines with which they have contracts for the lowest fares so, short of a spectacular sale, will, as far as I can...
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Re: How do you buy your travel?

PHeymont ·
I'll second the Airtreks recommendation. I haven't used them, but on PortMoresby's recommendation gave their name to a colleague who had a family trip that moved several people from various places to Brazil, to other points in Brazil and then to Israel and back to the U.S.; he was surprised at the job they were able to do.
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Re: Tough Trains

DrFumblefinger ·
You might find yourself the only pale-skinned person in one of the trains to remote towns in Sri Lanka or India. Trains between Colombo and Kandy will be well-touristed. But trains running into the hills much less so so far as Sri Lanka goes. While you would blend in with the locals, I would imagine the same is true of the UK. Train travel between smaller towns, especially in the north, would have few tourists.
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Re: Tough Trains

DrFumblefinger ·
In contrast to "Tough Trains", Fodors just put out a slide-show of some of the greatest train rides in the world. How many have you been on? Here's that link .
 
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