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Tagged With "Expands Low Cost Trains and Buses"

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Re: Hamburg concert hall: Overdue, Over Budget, Finished

DrFumblefinger ·
Nothing like inept bureaucrats to run up the budget....Imagine, €300 for a toilet brush! I'm sure an adequate brush could have been purchased for €3. And that's just one example. Beautiful building, but at a cost of nearly $US 1 billion, it does seem a bit pricey.
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Re: United, Delta ready to retire 'Queen of the Skies'

GarryRF ·
I'm afraid to say that the changing modes of transport are a yard stick to measure your life-span. I remember with great affection travelling on a steam train. But fail to recall the hot ash that went into your eye through the open window. My favourite childhood vehicle .....
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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: Belgium and Sweden see night-train link

PHeymont ·
I haven't found a definitive answer to that; the nearest I have come is speculation that DB is concerned about competition with existing conventional trains along the route; DB is the major carrier on the route, but they are clearly not doing much of a job of it as the schedule I've linked here shows. The minimum number of train changes is 2, with some itineraries requiring 8! And the ones with only 2 or 3 changes sell for nearly $200, compared to $70 with 8 changes. I'd think a direct...
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Re: 12 Countries ask vouchers instead of refunds

PHeymont ·
In a conversation with Travel Rob last week, I set out my minimum conditions before a bailout or other relief can be discussed: 1) All boarding to be by efficiency, no priority for anyone except physical need 2) minimum one free checked bag for all flights over 250 miles (under 250, you should drive or take a train, anyway) 3) elimination of most nuisance fees 4) minimum 32" pitch with no more than 2" recline 5) 20-year cap on exec salaries...CEO to earn max 20x full-time flight attendant...
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Re: France: Cameras are watching more than speed

PHeymont ·
Well said. I've always thought that aggressive driving is more dangerous than speeding...especially in areas where the limit is set too low.
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Re: Sweden jumps into night-train market

George G. ·
I remember taking the night train from Munich to Paris. It was very smooth and quiet. Hit the sack in the evening and wake up in Paris. I've taken Amtrak bedrooms on overnight trips, but got little sleep from the rocking and noises.
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Re: Sweden jumps into night-train market

PHeymont ·
I'd agree on the Amtrak experience: fine trip, but not sleep-friendly on the Sunset Limited or the Coast Starlight. But I also found the Catania-to-Naples night train not the smoothest either, but it did come with the excitement of the entire train being loaded onto the ferry for the crossing to the mainland!
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Re: Tips to help with packing no matter where you are going

Travel Rob ·
Great tips! PHeymont's suggestion of using a laundromat is really useful and the cost is usually just a little bit more than what a luggage locker would be anyway. I have noticed that carry-on bags people are taking are getting smaller and much easier to handle.
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Re: Boston in the fall - suggestions please!

Mac ·
Thank you Dr. F. - wise words we will keep 1-2 hotels booked ahead and be flexible beyond that. We are really looking forward to this new 'slice' of America, I never realised that the Pilgrim fathers just named every new town after their old home towns - I'm going to be quite confused!! Thanks too Garry that looks lovely! I envy you being there ahead of us!! PS we are now on the verge of booking Cuba too and are horrified at the cost that Virgin Atlantic is trying to screw us for an upgrade...
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Re: France Train Service, SNCF, Expands Low Cost Trains and Buses

Travel Rob ·
It's great news for budget travelers. I took the Ouigo train from to Marseille in 2013 and loved it.
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Re: Gumbo's Pic of the Day, Oct 20, 2015: Sicilian Fiat

DrFumblefinger ·
Let's also not forget the Volkswagon on the European side. And the Ford Model T, which so greatly dropped the cost of an automobile it became a mass consumer good.
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Re: August 5, 2017: The Potter and his Wife

Amateuremigrant ·
An interesting insight garage med by poking around in unexpected places. The caste system is still a blight on Indian society, though breaking down in towns and cities due to the pressures of modern life (sharing transport for example), in rural areas it can be deadly serious when low caste people try to assert democratic rights
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Re: Money Savings Tips, for your Big Trip - Part 1

TravelingCanuck ·
Thanks Samantha. All great tips. Some we do now and some (public transit) we do not since we live outside Edmonton and both work in the city. A 15 minute commute would turn into over an hour on transit. We actually just redid our cable subscription, obtained a better plan and updated internet with a reduced monthly cost. With our kids now moved out we are able to save a good bit on our utilities, phone costs and especially food costs. All extra coin for the next trip.
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Re: Money Savings Tips, for your Big Trip - Part 1

Travel Rob ·
Great tips.! Cable companies usually don't reward loyalty and offer their best promotional rates to new people. Netflix, Amazon Prime are good ways to save on cable bills if you can get internet. As far as eating out, I always find it's a question of what I order. I avoid drinks, desserts , and the cost is not bad at all.
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Re: Visiting My Backyard—Riverside Park

Travel Rob ·
Glad kids are still using the park. I also think I going to parks is an important part of growing up and in most cases very safe. A few years ago FBI statistics showed crime was at a 40 year low in a lot places in the US, but perception was crime was the highest its ever been. The rates might of gone higher a bit in the last few years but crime is still at historic lows.
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Re: Now an airline charge for NOT flying!

GarryRF ·
If you do call the airline to cancel your return ticket you get no refund. They will probably sell your seat for more than your two-way ticket cost. If you try to reschedule your return for another day they will charge full price with no discount for being polite and doing the right thing. So you just walk away and find another airline. The Philosophy of W.C. Fields. "Never give a sucker an even break"
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Re: Money Savings Tips, for your Big Trip - Part 1

Samantha ·
Hi there Rob. Since I wrote this post we actually cut the cable and only have OTA and Netflix. Saves us over $100.00 a month. Nice amount to save for our travel adventures! And you are right about the drinks. That is what will kill you. Stay away from them and it should help. Thanks for the comments. Part 2 this week!
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Re: Money Savings Tips, for your Big Trip - Part 1

Samantha ·
Thanks for the comment. Glad you were able to get a new contract with your cable company. We had Comcast and they don't care about retaining customers, only getting new ones Such a shame. Thanks for the comment and happy travels.
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Re: Where in the World is TravelGumbo (#288)

Travel Rob ·
Gumbo gets on the train and sees some low tech.
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Re: Where in the World is TravelGumbo (#288)

Travel Rob ·
Does the art work on the train help?
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Re: Where in the World is TravelGumbo (#288)

Travel Rob ·
Since this is a hard puzzle, Gumbo is showing you Sundays clue early for extra time to solve it!. This clue is of a train along the line
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Re: Slim airline seats unpopular

PHeymont ·
Well, that's the question. Initially they are saying this is how we can keep 32" and still add seats. Next year, they may ask what's wrong with 30". Just as banks first encouraged ATM use go reduce cost of tellers...and then, when that saving was realized, began charging for their use.
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Re: Gumbo's Pic of the Day, July 13, 2015: Gettysburg at dusk

DrFumblefinger ·
Thanks for the note, Marilyn! I agree. The low light really added to the drama of that setting.
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Re: EU Court rules baggage fees legal

PortMoresby ·
Baggage fees are often avoidable. Links from AirFareWatchdog.com's newletter this morning included this one , a SmartTravel.com piece on ways to do it. While the suggestions don't generally apply to the low-fare airlines such as Spanish carrier Vueling, the subject of DrF's news, they can certainly help us avoid domestic charges.
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Re: India Easing Visa Requirements

PortMoresby ·
Advance visas have always been something of a bother for potential visitors to any country but the last year or so residents of the US have been plagued by difficulties trying to obtain visas to visit India. Originally processed by the consulates, of late the process has been subcontracted to a private operator, BLS, and it's been a nightmare for many. Visas have been delayed beyond the proposed departure dates and numbers of passports have even been lost entirely. Forums are rife with...
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Re: Where in the World is Gumbo? #11

PortMoresby ·
And what possible good is a puzzle without a bit of chicanery - by definition, I should think. I haven't seen the arena at Arles, though it's already on my list for the next visit to France. I have walked past the arena in Verona as it was between the train station and the garden I'd come to photograph. Likely why it came to mind just after the Colosseum.
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Re: Gumbo's Pic of the Day: Jan. 16, 2014: Liverpool Victoria Gallery

GarryRF ·
My favourite time to visit attractions is May-June-July. Before the little monsters are released on school vacation. Liverpool has hundreds of things to do - no exaggeration ! Here's 128 to go on with http://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/A...seyside_England.html Liverpool makes a good hub for visiting nearby Chester with its 2,000 year old Roman Walls and Tudor Buildings. The River Dee and North Wales. All using local public transport - mostly trains. You can get a flight, Liverpool - Dublin from...
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Re: Suggestions wanted: Andalusia

PortMoresby ·
Will you have a car? I ask, because if you will, you might consider stopping at one or more of the White Towns between Seville & Granada. I stayed a week in a house just outside Iznajar, a lovely little place, and visited a bigger town, Antequera, worth a stop. For a brief stop I'd recommend the smaller town, one of a number in the area, millions of olive trees everywhere. There is no train there although Antequera has a station, but outside the town. Below the town of Iznajar, beside...
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Re: Where We Went: London, Paris, Toronto

PortMoresby ·
What's also interesting about the information is that it's from hotels.com which says in the first line it's helping us find "the best cities around the world". I'm not sure I buy the premise that popular is best. Another index I also find VERY interesting, in the quest to locate interesting places for longer stays on a budget, is the cost of living index for places around the world. While visitor costs and resident costs are not the same, still, it's an interesting tool and also gives us...
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Re: Where We Went: London, Paris, Toronto

PHeymont ·
That's a great point! I never like "best" lists, anyway...and like to stray into any place that looks good and take a chance on whether it's "Zagat-quality." The cost of living is interesting, too, especially for travelers on tight budgets; my experience in Portugal last summer (see BLOG here on TravelGumbo) has sent a couple of younger colleagues off to plan Portugal trips instead of more expensive parts of Europe.
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Re: Should Wi-Fi be free in all hotels?

PHeymont ·
Technically, it would be possible to create very large WiFi zones, whether free or paid. But since someone gets paid (either on the meter, or a fee for the project) and there is a cost to constructing/installing the equipment to broadcast that signal...it won't happen unless someone is paying. In the case of the hotel, picking up on rbciao's point about breakfast--have you noticed that the free WiFi and the free breakfast tend to come with the budget chains, while the high-end places charge...
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Re: Should Wi-Fi be free in all hotels?

DrFumblefinger ·
Good discussion! WiFi has for me become an indispensable part of traveling. It allows me to stay in touch with family easily and cheaply (remember how hard it was even 25 years ago -- a phone call could run you $5 a minute? And there was no email). It lets me spend evening hours clearing out a hefty email que, and doing research on what I am going to see tomorrow and the next day. And with "Gumbo on the Go", it lets me share my travels as they happen with fellow Gumboites! I echo PHeymont's...
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Re: Should Wi-Fi be free in all hotels?

DrFumblefinger ·
Originally Posted by JohnT: Maybe it's the old capitalist coming out in me, but I think "should" is a strong word. Free access to wi-fi certainly helps me determine where I'll stay, just like free breakfast is...but if a hotel has enough other amenities so that people are willing to pay for it's wi-fi then so be it...although it is easy enough to get free somewhere, I don't value it enough to pay for it. I agree with you John, that market forces will drive this. But the demand for "free"...
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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,

GarryRF ·
Staying in the UK is no more expensive than being a tourist in the USA. You wont get a month in London. Same as me travelling from the UK to New York. Silly Prices ! So decide on what you want to do over here and start planning, Have a look at the YHA web site. Youth Hostels Association. Forget the Youth reference. My Kids aren't Youths anymore. And I use them too! They are used by Travellers like yourself - and me - across Europe. They are Family groups and Ramblers ( Countryside Walkers)...
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Re: Finishing college. Need help planning trip to U.K,

GarryRF ·
Starting to get things planned now Hank ! You have the choice of flying into Edinburgh in Scotland. Manchester in the North of England. Or Gatwick / Heathrow which both serve the London area in the South of England. You can get a Train to Paris to end your tour with a few days of Culture in a foreign language ! Fly back to the US from Paris will save you hundreds of Dollars because you wont pay the UK "Departure Tax" but not vital ! Liverpool is less than an hour on the Train from...
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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,

GarryRF ·
Hank, While you're in London you can get a Coach (Bus) Tour that will show you Stonehenge and Bath and The Cotswold Villages - very pretty and very old. Leeds Castle (not in Leeds, close to London). Stonehenge is not an overnight stop - remember what I said about distances in the UK being smaller? If you need to fill a gap take the Train (or Bus) to York. Very old - lots of History and a Museum that will take you back 150 years walking the streets of Victorian England. Go into Old Shops and...
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Re: The Worst Train in the World

PortMoresby ·
Thanks FlashFlyer. The thing about adventures like this is you have no idea what an adventure it'll be until it happens and you can't get out of it even if you want to. So, no guts required. Yes, Burma will certainly change, has already. Currently not enough infrastructure for those wanting to visit but if you've traveled in Asia you know the entrepreneurial spirit is alive & well and it won't be long, I suspect, before it will come to resemble other parts of the region. So, good news as...
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Re: The Worst Train in the World

GarryRF ·
I hope that wasn't your last venture into third world high speed travel. Reminds me of Austria on the Zillertal Bahn Valley Railway. The Train went so slow that passengers would lean out and pick wild flowers from the trackside. Each carriage had warning notices - in English - not to do this. But ....
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Re: The Worst Train in the World

PortMoresby ·
If I live it won't be my last. Just prior to that one, same trip, I'd gone from Guilin to Nanning, then after lunch got on another, overnight to Hanoi. Later overnight again, Hanoi to Hoi An. Now that I think about it I realize they got progressively worse as I went along, culminating in The Worst. I hadn't thought about it until just this minute, hindsight is a wonderful thing that way. A great disappointment to me several years ago was the apparently permanent cancellation of the Hanoi to...
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Re: We Love our Travel Gadgets--And We Take Them with Us

DrFumblefinger ·
It would be interesting to see the breakdown between domestic trips and international trips. I think we'd see the rates of smartphone use drop on international journeys because of the complexities and cost of connecting, unless it's with wi-fi. Tablet use probably wouldn't change significantly. But no, I'm not surprised at all.
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Re: Wow! Iceland Express successor adds U.S. flights

Travel Rob ·
I really am excited about hearing this.I was a big fan of Iceland Express, so I'm hoping Wow will offer the same consistent low prices to North America as they did.
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Re: Sri Lanka: A Land Like No Other. (Part 5) The Elephants of Pinnawala

DrFumblefinger ·
Thanks, PortMoresby! And we've not even been to the sacred tooth relic in Kandy, the medieval ruins of Polonnaruwa, the beautiful hill country filled with tea plantations and "The World's End", a wildlife safari at Yala National Park, nor any of the nice beaches (but keep reading -- reports on these are coming). Sri Lanka is a great destination, especially now that the civil war is over. I was doubly lucky to not only be able to visit a dear friend there but to have time to leisurely explore...
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Re: Sri Lanka: A Land Like No Other. (Part 5) The Elephants of Pinnawala

PortMoresby ·
Lots to consider. I can't go through Thailand without hanging out a few weeks so the 2 ticket plan may suit me better. I see Cathay Pacific also flies to Colombo, connecting in HKG. Will have to do more research to see if any of the low fare Asian airlines can facilitate a plan. What season is your favorite there? Is there an off-season when there are bargains to be had?
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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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