Lessons learnt on our May 2006 trip

As I said in the article, ‘The last few days’ , the final article in this section would detail some of what we learned, both helpful and what we could, and should, have done better.

  1. Firstly, 6 weeks was definitely too long. I have long held the belief, and still do, that when one is spending big on airfares to get to a foreign country it is not worth spending just a short while but 3-4 weeks should be the maximum.
  2. Don’t hire a car in a foreign country where you will be driving on the ‘opposite’ side of the road as your very first venture.
  3. Get to know as much as possible about the places you will be visiting before even making final bookings if you can.

          3.1  Weather patterns - remember how we got stuck in the snow in Sestrierre

          3.2  Places of interest

          3.3  Transport facilities

          3.4  Accommodation types and costs; Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet; check with a travel site such as Trip Adviser. Our experiences in                  Rome & Paris were enough to confirm this.

          3.5  Currency used (just because a country is part of a bloc, it does not mean that it uses a common currency!) Croatia, Slovenia & Hungary are members                  of the EU but do not use the Euro.

          3.6  Can one get the currency in your own country or do you purchase common currency first & exchange on arrival? 

         3.7  Can your credit card be used? We learnt that many B&Bs do not accept credit cards because of the service fees; similarly, some shops require                           a minimum purchase before you can use your card.

  4.    Road rules, if you are hiring a car. Most countries live by the rule: Ignorance of the law is no excuse. 

  5.    Pack a full change of clothes and in your hand luggage. Do this however you are travelling; eg self-driving, train, coach etc. It is always handy. You may             get stuck or delayed somwhere and it is so much nicer than opeing your suitcase and digging for underwear etc

  6.    Don't be afraid to ask for Senior Citizen Discount


About Me

I was born into the early part of the Baby Boomer generation, the 3rd of what came to be a family of 6 daughters. Although both our parents, who are now deceased, had been raised in rural Natal (now KwaZulu-Natal) and the 2 eldest daughters were born in a country town, the other 4 of us were all born at home in Durban. Read More

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