tuesday things : travel tips needed

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In exactly two weeks from now we will be driving to Pennsylvania where we will drop off the pups with Dave’s mom and sister. The next day we’ll take the train to JFK and fly out for Prague, the first stop on our European adventure! I. Can’t. Wait!

Ten days, three countries and at least four cities – we are still working out some of the details. As I learned from my previous stints (France and Italy) though,  it’s best to leave some of the plans up for grabs.

There are a few things about which I don’t want to be spontaneous, and I’m asking for your help. What advice can you offer on the following? Have you learned any travel tips you’d like to share? My own personal travels and time as a flight attendant have taught me quite a bit, but today I want to hear from all of you. (Even if the only people who will leave a comment are Aunt Bev, Olivia and maybe my mom!)

1. footwear – In France I wore my crocs. Not my finest apparel selection, but they totally did the trick. In Italy I wore flip flops for at least part of the trip. You can see them on my feet in the picture at the top right of this page. Who knows how those served any sort of practical purpose … needless to say, I am interested in finding a solid pair of shoes that are both comfortable and stylish. Does this exist? Tell me about the shoes you wear/have worn to travel!

2. currency – Likely I will end up using my credit card whenever possible, but there will definitely be many places that accept only cash. As I said, we are going to three different countries. All speak different languages and use different currencies. That’s three different currencies! (I can’t even concern myself with the languages yet.) How have you handled this in the past? Do you typically change money at the airport before leaving? Do you take cash from the ATMs? Where do you find the best exchange rate, and how much should I plan to have on hand in each country?

3. general tips for Prague, Vienna, Salzburg or Budapest – As I said, we are still working out details. In fact, this weekend I will spend a lot of the time doing some final planning. If you have tips for any of these places, I am open to sites/restaurants/random recommendations. Please leave them in the comments below!

16 thoughts on “tuesday things : travel tips needed

  1. Ron says:

    Mel, Rick Steves is fantastic for Europe. We usually use a local guide for a walking tour-Rick lists them. It gives you a great oversight. Prague is great but is a leader in travel scams. Noting violent but be careful. To save time night trains work well-not much more than a hotel room and more time in the cities. Check with your bank to see if they have a correspondent bank in the countries you are visiting. If so you can save on ATM fees. Have a great time.

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    • Mel @ aventures de la vie says:

      Thanks, Ron! You know how much I love Rick :)
      We are using one of the tours he recommends in Salzburg and will also look into the other cities. He gives some tips about avoiding scam in Prague, so we’ll be sure to review those before going. Didn’t know about the correspondent bank option, but will definitely look into that!

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    • Mel @ aventures de la vie says:

      I know, but it was cold and rainy or snowy most of the time. The crocs were easy to clean off, had a warm liner and provided plenty of space for my swollen feet!

      On Wed, May 7, 2014 at 10:01 AM, aventures de la vie wrote:

      >

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  2. Jennabeth says:

    I’m so excited for yall and can’t wait to hear about your adventures!! Here are my two cents :)

    1. I wore Toms last summer in Paris and they were great. They’re comfy and go with pretty much anything.
    2. I would exchange enough currency at the airport or an exchange place, but that’ll be difficult since all three places have different currency. ATMs might be your best bet, and you’ll just have to suck up that international charge, which is so annoying..
    3. You MUST go to the Belvedere in Vienna. I may have told you this already, but it can’t be overstated. The museum itself is incredible and the grounds are absolutely lovely! And you’ll be there in the spring so hopefully it’s nice weather!

    Yay!!!!

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  3. Big Jake says:

    Was in Vienna over the Christmas holiday. Definitely go check out the Hofbraun and the Imperial Treasure collection. Also since you are going in spring Schoenbrunn Palace’s gardens should be spectacular. St Stephen’s cathedral spire is also worth the climb, get some amazing views out of it…just be sure to wear comfortable footware and be prepared for a lot of circular walking. The metro is very nice, but be sure to have euro for the fare as the machines only take chip and pin cards. Also, try to eat as far away from Stephensplatz as possible as its very touristy and the restaurants charge as such.

    I’d suggest going to Berchtesgaden as well if you are going to be in Salzburg, its a short trip to the south into Germany but is absolutely fabulous. The Zugspitze is absolutely gorgeous, and the views are amazing. Cheers and have fun, love all 3 of the countries!

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  4. Beverly E. Lamb says:

    Mel, I’m a little late to weigh in as the comments about cover it. Comfort in shoes is all that matters! Nothing beats athletic shoes and low socks, plenty of Cush and adjust the laces if your feet tend to swell. Credit cards work everywhere, contact them before hand, ATM’s spit out the currency of the country magically and give the best exchange rate, Rick is great on tour guides and hotels but the restaurants he recommends are crowded with tourists (duh). Prague is beautiful and interesting dispite the scams. Sounds like a great trip, can’t wait to read your blog! Bev

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