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European Car Rental - Top Ten Tips for Europe Travel - Tip #4: Before You Go
Many people believe that the first thing you should do to plan a trip is to figure out where you want to go. In a way this is correct, but only in a general sense. For example, say on your next trip to Europe you want to visit France, Spain and Italy. This is fine and you should have an idea of this to begin with. The reason that I wrote the previous three articles in the order I did: Car Size & Type, Price and Insurance, is that I feel you should have a good idea of what it is you need before you decide on what it is you want. The same is true of airfare and hotel accommodations as well but here we are only talking about planning the car rental part of the trip.
Once you know your requirements in relation to your budget. It's time to decide how much time you'll have and how far you can drive, and the routes you want to take. There are several excellent programs on the internet for determining driving times and distances between two locations. For Europe, I recommend Mappy, since it is very detailed and will give you some idea of landmarks to look for while driving, along with toll information for longer stretches. If you have the processing power, Google Earth is also a really neat program to work with, although it is much more complicated. Make sure you have the address (including postal code) of the place you are leaving from and arriving to. Most of the time this will be from one hotel to the next, or between the hotel and the car rental company. Try to find a rental location that is both near to your hotel and a highway on-ramp. This is increasingly important depending on the size and population of the city you are driving into. Surprisingly enough I have yet to find a program that easily maps from one European airport to another, although MapoRama hits it sometimes. Route 66 software will get you the distances between airports but not the written out directions or toll information.
Now that you know how to get where you are going, it's time to figure how how much and how long it will take to get there. If you are doing pretty straightforward highway driving you can take the distance given to you in the mapping program and divide it by 60 (or 96 if it was given to you in kilometers) and this will give you a rough approximation of travel time. Remember that if you are planning on doing some sightseeing, allow yourself at least twice this number. Although you did rent a car to get from one place to the other in the most efficient way, it doesn't do you any good to miss all the sights. That's what you came to Europe for, right?
The other factor in this case is how much gas is going to cost you. The first thing you have to know in this case is how many miles (or kilometers) per gallon the vehicle you are renting is going to get. A good number to work with is about 30 mpg for 1.6 litre engine vehicles (typically intermediate or standard sedans) and 40 mpg for 1.4 litre engines (economy and compact). These numbers are actually a little low but it's better to err on the side of caution. Considering these are highway numbers and not city, in-town driving will bring this figure down a bit. This is also based on a manual transmission. Also it is not uncommon to receive either an upgrade at the counter to a larger car class due to a lack of the size you reserved, nor is it rare to receive a compact car with a 1.6 litre engine. These things do happen and it's better not to be caught unawares. Once you know this, just apply this simple equation:
Cost = (Distance / Mpg) * Price per Gallon
Also be aware that as most things in Europe are in Euros, kilometers, and litres, you may need to do some additional conversions. There are 1.6094 kilometers to every mile, and there are 3.8 litres to every gallon. To find out what the current exchange rate is from the dollar to Euro, consult your favorite on-line currency converter. A quick example of this to go by, let's say you have to drive from Vienna, Austria to Paris, France (about 775 miles) in a 1.6 litre engine Renault Laguna. The resulting cost would be about $120 dollars since the current price per litre in Austria is about 1.01 euros or $4.67 USD per gallon, which is then multiplied by 25.83 (775 miles divided by 30 mpg). So you can tell now that this is a major expense, not to mention adding the toll fees on top of that! This might seem exorbitant at first but try checking out railpasses for 4 people and then you'll see not only is this pretty modest but you won't have to change trains, miss scenic opportunities or travel on someone else's schedule.
So are you ready to enjoy your new-found freedom? Well before you go, let's talk about big city driving. Most travelers fly into a major airport, get their vehicle and head straight into the city. It's probably a better idea to take the train or a taxi into town first, establish yourself at your hotel, get your bearings and then make your way to the rental agency to pick up your car. If you have ever driven in NYC, Los Angeles or even Boston, then you have an idea of what it can be like, but you still need to stay alert at all times. Each city has its own quirks, such as London (left hand driving, congestion zone charges), Barcelona (one way streets), Paris (traffic, no parking), Rome and Florence (also remember in Venice you have to drop the car outside of town). Believe the hype about the Italian driving style if you haven't been privy to it. Extremely aggressive, with a case-by-case attitude towards obeying traffic signs, stoplights, etc. It isn't bad driving per se (some would call it exciting) but hard to adapt to. Make sure you know where your arrival airport is in relation to the place you are staying. Consult the tourist boards for public transportation.
All in all, taking a rental car through Europe is a unique experience. As tourists from another continent, we must respect all rules and regulations concurrent to the country we are driving in. I urge you to learn all the signs and at least some of the road language. Remember that most of the time they are not in English! Ignorance of the law does not make you exempt from it, so if you get pulled over, politely explain that you were unaware but don't expect special treatment for it (if anything expect a bigger fine) since you are an American. After that you can speed back onto the Autobahn and join the everyday race. Just remember to pass on the left!
Murdoch Morris has spent 3+ years mostly listening to other people's stories about driving in Europe, although he has a couple under his belt as well. Feel free to contact him with any questions you may have specific to your next trip to Europe.
Timesharing Without Owning A Timeshare
If you're dreaming of a unique vacation experience, but don't have a budget to cover outrageous hotel expenses, or to even purchase a timeshare yourself, there are ways to take advantage of the great deals offered by timeshare owners without actually becoming one yourself.
Staying In A Vacation Cabin Rental
Did you know that staying in a vacation cabin rental is a much better deal than staying in a hotel room?
A Guide to Cozumel Hotels
Cozumel has something to suit the tastes and budgets of a wide variety of travelers. From the most lavish of hotels with services that complement the prices, to the most basic of rooms, some with cooking facilities, you can find what you are looking for without looking too far. First, decide what you would like out of your vacation time. Are you longing to wake up to a beautiful sunrise pouring over the ocean, the beaches and directly into your room? Or are you a night owl, looking to party at any of many local discos and watering holes until you crawl into your bed and draw the curtains shut? Do you want beachfront and a swimming pool at your facility? Or do you prefer the small town atmosphere where you can walk over to restaurants and bars and sample the local flavor of the island? There are hotels that offer anything you could possibly want ? including some who specialize in singles events for those who are unattached.
Vacation Getaways and Healthy Living Tips
Going away on a vacation brings numerous benefits. It refreshes our enthusiasm, helps us to know ourselves a little better, and makes us, upon our return home, happier, healthier, and much more effective in coping with stress. The key to reaping the benefits of traveling is in the going away. Hardly anyone reaps a benefit from spending a vacation time at home to work around the house.
Why an Algarve Vacation?
If a vacation, as defined by a dictionary is: 'leisure time away from work devoted to rest or pleasure', then one taken in Algarve must be the epitome of that term.
European Car Rental - Top Ten Tips For Europe Travel - Tip #1: Car Size and Type
More often than not, a person will base his or her entire decision on the price. This is especially true when one is on-line creating their own itinerary without the help of a travel agent or trained professional, something that within 5 years from now will be standard practice. While price is undoubtedly one of the most important things to consider when making a reservation, it is not the first priority. The first priority should be to determine what kind of car you will need, based on a few different factors.
Buying Real Estate in Cozumel
As beautiful and modern as Cozumel is, visitors must remember that it is a foreign country is not part of America, although it caters quite well to American tourists. Everybody on Cozumel speaks English, some with little or no detectable accent. The atmosphere on the island is extremely international so the frequent traveler or long term guest may forget that it is in fact Mexico he is visiting and not Hawaii with a Spanish flair. Buying or owning some property on the island is not the same as buying or owning property in America. Foreigners are allowed to buy property on the island, but you must use the services of an experienced real estate attorney. If the property is in a restricted zone such as along borders, coastal areas or wildlife preserves, you must first obtain a "fidei comiso" or bank trust instrument established and recorded by a notary public.
Chiang Mai Guesthouses - What To Expect
No visit to Thailand is complete without visiting the city of Chiang Mai. Located in the north of the country, Chiang Mai is considered the capital city of traditional Lanna Thai culture. With easy access to mountain tribes and excellent hiking and trekking, it's a destination many backpackers head for each year. And for accommodation, not only is staying at a guesthouse the epitome of the Chiang Mai experience, it is also very cheap.
Top Ten Reasons To Pick A Vacation Rental
We are planning a family trip for just a few days. That is my family, my brother's family, and my other brother's family. Our mother will be joining us, too. That makes four households, seven adults and six children all under three years old. Praise to my brave (foolish?) wife who has somehow volunteered to coordinate the arrangements.
Coastal Vacations Club Offers Up to 85% off Week Long Condo Stays
When vacation time rolls around, some people choose to stay home, putter around the house, and get caught up on repairs or cleaning. While this might be a cheap option, it is not the most ideal.
Many times, when we plan a vacation, we know where we want to go. But, perhaps you don't have a specific place in mind and are looking for some vacation destinations to choose from. The first order of business is to decide your budget. Yes, you'll have to number crunch and find out how much you want to spend. From there, finding vacation destinations is simple.
Tranquil Setting for the Weary Traveler
The DeLaunay House, located 185 N. Pioneer in Ashland is a wonderfully remodeled 1909 Craftsman style house just blocks from downtown Ashland and the Historic Railroad District. The comfortable and attractive suites have imaginative and spiritual names to reflect the joy and spiritual process of the owner-operator Deborah DeLaunay. Peace Pilgrim, Peace Mountain, Zen Cottage and the Harmony Suite are luxuriously appointed yet restful and comfortable. Originally named Breathe Peace Inn, The DeLaunay House is truly a place to "breathe peace in", a tranquil setting for the weary traveler.
Desiya ? Smart Travel Engine Making Indian Sojourn Memorable
India has always been an irresistible tourist destination for people from around the world. The diversity of India and the element of mystery associated with some of the most exotic locales in India makes it an ideal getaway. In a vast country with a number of language and a variety of culture, a stranger can find himself in difficult situation unless there is somebody to help him out. A potential tourist always finds it extremely helpful if he can get some Indian hotel information before he steps in the country. Online hotel booking in India is a trend that has picked up in recent times. At Desiya you will have the opportunity to compare the rates of different hotels and the facilities that they provide before you book your hotel online. Built to become the finest travel site, Desiya works closely with some of the best hotels in the country and helps you to get the best available service at the lowest possible rate.
Amazon Expeditions with Time Magazine ?Hero of the Planet Year 2000? - Dr. Marc van Roosmalen
The Amazonat Jungle Lodge is offering in addition to her standard programming combined land/water expeditions in which the guests will stay part of the time at the lodge and part of the time in a regional boat.
Seven Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Vacations
This may seem like a very strange title for an article. After all, a vacation is supposed to be? a vacation. The title seems to imply that we should strive to make our vacation, somehow strategic or productive. In a way, that is what I am suggesting, but maybe not in the anal-retentive way you might have first guessed.
Visit Western Australia and Stay in Fremantle - Holiday & Short Term Accommodation
Enjoy your own luxurious lifestyle in our beautifully furnished, air conditioned 3 or 4 bedroom houses located in the heart of South Fremantle, Western Australia. The perfect self contained, short term holiday accommodation in the Fremantle area to make your stay an enjoyable one. Within minutes you can find yourself in the centre of Fremantle city and its famous cappuccino strip or take a short stroll and find yourself at the beautiful swimming beach, South Beach, or at the many local restaurants and cafes, shopping facilities and tourist attractions. Our properties offers stylish Fremantle accommodation with the comforts of home. So stay at ALN or Arden house and enjoy the culture of Western Australia's vibrant second city. We will also consider longer term stays should we have availability.
You Have To Love The Location, Say These Owners Of Orlando Florida Villas
It has been said that in real estate there are three things that count the most: location, location and location. I recently discovered how powerful this concept can be.
Lodging and Entertainment Deals in Orlando Florida
Disney Area Lodging Deals
Finding The Best Timeshare For You ? Make The Search An Adventure!
Taking the plunge from average vacationer to vacation property owner is a big jump. The fear associated with a full, outright purchase of property hundreds or even thousands of miles away from home can be blissfully alleviated through the purchase of a timeshare.
French Property - Looking to take a holiday in France ?
Aquitaine with its 5 departments; Dordogne, Gironde, Landes, Lot-et-Garonne, Pyrénées-Atlantiques.
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