Summer 2012

Travel Suggestions - Itinerary Page - Berlin - Paris - Nice - Biarritz - Saint Jean de Luz - San Sebastian

Travel suggestions

1 - If you rent a car in Europe, always ask for the portable GPS as it will make life much easier. Europe is big on ''round-abouts'' (traffic circles) rather than cross streets with stop lights. Signs are often confusing and the GPS helps a lot. Make sure that the car rental agent programs it to speak to you in English. Also, I highly suggest that you put the GPS in 3D mode rather than 2D mode. The agent can do this also. It makes it much easier to navigate the round-abouts.

Purchase the full insurance coverage. Your USA auto policy may cover you for accidents with rental cars in the USA, but they often do not cover Europe. The rental car comes standard with liability coverage, but it is the collision damage that is the extra that the policy offers. When it comes time to turn the car in, you do not want to be discussing with the rental agent what damage was there prior to your rental, what damage was not your fault, etc.

2. - When you purchase a railroad ticket you must date stamp the ticket before using it. On the day of your travel you need to insert the ticket in one of the yellow date stamp machines. Do this only for the section of the trip you are taking if you have a multi-leg trip. Also, you will possibly have two tickets. One is the ticket for the train and the other is the ticket for the actual seat reservation. If you have a multi leg ticket with a time limitation, such as it must be completed within 30 days, then that must also be date stamped.

Failure to date stamp the ticket can cause a stiff fine from the conductor. Date stamps keep the ticket from being used multiple times for the same leg of the trip. Unlike the USA, the conductor does not punch a hole in the ticket, so without the date stamp, the conductor has no way of knowing if someone is cheating and using the same ticket over and over.

Below is a photo of the date stamp machine. Insert the ticket in the slot at the bottom red arrow that I have drawn on the photo. You should hear a crunch sound as the machine stamps the date in black ink on the edge of the ticket.

Travel Suggestions - Itinerary Page - Berlin - Paris - Nice - Biarritz - Saint Jean de Luz - San Sebastian