Eurail travel - a way to extend a holiday to Europe

Written by Gareth Powell


Continued from page 1
Keep your validation slip separate fromrepparttar ticket. It constitutes proof of ownership. (If you are a worry wart like me, make a photocopy of both straight away and remember to keeprepparttar 143172 copy inrepparttar 143173 lining of your suitcase.) Make sure you go torepparttar 143174 right station. Every city in Europe has several different railway stations. This TGV train I am riding started from Gare de Lyon in Paris. But there are six other mainline train stations in that city of light. The concierge at your hotel will advise you. When you get torepparttar 143175 station make sure you get onrepparttar 143176 right platform and intorepparttar 143177 right car. The signs are always very clear and railway staff are always most helpful. There will be a board confirmingrepparttar 143178 name, number and time of departure ofrepparttar 143179 train atrepparttar 143180 entrance torepparttar 143181 platform when you get there. Getting intorepparttar 143182 right car, as opposed torepparttar 143183 right train, is essential; in modern trains it isrepparttar 143184 car that is sent by computer control to its destination. Onrepparttar 143185 side of every car is an identification panel that tells yourepparttar 143186 number ofrepparttar 143187 car, whererepparttar 143188 car is heading andrepparttar 143189 names ofrepparttar 143190 most important stops onrepparttar 143191 way. Checkrepparttar 143192 panel carefully and, if you are still in doubt, show your ticket torepparttar 143193 conductor ofrepparttar 143194 train and explain exactly where you are going. Limits. An Eurail pass is for x number of journeys over a given period of time. Do not wasterepparttar 143195 pass on short trips. Example: I was in Nice and had to go to Cannes. I went by train and bought a ticket. You do not waste your Eurail Pass on journeys on trips that take less than an hour. Ubiquity. Every station seems to have a Eurail booking desk. Be organized and try and book as far ahead as you can if you want a sleeper. These trains do get fully booked, especially duringrepparttar 143196 holiday season, andrepparttar 143197 earlier you book,repparttar 143198 more certain you are of gettingrepparttar 143199 right train. Sleep onrepparttar 143200 train. If it is a very long journey takerepparttar 143201 evening train and sleep on board. On a first class Eurail ticketsrepparttar 143202 sleeper is part ofrepparttar 143203 package. This has great advantages. It saves yourepparttar 143204 cost of one night's accommodation and it gets what could be a longish journey over in considerable comfort and style. For example, I went from Salerno in Sicily right uprepparttar 143205 leg of Italy to Genoa and did it on a night train and slept like a baby. One has to be careful. There is a story about a passionate young couple who used their sleeper not for sleeping. In a moment of ecstasyrepparttar 143206 young lady hung on like mad torepparttar 143207 nearest object. Sadly, it wasrepparttar 143208 emergency stop communication cord. If possible, take your own snacks. There was a thought in my mind that food on European trains would be a gourmet's delight. In my experience, it is very far from that. Onrepparttar 143209 other hand, almost all station restaurants serve good food at very reasonable prices provided you stay away fromrepparttar 143210 fast food chains. Getrepparttar 143211 right stop. As you come into a city make sure you do not get off at a suburban stop which is, typically,repparttar 143212 stop beforerepparttar 143213 central station. If in doubt, askrepparttar 143214 ticket inspector orrepparttar 143215 guard. No need to be able to speakrepparttar 143216 language. Just show your ticket and they will tell you what to do. Travel light. If you cannot easily carry your baggage you are stuffed. Porters do not exist. Not at any station I have ever seen. Use all ofrepparttar 143217 pass. When planning your itinerary, be bold. You can go from Greece to Oslo and pretty much everywhere else in between. Notrepparttar 143218 UK. All of this applies to Europe except for Britain. A Eurail Pass does not work there. Britain is not part of Europe. Whatever made you think otherwise? Sites which can help Eurail http://www.eurail.com/ It claims, correctly, that it isrepparttar 143219 only official Eurail site. This is true. But it is notrepparttar 143220 only site that can give you information. And it is certainly notrepparttar 143221 only site that can sell you tickets. It does, however, make a very good starting point because from here you can sort out potential timings and itineraries. Europe http://www.raileurope.com/us/index.htm This is notrepparttar 143222 official site but it might just as well be considered as such. There is nothing about Eurail that it does not know. Europe by Eurail http//www.railpass.com Again, this is a commercial firm selling tickets but that does not stop it having a load of useful information onrepparttar 143223 site. Boots 'n All Travel http://www.bootsnall.com/eurail/ Would you buy a ticket from a company with a name like that? Let us not be snobbish. It has great expertise on Eurail and its site is very helpful. Eurail Net http://www.eurailnet.com/ Sounds official but it is still a commercial company selling tickets. You will not find much differential in prices betweenrepparttar 143224 companies but you will find a wealth of information on sites such as this and work outrepparttar 143225 most economical pass for your particular trip.

Gareth Powell is a publisher, journalist and author. His travel writings are mainly on http://www.travelhopefully.com.


Packing: pack light, pack tight, pack carefully

Written by Gareth Powell


Continued from page 1
Packing hanging suit bags is slightly different. If you are using a hanging bag do not believe that your clothes will, as a result, emerge unwrinkled and wearable. They will not, unless you take special care. The best way to load is withrepparttar bag laid flat, not hanging up. Put shoes in plastic bags, one at each corner, so that they remain atrepparttar 143171 top whenrepparttar 143172 bag is folded. Make surerepparttar 143173 heels are inrepparttar 143174 corners withrepparttar 143175 toes pointing towardsrepparttar 143176 handle. Hangrepparttar 143177 trousers with two folds so that you do not have a single fold acrossrepparttar 143178 knee. Do not fastenrepparttar 143179 jacket, but close it so that one side is about a third ofrepparttar 143180 way across. Foldrepparttar 143181 sleeves up atrepparttar 143182 elbow, then pack other garments on top to hold in place. I carry a small traveling iron which even has a steam feature. It is light, in a neat bag and takes little space. It is, in a sense, my one luxury. When you have finished packing try closingrepparttar 143183 case. It should be as tight a fit as possible without needing excessive force. If it is too loosely packed, lay sheets of tissue paper on top to fillrepparttar 143184 gap. Many experienced travelers lay a collapsible carry-all onrepparttar 143185 top forrepparttar 143186 inevitable excess of baggage onrepparttar 143187 return journey. Unpack both suitcases and hanging bags, completely as soon as you arrive. If there are any wrinkles, hang your clothes onrepparttar 143188 shower rail and run a very hot bath. You only need a small amount of water. Do not bother fillingrepparttar 143189 bath up. It takes less than an hour to steamrepparttar 143190 wrinkles out. Other points Bottles leak, powder spreads, creams escape and make too much of themselves. The only way that you can be sure that these dread happenings are not among your travel memoirs is to keep all your toiletries in a zip up plastic bag that you have tested for air tightness. Try never to carry any glass bottles. Decant into small plastic holders wherever possible. Always carry a large bar of soap. The little tablets issued in most hotels are not suitable forrepparttar 143191 cleansing of grown-up bodies.

Gareth Powell is the author of several travel books, has been the travel editor of two metropolitan newspapers and has a travel website - http://www.travelhopefully.com


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