I did a search around this site and across the net in general and never found any definitive answers to these questions. Hopefully a few of the people here can help me out in finding definitive answers.
Here's some general info that may help with answering some of my questions:
We are Canadian citizens with no other citizenships.
We're using AirTransat for the airline.
We use Rogers as our cell phone provider.
We're staying in Paris and making day trips around France and into Belgium and England.
1. Aerosol Spray Cans (ie. spray deodorant, shaving cream): I have found so many different opinions on these and whether they should be taken on the airplane in checked baggage, carry-on or not at all. Most of the chat logs and tutorials I read were dated 2004 or earlier, so I'm guessing some things may have changed. Does it depend on the airline? Would I have any problems with putting it in my checked luggage?
2. International Cell Phones: Are they expensive? I've heard most large companies don't even have them available. Is it a simple matter of switching SIM cards? Is there a better way to communicate while travelling (specifically if the party gets separated or lost)?
3. Travelling Money: At first I read that traveller's cheques were the way to go, but then in more recent items they seem to be almost completely obsolete. I've been told that the CAA TravelMoney Card (AAA TravelMoney Card for you Americans) is a good option, but also that those pre-paid Visa and Mastercard credit cards are a good way to go too. Also that using my debt card would be unwise as I would be charged by both my bank, the ATM and a higher exchange rate. Any better suggestions?
4. Electronics on Airplanes: I know a few years back this was a no-no, but I've heard things have changed. I was planning on bringing my iPod and PSP on the plane with me and was wondering if I'd be able to actually use them? I heard that as long as I turn off my Wi-Fi connection on the PSP I will be fine, is this true?
I thought I had more questions, but there it is.
1.spray cans: checked luggage is ok, carry-on is a big no-no. (Your shaving cream might be pepper spray.)
2. international cell phones: I am hardly the expert, but depending upon the phone you've got it can be a simple matter of changing the SIM card. Look up dualband vs. triband and quadband mobile phones and try to find out whether your phone will work in France. If it doesn't you'll have to buy a cheap pre-paid phone in France. Tip: For calling internationally use an internet cafe. Most of them are run by immigrants and have phone booths as well as PC's. They offer the cheapest international calling rates.
3. Use a mix of plastic and cash. Pre-paid credit card, debit card, etc. Traveller's Cheques are really obsolete. Notify your bank that you are travelling so that they do not suspend your card(s). Withdraw from the ATM as needed. Check out whether your bank cooperates with a French bank, maybe offering free withdrawals.
don't take aerosol cans with you on the plane as a safety tip. the temperature variant of 30,000 feet to 10,000 feet could cause it to leak or explode. for shaving creme go old style or buy it in your country when u arrive. simple......
for a cellphone , get a quad band unlocked one of your choosing, you don't need internet or 3g on it. get a world sim card, or a prepaid in the country when u arrive. they are very cheap, don't let someone talk you into some expensive sim card. slip the gsm card in your good to go. but remember the phone will be in a pocket or holder so a flip phone might be better to protect the face of the keys and screen.
here in the states where I work we have stopped taking travelers checks as too many are been forged.
prepaid visa card like the others have said and some cash.... use the bathroom to it out of your money belt in a stall. not in the open.
[ Edit: Edited on 05-May-2009, at 19:00 by flir67 ]
So many good replies here. The only thing I'd add, is get a simcard in your country of travel and replace your regular one with it. It works out so much cheaper than using your home provider's simcard abroad. So many countries now do free simcards that you can just pick-up in a mobile phone shop. I've got loads that I use when I'm I'm abroad. No cost for incoming calls either. Check with your phone maker that it can be used abroad. More and more can be nowadays.
My Samsung can be used in any country.
Have a great trip.
As for your carry on, so far as I know there's still a 100ml/1 big zip-lock baggie rule in Canada. Basically, whatever you can fit in a big ziplock with no container being over 100ml. They will check your bag at security and chuck anything that doesn't comply. Check out the CATSA site for the most up-to-date info.
I have a quad-band world phone and it costs me a fortune to make calls overseas--sometimes up to $5 a minute. So it's the occassional text or quick calls only, else we just get calling cards.
I've seen every electronic device possible on planes--iPods, PSPs, laptops, portable DVDs, you name it. I honestly believe if there was any danger whatsoever, they'd confiscate every device at check in.
For money, take out only big chunks at a time, if you need it, or use your credit card. They give you the exchange rate of the day. I think travellers' cheques are going the way of the dodo...
If you can, book your seats ahead for Air Transat. They should call it Air Sardine! I've given up and spend the extra $30 for a seat where we can stretch a little.
Most importantly, enjoy your trip!
tway, Post #5#.... Why don't you get a simcard in your country of travel. It's normally either free or very cheap - and will save you a packet. Nearly all individual simcards come with a bit of free top-up on them nowadays.
hey im a noob at all this so if i am completly off the money sorry for wasting your time, but know adays you can make free phone calls across skype which u can know get on your phones and it works pretty much anywhere where there is a wifi or 3g network, so if traveling in a group surely it would be easier and cheaper to do this even. although possibly not as safe unless you can find somwhere to make the call im not sure.
Also if you can get family memebers to install the free programme on there computers you can keep in touch with them for free where ever you are in the world
One useful bitta info to add.... Many networks in the UK now do a pay and go deal that includes free calls to international numbers. The more you top-up, the more free minutes you get to phone abroad (landline or mobile). If you're not on roaming (ie - you've inserted a local network simcard in your country of travel), then they can call you free and you don't pay to receive the call. Whereas if you're on roaming, the chances are you probably will be charged still, although more and more networks are scrapping the 'Pay to receive' charge.