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help! it's my first time!

Travel Forums Europe help! it's my first time!

1. Posted by lolo003 (First Time Poster 1 posts) 6y

ok, heres the deal. my roommate and i are from vancouver canada. this march we are planning to go to europe for 3 months! which is sooo exciting, but at the same time we feel so unprepared!!! so many q's!
1. when buying our flights do we need to have a return flight booked as well? (we aren't sure yet where we will be ending our trip)
2. when looking at inexpensive airlines and flights, is their anything we should look out for?
3. visas required? what if we decide to stay longer, how long does it take to get one?
4. travel insurance? i'm sure this is a must, but go basic? BCAA?
5. what do we do about cell phones? are they even needed, and if so, what's the best way to keep it from costing us hundreds?

any advice would be totally appreciated! and any recommendations for where to go would be great!!!
we plan on staying mostly in the western countries.... still open to ideas!
thanks!!!!

2. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 6y

1. when buying our flights do we need to have a return flight booked as well? (we aren't sure yet where we will be ending our trip)

Yes, you should. I recommend flying in and out of one of the big hubs. London, Paris, Frankfurt, Rome or Dublin would be good choices. Look where you get cheap flights to.

2. when looking at inexpensive airlines and flights, is their anything we should look out for?

a) Where is the airport?
b) How much does it cost to get to the airport and how long does it take?
c) What are the hidden fees? Simulate a booking to see all the fees.

3. visas required? what if we decide to stay longer, how long does it take to get one?

If you decide to stay longer you must apply for the visa before you leave Canada. THe best choice would be a Working Holiday Visa. Countries Canadians can get a WHV to are listed under:

http://anyworkanywhere.com/whvcacit.html

Visa processing times depend on the country, but 6+ weeks is a good average.

4. travel insurance? i'm sure this is a must, but go basic? BCAA?

Health insurance. It is illegal to enter the Schengen area without full health insurance cover. Your insurance should cover each and every medical emergency as well as transport back home in case of a medical emergency.

5. what do we do about cell phones? are they even needed, and if so, what's the best way to keep it from costing us hundreds?

Cheap local pre-paid SIM card. Pick up one in one EU country, put a lot of cash on it, then use it to call each other or text. Make sure all of you got the same network. Note that you cannot upload any more cash to your phone after you have left the EU country where you bought it, so beware.

For longer phone calls (home or elsewhere) use internet cafes. It is the cheapest way to call landlines worldwide as well as some mobile phones.

[ Edit: Edited on 04-Jan-2010, at 20:18 by t_maia ]

3. Posted by JoyC (Full Member 99 posts) 6y

I thought I might be able to add something helpful here... but t_maia nailed it. Great advice! The only thing I might add is that if you search for cheap tickets to any European city, you can always travel via train or Ryan Air from the hub to wherever you want to go.

4. Posted by kugali (Budding Member 63 posts) 6y

DEFINITELY find out where the airport is and additional costs when booking flights (esp with RyanAir) because it's super-cheap but the airports they services are usually way outside of town (so it takes another hour or two to get there) and you have to use their buses to get there which only service very specific areas.

visas depend on where you plan to go

also keep in mind that some countries (not the more popular ones, but definitely many in eastern Europe) require entry or exit fees, this is good to look into

Also on Travellerspoint

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