Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Helpful Tips for Travelers to Europe

Battery empty and suitcase dented, orientation lost and in addition this terrible jetlag: For those who are traveling, breakdowns are not an option. "Travel Hacks" make traveling easier.  Pack wisely, scan documents, bring along a hotspot - a few simple tricks will help.

Traveling by Train:
An hour-long train journey is imminent, the battery from the mobile phone has just broken down... If train drivers want to work with a laptop on the train or recharge their mobile phones, they should make sure when making a reservation that they have a place with a socket. Where and whether there is electricity in the wagon varies depending on the type of train, year of construction and route.

Internet More Important than Good Sleep?
Guests are better off at Maritim Hotels. In Germany, they can surf for free anywhere in their room. If you want more bandwidth, you will pay 4.95 euros for the Premium Package in all hotels for 24 hours. Also with the Steigenberger hotels, the entrance is free to the standard Internet, the high-speed Internet costs eight euro per day.  Just to check your emails, find free internet at Starbucks coffee shops, in tourist information places, in local libraries, or at MacDonald's joints.
Travel Documents
Better additionally digital: if you're smart, scan all your travel documents.
Before departure you should scan all your travel documents once: Passport, booking confirmations, travel and location plans. Save the documents on your smartphone and send an email with attachments to yourself to make it easier if you really lose something or get it stolen. I also print these documents out. Safe is safe if there's an Internet outage.

Pre-paid Credit Cards
Some prepaid cards can even save on exchange fees if you pre-load them with the local currency before you leave home.  Finally, since a prepaid travel card isn't a credit card, it requires no credit check or top-tier credit score.

How to Pack Most Effectively
Rolling Instead of Folding: Silk paper for the jacket.  The heavy things down.  Shoes should never go empty into the suitcase - if you stuff your socks into it, you have more room in the suitcase.
If you have arrived at your destination and your suit wrinkles despite careful packing, hang it up in the shower at the hotel and turn on the hot water for a while. The steam smoothes the wrinkles.

More Tips:

View Airports and Train Stations Online
Where to go now? Those who first take a virtual look around will find their way around more quickly.  Especially if you have to change trains quickly or have to meet deadlines, it can be worthwhile to take a virtual tour of the airport or train station before you arrive. Google Street View offers insights into the terminals of numerous airports in Europe, Asia, and America.  Examples include Mexico City, Eindhoven, Alicante, and Tenerife.  And there is more every day.


And Here are the Train Stations:
Rome, Palermo, Naples, Florence, Bologna, Turin, Genoa, Milan, Verona, and Venice

Great Britain:
Liverpool, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Manchester and ten London stations such as Paddington Station, Waterloo Station, and Victoria Station.

Some stations in Taiwan and Japan have also been included - and the list is constantly being expanded.
Suitcase Tips:
Many travelers shy away from colorful luggage - and then have to make an effort to find their black or anthracite-colored suitcase at the baggage carousel between all the other black and anthracite-colored suitcases.  Use a colorful suitcase belt to strap around the luggage - a colorful cloth knotted to the handle does the trick, both can be removed quickly.

Many travelers have also experienced that it can be worth trying to put a "Fragile" sticker on the suitcase.  If the airport staff is alert, your suitcase will be in the top position when the aircraft is loaded and will, therefore, be one of the first on the conveyor belt.  But, of course, this is not a guarantee.
The Hotel W-Lan is Slow? 
Bring your own router. Hotel Internet connections are often very slow.  Some houses even limit the number of devices you can dial in with - and let you pay for more.
An elegant technical solution to both problems can be to take a W-Lan Pocket Router with you - the devices are cheap and small.  With this, you can connect yourself onto the stationary network and build your own W-Lan, which often works much faster, provided that you have the appropriate cabling.

However, the range is usually limited - you probably won't get into the breakfast room.  But you can probably work more effectively and faster on several devices in your room if the hotel's W-Lan is paralyzed - and the routers are so small that they hardly carry any weight in your luggage.  Beyond creating a secure internet connection, travel routers can also help with built-in storage for sharing files or streaming music to multiple devices.

More Tips:

How to Avoid Jetlag
Adapt immediately to the rhythm of the day in your travel destination.  You probably can't choose whether to fly east or west - if you do, choose west, the day will feel longer, the body will cope better with it.  If you travel east: At home, go to sleep one or two hours earlier a few days before you start your journey, and get up a few hours earlier.  If you go west, stay up long before you fly.

On the plane, set your watch to the time at your destination.  When you arrive in the morning: Have breakfast, even if you feel more like having dinner. If possible, have three suitable meals a day to cope with the change faster and better.  Business appointments should be made in such a way - if at all possible - that they are felt to be in their most awake time at their hometown.
Move Around
A pair of running shoes, a T-shirt and shorts should fit in your suitcase - most hotels have at least an ergometer or a treadmill.  Many hotels also offer plans with jogging rounds, which you can get at the reception.  Or you can download a fitness app onto your mobile phone that offers you training options without the need for any devices. Or simply do sit-ups in your hotel room.

What to Eat on Long Road Trips
Not a problem in most European countries where good restaurants are everywhere from early morning coffeeshops to late night eateries. However, if you travel through North America this might be not easy - unless you are a fan of greasy and unhealthy fast food.
My Grocery List for Long-distance Road Trips
Bottled Water
Bananas & Apples
Nuts, lots of nuts
Carrot sticks
Boiled Eggs
Cooked Ham
Half a Grilled Chicken
For the first day of the trip, I prepare lots of sandwiches with ham, egg salad, cream cheese, Schnitzel,  and Salami.

Scandinavian Dry Bread (available at Trader Joes, ALDI, Walmart - in Europe in nearly every grocery store)
Swiss Cheese (WalMart)
Cream Cheese
Salami Sausage
Salad Mix
Potato Salad
Ready-to-Eat salads (Walmart, Whole Foods Salad buffets in large cities)

If you know your hotel room has a Microwave:
Potatoes and Cheese
Steam Dinners
Instant Noodles
Instant Rice (flavored)

On a Picknick Table or in Your Hotel Room:
Mix the boiled eggs with the potato salad, maybe add some ham or avocado.  Wash and pierce small potatoes and let them cook in the Microwave for 5 minutes, cut in the middle and place cream cheese or Swiss Cheese on top.  Heat it for another 12 seconds.
Mix avocados, ham, and boiled eggs.  Prepare instant rice in the microwave and have it
together with your grilled chicken for a full meal.

Enjoy your trip!




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