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Pandora
04-12-2004, 19:00
I would sincerely appreciate any travel tips for Europe, especially for the Netherlands. First time abroad ever and I am eager, but oddly nervous.

If anyone is willing to share travel tips for lone females or just in general, I would be very grateful. PM's welcome.

1. exchange my currency here or over there?
2. like the first-aid FAQ, is it wise to bring over-the-counter meds along? (Advil, gravol, immodium)
3. websites say drinking tap water in Holland is okay - opinions on this?
4. I will have to navigate to the train system after landing in Amsterdam - any pointers?
5. Is it acceptable or inadvisable to wear flags in this area or not?

I am admittedly shamed in asking such naive questions. I truly would appreciate any input you have time to offer. My
co-workers who have been are long on "sites to see in between work" and short on practical advice.

Respectfully submitted,
Pandora

The Reaper
04-12-2004, 19:49
Originally posted by Pandora
I would sincerely appreciate any travel tips for Europe, especially for the Netherlands. First time abroad ever and I am eager, but oddly nervous.

If anyone is willing to share travel tips for lone females or just in general, I would be very grateful. PM's welcome.

1. exchange my currency here or over there?
2. like the first-aid FAQ, is it wise to bring over-the-counter meds along? (Advil, gravol, immodium)
3. websites say drinking tap water in Holland is okay - opinions on this?
4. I will have to navigate to the train system after landing in Amsterdam - any pointers?
5. Is it acceptable or inadvisable to wear flags in this area or not?

I am admittedly shamed in asking such naive questions. I truly would appreciate any input you have time to offer. My
co-workers who have been are long on "sites to see in between work" and short on practical advice.

Respectfully submitted,
Pandora

1. Use a credit card, the exchange rates are among the best. Take only "walking around money", and keep it divvied up among several pockets. Avoid wearing flashy or expensive jewelry.

2. Bring OTC and prescription meds in the original packaging. I would say that the Dutch are not too concerned about drugs of any kind, based on my observation (more later on this).

3. I suspect that the water is fine. If worried, drink/brush with bottled water. Do not use ice!

4. Euro transport is usually pretty much self-explanatory and user friendly. Having said that, if you see a group of Moluccans get on board, or see a train headed to De Punt, take another train. Do not loiter in unsecure public transport areas. Arrive in time to get oriented, buy your tickets, and board shortly before departure. Leave quickly after arrival at your destination. Try to travel with at least one friend.

5. Given the political atmosphere, the presence of large numbers of Muslims, recent terrorist attacks on mass transit in Europe, I would avoid wearing flags or any U.S. identifiable clothing items there. Dress like the locals, try to look unimportant, and dress like everyone else as much as possible.

Unsolicited advice: Robbery and pickpocketing are much more of a problem than you would think. Be careful of where and when you go out. Keep your head up and moving, aware of your surroundings at all times. Maintain Condition Orange, minimum at all times there. Prostitution and drugs are legal in the Netherlands. Be careful. Retain your awareness of your level of intoxication and do not accept drinks from anyone you do not know, or return to drinks left unsecured, when you return from the Ladies' Room, for example. Be cognizant that you may be searched upon your return to the U.S., and possession of items legally purchased there may be illegal here. There is also a rash of hotel robberies, including armed room intrusions. Be careful. Nuff said.

Good luck, and have a nice trip.

TR

Pandora
04-12-2004, 20:11
Thank you, Sir Reaper. I appreciate that you took the time to share your knowledge, as you have provided invaluable assistance in the past. ("Respectful" on Socnet).

I will be hitting the train after landing in Amsterdam, so do have one further question:

Having said that, if you see a group of Moluccans get on board, or see a train headed to De Punt, take another train.

Google search on "Moluccans" returns nada and refers to "mollucans" which leads to many references to birds and lizards. If you have time, would you post your definition of Moluccans?

Many thanks.

The Reaper
04-12-2004, 20:31
Originally posted by Pandora
Thank you, Sir Reaper. I appreciate that you took the time to share your knowledge, as you have provided invaluable assistance in the past. ("Respectful" on Socnet).

I will be hitting the train after landing in Amsterdam, so do have one further question:



Google search on "Moluccans" returns nada and refers to "mollucans" which leads to many references to birds and lizards. If you have time, would you post your definition of Moluccans?

Many thanks.

Google "Moluccan" and "Train" or "De Punt" and let us know what you find.

One of the links I found went back to Special Operations.com for an explanation.

TR

Pandora
04-12-2004, 20:53
Noted and researched. Thanks.
Most of the links I found were not easily translated, however, I did find this link useful for those wanting an overview on Moluccans:

Fresh Calls for Moluccan Independence (http://www.rnw.nl/hotspots/html/moluccas001219.html)

Thanks for the time and assistance.

The Reaper
04-12-2004, 22:05
Originally posted by Pandora
Noted and researched. Thanks.
Most of the links I found were not easily translated, however, I did find this link useful for those wanting an overview on Moluccans:

Fresh Calls for Moluccan Independence (http://www.rnw.nl/hotspots/html/moluccas001219.html)

Thanks for the time and assistance.

I got a lot more hits, and to what I was referring to.

Just read this one.

http://www.specialoperations.com/Counterterrorism/De_Punt.html

TR

Roguish Lawyer
03-19-2005, 15:58
Get a money belt. Not sure if that's what it will be called on the package, but what I'm talking about is a flat pouch you wear around your waist under your clothes. Good way to carry passport, traveler's checks and anything else important while traveling abroad.

Reaper is correct about currency exchange. Also bring traveler's checks instead of cash. Exchange minimal amounts in each country and use credit cards whenever possible.

I had no problems drinking the water when I was in Europe (although this was long ago). It ain't Bangladesh. :rolleyes:

Martin
03-19-2005, 16:54
Where would you put essential items that are only rarely needed? (e.g. plane tickets)

Thanks!

Roguish Lawyer
03-19-2005, 17:02
Where would you put essential items that are only rarely needed? (e.g. plane tickets)

Thanks!

Hotel safe, if one is available. When I went to Europe, it was with a backpack and insufficient money for hotels, so I kept them in my money belt.

Of course, I am not a security expert.

The Reaper
03-19-2005, 17:09
Where would you put essential items that are only rarely needed? (e.g. plane tickets)

Thanks!

They should be electronic these days.

TR

Martin
03-19-2005, 17:19
They should be electronic these days.

TR
Wishful thinking ain't changin' 'em. ;)

I guess I'll carry then, leaving them at hotel room doesn't sound too appealing - certainly not without a safe.

alphamale
03-19-2005, 18:03
I would sincerely appreciate any travel tips for Europe, especially for the Netherlands. First time abroad ever and I am eager, but oddly nervous. Pandora,

1) Please go to Rome (http://www.badlandsforums.com/fs/coppermine/thumbnails.php?album=20)

Rome is the best city in Europe. The city is pulsating. Italians are into people, seeing, and being seen. You feel like Julius Caesar could walk around the corner any minute.

Stay at Hotel Nazionale di Piazza Montecitorio. http://www.nazionaleroma.it/
It is a restored palace (in need of another restoration) adjacent to their Senate building so it is guarded at both corners of the square by cute Polizia carrying Beretta 92 FS's. The rooms are quaint but small and the bathrooms smaller. If you can afford it, stay in room 210. The location is perfect. And location is critical.


2) Wherever you are, stay in hotels in the middle of everything. "city-center" or near the biggest attraction in the city. That way, you won't have to find taxi's at night, and you'll be in places that are alive at night so you can just walk outside and go somewhere.


3) Buy a cheap (< $75) GSM cell phone + a chip in the first place you come across that sells them, and get a lesson on how to dial local calls. Could come in very very handy.

4) Traveler's checks are for wusses. Carry cash, but distribute (hide) it in various places to distribute the risk of loss.


5) Make sure you know all your credit card PINs before you leave !! If you don't, call them on Monday and have them issue another. Carry at several cards w/ PINS you know because sometimes only 1 of the them will be recognized at an ATM. The ATMs with a big 3 near the brand name are your best bets.


6 ) Here are some Amsterdam (http://www.badlandsforums.com/fs/coppermine/thumbnails.php?album=46) photos.


7) post your itinerary on rec.travel.europe

You'll gets lots of feedback on fun places to see and stay.

8) Keep 1 plastic water bottle from the airplane. Europe seems to have glass much more than plastic. Empty some of the water from your glass water bottles in the hotel and at breakfast in to your plastic water bottle then you'll be set for the morning.

9) In Italy, you can find meds OTC that you can't find here. Like a really good sub-lingual benedryl, and some antibiotics.

10) Just carry your purse and a shoulder bag with maps and water and breakfast bars when you're exploring. If you get lost or tired, walk in the nearest hotel, buy an espresso, and ask for directions.

FrontSight

Team Sergeant
03-19-2005, 20:52
Get a money belt. Not sure if that's what it will be called on the package, but what I'm talking about is a flat pouch you wear around your waist under your clothes. Good way to carry passport, traveler's checks and anything else important while traveling abroad.

Reaper is correct about currency exchange. Also bring traveler's checks instead of cash. Exchange minimal amounts in each country and use credit cards whenever possible.

I had no problems drinking the water when I was in Europe (although this was long ago). It ain't Bangladesh. :rolleyes:

ugh RL, you do realize you bumped a thread that's almost a year old???

I'm guessing here but Pandora just might have gone and returned by now.

This has been a Professional Soldiers Public Service announcement.

Roguish Lawyer
03-19-2005, 22:04
ugh RL, you do realize you bumped a thread that's almost a year old???

I'm guessing here but Pandora just might have gone and returned by now.

This has been a Professional Soldiers Public Service announcement.

:o