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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 25th June 2000, 19:36
anniep anniep is offline
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Hi everyone!

It's the "green travler" again. I need some more advice on what to bring with me on my upcoming trip in September. I need to know what type of clothing to bring, how much for 15 days, tipping policies, important papers I need to bring besides a passport, things like that. Also, any information on flying such as checking in, do's and don't, etc. will help too. I am really new to traveling (can't you tell :-)) and any advice will help a lot.
Thanks for taking care of a "newbie"!
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Old 25th June 2000, 22:25
Neil_Caple
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Oh boy! Here's one for Willy to get his teeth into...

September weather is quite unpredictable. We can have some lovely sunny days and chilly, sometimes frosty nights. Better get Willy to advise on wardrobe, but a couple of light sweaters would be advisable. And a raincoat!

It's always a good idea to have a photocopy of your passport, in case you lose the original. Check in at least an hour before departure. Do not pack electrical items in your check-in luggage or they'll think it's a bomb. It's not worth bringing electrical items anyway as the Voltage is different. You can normally only check in 2 bags and carry on one smallish one. Carry everything you are likely to need on the flight in the carry-on bag, and I'd advise a change of underwear and a toothbrush in case your checked-in luggage gets lost. That'll do for a start.

Oh. Tipping is not as rigid as in the US. Only tip for good service, and 10% to 15% is fine.

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The man o' independent mind,
He looks an' laughs at a' that.
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Old 25th June 2000, 23:12
Neil_Caple
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And never check in anything you can't afford to lose.

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The man o' independent mind,
He looks an' laughs at a' that.
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Old 26th June 2000, 00:08
Willy Willy is offline
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Hi Annie!

LOL@Neil! Good avice as always, Neil!

I usually bring a voltage adapter for any electrical items I may need. Oftentimes you only need the UK plug adapter instead of the entire unit so I put that in my carry-on luggage. In addition to that change of underwear I always pack a "light" ensemble that I can just roll up, (i.e.; a knit dress or boot pants and a top), for carry-on luggage. In my purse I always take nail clippers, a small bottle of perfume, lotion & mints. (The nail clippers are "just in case" and the other items are to feel "human" again after a 12 hour flight...)
I also bring a small travel umbrella and a hat in carry-on whenever I'm in Europe in case I need either as soon as I land.

I would take jeans, lots of knit separates,(great for layering), a dress or skirt and a lightweight trenchcoat. Also if you have a wool jacket or blazer that packs well bring it along for an option to the trenchcoat. Comfortable walking shoes, (not white tennis shoes), and a pair of heels should be adequate for 15 days, (but it seems like I can NEVER travel with less than 3 pairs of shoes...)

Good call Neil on the photocopy of your passport. I usually will take a copy of my passport with me and leave a copy at home as well. Also, If you have booked any reservations on-line take copies of confirmations with you. If you will be depending on mass transit you can oftentimes copy schedules from internet sites in advance which will come in handy for reference.

Most British pubs you do not tip when just ordering drinks. Also at pubs you usually order food at the bar, (as opposed to table service).

Last but not least.... really get in the habit of looking both ways whenever you cross any street! (It's not uncommon for American's to get run over because they were looking the opposite direction for traffic.) It sounds stupid...but it's true!



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Di (aka ^..^ ~ Willy)
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Old 26th June 2000, 00:56
Neil_Caple
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Good call about crossing the road oh faithful Scottie! It confuses me far more than driving when I travel.

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Old 26th June 2000, 11:57
Neil_Caple
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Money & Valuables...
If you have a Visa or Mastercard which allows you to withdraw cash from an ATM, it will work in Scottish ATMs as well. The card issuer will probably add an extra service charge, but it's a good way to get your hands on cash. Travellers checks issued in pounds rather than dollars can be used like cash in most retail outlets. If you get American Express travellers checks, you can get them replaced quickly if they are lost or stolen. Travellers checks issued in dollars can be changed at any bank, but there'll be a charge. In Scotland there are three banks which issue their own banknotes, plus there are the Bank of England banknotes, and you will soon acquire a mixture of these in your wallet. They are all legal tender, but I would advise changing any Scottish notes back to dollars before you leave the country as you may have trouble in an American bank.

If you're staying in hotels, leave most of your cash & valuables in the hotel safe and only carry as much as you'll need during the day or evening you are out and about. If you lose what you're carrying, you won't have lost everything.

Look out for "tax free for tourists" signs in stores. You will not be able to buy things at tax-free prices, but these stores will issue you with a special receipt which will allow you to reclaim the VAT (17.5%) When you leave the country. You will need to ask for the form in the store and show your passport to prove you are not resident in Britain.

Things like camera batteries & films are standard throughout the world, so you can buy supplies locally if you run out. Don't buy DVDs or video tapes to take back home with you as the formats are different.

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The man o' independent mind,
He looks an' laughs at a' that.
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  #7 (permalink)  
Old 1st July 2000, 04:00
anniep anniep is offline
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Big thanks to you two, Neil and Willy!!!!!
I really appreciate all the great tips you have given me. It is making trip planning a breeze. I will make sure I have clean underwear (haha) and all my important things in my carry on. I will be on the lookout for duty free shops since I will be needing to get the most bang out of my buck. Anything else you or anyone else can think of---let me know! Thanks again! This site is GREAT!

Annie the Loony Librarian strikes again! hee hee
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