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Old 10-10-2015, 04:53 PM   #2401
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Mind posting the links to these accommodations?

Never been to Greece so something to have for planning.

Just got back from Sicily where there were some heavy rain days but it was otherwise T-shirt and shorts weather.
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Old 10-10-2015, 06:41 PM   #2402
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Sifnos: hotel nymphes, Naxos: hotel ileon, Athens: Athens Lotus Hotel, Peloponnese: Nafplion 1841, Porto Mani Suites, Messini: GMP Bouca Resort, Paros: Cyclades Hotel/Suites, Elounda: Elounda Heights, Agia Galini: Avra Hotel, Rethymno: Iperion Beach Hotel, Heraklio: Kastro Hotel, Palaikastro: Hiona Holiday Hotel, Hydra: Botsis Guest House, somewhere in Monemvasia & Corinth that I cannot remember, Olympia: Hotel Pelops, Paris: Novotel Vaugirard (priceline win)

Sorry, had all the links but cannot find them. We had to prepay Sifnos, and gty a few others. We do Booking.com, sort by highly rated, then cross compare with Tripadvisor. We book directly when possible and often the booking terms are better than those on Booking.com (sometimes the price or room is better as well).
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Old 10-10-2015, 07:18 PM   #2403
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Thanks!
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Old 10-11-2015, 10:58 AM   #2404
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When we booked our Italian trip, we left out the connection from Capri to Sicily, figuring that local arrangements would be cheaper. We discovered that it was cheaper to return to Rome by ferry and train and then take Vueling to Catania for 60 euros each all in. (The ferry was 8 euros and the train 1.8 euros.)

The other choices were ferry from Naples or Salerno, or train which crosses via ferry at Messina, but they were more expensive or much longer.
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Old 10-11-2015, 11:07 AM   #2405
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I imagine crossing at Messina would make sense if you wanted visit Puglia?
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Old 10-11-2015, 11:38 AM   #2406
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Well we exceeded our travel budget for this year, it's 20K, and we went to 23K. We did have some great travel - Spain for 3 weeks, and an 11 days cruise to Alaska. So no crying over spilled milk. We were under in other categories, so it's not too bad.

For next year we are planning more low key travel, except we are taking our kids on a cruise. Just Carnival - so not too expensive. We bought a travel trailer this year so we are planning some longish camping trips, which we enjoy.

We are still waiting to downgrade our house to jettison the mortgage (it's small but will add to travel fund)....but we still have a dog so waiting for him to pass on (he's 11).

We also have a lot of miles so thinking about using them to go to the Caribbean in Jan/Feb and rent a Airbnb house and stay for a couple of weeks. (escape winter - we are in Boston)

Just thinking out loud plans for next year.
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Old 10-11-2015, 04:46 PM   #2407
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We had the same situation last Oct when we had go from Sicily to Rome. It was less expensive, and less trouble to take a low cost Vueling flight from Palermo-Rome vs the train/ferry. Especially since the Palermo airport bus stopped 1/2 block away from our B&B.
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Old 10-11-2015, 05:33 PM   #2408
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We had the same situation last Oct when we had go from Sicily to Rome. It was less expensive, and less trouble to take a low cost Vueling flight from Palermo-Rome vs the train/ferry. Especially since the Palermo airport bus stopped 1/2 block away from our B&B.
Those cheap European airlines have opened up going to places not previously visited. You can take in Paris and London then fly to some far away place like Bucharest for less than $100.

Or, you can hit London and take the Eurostar train to Paris in 2.25 hrs. Then take a fast train down to Barcelona. Vueling can fly you from Barcelona to Rome in short time. Then you can take a fast train from Rome to Florence and on to Venice. That would be an easy, simple 3 week trip of a lifetime for someone.

Now, we're seeing Norwegian Air Shuttle coming into 5 U.S. airports from Oslo, Copenhagen and Stockholm, and airfare is 1/2 that of the legacy airlines. WOW Airline out of Iceland's also coming in. The big U.S. airlines are going to have to compete on pricing or they're SOL.
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Old 10-11-2015, 10:44 PM   #2409
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Last week we flew from Crete direct to Paris CDG on Agean Air. It is just under three hours.

The fare for both of us, taxes in and with one bag checked, was $215 CAD. USD would be $160 or $80 USD each.


Our Canadian airfares are more expensive that US airfares. The same air journey in Canada would cost 2 1/12 to 3 times as much.
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Old 10-12-2015, 05:30 PM   #2410
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140+ countries are supported by T-Mobile. That's looks pretty complete to me. Pretty much includes any place that I'm likely to visit and if not, then I guess I'll figure out an alternative option. I'd be curious to know how this compares to ATT, but I'm skeptical there's a big difference.
There is indeed a significant difference between the plans. To give the company some credit, T-Mobile has made an effort to add more countries in the last year and a half to bring it up to 140, but their coverage is still very dominated by Europe, Caribbean and Latin America (and 80% of the 'new' countries they added are in Europe). They've also added a few places in Asia, but their sub-Saharan African coverage continues to be abysmal, and they are weak in some parts of Asia as well.

ATT is now up to 190+ countries, covering many, many countries not under T-Mobile's plan (everything from Mongolia, Nepal, Greenland, Belize, Paraguay, Jordan, and Tahiti to 40 countries in Africa against T-Mobile's 6). Again, ATT is the hands down winner if you travel to more far flung places. YMMV.
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Old 10-12-2015, 05:33 PM   #2411
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But AT&T international data is expensive.
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Old 10-12-2015, 05:58 PM   #2412
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EU Rule 261:

I wasn't aware of this:

https://airlandandsea.wordpress.com/...out-of-europe/

Excerpt:
Quote:
DELAYS if your flight is delayed 4 hours from your scheduled departure, you may be entitled to compensation between 250 -600 depending on the distance of the flight.

If you are within the EU and are traveling 1,500 km or less you are entitled to receive 250. If you are traveling over 1,500 km then your compensation would be 400.

If you are traveling between the EU and a non-EU country and are traveling 1,500 km or less then your compensation is 250. If you are traveling 1,500 3.500 km then you may receive 400 and if it is 3,500 km or more then you may receive 600.
There's more..
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Old 10-22-2015, 07:13 AM   #2413
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EU Rule 261:

I wasn't aware of this:

https://airlandandsea.wordpress.com/...out-of-europe/

Excerpt:

There's more..
I've been stressing over a tight connection at the tail end of an otherwise-amazing trip we have planned for next spring - A 50 minute transfer in Amsterdam, down from it's original 1:40 layover time when the airline changed our flight.

At first I thought, well, it's not really our problem if we miss the flight, and Amsterdam is a nice place to be stuck in, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized it was going to create stress where none should exist. I don't want to spend the last few days of what is otherwise an amazing trip worried about having to stand in line to be rescheduled, possibly deal with misdirected luggage if it goes on but we don't, or vice versa, etc.

So I finally got around to contacting the river cruise company we're going with to explore my options, and now have an itinerary that I love -

One week in Amsterdam on our own, in advance of joining our river cruise, during which we'll see all the sights, cruise the canals, day trip to Delft and Haarlem, and do an all day bike ride into the surrounding countryside. At the end of the week we meet our river cruise group and embark on a 33 day, eight country cruise/land tour through Amsterdam/Germany/Austria/Hungary/Croatia /Serbia/Bulgaria/Romania. We fly home from Bucharest, Romania via a now four hour layover in Amsterdam, which makes me very happy. DH and I will have no problem spending a few hours cooling our heels at the airport in relative relaxation prior to boarding flight number two for home.
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Old 10-23-2015, 06:03 AM   #2414
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last month i drove my Miata to Colorado and back for 13 days. Two days ago, i came home froma 6 day motorcycle ride through the smokies, camping. Next week we'll head to Key West for Fantasy fest. Planning 6 weeks in Key West for jan/feb.
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Old 10-23-2015, 10:45 AM   #2415
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Although my retirement isn't until 1 Feb 2017, I am gearing up for some RV travel. In 2006, I took our family on a 9500 mile, 6 week motorhome trip around the country, our kids then were 11 and 14. Best family vacation ever, and the freedom of RV travel is just amazing. So now I am planning on buying a modest travel trailer next spring (if we get our bonuses...) and have already bought a used SUV tow vehicle. Best case, I'll get a trailer in the spring and be able to do several long weekend trips in 2016. I have enjoyed doing the research on the trailers and now know exactly what I want. I also want to do more hiking while I am still healthy and the trailer will give me the ability to stay at hike base camps all over New England.

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Old 10-23-2015, 10:54 AM   #2416
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So I finally got around to contacting the river cruise company we're going with to explore my options, and now have an itinerary that I love -

One week in Amsterdam on our own, in advance of joining our river cruise, during which we'll see all the sights, cruise the canals, day trip to Delft and Haarlem, and do an all day bike ride into the surrounding countryside. At the end of the week we meet our river cruise group and embark on a 33 day, eight country cruise/land tour through Amsterdam/Germany/Austria/Hungary/Croatia /Serbia/Bulgaria/Romania. We fly home from Bucharest, Romania via a now four hour layover in Amsterdam, which makes me very happy. DH and I will have no problem spending a few hours cooling our heels at the airport in relative relaxation prior to boarding flight number two for home.
Sounds like an amazing trip! We spent a few days in Amsterdam and LOVED it! Enjoy!
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(49, married; DH 53. I am fully retired as of 2015 (well ok, I still work part-time but only because I love the job and have complete freedom to call off if I want to travel with hubby for work), DH hopes to fully retire 2018 when he turns 55 to access 401K penalty-free...although he may decide to do part-time consulting)
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Old 10-23-2015, 10:01 PM   #2417
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Sounds like an amazing trip! We spent a few days in Amsterdam and LOVED it! Enjoy!
So happy to hear that! My Rick Steves Amsterdam book just came in the mail and I'm having a wonderful time reading through it and jotting down ideas.
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Old 10-23-2015, 10:20 PM   #2418
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Its funny hearing people talk about Amsterdam as it's a city we've come to know well as we have family living there.

For us, Amsterdam is the place in Europe most like the US. People are laid back and dress casually. They speak outstanding English, and often with an American accent. It's slightly more technologically oriented than other European cities - and actually than many US cities.

The cyclists, however, are INSANE!!!! I still can't get over their no bike helmet culture. Apparently accidents are rare, but I did see a nasty one once - ugh!

Love their public transportation system, including the ferries.
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Old 10-24-2015, 06:33 AM   #2419
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The bicyclists are insane, indeed, but we loved that aspect! There were parking garages for the bicycles! Hubby kept trying to talk me into renting bikes...I kept saying no, as I didn't want to die on vacation. He's much more adventurous than me.

We stayed in a "boutique" hostel in Amsterdam - really just a hostel that offered a few private nicer rooms with bathrooms for those who didn't want to share their entire space with strangers. But we were able to enjoy meeting travelers from around the world in the community kitchen/living areas, buy food at a grocery store and cook whenever we wanted, and hang out with the resident hostel cat. It was a very unique experience, especially as we never had a chance to do the whole backpacker thing as youngsters. FUN!

I did agree to rent bicycles in Paris and had a FABULOUS time, even though I was scared to death to try it. We took a leisurely afternoon and biked from the Latin Quarter over to the Eiffel Tower. There were only a few scary moments - we tried to stay on the smaller back roads. It was a great way to see the city. And then we got a bottle of wine and cheese at a local grocery store and set up camp on the lawn with everyone else. Wonderful memories!
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Old 10-24-2015, 07:20 AM   #2420
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I took a 2 week road trip out west last month. Saw relatives in Santa Fe, NM and in Las Vegas. Went to the Grand Canyon, Zion Park and The Arches in Utah, Sedona, AZ and several other stops along the way. Great trip with a lot of nice trails to hike.

Red Rock Park Sedona


Grand Canyon


Zion Park


Arches
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