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Old 06-15-2016, 04:02 PM   #41
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The Euro rental car up charges for automatics is just to stick (PI) it to Americans since they know we don't hardly drive standards. You'd think they'd try to be consumer friendly, but no. They also have it their heads that standards are more fuel efficient, but pretty bogus with the multi-gear transmissions of today.
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Old 06-15-2016, 04:13 PM   #42
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T. They also have it their heads that standards are more fuel efficient, but pretty bogus with the multi-gear transmissions of today.
Aren't standards also cheaper to buy/repair/maintain?
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Old 06-15-2016, 04:55 PM   #43
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The Euro rental car up charges for automatics is just to stick (PI) it to Americans since they know we don't hardly drive standards. You'd think they'd try to be consumer friendly, but no. They also have it their heads that standards are more fuel efficient, but pretty bogus with the multi-gear transmissions of today.
Automatic transmission vehicles are less common and more expensive to buy and operate in Europe than they are in the US. In recent years, manual diesel vehicles have become very popular in Europe because of the lower cost of diesel. They are my default choice.
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Old 06-15-2016, 05:04 PM   #44
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2 websites I like for traveling within Europe: ryanair.com and booking.com

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Old 06-15-2016, 08:17 PM   #45
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Thanks guys for all the information on travel websites. If I was planning a trip (and I'm through traveling for now), I'd be up all night trying to save a buck--literally.

The biggest enjoyment on a trip is often in the planning. I call it traveling in my mind. And I love traveling for half the price that many people spend. It all comes from the resources available on the internet.
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Old 06-15-2016, 09:25 PM   #46
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Flights:

Google Flights - super-fast and super-powerful, especially if you have flexible travel dates like we do (tip: use its Save feature to save one-way flights you like and track their price changes over time, be patient, they will fall!)

Twitter - I follow and get notifications on my phone when @airfarewatchdog, @secretflying, and @fly4freecom tweet out flight deals. I snagged $80 r/t flights to Nashville and $70 r/t flights to Dallas this way.

Accomodations:

TripAdvisor - the bible

JetSetter - private great deals on upscale hotels that make them approachable

Hotwire/Priceline along with BetterBidding.com - often great deals and a free adrenaline rush during the reveal!

Airbnb and VRBO - when you are looking to live like the Romans (and when hotels are all booked up because of an event in a city)
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Old 06-15-2016, 09:31 PM   #47
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I recently started using the saved flights feature of Google Flights. It's interesting seeing the price history on selected flights.
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Old 06-16-2016, 07:30 AM   #48
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...

The biggest enjoyment on a trip is often in the planning. I call it traveling in my mind. ...
This is DW to a "T." While the planning is not actually her biggest enjoyment, she truly enjoys both it and the anticipation of the trip.

Me, I am happy just jumping in the car and seeing where I end up. (but, while working, this is not an optimal approach.)

Will be interesting to see how these respective attributes meld in retirement!
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Old 06-16-2016, 07:42 AM   #49
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I spend a huge amount of time planning our trips. But I don't particularly enjoy it, and sometimes it's downright aggravating. I mean, it is very interesting, and sometimes exciting, but getting the details squared away can get very, very tedious.

But the payoff is when we things go smoothly on our trip and we have a great time.

Of course I could just sign up for a couple of tours or cruises and then only have to deal with airfare and transfer to the tour/cruise, which is the easy part. But we seem to enjoy the experience more when we're off on our own and can do things at our own pace, and we can change our schedule around at the last minute.

BTW - for a Europe tour I seem to spend just as many full days working on the trip planning as we do on the actual trip! (unless we're returning to some place a second time)
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Old 06-16-2016, 10:29 AM   #50
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Our choice of vehicle in many parts of Europe would always be a standard transmission. Saves me constantly riding the brakes in some countries. Fortunately I have no problems driving one.

I do not think that the European agencies are sticking it to anyone by charging more for a standard. In Europe, standard transmissions are the most common. Rental agencies buy for this market. I have no doubt that their inventory costs are higher with automatic transmission vehicles.
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Old 06-16-2016, 02:43 PM   #51
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I just don't understand why automatic was never adopted in Europe, as I believe any gas saving benefit was erased decades ago.
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Old 06-16-2016, 02:51 PM   #52
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You can get some cheap rentals if you get these tiny cars with 1 liter engines.
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