College daughter traveling this spring

Mar 2nd, 2014, 03:01 PM
  #21  
 
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I would ask about pickpockets. One of the above posters has been to Europe over 100 times and NEVER been pickpocketed. She is extremely street smart.
colduphere is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2014, 03:29 PM
  #22  
 
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I have been to Europe well over 100 times and never been pickpocketed but there were several occasions if I had not been congnizant of the problem I may well have been. Always, ALWAYS use a money belt or similar device IMO that goes under your clothes - not strung around your neck as it can be snatched, leaving you with a wrenched neck! Crowded metro and train stations and any crowded area take special vigilance. But generally a bit of protection and a dollop of common sense will negate a very real problem in many places. And yes leave the family jewels at home.
PalenQ is offline  
Mar 2nd, 2014, 07:44 PM
  #23  
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Thanks again! Yes I am stressing already the money belt! Her friend went to Italy with the school and was robbed on the first subway ride. Welcome to Europe and thank you for donating your passport, 300 euros and a lovely credit card to the people!


Do you know if hostels have room safes?
girlonthego is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2014, 08:01 AM
  #24  
 
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Yes hostels usually have lockers but I still would always carry my passport, large money, credit cards, etc in a money belt or security device at all times.
PalenQ is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2014, 10:06 AM
  #25  
 
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I'd disagree with the Castle area - it's far from Old Town, not close to Mala Strana and very far from New Town - and basically atop the hill with the Castle. A 21-yo seeking to have more fun and be centrally located should stay closer to Mala Strana and Old Town Square.

I've never been pickpocketed and never really been close to it and I've been to Italy and Spain (including pickpocket Nirvana, Barcelona). I do not use a money belt, ever, and think it looks awful and advertises a certain level of paranoia.

Now, I'm a sizable man who grew up in 1980s NYC and dons his GTFO face if someone suspicious walks by, so I'm both street smart and intimidating to a sub-100 kg European who wears medium-size Tshirts. I also travel now with kids so if anyone gets too close, they're in legitimate danger from papa bear's claws. But there have to be better types of equipment for young people to wear to keep their necessary documents, cards and cash than a money belt or fanny pack.

This may help point her in a decent direction: http://www.corporatetravelsafety.com...r-c-24_93.html
BigRuss is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2014, 10:11 AM
  #26  
 
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. I do not use a money belt, ever, and think it looks awful and advertises a certain level of paranoia.>

I wear a money belt no one can see or know I have on. Anyone who carries money and valuables in a wallet in a back pocket is simply saying "pickpocket me" - not saying Big Russ does that but some may infer that from his comments. I've seen pickpockets working the Paris metro gates and stick their hands in folks back pockets in the mad rush to get in.
PalenQ is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2014, 10:50 AM
  #27  
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She has a moneybelt which I would like for her to use for her passport and one credit card and majority of her money. Then carry some small money and one card in an easy access place for her, but still not easy access for others.

Big Russ, you are probably intimidating but doubt my DD will have the same effect. LOL
girlonthego is offline  
Mar 3rd, 2014, 11:01 AM
  #28  
 
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I HAVE been to europe more than 100 times and never been pickpocketed. I've also lived in NYC my entire adult life and have not been pickpocketed or mugged. Almost everyone I know has never been pickpocketd or mugged. I think the incidence is way less than most people think.

(Although my car was stolen off the street - my fault for not putting it in a garage).
nytraveler is offline  
Mar 24th, 2014, 04:20 PM
  #29  
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Big Russ: How is the old town area to stay in Prague? Is there any area that is not a good area for young women to stay? What section is the main train station in? I know you said to stay away from the train station. Thanks!
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Mar 24th, 2014, 04:51 PM
  #30  
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Some hotels that look nice:
Hotel Jezulatta in Lessertown
Perla Hotel Old town
Unitas Hotel Old town
Hotel Cerny Slon Old town

Any comments on these? Looking for good central location, with free wifi, a/c, room safe, breakfast included, some offer airport transfers which is good too and most of all SAFE area to come back to at night.

The girls have no idea as none of them has ever travelled anywhere besides florida from Virginia except mine. 3 or 4 girls are going, so either one triple or two doubles. I am pressing them to make their plans asap since most hotels are selling out for May.
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Mar 24th, 2014, 05:05 PM
  #31  
 
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We stayed at Unitas Hotel in Prague. Love, love the location!! On a quiet street and definitely safe area.... it's across the police station/HQ!! But more than that, the staff is courteous, helpful and really friendly. The breakfast is wonderful and they have tiny hors d'oeuvres plated out in the lobby in the afternoon for guests. Highly recommend!
JoyC is offline  
Mar 24th, 2014, 05:19 PM
  #32  
 
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Why can't they book their flight into Prague and home from Zurich?
kybourbon is online now  
Mar 24th, 2014, 05:24 PM
  #33  
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Prague is first. They will be going to school in Riva San vitale Switzerland and Milan is closer than Zurich.

Thanks JoyC. The Unitas looks nice, but may be sold out before all these girls get their acts together.
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Mar 24th, 2014, 05:24 PM
  #34  
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kybourbon. Milan will be their gateway home, I think. Nothing is booked yet.
girlonthego is offline  
Mar 24th, 2014, 07:07 PM
  #35  
 
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Why? It would make more sense to book into Prague and home from Milan.
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Mar 24th, 2014, 07:10 PM
  #36  
 
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Try Josefov, very nice location. The area right around the Charles Bridge ("below" it) seemed a little too hectic for me.

This hotel was right near the apartment we rented and would be a good choice. Not sure what their budget is, and this is not a partying-college-kids place, but may give you an idea of location:

http://www.maximilianhotel.com/

There were lots and lots of young people out and about quite late all over Prague when I visited (including up by the castle at the Design Hotlel Sax, where I also stayed). I'd say the most important thing for them is to be sensible and not drink too much.
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Mar 24th, 2014, 08:17 PM
  #37  
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kybourbon, that is the plan. Flying into Prague, (there are no direct flights to prague from virginia, so into prague via another european city) and then home from Milan.

leely2. Thanks I saw that one on booking.com and trip advisor and will look at it again. They are not wild, I don't think. They are all legal in the US (I believe they are all 21). That was the one thing I told my DD. Don't drink too much! Hopefully she will heed my warnings or not tell me about how they barely lived one night until I am old, or older. LOL She said the other girls really have never traveled and their parents are worried about where they are going to stay. So, I am helping find them an area and some hotels to check out and the process of it all. Just want them to be safe. I told her to make them watch the movie Taken before they all go.That should scare them a little for the first few days anyway.
girlonthego is offline  
Mar 24th, 2014, 11:24 PM
  #38  
 
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When Milan is the closest airport to their school, you could check wizzair.com for low-cost fares between Prague and Malpensa or Bergamo.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Mar 25th, 2014, 04:58 AM
  #39  
 
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Easy Jet flies Prague/Milan and random dates show prices in the 40-50€€ range (+13€ to check a bag). All the budget airlines have strict luggage weight/carry on rules.

When you look at flights from Prague, you have to factor in all the extras (luggage fees, train cost to destination from the various airports).
kybourbon is online now  
Mar 25th, 2014, 08:30 AM
  #40  
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I saw one flight for 77USD for the one way non stop from Prague to Milan on the day they would need to be at the school.
I have asked my daughter numerous times, is it 3 or 4 going to Prague, how much do they expect to spend on hotels per person, per night, and the extra traveling expenses. Need to know all that soon if you are traveling together. I have sent my DD a facebook message with several hotels and costs and links, sample airfares for both the US to Europe round trip and the inner city. Decide now if you want to travel together and book!!!!!!!!!!!

kybourbon, I didn't consider the extra costs for baggage in europe. Most likely they will have a bag that needs to be checked in europe.
Thanks for the link Cowboy, will check out the website.

I have also mentioned that if they didnt' want to do Prague,they can fly direct from washington Dc to numerous cities in europe. So, decide, decide, decide!
girlonthego is offline  
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