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Greece and Turkey next summer - are we crazy?

Greece and Turkey next summer - are we crazy?

Old Jul 28th, 2015, 01:34 PM
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Greece and Turkey next summer - are we crazy?

We are about to finalize flights (frequent flyer so they are changeable) for a three week trip next summer starting in Greece and ending in Turkey. Watching the news these days I begin to wonder if we are insane to be planning a vacation in one country in economic chaos and another that has just declared war on ISIS. For those of you on the ground, would you wait a bit, or are the news reports sensationalizing the situation? I will get trip insurance, and if things go downhill we can always change plans I guess - still, would love to hear input from those of you who are there now. Thanks
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Old Jul 28th, 2015, 01:43 PM
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What would you be insuring exactly?

As to the question... I would expect that we will back to a Grexit drama this time next year and Turkey will still be fighting ISIS. I doubt you will have any major safety concerns, but I'm not sure either country would be at their best.
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Old Jul 28th, 2015, 01:44 PM
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I know you are going to hate this response because it's not at all what you asked, but I have to ask, how are people on the ground today going to be able to assuage your fears about next year?
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Old Jul 28th, 2015, 01:45 PM
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We are booked on a cruise next summer with 1 port stop in Turkey and 3 ports in Greece including debarking in Athens. We also just booked our airfare for this cruise on Turkish Airlines with plane change both ways in Istanbul. I'm no more worried than I am for any other international trip. I only wish our cruise ported in Istanbul so we could tour the city. We will just enjoy the few hours at the airport. Hope they sell Turkish delight!
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Old Jul 28th, 2015, 01:57 PM
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Oh, and make sure your trip insurance allows you to cancel for no specified reason--not cheap or easy to find, but it's the only policy worth getting under the circumstances.
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Old Jul 28th, 2015, 02:03 PM
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hi travelgourmet - at this point not much to insure, but as we start booking hotels we will want it. I've learned the hard way NewbE to always get the "cancel for any reason" insurance - having had to cancel several trips for various family reasons it is worth it for me. and true NewbE, no one can predict what next year will bring - just sort of curious how chaotic things feel right now. ah well, nothing is certain....
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Old Jul 28th, 2015, 05:33 PM
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>

I am in Athens , I don't see any economical chaos...
Sure there have been difficulties for us locals while the banks were closed, but this was under no circumstance a "chaos".

Situation is more or less starting to get back to normal.
As for tourists , I am not aware of any serious impact.
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Old Jul 28th, 2015, 06:41 PM
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Thanks Clausar - we decided to go for it - Carpe Diem and all that. and now for a glorious 11 months of planning.
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Old Jul 28th, 2015, 07:06 PM
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If you haven't already discovered the great ongoing thread by OC. He lives in Istanbul & provides great onsite info for the country.
http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...estoration.cfm
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Old Jul 28th, 2015, 08:50 PM
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what yestravel said.
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Old Jul 29th, 2015, 09:33 AM
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There is really no need to book your hotels before May 2016. I often travel in this area (for the last time just 2 weeks ago: Antalya - Olympos - Kas/Patara - Kastellorizo - Rhodos - Amorgos - Donoussa - Naxos - Athens) and I never book my hotels and ferries more than 3 weeks ahead.
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Old Jul 30th, 2015, 06:39 AM
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I live in Athens, I was downtown Athens yesterday for a walk with friends and it was just a normal relaxing day... People shopping, hanging out, tourists everywhere. What did you expect to see in Athens? People throwing molotovs to each other? We have a financial crisis, so does Italy, so does Spain... I don't see anyone being afraid of visiting Italy or Spain. It makes me a bit angry that you consider it "crazy" to visit Greece, as there is simply no reason to be afraid of anything here. I don't understand you people...
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Old Jul 30th, 2015, 07:01 AM
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hi travelgourmet - at this point not much to insure, but as we start booking hotels we will want it.

Are you planning on putting big dollars towards non-refundable hotel rooms? I ask not to be flippant, but to urge you to crunch the numbers and determine if you really need insurance. If you are using award flights, the change fee is something like $150 per ticket, which seems like the sort of risk one should simply self-insure. Would the savings from booking a non-refundable hotel really outweigh the cost of trip insurance? I guess I don't understand what the nonrefundable costs are that would need insuring.

We have a financial crisis, so does Italy, so does Spain... I don't see anyone being afraid of visiting Italy or Spain. It makes me a bit angry that you consider it "crazy" to visit Greece, as there is simply no reason to be afraid of anything here.

If I were the type to be concerned about visiting Greece, it would be because of nonsense like this. Greece has issues. Big issues. Pretending that it doesn't is unhelpful and makes people think you are hiding something.

Just be forthright. Admit that Greece has a fair bit of uncertainty. Admit that getting cash out of the bank can be problematic when the banks are shut down. Admit that there is some risk the same will happen sometime next year. No, it isn't the end of the world and it doesn't mean you will be shot in the street, but pretending that there aren't problems comes across as disingenuous.

FWIW, I would also note that saying stuff like "it was just a normal relaxing day... People shopping, hanging out" provides fodder to the Northern Europeans that think Greeks are a bunch of lazy crooks. While normally I am all for anything that agitates Germans, I'd recommend at least pretending that life is hard when you are asking the rest of Europe and the IMF to subsidize your lifestyle.
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Old Jul 30th, 2015, 08:13 AM
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I'm going to Turkey in September. I booked my hotels early and only one asked for a deposit. That hotel also asks for full payment 30 days in advance with cancellation up to 15 days before check-in. The rest have a one night penalty with differing cancellations dates of between 48 hours prior to 14 days prior. I'm also using frequent flier miles, except for the flights within Turkey which are non-refundable.

While my trip costs to date are minimal, for about $100 I purchased trip insurance mainly for the emergency medical evacuation back to my home hospital of choice. So, yes, it is expensive as a percent of the total I've spent to date, but if some reason my husband or I are seriously injured or ill, I don't want to write a check for $100,000 or more to get home. It also includes cancel for any reason which would cover 50% of my pre-paid costs (including re-depositing my frequent flier miles) as well as the usual travel insurance coverage.

So you need to crunch the numbers and decide what is best for you. I spent time on the phone with Travel Guard and asked a lot of question.

Have fun planning!
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Old Jul 30th, 2015, 09:23 AM
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@travelgourmet, I live in Athens. You simply can't know better than me. The only problem a tourist can have in Greece is that he can get a specific amount of cash each day from the banks. That's it. How tragic.
We simply don't care about what you think about us. It's funny to consider us Greeks lazy. We work 42 hours per week, when the average European works 37,2 (and Germans 35,3). So guess what, Northen Europeans are the true ''lazy crooks'' as you mentioned. But you know what, we work more than the Northern Europeans, but we are not workaholics. They live to work, but we work to live. That's why you consider us lazy.
Oh, so you want us to become miserable and not live our lives? No. Call us however you want, we don't care. You have already taken enough money from the Greek people, but we won't give you our lives. I won't pretend anything, I have nothing to hide.
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Old Jul 30th, 2015, 09:34 AM
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Petro
Let's keep this what it is, a travel forum
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Old Jul 30th, 2015, 10:06 AM
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That's why you consider us lazy.

I'm not calling you a lazy crook. I am just pointing out that pretty much every elected leader in Europe has called you and your countrymen lazy crooks. While I recognize why one would want to say "life is great, come on over" to encourage tourism, that is inconsistent with the press and, frankly, inconsistent with the message your leadership has been giving to the rest of the world.

The only problem a tourist can have in Greece is that he can get a specific amount of cash each day from the banks. That's it. How tragic.

I'm personally not a fan of having to stand in line at the bank to get money out. I'm even less of a fan of doing that every day because I can only take out x amount. And I really hate doing that on vacation.
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Old Jul 30th, 2015, 10:31 AM
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Travelgourmet-

Inform your bank of your intention to use your debit card while traveling and ask for an increase of your maximum daily withdrawl limit. That usually takes care of that issue.
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Old Jul 30th, 2015, 10:33 AM
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lauramsgarden,

As someone living in Greece, unfortunately I feel that I am part of a small minority fighting a lost battle on the travel forums. Whenever someone asks on the ground information about what's going on in Greece -and I guess Turkey- tons of people who are not on the ground will chip in and stand on their shoe boxes and will share whateverer their speculations or views are on the situation and start an argument, often not believing what we see and report with our own eyes.

Yes, no one can predict the future but there have been no problems for visitors whatsoever, that been now when media present empty super markets and panicked people in front of banks or on 2011 when media presented Greece as a war zone or at any time this financial turmoil has started since 5-6 years ago. My opinion is to go ahead and enjoy those countries as million people have done so during past months.

Just to clarify: Capital controls apply only to Greek bank accounts. If you have a card connected to an American bank account, you can withdraw as much money as your own bank allows from local ATMs. It is the locals that can withdraw only 60 euro/day for the time been. Contrary to what media report, most ATMs operate as usual. As do restaurants, hotels,supermarkets, gaz stations, shops, public trransport, archeological sites and museums and so on.....


This is my first and only post on this thread, as it will head nowhere other than a never ending argument and actually off topic as you asked for opinions from people on the ground but many who are not here already made their appearence.

I will only advice you to check as many travel reports as possible not only on fodors but on more active forums such as trip advisor if this helps.

Wherever you end up going, Have a Great Trip!

The end.
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Old Jul 30th, 2015, 11:11 AM
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Inform your bank of your intention to use your debit card while traveling and ask for an increase of your maximum daily withdrawl limit. That usually takes care of that issue.

To be clear, I don't have any problems withdrawing money on a usual basis. I was commenting on the fact that during the forced bank shutdown in Greece there were reports of difficulty getting euros from the ATM simply because the ATMs ran out of notes. There were also restrictions on Greek bank account holders limiting how much they could withdraw (I think it was €60 per day) and reports were that this was resulting in a fair bit of lines at the ATMs.

often not believing what we see and report with our own eyes.

You will forgive us as the Greek Prime Minister has been telling the world that Greece is in dire straits, that the economy has contracted by something like 30% in five years, and that youth unemployment is at stratospheric levels. Is that incorrect?
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