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I could have spared ya'll some pretty dumb questions if I had just bought Italy for Dummies sooner.

I could have spared ya'll some pretty dumb questions if I had just bought Italy for Dummies sooner.

Old Aug 5th, 2004, 03:47 PM
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I could have spared ya'll some pretty dumb questions if I had just bought Italy for Dummies sooner.

(By the way, I did finally buy my copy of DK Eyewitness Top 10 Rome. It's lovely.)

I had purused the Italy for Dummies book at the start of my Italy travel book buying frenzy and decided against it. Not sure why, possibly because it didn't have pretty pictures.

Well, today I broke down and purchased it. Let me tell you, it REALLY is helping me. Even after all the fantastic tips and advice here on Fodors this book helps to put everything in a concise, easy to read format.

So far the sections on "Choosing Traveler's Checks, Credit Cards, ATMs, or Cash" and "How to Make Reservations and Get Tickets in Advance for Events and Sightseeing" have been very additionally informative.

For instance, I learned that Chase Manhattan offers a foreign currency delivery service for its customers, on line or by phone. I can have euros for my initial Italy expenses (cab, etc.) delivered right to my door before I leave. If you are not a customer you have to go to one of their branches.
( www.currencytogo.com )

As for tickets to events and sights, the section on this is VERY informative. TicketOne allows you to make all your reservations and ticket purchases via www.ticketone.it
It is in Italian but it is "self-explanatory" or I might try to translate the page via one of the onine page translators.

Anyway, I look forward to reading more of this book. I am not getting tired of reading it like some of the other more highly regarded travel guides. Although I will probably need a seperate suitcase for all my books. NO WAY can I figure out which ones I should leave home and which ones I should take.

If anyone needs me to look something up for them I would be gald to do so.
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Old Aug 5th, 2004, 03:51 PM
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PS. I know, I know. I could have typed my questions into the search box, but it just isn't as much fun as posting on my own and getting new responses.
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Old Aug 5th, 2004, 03:57 PM
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Yep !
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Old Aug 5th, 2004, 04:01 PM
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Hi bob!

I hope your not getting too tired of me yet. (I think I was too over the top for SlowTravelers.)

Just wait until my trip report. ~o)
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Old Aug 5th, 2004, 06:52 PM
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Bottom line--your parents should have hired a pro--or semi pro--and taken you out of the loop. You cannot win, and you must have 200 hours invested.
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Old Aug 6th, 2004, 05:02 AM
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Dear Bob,

Maybe so, but this is the way it is. The way I look at it is I am learning quite a bit from planning this trip. Maybe someone will benefit from my experiences. Maybe one day I will start my own board: TRAVEL HELP FOR THOSE THAT REALLY DON'T WANT TO HIRE SOMEONE AND ARE ANAL ABOUT FINDING ALL THE INFO ON THEIR OWN.

I do know that things can go "wrong" on a trip even if a pro has been hired.

Also, some professional trip planners had been suggested to me on other boards and I received emails from other individuals on those boards saying that the particular people recommended were not so great at their "jobs".
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Old Aug 6th, 2004, 05:51 AM
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I'm one person who is happy to hear that you found a helpful resource.

I was going to say that you shouldn't worry about asking "pretty dumb questions" since I think the greater issue on this board, sometimes, is the REALLY dumb answers you get...although I am sure everyone is trying to be helpful...but I think The Navigator's reply pretty much makes my point.
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Old Aug 6th, 2004, 06:43 AM
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Thank you TopMan.

Back to Italy for Dummies. I checked with my bank regarding the ATM network they are associated with. I checked the back of my cards to see which ATM networks they are associated with and the card did not list the Cirrus Network which is one of the most prevalant. I could have assumed I was out of luck but thinking that my cards have been around for a while I decided to call the bank and check.

Lo and behold Bank of America is now, according to the rep I spoke with, connected to the Cirrus ATM network.
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Old Aug 6th, 2004, 09:06 AM
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PLMN: Let me weigh in with a dissenting view. As long as your parents understand that no matter how hard you try, you cannot make the trip an absolutely perfect one, I would encourage you to continue reading up on Italy (the general information chapters about getting around, changing money, etc. that are normally at the beginning of a guide book and the chapters or books that deal with your particular destinations) and to rely a little less heavily on the information you obtain from this forum.

Personally, I see nothing wrong with investing 200 hours or more in planning a trip; planning, as far as I am concerned, is an enjoyable part of the whole travel experience. And I am willing to wager that Bob the Navigator puts 200 hours -- or more -- into planning his trips; he just doesn't post questions here, preferring only to dispense his wisdom...
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