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What do i need to travel to ENgland, France and Italy

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Aug 6th, 2010, 08:13 AM
  #1
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What do i need to travel to ENgland, France and Italy

I will be traveling to England,France and italy from the US. I have a passport, but do i need any other paper work? where do you go to find this out - airlines, embassy??? also what are the best options for cell phones abroad? thanks for your help.
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Aug 6th, 2010, 08:16 AM
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Are you a US citizen? How long do you plan to stay?
Mimar is offline  
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Aug 6th, 2010, 08:18 AM
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Are you traveling from the USA? If so all you need is your passport.

Are you planning on renting a car - if so, you will need an International Drivers License and your state drivers license. International drivers license can be obtained at AAA.

If your health insurance covers you in other countries you will need your health insurance cards.

I know nothing about cell phones abroad - I always use MCI calling card. But others can help with cell phone info.

Be sure to make a copy of your passport, your credit cards, ATM card and keep in a separate location in your luggage and leave a copy at home.
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Aug 6th, 2010, 08:30 AM
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I have never needed an international drivers license anywhere in Europe or the United states. Just use your state drivers license and do not bother with getting an international one.

it will be useful to get a cheap cell phone in the states which can accommodate european sim cards, and get the sim card of a widely available network, possibly vodaphone, when you arrive in europe.

the last advice of bratsandbeer is very very important. In fact keep different photocopies in every piece of luggage that you have. We had major problems when ours were stolen on the way to the airport for the flight back home, and we had no copies with us.
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Aug 6th, 2010, 09:08 AM
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An IDP is required in Italy. Some but not all car rental companies want to see it. Since it's so cheap (~$15 + photo if you don't have one) and easy to get an IDP at AAA, why not obey the law?
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Aug 6th, 2010, 10:00 AM
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bratsandbeer if they are a US or Canadian citizen all they need is a passport - if they live in the US but have another nationality they may need a visa.

If you are planning on driving in Italy an IDP is required by law, unless you have a European drivers licence, and must be obtained before leaving your home country. The hire car place won't ask for it, but if you get stopped by the police for any reason they will want to see it.
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Aug 6th, 2010, 10:23 AM
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otherchelebi: Please don't give that advice. An IDP is absolutely required to drive legally in Italy and a few other countries. Just because you didn't 'need' one doesn't help the OP or others. Rental agencies may not ask to see it -- but IF you have an accident your insurance will most likely be voided - since it is alegal requirement to have one.
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Aug 6th, 2010, 10:31 AM
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Janisj, thanks. I guess i could have gotten into trouble.
Sorry everyone. I had hired the car in Nice, and nobody had warned me at that time, or asked where i was going to drive.

This really shows that personal experience can be pretty useless and you need to do some serious research before responding to OPs.

I do feel bad, but this is only the third time i put my feet into my mouth out of over 3000 posts on TA and Fodor's.
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Aug 6th, 2010, 10:36 AM
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Not to worry otherchelebi, you aren't the first, nor will you be the last to post that same idea.
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Aug 6th, 2010, 11:11 AM
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It's just that different countries have different requirements regarding the IDP, so it is country-specific info, that's all. You don't need one in France. But I generally try not to give advice about legal things or requirements in countries where I have never been or things like that. I wouldn't give advice on car rentals for Italy as I've never rented there.

I think if you don't know something about requirements, you should generally contact the country's embassy for the best info. Now I do work in the health insurance field and thus would argue with bratsnbeer's advice that if you have health insurance that covers you abroad, you need your insurance card. Maybe this works someplace (and I think some, not all, BCBS plans do have networks in some places abroad that have arrangements), but in most places it is irrelevant. They won't take your insurance, you will have to pay, and then you file a claim and get reimbursed back home. Foreign countries generally are not going to submit claims to your US insurer.
Christina is online now  
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Aug 6th, 2010, 12:54 PM
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As others have said, an IDP is definitely necessary in Italy. I've never had a car rental company ask for it, but I was stopped by the police while driving in Italy a few months ago, and my IDP and the car rental information were all they were interested in seeing. They had no interest in my passport or my U.S. drivers' license.
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Aug 8th, 2010, 08:49 AM
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"would argue with bratsnbeer's advice that if you have health insurance that covers you abroad, you need your insurance card" - no, he's right.

When I broke my wrist in Switzerland I was first asked by the hospital for the form that would have covered me if I were a UK resident (I have an English accent but am a US resident) and then for my US insurance card. They contacted my US insurance company and asked the company for a fax saying I was covered. Plus, many US insurance companies require you to contact them within 24 hours or they won't cover the treatment, so you at least need your group and ID numbers and a non-800 phone number, all of which are on the card.
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Aug 8th, 2010, 10:47 AM
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While you are getting your medical insurance company's number also check that you are covered outside the US.

Also add to your collection of phone numbers the overseas contact numbers for your credit and debit cards so that when they block your card (despite already telling them you were going abroad) you can contact them to give them heck
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Aug 8th, 2010, 11:23 AM
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Back on the cell phone issue - I travel with an unlocked quad-band phone I bought off the Motorola website (probably cheaper on eBay), and either a "universal" (not always) SIM from an outfit like telestial.com, or a in-country SIM bought on arrival.

Although it's intended for longer trips, you might find my leaving home list useful - http://mytimetotravel.wordpress.com/...ing-home-list/
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