Travel Tips For Beginners

Apr 13th, 2018, 03:43 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 2
Travel Tips For Beginners

I have never traveled outside of the United States and would very much like to. How long in advance should I start my application for my passport? I know that I want to go to Amsterdam, it has been a long time destination for my children and I. We don't have dates yet but won't be until summer of 2019 at the earliest.
dawnhoffman is offline  
Apr 13th, 2018, 03:51 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,700
Apply for your passport a few months before you intend to travel.
schmerl is offline  
Apr 13th, 2018, 04:41 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 1
Well, if you are targeting summer of 2019, it is suggested to plan for the travel packages prior two months. This is because majority of the people plan to utilize this particular time of the year to go for a holiday. So, if you are also having same planning sin your mind, make sure to work for the visa application at least few month in advance.
bedbreakfast is offline  
Apr 13th, 2018, 05:26 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 25,156
If the OP is a US citizen traveling to Europe she doesn't need a visa, she just needs a passport, for which I would apply in January 2019.

Nor does she need a "travel package" for Amsterdam. She needs some guidebooks, perhaps some assistance here, and knowledge of skyscanner.com (for flights), seat61.com (for trains) and booking.com (for hotels).
thursdaysd is offline  
Apr 13th, 2018, 05:31 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 15,483
If it were me, I'd start the passport application now and get that out of the way. I usually start fare (flights) shopping six months in advance and book as soon as I find a good fare - if you see a good fare, book it, as the price tends to go up the closer you get to your travel date - but only if your dates and travel plans are firm.
Melnq8 is online now  
Apr 13th, 2018, 10:42 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 9,471
Do not book anything, especially airfare or non-refundable hotels until your itinerary is firm! You have plenty of time. Over the next few months, you may change your mind about where exactly you want to go. People may get a good fare into one city, but it is not the place they really want to see and they then spend expensive vacation time and more money getting to their real destination. Don't do it.
Also, RT may seem cheaper, but in the end it may be cheaper to do multi-city, into one city and out of another all on one ticket. It saves the cost and time of backtracking. You do not want two, one-way tickets.
How many are going? Ages?
Where are you coming from?
How many days (nights) will you have total? Two nights on the ground gives one full day in a place.
The more places you go, the more time is eaten up in travel, so less sightseeing.

Pick up some paperback guide books, a general book like Rick Steves Europe through the back door, then one (Fodors) for a country you wish to visit and a little one with perhaps a map of top ten or twenty things for a city, Amsterdam since that is a priority.

What are other places of interest besides Amsterdam?
Sassafrass is online now  
Apr 13th, 2018, 03:30 PM
  #7  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 21,393
No reason that I can think of not to start the passport application now.

Another wholehearted vote for getting a guidebook! I'd go with Fodor's or Frommer's for Europe as a start, but any of the better series will get you started -- check some out in your local library or book store, and since Amsterdam is a priority, maybe the Rough Guide or Lonely Planet for a more targeted resource. Personally, I truly dislike the "top 10 or 20" type resources, but to each his / her own.

Sassafrass has given you some great advice.

Good luck!
kja is offline  
Apr 13th, 2018, 03:45 PM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 25,156
No reason that I can think of not to start the passport application now.
Waste of money if you don't need it. Passports are increasingly expensive, and you often can't use the last six months as it is.

I usually start with the glossy picture guidebooks to get a feel for where I want to go, but I also recommend "Europe Through the Back Door" for first timers.
thursdaysd is offline  
Apr 13th, 2018, 04:53 PM
  #9  
kja
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 21,393
Originally Posted by thursdaysd View Post
Waste of money if you don't need it. Passports are increasingly expensive, and you often can't use the last six months as it is.
As usual, thursdaysd raises an excellent point.
kja is offline  
Apr 17th, 2018, 10:47 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 92,303
I would do it about 3 months in advance of the travel dates.
suze is offline  
Apr 20th, 2018, 10:39 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 3,668
I agree with Thursday about January. I would also start monitoring flight prices then. When you have a price you can live with, buy your tickets. Summer tickets are expensive and they donít really seem to drop in price- demand is too high. So start planning now, even though it seems a far ways away. Decide how long you want to be gone, what you want to see, what your lodging picks are. Research each place thoroughly, check events, because you may want to catch (or avoid) a seasonal event). Be flexible, if you can, in terms of dates.

When you do buy your tickets, MAKE SURE you know what youíre buying. Iíve flown Norwegian and Icelandair, for example- each ticket class includes different things. The cheapest flights donít include baggage or seat choices. You wonít get to sit together if you donít reserve your seats. I donít know about Iceland, but Norwegian budget flights also donít include beverages or snacks or headphones. I recommend spending the extra hundred bucks for meal service, bags, and seat selection. Iíve done it both ways and the extreme budget international flight turned out to be a bit too brutal for me.
marvelousmouse is online now  
Apr 21st, 2018, 05:58 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 25,156
Given the quality of airline food in economy classes, you are likely better off bringing your own food on board. But do consider your fellow passengers and avoid the smelly and the crunchy.
thursdaysd is offline  
Apr 21st, 2018, 06:43 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 22,590
Here are some thoughts:

Some Travel Tips - Then and Now - Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

I would feel better applying for your passport now just in case.
TDudette is online now  
Apr 21st, 2018, 04:52 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 3,668
Originally Posted by thursdaysd View Post
Given the quality of airline food in economy classes, you are likely better off bringing your own food on board. But do consider your fellow passengers and avoid the smelly and the crunchy.
I agree, but things happen. In this case the thing that happened is that I left my packed meal on my kitchen counter! Thought no biggie, surely norwegian will give me a soda or coffee and I can buy a snack pack...nope. Weird menu, weirder service. wasnít an bad flight, just really odd, all around.
marvelousmouse is online now  
May 5th, 2018, 05:40 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 975
Marvelousmouse, was your Norwegian flight recent?

“cheapest flights don’t include baggage or seat choices. You won’t get to sit together if you don’t reserve your seats. I don’t know about Iceland, but Norwegian budget flights also don’t include beverages or snacks or headphones. I recommend spending the extra hundred bucks for meal service, bags, and seat selection.”

I ask because we flew them to London in April at their rock bottom fare. We were given seats together at checkin, near the front of the plane.
We only had carry on bags so checked luggage wasn’t an issue. Their seat back deli menu ordering system worked well, with beverages and snacks quickly delivered. In fact, I only noticed one passenger in my range of sight who ordered the airline meals.

So, no complaints about our ultra low fare! Arriving at Gatwick was another story as immigration took over 90 minutes.
nyse is offline  
May 14th, 2018, 01:31 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 4
Travelling to any place is not that much difficult task,but before travel anywhere we have to follow some point or step.
According to me if you are going somewhare first time you have to collect all the information about that place wherever you want to go. You can go with your friends and family for more enjoy and also you are secure with them ,you can enjoy with them.take these sime point before visiting any place:-
1) Start somewhere easy
2) Get your phone sorted out
3) The right luggage
4) The right gear
5) Pack light
6) Cloud data backup
if you have good knowledge about that place ,you can enjoy,also keep distance from the danger zone.
semon is offline  
May 14th, 2018, 11:02 PM
  #17  
 
Join Date: May 2018
Posts: 2
Traveling is fun but the whole experience can quickly turn into a recipe for disaster, especially if you are new to traveling. But don't worry. Keep in mind these few things while embarking on your next adventure:

1. Apply for your passport and visa early. It would be a real headache if something goes awry at the last minute.
2. Research thoroughly. If you have the advantage of having internet at your fingertips, so take the full benefit of it. Look up about the place, the hotels, and the locale.
3. The second point is also great if you're traveling on a tight budget. A good research will help you choose the options that are the most pocket-friendly.
4. Start somewhere easy. Don't plan to go to exotic, remote places at your first go. Start from somewhere that is nearby or easily accessible.
5. Pack light. Don't stuff your bags with unnecessary things. Take with you only those which are really important. And while you are at it, pack a first aid kit for your own safety.
freetraveltips is offline  
May 19th, 2018, 06:22 PM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 3,668
Originally Posted by nyse View Post
Marvelousmouse, was your Norwegian flight recent?

ďcheapest flights donít include baggage or seat choices. You wonít get to sit together if you donít reserve your seats. I donít know about Iceland, but Norwegian budget flights also donít include beverages or snacks or headphones. I recommendspending the extra hundred bucks for meal service, bags, and seat selection.Ē

I ask because we flew them to London in April at their rock bottom fare. We were given seats together at checkin, near the front of the plane.
We only had carry on bags so checked luggage wasnít an issue. Their seat back deli menu ordering system worked well, with beverages and snacks quickly delivered. In fact, I only noticed one passenger in my range of sight who ordered the airline meals.

So, no complaints about our ultra low fare! Arriving at Gatwick was another story as immigration took over 90 minutes.

In December. You aren't guaranteed seats together, though- you were lucky. More to the point though, I would not be comfortable with a window or middle seat for a long haul flight. I need to get up and move. The luggage/no drinks or food matter less to me; I mostly mentioned them because a lot of my friends and family would buy that ticket assuming those were included on any international flight.



I will say that Iíve taken Norwegian a few times and that flight was an aberration. Boarding was confusing, flight crew seemed to be having a bad day, they were out of several things on the menu. Including earbuds. What long haul airline runs out of headphones? I mean they didnít sell out on that flight, they just forgot to restock. Flight back was uneventful and much smoother. Bad flights do happen with any airline but it was just one of those flights where the whole production seemed less than professional.
marvelousmouse is online now  
Jun 19th, 2018, 10:16 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 7
You won't need a visa. You can google what countries you need one in, but Americans don't require one to enter Europe. You just can't stay longer than 3 months. As has been said, make sure you know your dates before you buy anything. You'll want to book accommodation shortly after your flight as the summer months fill up quickly. Guidebooks are great. The best app I've ever used for getting around cities and countryside is MAPS.ME. You download a map when you have wifi and after that you use it like google maps. Difference is you don't need to have any sort of internet to get the app to work. I've used it in a lot of European cities where I didn't have free roaming to find my way around.
nadyasiap is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
fdsupuvjdad
Air Travel
5
Mar 30th, 2010 07:59 PM
mali22
South America
1
Aug 5th, 2009 10:21 AM
nks267
Air Travel
14
Aug 16th, 2005 02:50 PM
Jim
United States
8
Jun 18th, 2002 04:29 AM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 07:37 AM.