It’s November already! I’m sure many of you are starting to or already have planned your December Christmas break trip. Winter is the perfect time to travel because you can thoroughly enjoy the cold weather and see snow! Two things Malaysia is deprived of. So here are a few basic tips for travelling in Europe, applicable to any time of the year!
- Use Skyscanner to buy your tickets
The first step to travelling is to buy your tickets! This must be the single most comprehensive website that allows you to customise and select the perfect flight ticket for you. (https://www.skyscanner.net/)
It allows you to have an price overview of the entire month, so you can choose the cheapest days if your dates are flexible. If you don’t have a specific destination in mind, you can even select ‘Everywhere’ to obtain a list of destinations sorted in terms of price.
It’s database has all major and minor airlines, and even third party companies to ensure you get the best offer.
2. Check out different kinds of travel passes
Most popular tourist destinations offer various kinds of travel passes, generally divided into transportation only pass and all-in passes. Transportation can amount up to a considerable amount especially if it involves trams and trains. Getting a local transportation pass allows you take any mode of relevant transport (bus, tram and train) and can save you a lot of travelling time. It also eliminates the need to buy tickets for every trip.
For an all-in travel pass, it’s basically like a buffet. In a buffet you eat all you can, with the travel pass, you visit as many tourist attraction as you can. This is where you have to assess if it will really be a good value to you, if you’re more of a laid back traveler you may not visit enough to make the pass worth it.
p.s. In many countries, they actually do not check your ticket and sometimes you don’t even know where to get a ticket! Especially if there is a language barrier, no one understands you and you don’t understand the signs. In that case, I will always recommend a transport pass, because there is occasional spot checks by the conductor, so never risk it.
3. Don’t take things aggressively given to you
I have encountered this situation twice now, once in London and once in Athens. It is normally an old woman or young girl to keep your guards down, they will go towards you and give you a rose, for example – and tell you it’s FREE! Even if you refuse to take it, they will insist it’s free and tell you to give it to your partner maybe. But once you accept and grab it, they will ask for money. It may be a few euros and if you refuse to pay, they will not leave or take back the rose until you pay!
To be honest, I hate that they are trying to fool you into paying, I wouldn’t be this taken aback if they just told me upfront that they are selling it. But you can’t really blame them because probably this is the only way to earn a few extra bucks. Just don’t say you are not warned!
p.s. Also beware of street performers that invites you to take a photo with them. I have heard stories and seen other people being asked for an exorbitant amount (e.g. 20 euros) of money after the photos were taken.