Recently I traveled over to Europe for the first time. I received at lot of advice before I went. Some of it was useful and some not.
Today I am going to give my own advice for travel.
Get Euros before you leave. Most banks do not charge for getting currency. My bank did not charge me for the exchange before or after the trip. One tip here is be sure to get rid of you change because the bank will not take coins.
While in Germany and Austria; have plenty of change because you have to pay to go to the bathroom. Yes you have to pay. While we are not accustom to this in the USA it is typical in Europe. There is a cleaning person at each rest area/bathroom. The bathrooms are very clean. The average cost is .50 Euro.
LOCK YOUR ROOM.
Most of the hotels doors do not lock automatically. When you leave, you put the key in the door and lock the room. Also when you are in your room at night you must lock the door with a key. I often forgot and had someone come into my room. Thank goodness I had the chain on the door. Also pick pockets are plentiful and people go over balconies to get into your room. Lock all doors when you leave. One person on your trip had her ipad stolen because rooms share a balcony and she left the balcony door unlocked.
MEAT & CHEESE
Most restaurants serve meat. There is beef and pork and not much else on the menu in the southern part of Germany. You rarely find just a vegetable plate like here in the USA. The food I had was very good and not over spiced. It was full of flavor.
Oh boy. You better find a good solid pair to walk in. The cobble stone streets really do a number on our hips and feet. They are sharp and difficult to walk. The first day out I wore sandles and could feel every inch of each stone. Hiking shoes with raised grooves also are not good. You need a good thick solid bottom shoe.
Be prepared for anything. During my travels it was snowing at times and 70 degrees at other times. Layers are best.
I have to admit I am spoiled by the wonderful mountain water here in NC. The water in Germany was not to my liking. I was told by a local even the Germans don't drink the water. You drink either beer, wine or milk. The milk while good taste like it is nothing but cream. In Switzerland a really good drink is Rivella. It's a lot like ginger ale.
Take your own washcloth. Most of the hotels do not provide one. They also do not provide shampoo and conditioner like here in the us. In the bigger cities they do. Most of the B&B do not.
TIPS for SERVICE
Tips are included in your bill with meals. You don't have to tip. I found myself leaving a tip for the waitress or waiter and then remembering it is included in you ticked. It does not show as a separate charge but know it is there.
EUROS ARE NOT DOLLARS
Quit thinking in dollars. It is easy to fall into that when looking at price tags. Try to keep in mind there is an exchange difference. I caught myself thinking this is a reasonable price until I did the conversion.
Now for the good stuff. I had a really great time and would like to go again. I went to Switzerland, Austria, Lichtenstein, and Germany.
My favorite place. Innsbruck.
My favorite get away spot for relaxation and best service.- Krone hotel Igelsberg. This was spa central and the owners were fantastic with great attention to detail.
Best shopping- Lucern Switzerland. Best food-everywhere.
Head on over to Inglephoto.com to see some of my Photos from my trip.