SAFETY AND SECURITY
The cost of your trip will vary considerably depending on where you go, how you travel, and where you stay. The most significant expenses will probably be your round- trip (return) airfare to Europe (43) and a railpass or bus pass (51). Before you go, spend some time calculating a reasonable per-day budget that will meet your needs.
STAYING ON A BUDGET. To give you a general idea, the typical first-time, under-26 traveler planning to spend most of their time in Western Europe and then tack on a quick jaunt into Eastern Europe, sleeping in hostels and traveling on a two-month unlimited Eurail pass, can probably expect to spend about US$2000, plus cost of plane fare (US$300-800), railpass (US$882), and backpack (US$150-400). Don’t forget to factor in emergency reserve funds (at least US$200).
SAVING MONEY. Some simple ways to save include searching out opportunities for free entertainment, splitting accommodation and food costs with trustworthy fellow travelers, and buying food in supermarkets rather than eating out. Bring a sleepsack (22) to save on sheet charges in hostels, and do your laundry in the sink (unless you’re explicitly prohibited from doing so). With that said, don’t go over board with your budget obsession. Though staying within your budget is impor tant, don’t do so at the expense of your health or a great travel experience.
TAXES. The EU imposes a value-added tax (VAT) on goods and services, usually included in the sticker price. Non-EU citizens visiting Europe may obtain a refund for taxes paid on unused retail goods, but not for taxes paid on services. As the VAT is 15-25%, it might be worthwhile to file for a refund. To do so, you must obtain Tax-free Shopping Cheques, available from shops sporting the Europe Tax- free Shopping logo, and save your receipts. Upon leaving the EU, present your goods, invoices, and passport to customs and have your checks stamped. Then go to an ETS cash refund office or file for a refund once back home. Keep in mind that goods must be taken out of the country within three months of the end of the month of purchase, and that some stores require minimum purchase amounts to become eligible for a refund.
TIPPING AND BARGAINING. In most Western European countries, the 5-10% gratuity is already included in the food service bill, but an additional 5-10% tip for very good service is often also polite. Note that in Germany, the tip is handed directly to the server instead of being left on the table. For other services such as taxis or hairdressers, a 10-15% tip is recommended. Watch other customers to guage what is appropriate. Bargaining is useful in Greece and outdoor markets in Italy, Britain, and Ireland. See individual country chapters for specific info.
Transportation, Water Transportation by water was central to the colonial experience, from Christopher Columbus to the British Armies carried to Country in the Revolutionary War. Melbourne Map Tourist Attractions The Countrys were inaccessible by land from Europe, so every first-generation colonist’s experience of Country began with a long ocean voyage. Sea transportation played only a slightly less prominent a role in the lives of the Country-born colonists.
Communication, trade, and visits to Europe and to the West Indies depended on ships. Given the cheapness of transportation by water as compared to that by land, Country’s economic development was largely dependent on her access to markets, sources of goods, and emigrants by water. Although few of the original settlers were seamen, British Countrys themselves developed from relatively early times an active shipbuilding industry and vigorous ports. Fishing, whaling, and merchant shipping (the last encouraged by the Navigation Acts) absorbed the labor of many colonists.