Saturday, 4 November 2017

Download Your New Free Useful Travel Checklist for Italy Here Now!


It's Here! The Better Travel Checklist for Italy

Emergency numbers in Italy

  • European SOS             112  (Emergency services - life threatening situation)
  • Police                           112
  • General Emergency     113
  • Fire Brigade                 115
  • Car Breakdown            116
  • Ambulance/Medical Emergencies 118


UK
Urgent assistance for British Nationals in Italy +39 02 723001 (attacked or arrested)
USA
Urgent assistance for US Nationals in Italy +39 081-583-8221 (attacked or arrested)

Suggest you put them in your phone NOW!

Language
On your way to Italy? Never been? An experience to remember and enjoy! A great country with a great history and most important, great people!
Of all my travels, Italy stands out as the most enjoyable and demands more!

One question always crops up, language! I do not speak or understand Italian but have made my way around without a problem. Their are numerous translator packages you can get for your smart phone, such as Google Translate. Simple, problem solved!

As everything is online today, it solves a multitude of problems.
Search, book, translate, backup - get to know your smartphone! Get to know where your information is stored. If your phone is lost
You can access your information from your cloud.

Now, you have decided Italy is your next holiday, great. It's a BIG country with something for everyone, from singles to famlies to honeymoon couples, tours, cruises, hiking, biking, weekenders, to name a few.

Down to brass tacks:
Get a flavour of Italy through movies, news (Italian), recommendations from friends and family, guides, hit the web and visit travel agents. If anything is in Italian translate it! This will give you a better perspective of what to expect and what to avoid.

Now - that you have decided, what to do! Time to plan your trip!
Part of the fun of planning your trip is doing it yourself, it's challenging, it's exciting, fun and rewarding. Never done it before? You're not alone! There is a first for everything. So do it online now!

Budget
Address this first - Budget. How much you want to spend on your holiday? I know I usually spend more than I wanted to so add an extra amount for things to buy or do that you did not know about.
Remember to include insurance in your budget.

Holiday
What kind of holiday suites you?
A Tour
 Escorted
 An escorted tour really means book, pay and the tour company thinks for you!
 This is a pre-determined itinerary travelling as a group and usually includes sightseeing and meals.   There is some room for doing your "own thing" but check     carefully. You know - the optional   extras that you have to pay for! I thought this was included....! However, this is probably the easy   way to budget.
 Tailormade
 This is basically where you do your own thing with family or friends, get an itenerary according to   your needs and travel at your own pace.
 A Cruise
 Similar to an escorted tour. However, it has more flexibility within the confines of the ship and ports   of call.

When do you want to travel?
April or May
This is ahead of the summer season so beat the rush and higher prices.
June, July and August Peak Summer season
Best time of the year weatherwise but that means crowds of tourists. Places like Capri are a nightmare of tourists.
September and October
Good Weather and end of the tourist season. Affordable prices.
November to March Winter
Cold weather but great opportunites to go skiing!

Preparing for Your Trip
Decision made where and when!

What you need

  • Passport
  • Visa
  • Travel Insurance
  • Medical Insurance
  • Parking for your car (airport)
  • Euros = Forex
  • Credit/Debit Cards
  • Inform Your Card Company you are travelling
  • Travel Adapters
  • Emergency/Contact Numbers
  • Itinerary
  • Tickets


Passport (Surprise)
You have a valid passport?
Check validity dates! If less than 6 months check with the Italian Consulate. Usually your passport should be valid for period of 6 months after you return from your holiday.
If you do not have a passport or it has or due to expire hop along to your consulate and renew or apply.
Requirements and processing times will depend on the country you are in. Check their websites for up to date information.

UK
https://www.gov.uk/apply-renew-passport
USA
https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/apply.html


Visa
If you have a UK passport, a visa is not required. After Brexit? Who knows. Places with United States passports are allowed into the Country for up to 90 days.
Citizens from most countries outsibe the EU will need a visa. Uncertainty worlwide is a problem - make sure!

UK
https://www.schengenvisainfo.com/italy-visa/uk
http://www.conslondra.esteri.it/consolato_londra/it/i_servizi/per_chi_si_reca_in_italia
USA
http://www.ambwashingtondc.esteri.it/ambasciata_washington/en/visti

Insurance
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/foreign-travel-insurance
Aside from your own peace of mind, the Italian Consulate where you get your visa, may require proof of medical insurance as may the Travel Company you book through.
Travel Company insured
Check to see the agent or company you are booking through is adequatley insured. This is usually ABTA, in the Uk, assuring that your money is fully protected in accordance with UK law. Also in the Uk, ATOL is the Air Travel Organisers Licence which also protects against company failure.

Travel Insurance
Does your bank include a travel insurance policy included with your account!
The Travel Company may offer policies!
Your current Insurance company may already have you covered or may offer a great deal!
My favourite - online and compare! (it's fun)

Check and compare. I buy online as I find it easier and comprehensive.
Some plans cover both travel and medical insurance. Check ... Check ...Check
As with all insurance know what you are getting is what you need. eg. trip cancellation, trip curtailment or lost luggage. What they will pay and when! If you need to get back urgently, you may have to pay and claim back later. Be prepared!

Medical Insurance
Ensure that you are covered taking into consideration destination, current state of health and for any sporting activites you may enter into such as skiing!
Have peace of mind when you have completed your insurance package. Usually you have at least a 7 day grace period to alter or change your mind.
Some medical plans have direct links to the hospitals in Italy and pay direct to the hospital.
European Health Insurance Card.
You can apply here;
https://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Healthcareabroad/EHIC/Pages/about-the-ehic.aspx


Oh WOW now the holiday and insurance is secured - a break! Coffee at least - Ah Espresso NOT Capuccino!

Money, Cash of course comes into play - The EURO
As part of the European Union, Italy uses the euro, so you’ll need to exchange your local currency when you get there. Some businesses will accept US$ or UK£ but don't take the risk.
Many credit and debit cards are accepted such as Master Card and Visa. American Express to a lesser degree. Check with your credit card company. Travel Agents have money cards as well (I've had a few problems) The last time I used one purely to draw cash from - that worked, but not at the hotel!

You need to have some Euro's on you when you leave. Don't think you can draw at the airport in Italy. No time - in a hurry - I forgot. Be prepared.
Here are some other things to keep in mind:
Buy euros from local bank or currency exchange or last minute at the airport - expensive!
Have some pocket money on hand when you arrive.
So head to your local bank or currency exchange to swap a hundred dollars/pounds or so into euros.

Call credit card and debit card company to notify them of travel plans. Important!!!!
Due to the many cases of credit card fraud around the world, banks strictly monitor overseas
transactions. So make sure to call your bank or credit card company and tell them that you’ll be
abroad. That way, your card won’t be rejected or frozen. OOPS!
Most Italian ATMs accept Master and Visa cards, which are widely accepted.

Learn the basics of Italian taxes: VAT, hotel tax, and tips
This is already included in all prices. Meanwhile, there’s a hotel tax. Check if this is included with your booking or if you have to pay it at the hotel! This varies from region to region.
Tipping is discretionary with great service. Some restaurants include it in the bill - check - don't tip twice.
Finally, tipping is not required in Italy. So just leave anything between 5 to 10%
I always leave about 5 euro's for the cleaning staff at the hotel.

Your Essential Documents to Copy 

  • Passports,
  • Visas,
  • Air Tickets,
  • insurance documents,
  • bank cards (front not back),
  • itenararies,
  • drivers licences,
  • prescriptions.

Also save them to your internet cloud so that you can access them from the web.

These photocopies will be of great saving in the unfortunate event that you lose your passport or other
documents. Bring one set with you and leave one set of these documents to someone you can trust.

Create list of important numbers
Having a list of contacts is handy throughout your trip, just in case you need to make some last-minute changes to your itinerary or there’s an emergency.
Here are some numbers you should know:

Credit/Debit card international customer service telephone numbers or email addresses
Flight numbers
Hotel numbers and reservation details
Airline international customer service number
Tour operator telephone number

International Drivers Licence
Be safe and get one if you are driving in Italy. It will save you a ton of drama if stopped!
Travel adapters and USB chargers
Will need - get! Make sure you can use in Italy. (North may differ to South) I bought mine in Sorrento.

Mobile Phone
Check yo see if your carrier is supported and also the roaming charges! Don't end up with a £1000 bill at the end of your trip! Unlock your phone before you leave and buy a sim card in Italy if necessary.
Some hotels have internet access - check and use their wi-fi. You will need interent access to have contact with family and friends, to upload the ton of photographs and to access local maps, tours and general information. Save money.

Prescriptions
It may be necessary to get a letter from your Doctor listing your medication - check.
 
We now have passports, visas, insurance, licences, adapters, arranged money, booked hotels or tour/cruise and it's time to get going! The excitement builds!
The suitcase is overweight, the cabin bag too large! Buy a luggage scale!
Check with the travel company and airline what is currently accpetable. If overweight pay the excess before going to the aiport it's cheaper!
(If booking and paying online you may need to add this excess baggage charge on before paying!)

Packing
Now, pack your bags! Remember you will be buying in Italy - if you're anything like me!

Check-in luggage
Most tours only allow one medium suitcase and possibly a cabin bag. Pack light, especially if you’re planning to move around.
Important, travelers need to be dressed appropriately when entering Italy’s many churches or going to the Vatican.
Clothing should be appropriate for the time of year.

Carry-on luggage, cabin bag or back pack
Your carry-on luggage can also double as the bag you’re going to use when walking around.
¨ Prescription medication and vitamins
¨ Photocopies of essential documents
¨ List of important numbers
¨ Voltage adaptors or converters

Guidance
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/foreign-travel-checklist
https://www.gov.uk/world/italy
https://it.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/contact-information/