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Going Abroad for a Gig Guide: Travelling abroad

Air travel, car rentals, public transport and taxis

Air Travel

However you plan to travel make sure you do just that …plan and DON'T FORGET YOUR PASSPORT(S) !!!

Air Transport … check the following

What airports are you travelling from/to? … e.g. London has 4 airports, all some distance from each other. Some of the budget airlines fly to smaller airports that could be as much as 100 miles from the city you want to be in!

If you're taking your car to the airport check where the parking is situated and allow time for the bus journey to the terminal. Booking parking in advance could save you a few pounds too.

Do you have a paper ticket or an e-ticket?... some airlines now use e-tickets (electronic tickets) where you will need to give your booking reference number instead of a paper ticket when checking in.

Check your baggage allowance both for the hold and carry on before you leave … the amount that you can take varies quite drastically from airline to airline and excess luggage could prove costly.

Check in early… missing your flight will ruin the whole experience. Security controls at airports have increase since the incidents in the US and can take some time. Don't, whatever you do, make jokes or smart comments about terrorism - you WILL be transported to a police cell very unceremoniously.

Do make the airport part of the trip … you'll also get the pick of the seats on the plane. Remember, if you're travelling with children, checking in early is a must to get your seats together. The budget airlines normally board on a first come first served basis … although a family with children or special needs passengers will normally be allowed onboard first.

Don't wait until it says 'last call' on the screens showing the flight status to go to the gate … it has been known for people to forget to change these. Check the boarding time when checking in and on your boarding card and be at the gate in plenty of time.

Car Rental

REMEMBER TO TAKE YOUR DRIVING LICENCE!!!

Book your car from a reputable car rental company before travelling, some rental companies have specific requirements that need to be met, you may get a discount and you'll be assured that a car will be available to you when you arrive.

Check if the vehicle you are getting is a manual or automatic transmission.

Get a road and city map before you travel … mark your accommodation, the venue and other points of interest (Hospitals, Police Stations, Museums, Shopping areas etc.) before you travel. It will be easier to navigate without getting lost. Remember the road signs will be in the native language, familiarise yourself with them.

Remember, check which side of the road you will need to drive on.

Check your insurance or the insurance that comes with the vehicle … if you don't understand the cover ASK!!!

Check the parking facilities at the venue before the event, how much does it cost, are there any, how far are they… it may be cheaper to take a taxi or use public transport!!

Public Transport

Get a local transport guide prior to travel … this can usually be found on the internet. Remember stops will be shown in the local language. e.g.. In Russia it is possible to get a map of the subway system that has been translated into English. Great, you might think, until you get to the subway and all the signage is in Russian and then you cannot even match the writing on the map with the writing on the signs … very confusing. If you're clever you'll get both and it will make it easier to cross reference.

Check timetables and costs prior to travel… check the times of the first and last departures/returns.

Have change available to purchase the tickets … do not show large amounts of cash when purchasing tickets. If you don't understand the currency it is very easy to be given the wrong change.

Taxis

Use official taxis only, they are normally regulated by the local authority and have to meet strict guidelines with regards to the road worthiness of the vehicle, insurance, pricing etc.

Be confident, and make sure that they turn on the meter.

Note down the Licence number of the taxi and the driver, they are normally on show. It may help you if you leave something behind or you feel like you've been ripped off.
Write down where you want to go in the local language and show it to the driver… he may not understand your English but he should be able to read his own.

Get a rough idea of the cost of the trip from the hotel or the driver before you leave … if they say it should be €10 and the meter is reading €20 you know they are taking you 'the long way'.

 
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Going Abroad for a Gig Guide
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Travelling abroad
Going Abroad for a Gig Guide Index
Part 2. Tickets and Accommodation
You really need to make sure of this one
Part 3. Travelling abroad
Air travel, car rentals, public transport and taxis
Part 4. Passports and Visas
Make sure that you have this sorted
Part 5. Travel and Health
Be wise, be safe, take care
Part 6. Money
Keep your hard earned cash safe and know what to use where and how
Part 7. Speak the Language
Learn some basics to get by - could pay dividends and you might make new pals
Part 8. At the Event
Getting in and getting out - where is this gig?

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