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Taxi drivers and the inevitable ‘tourist tax’

Almost every foreign trip is going to involve taking a taxi at some point. It’s also true that wherever you go, there’s a high chance that you’ll step out of at least one taxi knowing that you’ve paid too paid for the ride. Taxi drivers appear to have an exemption from the universal code of […]

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Does a city pass or tourist card offer value for money?

Visit almost any city in the world these days and you’ll have the option of buying a card that grants you free or discounted access to the city’s major attractions. Public transport is often included too and most offer savings at selected restaurants and shops. So is it wise to take advantage of these deals […]

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Travel money – spending the last of your foreign currency

In the grand scale of things this is a pretty trivial matter, but it’s one that still causes a headache for many travellers at the end of a trip. You’re about to leave a country and your stash of local currency has dwindled down to a few grubby notes and a pocketful of heavy but […]

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Europe by train: why a rail pass doesn’t make sense

If you’re planning a rail trip in Europe you’ll probably need to decide whether it’s worth buying a rail pass or getting individual tickets as you go. Choosing the wrong option can leave you heavily out of pocket. While arranging a recent trip from Rimini in Italy back to London it soon became clear that […]

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Travel Austerity: hostels and hanging out with the cool kids

In my recent post on the subject of travel experts, several folks left excellent comments making the point that while many can claim an expertise in one specific aspect of travel it’s impossible to be an expert in every travel-related matter. If I had to list the areas of travel in which I know absolutely […]

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Foreign exchange rates: should they influence our travel plans?

Next month we will exchanging our hard-earned pounds for Japanese yen and I will be once again cursing my lack of hindsight. Almost exactly four years ago we would have got 250 yen to the pound; we will be lucky now to get much over 120. Japan, already known as an expensive country, has doubled […]

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Europe Rail Pass: value for money?

Later this month we will be travelling overland from Lisbon back to London. From the point where we reach the Spanish city of Merida, a little east of the Portuguese border, our journey will be made exclusively by train. Seeing that we will be crossing two large countries and spending three days making lengthy train […]

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Entrance fees to the 7 Wonders of the World: how much is too much?

Have you ever stood outside a world famous monument or historic site and questioned whether you can justify spending the money on the entrance ticket? The chances are that you’ve only thought about it briefly before accepting your lot and paying up for the once-in-a-lifetime experience. After all, you’re not likely to return to that part of […]

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Getting cash while travelling: are ATMs really a rip-off?

Having ready access to cash is an endless concern for almost every traveller. Those who use the dollar or euro as their home currency can splash their own cash in other select corners of the world, but even they are not immune from making sure they have access to their cash while travelling. Here are […]

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A guide to getting ripped off without losing your dignity

Almost everyone has their own story of getting ripped off while travelling. Whether it was a dodgy waiter, a hotel that tried to charge too much or a driver that took you for a ride in more ways than one, however smart we think we are, people will get the better of us from time […]

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