Adventures by Disney: Do's and Don'ts of Traveling to Europe - PassPorter.com
PassPorter.com
Award-winning travel guidebooks

   guidebooks   |   news   |   podcasts   |   boards   |   blog   |   worksheets   |   photos   |   articles   |   updates   |   register   |  


Adventures by Disney: Do's and Don'ts of Traveling to Europe

by Dotti Saroufim, PassPorter Guest Contributor
Last modified 07-07-2011
  



PassPorter.com > Articles > International Travel > Traveling  

Granted, there are many ways to visit the wonderful countries of our world, but traveling with Adventures by Disney is one that is stress-free and full of great surprises.


Having traveled to Europe with Adventures by Disney five times so far, I’m often asked for tips and advice on those little things that will prevent my clients from having any unwanted surprises – those not of the variety offered by the wonderful Adventure Guides! What follows, in no particular order, are my do’s and don’ts of traveling to Europe with Adventures by Disney! [Ed. - And most are great for all overseas travelers!]

Don’t associate the name “Disney” with theme parks and attractions when looking for the best tour to Europe. Instead, do know that Adventures by Disney offers the quality and the level of service that you always expect from a Disney experience!

Don’t think that your kids are ever too old to travel with you! And if they are all 18 and older, Adventures by Disney has adult-only experiences as well!

Do remember to alert your bank and credit card companies that you will be traveling so that your card is not declined when you are about to purchase that bottle of tasty Italian wine.

Adventures by Disney - Florence photo
Adventures by Disney - Florence

- photo by Dotti

Don’t wait until the last minute to obtain foreign currency as it may take a few days for the bank to accommodate you. Euro may be easy to find – Czech Korunas for that side trip on the way home to visit Uncle Gustav, not so much.

Don’t assume that your cell phone automatically has data, texting or international roaming while overseas. Some carriers need you to call prior to the trip and activate your international service. Do assume your cell phone bill will be outrageous if you use your data, texting or international roaming. It may be less expensive to just bring the whole family with you. You can pay for an international data roaming plan with some providers (different than a voice roaming plan), but it may be better to simply disable data roaming entirely until you are somewhere with free WiFi.

Do be sure that you allow enough connecting time between flights, especially if going through London’s Heathrow Airport or the Charles de Gaulle Airport in Paris. Heathrow should have a minimum of three hours, as it can take 45 minutes just to get from one terminal to the next. Do allow for enough time to connect on your return trip as well, particularly if you are doing so in a U.S. airport. Remember that you have to retrieve your bags, go through Customs and then check your bags in again for that final leg home. (If your flight connects in a foreign airport, normally your bags will go straight through, with your only Customs check when you first touch U.S. soil. However, if your connecting airport is in a different country than your departure, you will still need to go through Passport Control and Security before boarding you next flight, both a little time-consuming.)

Do invest in a “money belt” of some sort, to keep your valuables close to your person.

Do be alert to your surroundings, as you will likely be traveling to big cities, at home and/or abroad. If part of your tour is traveling by train, this is especially important in crowded train stations.

Do try, if at all possible, to add a day to the beginning of your Adventure. Even though most trips start with a welcome dinner later in the day, flight delays and the inevitable jetlag can make that first day exhausting. Plus, you may be visiting a city where you’ve never been before, and there’s so much to see and do!

Do begin to think on local time, not U.S. time. The psychological effects of always thinking of what time it is back home will just make you sleepier!

Do bring a few washcloths with you if you use them. Many European hotels do not have anything smaller than a hand towel.

Don’t walk into the bathroom and exclaim, “Look! Two toilets!” (One is likely a bidet!)

Do know that there is a huge difference between an electrical adapter and an electrical converter. An adapter only adds an extension to your U.S. plug so that it fits in the socket. It does not convert electrical current from 220 to 110. Note that while laptops and cell phone chargers almost all come with a built-in voltage converter, many other small appliances do not. You can check on the cord or on the appliance to verify the voltage range. Don’t wait until you arrive to try to figure out which of these you have (and need).

Don’t think that your 110 volt-only curling iron will be “okay just for a few minutes.” It probably won’t. Neither will the hotel’s management when they track down which room was responsible for shutting down the electricity for your entire floor (probably detected by the smell of burning hair).

Do know that you can buy a replacement curling iron in most department stores. (Don’t ask me how I know.)

Do try to learn a few words of the language spoken in the country you are visiting. Even if you totally make a mess of it like we did, your efforts will not go unnoticed! Don’t think that those “Learn Italian in 30 Days” CDs are going to have you fluent before your trip.

Do talk to the locals, in whatever way you can communicate! Their stories are what you may remember most about your trip. If conversing with someone not fluent in English, speak slowly and clearly, avoid slang and use fewer words rather than more. Being a talker, I’d be more likely to say, “Hi, isn’t it a nice day? This is my first time in Italy, and I was wondering if I could get some of those yummy looking grapes to bring back to my hotel room?” Instead, if the storekeeper doesn’t speak English and is now shaking her head and muttering under her breath, just point, hold up some Euro and say, “Grapes?” Don’t be shy to use body language as well, to make your point – unless you’re looking for the closest bathroom, when “Toilette?” may actually work best.

Don’t, however, try to impress your waiter by ordering your entire dinner from a foreign menu without some help. Trust me on this. (“I just ate... WHAT???”)

Don’t be an armchair traveler – experience the food and the culture and even the dancing of your destination! With Adventures by Disney, it’s easy to do just that. On our tour to Italy last year, we were able to make pizza (and cheese!) at a farm, ride bikes atop the ancient walls of Lucca and even swim in the Mediterranean off of our private boat circling Capri!

Do travel with an open mind and remember that there are many different cultures, religions and ways of life, and it’s our differences that make us so interesting. You’re not only seeing new places, but you’re experiencing a new way of seeing things! And finally, Do have the adventure of a lifetime!


Adventures by Disney - Sorrento photo
Adventures by Disney - Sorrento

- photo by Dotti




About the Author:
Dotti is an agent with MouseEarVacations.com. She has taken five Adventures by Disney trips to Europe, 11 Disney Cruises, over 50 trips to Walt Disney World and is scheduled to take her 15th trip abroad next month. Dotti loves travel, writing and photography, but enjoys spending time with her family – no matter the location – above all else.


Recent International Travel Articles:
Bistro Chez Remy at Disneyland Paris - A Disneyland Paris Dining Review last updated 01-15-2015
Ratatouille at Disneyland Paris - A Disneyland Paris Attraction Review last updated 01-08-2015
The Holidays at Disneyland Paris - A Disneyland Paris Review last updated 12-25-2014
One Night in Venice, Italy - A Disney Cruise Line Port Review last updated 10-02-2014
Hong Kong Disneyland - A Disney Parks Review last updated 05-22-2014

More Related Links:
Traveling Carry-On to Walt Disney World - Avoid Those Baggage Fees last updated 3/2/2011
New York City - Something Old, Something New last updated 01/02/2009
On the Road to Walt Disney World - Doing "The Drive" last updated 01/20/2009
Airline Security - 10 Important Tips and Reminders last updated 1/21/2009
Sick at Sea - (But Not Sea Sick!) last updated 5/14/2009




Reader Comments:


What great tips! I started laughing at the washcloth tip, because about a week into my month-long tour of England and Scotland in the 70's, I went into a department store and bought a bright orange washcloth as not a single hotel had them. I got orange so I could easily see it and remember to take it with me--and more than 30 years later, I still have it as a fun souvenir of that trip. smiley for :D

     yalibrarian on July 9, 2011 @ 4:37 pm
View all 1 comments in forum thread

So what do you think? Click here to share your comments, feedback, and experiences on this article and topic!

(Note: You must be a member of our PassPorter Message Board Community to leave comments. Join today for free!)




Updated 07-07-2011 - Article #696 



Read additional articles from PassPorter.com

Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter, PassPorter News, published for more than 58,000 opt-in subscribers worldwide. As an added bonus for subscribing, you will receive a 20% discount coupon for the PassPorter Store -- no catch!

E-mail Address:

First Name:

E-mail Format:
-Text/Don't Know  

-HTML

 
 

We respect your privacy and never sell or rent our subscriber list. Subscribing will not result in more spam! We guarantee it.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Copyright 1999-2015
by PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.

       SEARCH
       LEARN MORE
Learn More With Our Award-Winning Guidebooks


 


RSS General PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel - Globetrotting: General Travel Planning
PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disn...
Planning a trip around the globe, or just away for the weekend? Ask questions and share experiences! Forum Sponsored by CruisingCo.com


Vegas Baby-packing light?
by Kelly66
4 Jul 2015 at 8:31pm
My husband and I get to go to Vegas! We are almost 50 years old. What kind of things can we do for free? We want to walk along the stip. Are there...
(click title above to view replies)

Orange County Convention Center Orlando Hotel Choice?
by KathyL
3 Jul 2015 at 8:25am
I am attending a conference at the Orange County Convention Center in November. The conference is taking place in the West Building. At this point,...
(click title above to view replies)

First trip to Hawaii...Aulani or other?
by thinkpink
26 Jun 2015 at 8:28pm
We need some advice on a trip to Hawaii. We have never been. Should we book a package deal? Try Aulani? Other advice? Thanks in advance!!
(click title above to view replies)

Dallas Texas - advice
by thinkpink
26 Jun 2015 at 8:27pm
I will be attending a conference in Dallas this July. I may take my dd12 with me and make the trip a fun girls trip. I need recommendations on what...
(click title above to view replies)

American Express Travelers Checks?
by Goofy'sGal
23 Jun 2015 at 5:59pm
We are traveling to Canada in early August (Montreal and Toronto area). It's been a while since I've been anywhere outside the US (although I love...
(click title above to view replies)

Amtrok IL to CO--first time
by MickeyRules
15 Jun 2015 at 11:31am
My son and I are headed out to CO and found it to be much cheaper taking the train. This will be my first long-distance train trip--and it's...
(click title above to view replies)

New Bus Service in Washington DC
by emtpej
12 Jun 2015 at 1:12pm
The DC Circulator is expanding service beginning 06/14/2015 to include a low-cost loop around the National Mall -- but it does not include Arlington...
(click title above to view replies)

Just got back from Aulani
by Tigger71
9 Jun 2015 at 6:30pm
I have just returned from our trip to Aulani where I stayed with my DM. It was truly a beautiful resort and we had a delightful time just the two of...
(click title above to view replies)



Total Visits: 5473


PassPorter ~ 1998-2015 ~ 17 Years of Making Dreams Come True!
Publishers of bestselling travel guidebooks and proud recipients of 13 national book awards
About PassPorter
About Us
Site Map
Press
Privacy Policy
Images & Artwork
Guidebooks
About
Previews
Buy
Reviews
Updates
Features
News & Updates
Articles
Podcasts
Photos
Message Boards
Newsletter
Concierge Desk
Desktop
Trips
Books & E-Books
Tips
Settings
Customs Office
Register Books
Book Updates
Contests
Checklists
Help & Info
Finding Answers to Questions
Help Desk
Using Your PassPorter Forum
Store Customer Service
E-Mail Us
Follow Us
PassPorter.com Front Page (Updated Daily!)
PassPorter Newsletter (weekly and free)
Latest Posts
Facebook
Pinterest
YouTube Channel
Questions? Check our Site Map and visit our Help Desk to learn how to contact us online, by e-mail, and by phone.
Please feel free to link to this page so that other vacationers can find it.