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Pre-Trip Jitters

Only 6 days now before my 20 day trip to France, Germany, Austria, & Swiss and the nights are getting sleepless. Wonder if I have forgotten anything, am I taking the right stuff, etc. etc. Headed off one problem today with a 2nd call to my credit union to make sure my debit card was cleared for use. Whoever got the info last week, did not do anything with the info and it was like I had not notified them at all. Hope todays call got the job done. Just hard to depend on someone else to do what they are supposed to do. This trip has been well over a year in planning and just excited to finally get to go. Think I have it all together if the next 6 days will ever pass.

Posted by
23350 posts

We are list checkers. Check and re-check the list -- add to the list -- delete from the list. We also leave in six days and are basically packed and ready to go. We have started time shifting a bit to help with jet lag. We are running two hours ahead. About time to go to bed.

Posted by
208 posts

Frank, how does the time advance work for you? You must not work as I would be fired if I showed up two hours early and left two hours early tomorrow and then 4 hours on Friday. HA

Posted by
23350 posts

We have a fairly set pattern that we have developed over the years flying from Denver and beating jet lag. For us it is about an 8 hr difference for you -- 6? You don't have to shift your work pattern but we shift our sleep and eat pattern. We start a couple weeks prior by getting up an hour earlier, to bed an earlier, and all meals an hour earlier. Week before move to two hours and this weekend will move to three hours. The night before go to bed around 6 or 7 and get up around 2 or 3am. Do a lot of last minutes things, big breakfast, maybe an hour bike ride in the dark, have a 9AM departure to Chicago with 6pm departure from Chicago. We will have a nice meal with wine around 4pm. Thirty minutes after wheels up we are settled in - shoes off, ear plugs in, eye shades on and we ignore everything on the place. Around 1 or 2 AM the plane awakes, have what passes for breakfast, little coffee, cleanup a bit. The plane lands and we are close to the pattern from the day before. We have found that a two hour nap -- max in mid afternoon helps a great deal and we can go till late in the evening. The next day we feel pretty good and great the following day.

Posted by
80 posts

Tony, have a WONDERFUL time! Turn off that brain at night and don't wish too much that these next 6 days fly by, before you know it you will be back :)
So enjoy every moment of the next -26- days and everything will be just fine ....

Posted by
32225 posts

Tony,

Hopefully that's not the only debit card you'll be taking? It's always a good idea to have at least two debit cards and at least one credit card, "just in case".

I had a problem with my primary credit union ATM card when I was in France and Italy in June, and it was VERY fortunate that I had a backup card or I would have been in trouble.

Happy travels!

Posted by
11507 posts

Have a great trip Tony,, I am sure you will. It is fun to spend alot of time in advance planning and researching a trip, but it can cause the "what ifs" but only because you are now so well prepared for anything..

I do second Kens concern that you are not just taking one debit card are you?? I take two CC and two debit cards,, never needed all that,, but I would be a bit nervous is I only had the one.

Posted by
9423 posts

I always get nervous the whole week before, every trip. I just keep reminding myself that it's gonna be great and all my planning will carry us through. And definitely, lots of lists. I've had that happen with banks not following through, that's why I always call each one twice. Sounds like you did that. Trip before last, our ATM still didn't work and I had to call our bank from Italy. It got resolved and we were fine. You are going to have such a great time!! I so agree with Joanne about starting to enjoy your trip now, before you've even left. How many people would love to trade places with you right now :) We even enjoy the "getting there" part. From the time we leave our house to catch the airporter bus to SFO we feel like our vacation has started and we are on the adventure of a lifetime. Enjoy Yourself and Send us a Postcard!

Posted by
12040 posts

Relax and enjoy your trip. Millions of people who have done far less planning than you have experienced travel throughout Europe with barely a hitch (including this poster). You'll be fine.

Posted by
208 posts

I am taking three debit cards from two different accounts and 2 c/cards as well. Should be fine but wanted to relate the problem above with the one card before I even leave. Even have 300€ that I purchased several months ago @ the $1.24 rate which is good compared to todays rate.
Thanks to everyone over the past several months offering advice and help regarding my planning.
I am even spending time with Jo in Frankfurt which I am looking forward to.

Posted by
32225 posts

Tony,

To add to my previous post, I usually get "jitters" before a trip too. I often wonder which is worse, the "jitters" or the waiting.

I frequently review every last detail of my planning, never sure whether I've forgotten some small but important detail. However, once I close the door and head for the airport I'm totally focused on the trip.

Happy travels!

Posted by
1358 posts

Really, though, as long as you have your passport, tickets, and debit/credit cards, you can get anything else there. I took my inlaws to the airport last week for their flight to Germany, and I just asked them about those 3 things.

Posted by
1318 posts

For me, the anticipation is part of the fun of travel. Ditto the planning and research. Hope you can relax and enjoy!

Posted by
360 posts

Tony, I envy you. I'm leaving in less than 2 weeks & I can't work up any interest much less excitement. Have a great trip.

Posted by
1488 posts

I am a natural worrier, especially about travel. I try to step back and remember that Europe is not the outback. You can buy anything you forget. You can call your bank if there is some glitch with your credit or debit card. The State Department is there if you need help with passports or whatever. It does not stop me from worrying but it does keep things in perspective.

Posted by
8964 posts

Rose, where in the world are you going? It makes me sad to hear someone has a vacation planned and isn't excited about it or even interested. Maybe we can help with suggestions?

Posted by
11507 posts

Rose,, I have been on serveral forums for years,, and I have to say,, I don't think I have ever seen a post like yours. I hope you respond to Jos invitation to tell us where exactly you are going,, so perhaps a few posters can help you build up some anticipation , by relating some ideas or tips on what to do or see that may interest you..

Posted by
59 posts

We leave 1 month from today and I cannot wait. Husband thought he was 20 years younger and fell in a softball game and had to have achilles tendon surgery this week - the surgeon promised us he'd be in a walking cast when we leave. I'm not going to let that stop me from still being excited about going.

Posted by
23350 posts

Rose -- I will play the bad guy --- it is all attitude. Look in the mirror. You and only you will determine if you will have a good time. Even with a group tour, you get to decide how much fun you will have. Even if most of the group is a bunch of toads, you get to find the prince. Other people do not control your enjoyment. We were on a cruise a couple of years ago and have the absolute table mates from hell. They were absolutely impossible - crude, rude, demanding, etc. But even as I type this a smile crosses by face as I think of them. The four of us (two sons) made a game out of guessing their behavior each night, even teamed up with the waiters, to see what outrageous behavior they would engage in that evening. They continuing to be the source of many funny stories that we tell.

So getting going on your attitude.

Posted by
9 posts

Tony,
I'm so glad you started this topic. I'm in the same boat, I will be traveling to Germany in 15 days and I can't tell you how excited I am. I lived in Wurtzburg for 3 yrs when I was just a kid (army brat). I have thought about taking this trip for 25 yrs. and now that it is getting closer I keep thinking please dear lord don't let anything go wrong these next 15 days!
I will be up tonight watching Ricks European travel tips DVD and doing a trial packing of my suit case.

Posted by
10344 posts

Rose: The RS Tour promo literature says:

No grumps

And so, if there happen to be any grumps on your RS tour, they'll make them get off and walk.

Posted by
360 posts

Kent, I hope you're not referring to me as I don't intend to be grumpy for even a minute & tried to make that clear. You probably didn't mean me.

Posted by
15283 posts

I'm not trying to be nasty...but...I'm interested in finding out why, if you're an experienced solo traveler, and like to be alone, did you book a tour?

I'm in a similar predicament....I'm a solo traveler who loves traveling that way although I've worked in the tour industry. A few people would like me to take an RS tour just so I can compare RS tours with others. However, every time I start looking at taking one, I get depressed as the thought of having to spend day after day on a coach is not thrilling. Been there, done that too often.

Posted by
10344 posts

Rose: You're correct, I did not mean you. In fact, I was trying to make you feel better by confirming your assumption that "I'm not concerned about the others not being friendly. I expect they will be."

Posted by
208 posts

I got a private message from Rose and she said she is going on a R/S's tour to Belgium and other areas. She mentioned not being excited as all the planning is done for her and she is used to doing it herself. Guess that does make a difference but I would still think any travel to Europe would be exciting no matter who has done your planning.

Posted by
11507 posts

oh Rose,, I do understand that if you enjoy the planning stages of a trip that going on a tour may SEEM like you are missing out on that, but , on a RS tour you would be very wrong to NOT do some research on each of your stops.

I took a RS family tour 2 yrs ago,, and in most places we did have free time,in many of the two days visits that meant the second day was basically yours to plan. The guide made a few suggestions of what to do or see, but many of us had done our "homework" and were off and running, unlike some who had thought the whole tour was going to laid out for them.

As for the being with a tour itself, I had never travelled with a group before, I have travelled independently for decades,, but planned this trip so my dd would have the companionship of kids her own age,, and also because it covered more ground in 13 days then I normally would have .
I enjoyed meeting all the different people. Some more then others,, but really,, there was no one that I didn't enjoy . It was almost as much fun as the tour iteself.. meeting people from Alabama and Texus was like meeting two whole other nationalities. My dd spend time with the other kids comparing who went to school when,, what were differences and similarities in their lifes etc.. she still "facebooks" with a few of the kids.. LOL

A tour IS what YOU make of it to a large extent, so go and enjoy meeting and spending(some, not all ) time with your group, as well as seeing all the different places you visit.

Posted by
3580 posts

There is plenty of planning to do for a tour. Research each town where you will be for two nights. You will have time to explore on your own. Some things require reservations or advance planning, such as researching bus connections, etc. Get maps of the cities and be prepared for your own adventures. I always leave the hotel and investigate the neighborhood, finding places that won't be on the organized tour. I'm often the best-informed person on the tour. When the bus stops in a town for lunch, don't go to a cafe/restaurant with all the others in the group; go exploring, and buy a sandwich or piece of pizza for lunch. You are in a new place; there's no point in spending the whole time with the people on the tour, no matter how nice/interesting they may be.

Also, keep in mind that group activities are VOLUNTARY. If there is something you don't want to do, don't.

If you have forgotten to bring anything, there are stores in the places you visit where you can buy what you need. All you really need are: passport, money, instructions to first hotel, and the clothes on your back. Your prescription drugs and glasses are important, too.

Posted by
360 posts

Did I really say that?? I must have been typing too fast. I feel that this whole thing is getting crazy. For the record, I did research for several months last spring after making the tour arrangement & know what I want to do outside of the tour itself. I'm a little uncomfortable with the idea of being with people all the time, but realize that I can get off on my own during free time. I'm not concerned about the others not being friendly. I expect they will be. And I'm determined to put on my happy face each morning, because I don't want to be the one to spoil anyone else's minute. I am having some physical problems that will still be with me on the trip. It'll limit what I do. But that's not a problem either, because I enjoy hanging around cafes & people watching. I do miss the excitement I used to feel prior to trips, but I have felt less & less of it prior to the last 5-6 trips. I'm happy for those of you who can maintain it for 20, 30 yrs. I don't seem to be able to. I'm already pre planning my next trip, so while I don't get excited anymore prior to going, I still enjoy being there enough to go each yr.

Posted by
11507 posts

Rose,, you must not force yourself to go on these trips each year,, please,, send my the money,, I will go for you,( just kidding,, not really,, LOL ) In the last 30 years or so of my adult years of travel I have yet to have any decrease in my excitment,, in fact, I think with advent of the internet and travel forums I only find more and more things to get excited about!

Bad health is another issue though,, it is harder to be too enthusiastic if one is in pain of any sort..good for you for still trying though.

Hope you have a great time all considered!

Posted by
360 posts

Pat, that's funny. If there was a way for me to experience what I like thru you, I would send you the money.

Posted by
32225 posts

Rose,

"I'm a little uncomfortable with the idea of being with people all the time, but realize that I can get off on my own during free time."

You'll probably find that the RS Tours aren't too hard to tolerate in that respect, as they provide lots of free time, which allows tour members to explore a bit on their own. Bus trips are usually kept short, and there are frequent rest stops to use the WC or grab a coffee. Also, if your "physical problems" are causing you difficulty, you could certainly opt out of some of the group activities (as long as you let the Guide know, of course).

Happy Travels!