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A Couple Of Questions


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Hi all.

 

Just booked the tunnel for Easter (£244 cheap! ferries £144 stupid cheap, think I paid far more than that last time I went years ago) and hoping to follow the footsteps of a guy on here who went eastern France down to Annecy, across Switzerland(do you have to pay?), Austria, Germany, Hitlers Eagle's nest, then up to Beguim, Ypres. Bit of a tall order, think I'll do well if i get to Annecy to be honest!

 

Been to France before years ago, only as far down as Troyes in the east, and know the eastern side was/is? void of traffic but the rest of the trip? especially the Rhine corridor, looking at the map looks like it could be similar to the M25 straightened out, full of lorries? yes, no?

The French alps are er, hilly, are the roads constantly up and down, steep gradients? I'm fully loaded and not keen on struggling up hills all the time.

Money; are the cards where you load money onto them worth the hassell or just take cash? It appears Halifax card is 'charge free' to use but is it worth getting one just for 2 weeks?

Where's the best place to buy Euros? no one charges commision anymore!

 

You fellows who who go for long periods, don't you get home sick? I sometimes miss home after a few days, especially my garden and shed, don't miss the neighbours though :)

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Hi all.

 

Just booked the tunnel for Easter (£244 cheap! ferries £144 stupid cheap, think I paid far more than that last time I went years ago) and hoping to follow the footsteps of a guy on here who went eastern France down to Annecy, across Switzerland(do you have to pay?), Austria, Germany, Hitlers Eagle's nest, then up to Beguim, Ypres. Bit of a tall order, think I'll do well if i get to Annecy to be honest!

 

Been to France before years ago, only as far down as Troyes in the east, and know the eastern side was/is? void of traffic but the rest of the trip? especially the Rhine corridor, looking at the map looks like it could be similar to the M25 straightened out, full of lorries? yes, no?

The French alps are er, hilly, are the roads constantly up and down, steep gradients? I'm fully loaded and not keen on struggling up hills all the time.

Money; are the cards where you load money onto them worth the hassell or just take cash? It appears Halifax card is 'charge free' to use but is it worth getting one just for 2 weeks?

Where's the best place to buy Euros? no one charges commision anymore!

 

You fellows who who go for long periods, don't you get home sick? I sometimes miss home after a few days, especially my garden and shed, don't miss the neighbours though :)

Switzerland you pay 40euro for the car + 40 euro for the caravan. Austria you pay but it's not so much. You don't say how long you are going for.

Home sick! After 6 weeks away in the sun I still don't want to go home.

Alan

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I would get any cash you need from a "hole in the wall" using your debit card. If you, are only going for 2 weeks its not worth worrying too much about card commision too much .

We go for 3 months and only come home then to avoid high season crowds, never been homesick

David

Various vans 78-2019,  currently  Hobby Excellent 540 FU and Mercedes E220 CDI Estate

www. caravan-europe. co. uk

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Hi, it's my route that you're following, the route we took down thro France was part toll and part normal roads (to get a taste of proper France), from Annecy to Lucerne we took the main roads again, having paid 78€ charge for car & van, all the roads are superb, if there's a mountain in the way they put a tunnel in for you, very little (if any) gradient work at all, the same can be said for Austria, only cost us about 8€ for short stay (2wks) toll charge. Berchtesgaden and Bavarian roads very good, again no gradients to worry about. In Germany the only time we encountered heavy traffic was on the autobahn around Stuttgart, but it was Friday afternoon so only to be expected really. The Rhineland roads were very quiet, we were there early July too, you can tell when you arrive in Belgium, its as if all of a sudden you've acquired 6 punctures, the roads are rough but having been on Swiss, Austrian then German roads the Belgian roads serve as a reminder of what to expect once you've returned over the Channel.

I would only take sufficient cash for 5-6 days, the other £5 (thats what i tell my bride) I leave in the bank to make withdrawals on every now and then, yeah the bank charge me a few quid but over 3 wks I worked it out at about £6:50.

If you require any further info PM me, happy to help

Regards

Phil

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Cash and when that runs out a debit card every time. ..for what commission charges would be on a six week holiday it is equal to a few gallons of fuel. ..so why worry. ..

 

The worst place I found traffic-wise was Frankfurt where we were on a 7 lane road for a short while and being blasted by lorry horns. ......otherwise peaceful.

 

geoff

Kia Sorento KX-1 CRDI 4WD towing an Elddis Affinity 530

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Hi all.

 

Just booked the tunnel for Easter (£244 cheap! ferries £144 stupid cheap, think I paid far more than that last time I went years ago) and hoping to follow the footsteps of a guy on here who went eastern France down to Annecy, across Switzerland(do you have to pay?), Austria, Germany, Hitlers Eagle's nest, then up to Beguim, Ypres. Bit of a tall order, think I'll do well if i get to Annecy to be honest!

 

Been to France before years ago, only as far down as Troyes in the east, and know the eastern side was/is? void of traffic but the rest of the trip? especially the Rhine corridor, looking at the map looks like it could be similar to the M25 straightened out, full of lorries? yes, no?

The French alps are er, hilly, are the roads constantly up and down, steep gradients? I'm fully loaded and not keen on struggling up hills all the time.

Money; are the cards where you load money onto them worth the hassell or just take cash? It appears Halifax card is 'charge free' to use but is it worth getting one just for 2 weeks?

Where's the best place to buy Euros? no one charges commision anymore!

 

You fellows who who go for long periods, don't you get home sick? I sometimes miss home after a few days, especially my garden and shed, don't miss the neighbours though :)

Check out travel money page on Money Saving Expert site for latest and best deals on buying currency.

 

We have a Saga credit card for most things in main land europe. No interest (if you pay off each month), no currency charges on purchases, but small charge on cash withdrawal. Works fine in France on everything. ..tolls, petrol stations, supermarkets.

 

The amount of cash we take depends on where we go. Many sites in Germany dont take credit cards, most supermarkets are cash ore debit. ...many places in Germany dont take VISA either. ..only Mastercard.

My Bank charges a lot for using debit card abroad. ..so I dont!

I also try to avoid taking cash out of the wall.

 

Most alpine road builders have an aversion to steep gradients as well. Never had a struggle . ..even at 95% caravan to car.

 

If you try to travel busy roads at weekend, there aren't any* lorries (*a few special concessions)

 

For Eagles Nest you should look at berchtesgaden sites. The town is great. Decent drive to Salzburg. The Jennerbahn gondola ride up the Jenner (would have given Hitler better views. IMHO)

 

 

PS How can anyone going round that way not mention the Grossglockner???

 

 

66 euros to tow through switzerland (though its for a year)

8. 50 euros for Austria (10 day)

 

prebuy at www. tolltickets. com

 

Incidentally, fuel is cheaper in Austria than Germany. If staying in Berchtesgaden. ..drive the road towards Salzburg for 10cents a litre saving. Also beware pump prices vary morning to afternoon in both Germany and Austria. ...timing is everything.

Edited by ericfield
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Hi

 

Reference your cards - I say yes, get a Halifax Clarity Card. It is fee free for purchases and fee free for cash withdrawals BUT for a cash withdrawal, you pay interest from the day of the debit until the day the debt is repaid.

 

A fee free debit card is an option, but that is attached to a current account. If you are not feeling loyal to your bank, then transfer your current account to one of the providers with a fee free debit card.

 

The charges mentioned for Switzerland are correct - a toll sticker for the car and another for the caravan.

 

For buying Euro as cash, look at www. travelex. co. uk and their pre pay rates. You can collect at the port etc. The rates offered at the bought for those buying on spec are a lot worse than those who have pre booked. Tesco usually have good rates - shop around.

 

Russell

Online blog and travels, although sometimes there is a lack of travel due to work!

 

It's an uncharted sea, it's an unopened door but you've got to reach out and you've got to explore.

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Thank you all for your very helpful replies. Sorry Phil, I couldn't remember it was you.

 

I do try and find the answers myself on Google but tend to fail miserably. If you don't buy in advance a toll sticker for Switzerland is the border like a French toll both jobby but just congested, do you have to wait long to buy?

 

Thanks again, P

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We have found getting the 2 toll stickers in Switzerland takes minutes as the border people are usually standing there and you just drive up to them and buy the 2 tickets. we used to have to go in the ticket office and get them,Mind you that is Basel I don't know about other parts of the Swiss border, to get to Switzerland through France without paying tolls drive to Belgium we always leave from Dunkirk so am not sure about the drive from Calais. Luxembourg, down through France on the A31 an un tolled motorway to Nancy then on to Epinal, N66 to Mulhouse it is a pretty drive.

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You fellows who who go for long periods, don't you get home sick?

Yes! I come away to Spain for four months in the winter and Yes! you do get a bit homesick. But there's a cure for it. Just look at the weather reports for your home area. :rolleyes:

Citroen C5-X7 Tourer+Avondale Rialto 480/2
https://jondogoescaravanning.com

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We put purchases on our Nationwide Credit Card and take a Post Office loaded cash card so that if it gets pinched they haven't actually got the money. We found that we used quite a bit of cash as several sites in Germany didn't take credit cards. We did part of the trip that you are planning last year except we didn't go through France and Switzerland but the highlight of the holiday for me was the Grossglockner after four days of non stop snow [it fell on our site and the rest of Austria as rain] in early June it was totally magical. It took us six weeks to do our trip so we had the opportunity to stand and stare more than you will in two weeks but I would recommend Saltzburg, Innsbruck and Bertesgarten and the road from Oetz to Axams which I thought was wonderful. The campsite at Nattersee was also the best of the holiday.

Kia Sorrento towing a Coachman VIP 575/4

 

Our blog: jennyandjohngocaravanning. wordpress. com

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The campsite at Nattersee was also the best of the holiday.

Wholeheartedly agree, we said it was probably built by Carlsberg.

The site we stayed in at Berchtesgaden (Alweglehen) was nice too, a few people have poo pooed it but the location, views & onsite facilities are very good & you get to have a ride on his golf buggy !!

As mentioned in earlier post fuel is a lot cheaper as you drive towards Saltzburg, the bus stop to and from Salzburg is at the bottom of the drive, don't do as we did and wait on the wrong side of the road, if I was blonde it would've been one of those moments.

Swiss vignettes are available at the border, they direct you into a bay and come to you, if you ave cash you pay the border guards, simple

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For buying Euro as cash, look at www. travelex. co. uk and their pre pay rates. You can collect at the port etc. The rates offered at the bought for those buying on spec are a lot worse than those who have pre booked. Tesco usually have good rates - shop around.

 

 

 

 

All the pre-loaded cards that I have looked at (and that is most) build the commission into the exchange rate as do most of the "commission free" offers. Post Office operated by an Irish Bank has several different exchange rates!

Tesco is just another source of foreign exchange with commission/fee built into the rate.

The euro is at a year low against the £ at the moment with interbank rate today

 

Visa 1. 2025 http://www. visaeurope. com/en/cardholders/exchange_rates. aspx

 

Mastercard 1. 2171 https://www. mastercard. com/global/currencyconversion/index. html

 

Travelex 1. 184 http://www. travelex. co. uk/uk/

 

My local cash converter shop 1. 189 http://www. cash-a-cheque. com/bedford/foreign-exchange/rates/

Edited by beejay
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You fellows who who go for long periods, don't you get home sick? I sometimes miss home after a few days, especially my garden and shed, don't miss the neighbours though :)

We're on our first long-time journey. Half-way through five months in Spain and Portugal and not a spot of homesickness for me yet. Plus Dave's health is so much better in the warmer air here - he has asthma which flares up with damp leaves and cold air at home. Here we are walking every day and he's going cycling. If I wasn't eating so much, I'd have lots loads of weight!!

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We use the pre paid cards from Ice PLC and have not had any real issues with them accept at French Tolls and car parks where they only accept credit card payments.

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Glad to hear that Mastercard is still favoured over Visa in Germany! I haven't been to Germany for about 20 years yet still maintain that the only reason I have both a Mastercard and a Visa card is for Germany!!!!!!

 

When we go abroad, like many others have said we take cash and then we use a debit card to withdraw more from a hole in the wall if we run out. We tend to put fuel on a credit card. I have to admit that we just budget in the bank charges/currency conversion charges for using plastic into the cost of our holiday. I usually have a pretty good idea of how much we intend to spend before we go anyway (ie grocery shopping, fuel, campsite plus a tenner a day for "treats").

 

I always get our foreign currency from the Post Office as for us it's walkable so a lot easier (and cheaper) than going into town and paying to park. None of our local supermarkets have currency exchange facilities but my Dad favours Sainsburys as you get Nectar points!!!!

The traveller sees what he sees, the tourist sees what he has come to see (GK Chesterton)

 

There's no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong equipment (Alfred Wainwright)

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