help. travelling, and i'm so confused.

Discussion in 'Community' started by janey, Jan 16, 2005.

  1. janey macrumors 603

    janey

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Location:
    sunny los angeles
    #1
    It's less than a week until my flight leaves and I still have no idea what to do for some things..

    Like what do i get for my camera battery charger, a transformer or a converter?
    I assume the Apple power adapter works fine with the adapter plugs that Apple sells. On that matter, how do I charge my cellphone? I'm going to Korea for two weeks, then the British Isles. I need help with both. :p
    I'm taking my cellphone, iPod, iBook with two batteries and digital camera. The iBook and iPod is no problem, but wtf with the other two?

    Secondly, I assume my Visa Buxx card wont work in all ATM's, how do I figure out where it'll work and where it won't?

    Thirdly, how do I cram a lot of clothes into a small bag, and what's the best way to roll up one of those spacebags/travel packs or whatever they're called, those things that you roll up to get all the air out of them?

    Anything I need to know in terms of what I can take and can't take on the trips? If I should just take my own food because the food that you get sucks?
    Tips specifically relating to LAX, some airport in Newark, NJ, Incheon International Airport, Heathrow...anything?

    I figured some stuff out, like getting receipts for some of my stuff, getting a note from my doctor, taking a few movies to watch...but I'm getting pre-travel jitters. Weirdly enough, I can't care less about the SAT's I'm gonna be taking a few hours before that :p

    I am so confused.
     
  2. Daveway macrumors 68040

    Daveway

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2004
    Location:
    New Orleans / Lafayette, La
    #2
    you have to much going on. consider taking just your ibook instead of your ipod. those space bags that deflate save a whole lot of space. btw, how old are you considering you still use a visa buxx card, i'm 16 and have one ;)
     
  3. clayj macrumors 604

    clayj

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2005
    Location:
    visiting from downstream
    #3
    I used to live abroad, so I can give you some advice.

    For starters, your cellphone may not even work in the places you're visiting... so you might want to talk to your cell provider and see what options there are (and how much they co$t) for using your phone abroad. You may find that it's not worth taking your phone with you, and that you consequently don't need to worry about your cellphone charger or whether it will work abroad.

    You should be able to pick up voltage converters locally... the UK uses 220v, and the plugs are TOTALLY different from US plugs, so you will definitely need a converter (which is pretty much the same as a transformer). I don't know what they use in Korea, but the converter documentation should tell you... you can also ask at the gift shops in the local airports. They carry such things specifically for travelers who need them.

    For cash: Visa and MasterCard are accepted almost everywhere, although ATMs are not as common abroad as they are here. I don't know what a Buxx card is, but if it's purely a debit card, you might want to consider trying to take an actual credit card with you. I'd also recommend taking some money with you in the form of Amex travelers' checks. You don't need a lot of US cash with you while you're there, but make sure your account(s) have enough balance in them for you to withdraw while abroad. Again, the airport where you arrive is a good place to get money before you leave into the "real world".

    Take only enough food to keep you happy on the airplane, and NO fruits or vegetables; you won't be able to take them into another country.
     
  4. jrichie macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2003
    Location:
    Aus
    #4
    I just got back from a trip around the world and I would not stress too much about it!

    There were no taxes at LAX as I remember and have never paid anything on top of my tickets at Heathrow - they should be included if there are any. A tip is bring something to do at LAX, it has to be one of the worst airports for shops etc.

    Re. power - just get converter plugs [they are NOT transformers though!]. Everything I have, which includes electronics bought in the UK, Japan and US all work everywhere. Just make sure on the back of the transformer you have it states 120 - 240v.

    All Apple,sony + Canon gear works everywhere.

    With your phone it has to be tri-band otherwise it won't work in the UK, and be on the GSM networks.

    Having done lots of travelling I can say that nothing has ever gone wrong [in a serious sense] and that you should be fine with everything.

    Oh, and there are more ATM's in the UK than US! I could hardly find any there, but I guess it is what you are used to.

    And food is bad on the plane.

    AMEX travellor cheques are a good idea, and can be changed in most UK banks.

    Also fruit is allowed into the UK I think. Just not US, Oz + NZ

    And make sure you have a proper VISA card - not a debit card otherwise you may be in trouble!

    Hope this is helpful!
     
  5. absolut_mac macrumors 6502a

    absolut_mac

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2003
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    #5
    I think that something like this should cover both your voltage and plug requirements.

    http://shop.store.yahoo.com/shoptronics/re16waun110v.html

    I would not use the above for a hairdryer, because these voltage converters are okay for low current draw, but a hairdryer will probably blow it due to its high current requirements. Target or Walmart should have dual voltage hairdryers for under $20. Then all you'd need is the correct fitting plug.

    I agree about the cellphone, it's highly unlikely that it will work, and it will probably cost you a fortune too if it did. Better to try and rent one while in the UK, and Korea. Speak to a travel agent. As far as I can recall, some car rental agencies throw in a cellphone for a small fee.
     
  6. iJon macrumors 604

    iJon

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2002
    #6
    Just a note. I have used my Visa debit card in about 11 or so countries this year without any problems. That would include Mexico, Canada, all throughout Europe and in Egypt. Very few instances did I have to get out the Amex or MC.

    When I travel I tend not to take much cash. When I went to Egypt I took a good amount of cash just cause they like American more than their own currency. When I went to Europe I would tend to just ATM's. The usually give out a better exchange rate.

    jon
     
  7. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2004
    #7
    Tip

    For squeezing clothes into small bag:

    Roll them tightly, don't fold. Takes up far less space that way...
     
  8. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #8
    Take a couple of bottles of water onto the plane. They never come round often enough with it unless you're in first class! :)

    Always try the local food - you'll be amazed how much you may enjoy something different. Remember if you really hate it, there's likely always a McDonalds on the next block if you're desperate.

    Regarding cellphones, calling home on them can be extortionate. Can you send 'SMS text messages' on yours - and can they be received by the people you might want to stay in touch with? I take my cellphone with me but tend to communicate by text while away - since it's a fraction of the price. You should check whether or not you can use it though.

    Not many thoughts on Korea since I've never been. There are a few recent threads on London and the UK though which might give you a few clues on where to visit/eat etc

    Heathrow - don't be conned into taking the Heathrow Express. The Tube doesn't take that much longer depending on what part of London you want to end up in - and it's about 20% of the Express price. You can buy a travel card with a 3 or 7 day travel pass on it (zones 1 & 2 should be enough if you are staying in Central London) which will allow you get on any combination/number of buses/Tubes
     
  9. mpw Guest

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2004
    #9
    Not ALL Apple/Sony/Canon gear will work everywhere, but you should be OK with your iBook and iPod.

    You'll also need to check with you cellphone service to see if your phone can roam in the UK if it can it's gonna cost you and you might find it cheaper to just buy a local PAYG phone for around £20 when you get here. Your calls home will be cheaper and you can budget using the pre-paid cards also when people ring you from the US it won't cost you anything, if you using your US phone you'll pay nearly as much to recieve calls as to make them.
     
  10. garybUK Guest

    garybUK

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2002
    #10

    I second the pay as you go, if your handset is GSM compatible and tri band then you can pickup a sim pack from almost anywhere which will get you on a UK Pay as you go service, you can then top up with pre-paid credit as you need it, this can be done with a little swipe card in shops, using credit card over the phone or you can do it at ATM machines with your cash card.
     
  11. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #11
    That's always worked well for me. A further enhancement: roll a day's worth of clothes up, then grab a roll each morning as you shower. Very fast. If you wear pants more than a day, roll them separately, but, generally, if you roll the clothes so the length of the roll is that of your suitcase, or half that, you can stack a lot of clothes rolls into a small place. Try to make sure the roll has a relatively uniform diameter.

    Wrinkles less that way, too.
     
  12. Zaid macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2003
    Location:
    London
    #12
    True, the tube is a much better deal for most people, but the Heathrow Express is much faster than the tube. 15 min vs 45-50min. Its my prefered way of getting to and from Heathrow

    If your time is important, the Heathrow Express is well worth the cost.
     
  13. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #13
    I've never yet been on an Express that's done the journey in less than 20 minutes (and I've been on it 15-20 times when work are paying :) ) and even then, it only takes that long if you're lucky enough to just catch one. Add in hanging around on the platform for up to 15 minutes as opposed to Tubes regularly leaving. Perhaps I've just been unlucky! And unless your destination is near Paddington, the Tube going through central London isn't always much slower.

    Having said all that, if ubergeek is coming into terminal 4, she'll have to get the Express (even if only back to 1,2,3 to get the Tube since the Tube Terminal 4 station is closed so they can build the extension to
     
  14. pseudobrit macrumors 68040

    pseudobrit

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Jobs' Spare Liver Jar
    #14
    Don't pack anything you can buy when you land and toss away before you return (toothpaste, soap etc.). No sense in carrying "travel sized" stuff halfway across the world when it's available where you're going.

    If you're confused on the trip, act sure of yourself (act being the operative word; travel is often very discombobulating). You're much less likley to attract trouble if you appear confident.
     
  15. janey thread starter macrumors 603

    janey

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Location:
    sunny los angeles
    #15
    cellphone -> yeah i was thinking about that. for Korea its not so much of a big deal, because I can just borrow my cousin's CDMA phone or she can rent one for me or something, or I won't need one at all, I can make do with iChat and Skype. For the UK I'm taking a triband GSM phone, et cetera. I think i'm set, except for the charging part. I know prices can be exorbitant, but its only going to be two or three calls reminding my parents to pick me up when i arrive, or my cousin to pick me up, stuff like that :p to talk to my friends, like i said, there's always iChat and Skype :p

    As for money, I've already exchanged like $100-ish in pounds, euros and won. I'll do more I suppose.
    The problem is I've already been to Bank of America and asked about stuff like this, and about cards..., and they didn't want to give me anything really, saying the best they could do was to give me an ATM card for my account due to my being 15 (big huge two hour argument, grr). So I'm stuck with that and my Buxx card. One of my friends says its alright as long as the ATM has one of the logos on the back of the card on it, like Star or Interlink or whatever.

    I expect two ham sandwiches or something will do just fine. I meant food on the plane, not food in the country. I think I'll go crazy enough without the variety I'm exposed to here in Los Angeles, but there's gonna be a ton of fun foods to try (like i've never tried haggis lol).

    As for the UK trip, I don't think I have lots of leeway. We're gonna be in London for three or four days or so, but there's so much I'm doing with the group I'm traveling with (I hate being labelled a typical tourist, especially in a city where its not that uncommon to see foreigners in those stereotypical hawaiian shirts with cameras around their necks, but that's what i'm being :p ). We won't have lots of time to go around and shop (oh my god, i dont even want to think about buying...feminine products..), so I'm stuck taking toothbrush toothpaste, shampoo, et cetera with me.

    Ahhhh!!! Thanks so much for all the replies guys (and girls) :)
     
  16. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2002
    Location:
    The Bamboo Forest
    #16
    And no creases... ;) I usually roll an outfit into a large ziplock bag and suck the air out. Also bring several 13 gallon trash bags. That's what I put my dirty clothes in (sucking the air out of a dirty clothes bag is not tasty). Also if your bag gets rained on all your clothes are still dry...
     
  17. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus

    SilentPanda

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2002
    Location:
    The Bamboo Forest
    #17
    I tend to bring things like this with me. I'd much rather have my minty Crest that I'm used to than Ol' Swankys Tooth Brushing Elixir. Some of the countries I've been to do not have "normal" things in them... at least... not what you're used to. Toothpaste I suppose I can deal with but I'd much rather have my Advil or whatever than some bottle that I can't even read... :)

    Also consider running through the camping section of your local store and see if there is anything that catches your eye. Usually they have things quite ideal for trips.

    On a tangent though. Do *not* receive gifts from people while you're walking around and such. In London some of my comrades accepted flowers from some lady who was passing them out and then she wanted them to pay for them. In Germany a man walked around handing out candy or something and then took it back when we didn't give him money.
     
  18. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #18
    Good haggis is lovely. If you're going to try fish and chips, try it in Scotland where they take the skin off the fish prior to frying it (unlike London). Don't try haggis in a chip shop.

    Don't know if you're getting coached around London or getting the Tube. (The 3 day Tube pass is new so might be worth letting organiser know in case they are still thinking they have to line up for tickets each morning). Make sure everyone knows what to do if the Tube doors close halfway through the group - whether you are staying on til destination or getting off at next station and regrouping there!

    I always take my own toothbrush/paste and some shampoo. If I have a roomie, one takes shampoo and the other conditioner. Soap/showergel I just use the hotel freebies.
     
  19. clayj macrumors 604

    clayj

    Joined:
    Jan 14, 2005
    Location:
    visiting from downstream
    #19
    One important note on fish and chips... if they're done properly, they use a flat flounder-like fish called "plaice" that's fileted and fried with the skin still on. THERE MAY BE BONES IN THE FISH, so eat carefully (i.e., small bites, and chew it all up before swallowing).

    (True story: I spent about 3 hours in the emergency room at RAF Bentwaters when I got a fish bone "stuck" in the back of my throat... ate a whole loaf of white bread and drank about half a gallon of milk trying to get it out before going to the hospital. X-rays later showed that the bone just scratched my throat. It felt like someone had stabbed me through the neck. I love fish and chips, but be careful.)
     
  20. tpjunkie macrumors 65816

    tpjunkie

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2002
    Location:
    NYC
    #20
    Uh, i think most of what I would have added has already been said here...as for Newark International, if your gate is close enough to one of the first class lounges, you can pick up free wireless while you wait for your flight. If you're coming back through there for customs, they're pretty serious about it, much more so than San Francisco was a couple of weeks ago for me.
     
  21. janey thread starter macrumors 603

    janey

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2002
    Location:
    sunny los angeles
    #21
    Nah, coming back to Atlanta, GA. Anything I should know about that place? hehe.
     
  22. applemacdude macrumors 68040

    applemacdude

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2001
    Location:
    Over The Rainbow

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