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21

Yes, visiting Saudi Arabia is probably more difficult than anywhere else in the world, but it's not impossible by any means. First up, if you're a citizen of a Gulf Cooperation Council country, the answer is easy: you don't need a visa to travel to Saudi Arabia. If you're not, you have four (well, three) choices. Actual tourism visas have been suspended ...


19

It is certainly not true that "most European countries take gold". You cannot pay for goods in a shop with gold, nor can you walk into a bank with gold and walk out with currency. In many countries ownership and import of gold as coins or bullion is restricted. There are places where you can sell gold jewellery, but you will get very poor prices.


16

It's all about layers and weight. As long as you can lose or add layers as you go, you'll be fine. So thermals/polyprops, then tshirts (lightweight, quickdry are the best), then a light jersey, followed by a jacket - ideally waterproof. Same for legs - polyprop, then some of those light trousers which tear off into shorts as well and are quick dry. ...


15

I think the trip is doable reasonable well, although double or triple the time wouldn't be a bad thing. You just have to concentrate on the main sights. For example in Paris, you could easily spend one or two days in the Louvre, but if you're happy with seeing it only from outside, or just take a glimpse at Mona Lisa, 1 hours is enough. I traveled really a ...


14

If at all possible, park near other cars. The proximity of other cars means that any potential thief not only has to watch for you returning, but also the owners of any of the other cars. An active alarm, preferably with a highly visible red light blinking in a prominent location. These tend to get ignored when they go off in urban areas simply because ...


13

Well I can be evil and if people complain, I call them insensitive because I (genuinely) have no sense of smell ;) However, logically you do have a few options: hand-wash - a wash-cloth and some soap goes a long way, and for some reason even though the water is cold, it's never as bad as stepping under a cold shower. deodorant, lots of it. make sure you ...


13

It's doable...but...you're rushing the cities, some of the best in the world! London needs a few days to do really, you want to enjoy it. Paris simply can't be done in less than two days, I still regret that. I've been told that Rome is 4 days minimum unless you're with a tour group because of the long queues. Amsterdam 2 days is fine, and Brussels you ...


12

I would not recommend a tent if you want to see the cities and rely on public transport: campsites are generally outside the city, near woods, lakes or the sea, since they are intended for recreation; unlike in the states or Australia where some people live there permanently and this also means there wont be much public transport near campsites Leave ...


12

Fleece tops are great because they're warm, dry fast, and can be squished down a lot in a backpack. If you take a fleece top and a lightweight, waterproof jacket, you'll be fine in terms of outerwear. I agree with Mark Mayo that quick-drying t-shirts and pants that tear/zipper off into shorts are perfect for cutting down on travel. However, you might want ...


12

With the possible exception of Niagara (Niagara Falls is a smaller, more tourist-oriented city, so the public transportation may be somewhat less comprehensive), all of the cities you listed should have extensive public transportation coverage. Most cities offer some form of unlimited travel pass, and in most cases a weekly pass is available. I think in ...


11

Although gold is at a high value now, it's not easy to convert into cash. A lot of places are doing "cash for gold" in shops for people to sell their old jewlery etc. However they pay maybe one tenth the price per troy ounce. I know this is the case in numerous European countries. So you'll have to buy it at 100%, and sell it at 10%, meaning a 90% drop in ...


11

I wore my kilt (heavyweight one) round Germany and I can heartily recommend it - I made many friends, had lots of drinks bought for me and got invited to a lot of events and parties as people could spot the Scotsman a mile off. I'm assuming you are Scottish - if not, you may get some hassle, potentially, for pretending to be one :-) In the summer it can be ...


10

If you're only worried about them stealing the car and not the contents I would remove the distributor cap. or depending on the way the engine is mounted swap the spark plugs with place holders. Either way you do this you need to keep them completely dry when you're hiking. The removal of either will stop the car from starting and I doubt any thief would be ...


9

Thorn Tree - Travel Companions The Thorn Tree travel forum on the Lonely Planet Web site has a branch called 'Travel Companions' where you can post about your plans or current location and people can respond to it. I am reading it via RSS and have sometimes 'talked' to people who have similar plans as I, but I have not met up with anybody yet. You usually ...


9

Whether the budget is sufficient depends on several things: Which countries you are going to, the ones you are mentioning are all on the expensive side How you travel, getting a rail pass helps but hitch-hiking or ride sharing is cheaper How much you spend on drinks and going out. Whether you eat in restaurants, fast food joints or cook in hostel kitchens. ...


9

Trains are a great way to explore Europe, the rail network and the connections are usually pretty good, especially between the big cities. Trains in Switzerland offer an awesome views when they climb up the moutains. Grindelwald is quite a popular tourist destination in Switzerland, but not sure what you can do there in september; Ski season won't usually ...


9

I spent some months in Southern India last year and compared with some other parts of the world it was indeed a bit harder to meet other travellers. I haven't been to the North of the country yet but I assume it is similar. Some of the best places to meet people is in your dorm room or the hostel kitchen. India doesn't really have that many hostels or a ...


8

I take a padlock with me. I only use hostels that have lockers that I can attach my own lock to (not one where they give you the combination). If I am couch surfing, I lock my bag up with it. Maybe this is just paranoia, but I feel like using an anti-theft backpack device just makes you stand out... I also don't think it helps too much. My brother and I ...


8

Firstly I haven't been to Honduras for about five years and all this is off the top of my head: Honduras is cheap, since you mention USD I assume you are American so there are probably fairly cheap flights. Honduras is poor. They have beaches but they don't take great care of them, at least on the mainland. I spent Easter at Omoa and found it very dirty ...


8

Here's some piece of advice which should be applicable to situations when you have to leave your car in an area with high theft/burglary rates. Some good advice can be found in other answers to this question, but here are some social engineering measures you might take (see also the answer of Jonathan VM). Hide in plain sight. Don't attract attention -- as ...


8

Philadelphia: Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority serves this city pretty well - especially the city and it's tourist spots. You can buy a Weekly Transpass from SEPTA for use on any SEPTA bus or trolley. If you are going to use the train system, you can get a TrailPass as well.


8

I noticed that no answers have yet mentioned Los Angeles or San Diego. Los Angeles has little to no public transportation. You can't depend on it to get you places you're likely to want to visit within a reasonable amount of time. San Diego, I'm given to understand, has much better public transit than when I lived there two decades ago. However, it still ...


8

Those backpacks are very comfortable and they help to reduce the back sweating we all have experienced during long trips. I think the choice depends greatly on the type of trip you are planning to take. If you are leaving for a, let's say, three day trek where you don't need much stuff with you, and you will likely have the backpack with you at all times, ...


8

Ok, Since I travel to Sabah a lot, here is my take on your plan. Fly from KL to KK and make that your start/end point. Explore KK Town Check out the islands (Manukan and Sapi which are only 15 minutes from town) Explore Kinabalu National Park (2 hrs away from KK) Fly KK to Sandakan (45 mins) Explore Sandakan, filled with Eco Tourism. Places like Sepilok ...


7

NYC has the MTA http://www.mta.info/ which is both the subway and the bus. Avoid the bus at all costs (unless you have to). NYC traffic is horrible, so buses are always slow and never match the time at the stop (if the stop even has the timetable). The subway is awesome - unlike DC, you can get wherever you want for the same fare. It's not calculated ...


7

It was pretty common at the trailheads I've used (Northern Ontario, a hundred miles or more from any house) to see keys left in the cars and the cars unlocked. Sometimes the key would be left dangling from an external lock. The people who were doing this were basically saying "look, if you drive all the way up here and there's something in my car you want, I ...


7

Your budget sounds like plenty to me. I personally budget $1K/month and you've got $1K/week! But the number of places you're trying to squeeze in to a short time could be a little hectic. You may find yourself tired and grumpy due to the time pressure and constant moving around. Especially during high season. This can also lead to problems among the ...


7

The only way that worked reasonably well for me on longer trips is: Make sure your bigger backpack is big enough for all your stuff, including the small backpack. Take a light and preferably foldable small backpack For transit - just put your small backpack inside the big one. For longer treks, etc.: take all the stuff from your smaller back pack and put ...


7

Friends of friends stayed on Banda island this year, so it's still up and running. I was told they liked it. Did you consider going up to Jinja? I personally like Eden Rock; it's affordable and right next to the party venue that is Nile River Explorers, meaning you can choose to party and choose to take it easy without having to go far. Alternatively, I ...



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