Friday, May 21, 2010

European Rail Timetable

Lots of people who head to Europe start out by studying some guidebook, whether it be Rick Steves or The Lonely Planet. You have decided that besides seeing some major cities you also want to get to some smaller towns, perhaps to see a museum. And then you wonder how you are going to get there.

You'll find the answer in "European Rail Timetable" by Thomas Cook. In it you will find information on both international and local trains for 40 countries. The book also has a map for each route so you can see if the village you want to visit is on a specific route.

It includes information on whether or not the train has first class or only second class and if it runs on only certain days of the week. And you'll also find a list of scenic rail routes.

Printed on newsprint, it is lightweight and easy to carry. The summer 2010 edition is now out and is available through Amazon.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

How to Deal With a Lost or Stolen Passport

If you are traveling out of the U.S., the last thing you want is to lose your passport or have it stolen. Unfortunately, this can happen to just about anyone. Knowing how to deal with the problem takes some of the stress off.

First, contact the local police and, if there is a U.S. embassy in the country you are in, contact them also. To actually obtain a replacement passport, you will have to get yourself to the embassy. The passport issued by the embassy will just be a temporary passport. Once you are back in the U.S., you will need to apply for a new one.

It is helpful if you have an 'emergency passport replacement kit' with you. It will prove you are who you say you are. Otherwise, you might need a sworn affidavit from a traveling companion which is hard to do if you are traveling alone.

Here is a list of items you should carry with you:

3 passport sized photos
copy of your passport
a form of photo ID (driver's license, for example)
proof of citizenship (copy of birth certificate)
airline ticket or itinerary
a copy of the police report if you reported it to the police.

Currently, the fee to get that replacement passport is $100 and it needs to be paid in U.S. dollars. You will get a form to fill out at the embassy.