uk to europe

Newsletter - June 2005

Welcome
to the June issue of our newsletter and a special welcome to all our new suscribers.

Congratulations to this quarters main winner - Mr B. Feysman from the Netherlands. Your prizes are 'in the mail'. Thank you to all the other entrants. We enjoyed reading your experiences. It was difficult to decide on a winner, so we are sending a $100 travel voucher to Dee Derman from Johannesburg,South Africa and Mrs Dee Ayres from Nebraska, USA. Mrs Ayres does have a booking with us, so she can put the voucher towards her balance. Why not enter our Trivia competition this quarter...

The newsletter just keeps getting bigger, so just select the articles that interest you!
We welcome your correspondence and comments.


Our contact email address is: info@ukandeuropetravel.com for all correspondence . To unsubscribe, please just send us an email with the word "Unsubscribe" in the subject line.


Until next month, take care

In this issue:

Car leasing: Lease a 4WD Nissan X-Trail in Europe
Car leasing - Summer specials with Renault and Peugeot
Motorhomes: Be a thoughtful 'motorhomer'
Motorhomes: Before you head off
Planning a trip around Germany in June/July 2006? The FIFA World Cup is on!!
Travelling to the USA? Important Visa news
Australians: Be aware of Duty Free 'trap' when returning home
We love our work - and it shows!
Train travel in Europe - some frequently asked questions and some tips...
Rail in Canada: Saturday savings ....50% off
Vancouver, Canada with kids this summer? Dont miss.....
Canadian / USA Motorhome specials
Travelling in the USA for longer than a month? Check out these Freebies!
Travelling to Alberta, Canada? Here's the info you need.
Need tourist info for USA? Here's where to go


4WD Car Leasing in Europe 4WD CAR LEASING IN EUROPE!

Renault Eurodrive has good news for off-roaders looking for an action holiday in Europe: its added the popular 4WD Nissan X-Trail to its fleet as part of its alliance with the Japanese car-maker.  The X-Trails are currently available for collection in Paris, or at Charles de Gaulle or Orly Airports only, but can be returned to any of 35 depots in Europe (a charge applies in some cases.)

The 2.2 Turbo Diesels come with satellite navigation that can be used in 18 European countries, panoramic sunroof, heated front seats, a cooled glove-box, air-conditioning, CD/radio, six airbags and ABS.  Vehicles are brand-new with full factory warranty, full insurance with no excess, there are no additional driver charges, minimum driver age is 18 years with no upper age limit, and 24-hour roadside assistance is also included.

A 17-day lease costs from $2499, with extra days from just $47 per day.
See Renault Leasing

CAR LEASING - Summer Specials with Renault and Peugeot

Both Renault and Peugeot have specials which need to be booked by 30June. Have a browse or tell us what you want and we'll compare the two companies and offer you the best deal. See more details on
http://www.ukandeuropetravel.com/carlease.shtml

BE A THOUGHTFUL 'MOTORHOMER'  .

When using a radio, dont play it too loudly, especially at night
When coming home late, don't talk too loudly and don't bang/slam doors
Don't leave trash lying around, put it in the litter bins.  Especially in the US/Canada you dont want grizzly bears and other nocturnals scratching for food scraps!
In the shower/toilet blocks:  Leave it as you would like to find it. 
Don't wash dishes in the face-basins.  Go to the kitchen block
Be friendly, introduce yourself to others and make 'international' friends
Lastly, if it is your last day, and someone else is arriving, why not give them your unused matches, washing powder etc that  you dont want to carry home with you.

MOTORHOMES:  Before you head off for the day...

Remember to unplug the power lead and stow away
Pull up the stairs and check that the awning is retracted
Secure the fridge and cupboard doors and any loose items
Remember to switch off the gas and flick the switch for the fridge
Check the toilet is 'closed'.
Lastly, check that there are no branches or powerlines overhead or behind vehicle before reversing out
Split these 'important' chores between the kids... They'll love the sense of responsibility.

PLANNING A  TRIP TO GERMANY IN JUNE/JULY 2006? The FIFA World Cup Germany is on !!  

The first match starts on Fri 09June2006.  The Final is on Sunday 09July2006
So if you're travelling around Germany and want to avoid the crowds, check out the match schedule which you can see by clicking on:  http://us.i1.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/i/fifa/06/pdf/match_schedule_en_01.pdf
To give you an idea of the popularity, this is an extract from the official Fifa World Cup website:
"The FIFA World Cup™ server registered some 9,000 hits per second during the first few hours in another massive show of worldwide interest. By midday on Tuesday, the site was still receiving an average of 1,500 hits per second. "


TRAVELLING TO USA?  Important Visa News

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in the USA today reminded travelers from 27 Visa Waiver Program (VWP) countries that as of June 26, 2005, they must have a machine-readable passport to enter the United States without a visa, as mandated by Congress. Machine-readable passports have a sequence of lines that can be swiped by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers to confirm the passport holder's identity quickly and to obtain other information about the holder typically found on a passport's inside cover. 

Beginning June 26, 2005, transportation carriers will be fined $3,300 per violation, for transporting any VWP traveler to the United States without a machine-readable passport. Similarly, VWP travelers arriving in the United States on that date without a machine-readable passport should not anticipate being granted one-time entry into the country.

Anyone from the 27 VWP countries thinking of traveling to the United States is encouraged to check with their passport issuing authority to ensure they are in possession of a machine-readable passport. As an alternative for persons with immediate travel plans who are unable to obtain a machine-readable passport in time, the individual may apply for a U.S. visa at a U.S. Consulate or Embassy abroad.

The 27 countries participating in the VWP include: Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brunei, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, San Marino, Singapore, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Any traveler from these 27 countries will need a machine-readable passport on June 26, 2005, to enter the United States.

AUSTRALIANS - Be aware of Duty free trap when returning home!

On 01Feb2005, the value of goods that could be brought back to Australia tax free was increased to $900. The alcohol limit was increased to 2.25litres. Before this date, if you brought back more than your limit and the duty applicable was less than $50, they waived that fee. Since 01Feb05, that waiver has been dropped and now if you go over the $900 limit, you pay tax on the TOTAL value of goods brought in. For example: You are allowed $900 tax free but if you bring in $920 worth of goods, you pay tax on the whole $920 - not just on the $20 excess, which most normal people would assume! The Federal Government is enjoying the windfall which has seen them collect $710 423 in taxes in March this year, compared with only $116 185 for the same period last year.

WE LOVE OUR WORK AND IT SHOWS!    ....Unsolicited Thanks received ....

Thanks once again for your super efficient service. I wish you were our travel agent - it would have been much less stressful if everyone was as good at their job as you are.       SC & family, Australia
"Great Service – Guaranteed" it has been exactly that !!!    PV,  Great Britain
Thank you so much for your very goood and kind service you are delivering to  me - great!   PF. Switzerland
Thank you very much for all the information.  I am impressed with your service.    DB, South Africa
Thanks so much for all the work you have done for us,  we will keep in contact .   ED, Canada
Thanks for everything!   Don and I are most grateful for your efficiency and persistence!  GW, Australia
Thank you very much for quick responses. It's the best service I've had in travel in a long time and I definitely will be forwarding your details on to others.  NP, Australia
We got in touch with about 6 or 7 companies,. some through email some by phone,  I tried places in england and europe.  Some places had a form to fill out through email and rarely got back.  People over phone - I  had 1 helpful man and a couple unhelpful others .  I'd rate u 10/10 compared with others I dealt with. Friendly, always there to answer questions and really fast response. LL, Great Britain

TRAIN TRAVEL IN EUROPE - Some frequently asked questions & some tips

Q: If I taken an overnight train that departs after 7pm, do I have to use 2 days on my pass?
A: If you board a train that departs after 7pm, then it only counts as 1 days. If your overnight train requires a train change before midnight, then you will use 2 travel days.

Q: How do I get from the airport to a downtown train station?
A: The following airports have train stations: Heathrow, Amsterdam Schiphol, Barcelona, Berlin Schönefeld, Birmingham, Brussels National, Copenhagen, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt am Main, Geneva-Cointrin, Gatwick Airport, Heathrow, Stanstead, Oslo, Malaga, Manchester, Munich, Milan Malpensa, Paris Charles de Gaulle, Rome Leonardo da Vinci, Stockholm, Stuttgart Echterdingen, Vienna Schwechat and Zurich Airport.

Q: Can I get off the train for a few hours and then get back on later during the day if I have a point to point ticket?
A:: Yes, you may get on and off as many stops as you wish, as long as you continue proceeding toward your final destination along the same route.

TIPS:
* Many European cities have multiple train stations. So check to ensure you are going to the correct station.
* At major stations huge computerised boards, usually near the entrance offer up to the minute schedule and platform listings. Station information offices also provide schedules.
* Once you have found your train, check the car number and seat number printed on the ticket. On the platform, railway employees can show you where your car will stop. At some stations you will a glass case which has a display of the long-distance and overnight trains, car by car. Called 'Composition of Trains'. There you can see exactly where your train will stop on the platform. Be ready to board very quickly, station stops are often very short. Numbers posted near the train's door or on a window show if the car is 1st or 2nd class. Destination placard and car numbers are placed near the door. Check these. Trains are often 'split' and sent in different directions!
*If you have a Eurail Pass, you will get free or reduced rates & bonuses. Note though that a free transportation bonus eg. free ferry travel, requires use of a travel day whereas a reduction bonus does not require use of a travel day. If you'd like to know which ferry lines offer these bonuses, just ask us.



NEW QUARTERLY COMPETITION...
Trivia is back! By popular demand - we've brought back the trivia questions.
This quarters prize: We're going to go with travel vouchers as the postage is costing more than the prizes!!
This quarter, we'll draw 3 x $150 vouchers which you can use towards anything you purchase from our site.
Send your answers by email to info@ukandeuropetravel.com

1. Where would you find Mount Rushmore?
2. Which is the longest river in the world?
3. The Eurostar travels between ? and ?
4. In which city would you find the statue of Eros?
5. If a friend invited you to the Oktoberfest - which city would you be visiting?


RAIL - 50% OFF in Canada

Via Rail, Canada  has released their SATURDAY SAVINGS 50% discount fare for passengers travelling onboard VIA Rail Canada from Quebec City through the Windsor corridor.

Valid only for travel on Saturdays until 3 September, 2005, in VIA's Comfort Class (economy) the discount is also applicable to tickets valued at CAD $72 or less (based on the full adult fare before taxes).   This summer deal is ideal for passengers travelling throughout the Corridor including Quebec City , Montreal , Ottawa and Toronto . Every Saturday, passengers can receive 50% off the regular fare in both directions or one way. 

There are no additional discounts for seniors or students although children aged 2-11 years will be offered a 75% discount off the full adult fare. An issuance fee of CAD $20 is also applicable for every file .

Vancouver, Canada with kids this summer ?  Dont miss....

Maplewood Farm is home to over 200 domestic animals and birds, providing families with the chance to witness life on the farm. Kids will enjoy pony rides, milking demonstrations, and petting the bunnies and baby animals. Annual events include the Sheep Fair in May, Farm Fair in September, Pumpkin Event in October, and Country Christmas in December.
The Fair at the PNE has been a Vancouver “End of Summer”tradition since 1910. It features exciting shows, attractions, thrilling rides and midway games, hundreds of exhibitors, and delicious food from around the world. Kids will love Playland , the fair's amusement park, which is open from April until September. This year the Fair is being held from August 20 th to September 5 th .
From cyclone chambers to shadow walls, Science World British Columbia  features hands-on exhibits and activities guaranteed to entertain and educate. Upcoming exhibits include “Playing with Time”, and the “Expo 2005 Canada Interactive Network”, providing kids with the opportunity to have fun and learn at the same time .

US & CANADIAN MOTORHOME SPECIALS:

Go West in Vancouver have a special on C22, C24 and C28 models.... 10% off the 0km rate for every new booking with travelling dates between 03-23Aug05...
Limited availability.
El Monte are offering unlimited mileage at USD$450 for up to 30 nights and free personal and vehicle kits from their Seattle/Vancouver branch.
Pick up and return must be at Vancouver, pick up date must be after 01July and return before 06September and valid on C25 and C28 only.
Moturis: Want a free one way trip in the USA ? Well travel between 01November05 and 31March06 and we'll give you the one way free of charge. This is your chance to cross from East to West or vice versa. This represents a saving of up to USD$750....

TRAVELLING IN THE USA FOR LONGER THAN A MONTH?

Travelling in the USA for longer than a month? We'll offer FREE membership to Passport America which gives 50% off your campsite fees, an International camping directory and a free yearly subscription to RV America magazine. See http://www.passportamerica.com/default.asp?net_id=USa678 
Travelling for 2 months or more? We'll also pay for a National Parks Pass. Valid for one full year, it will admit the all passengers free when the park has an entrance fee.
If you're planning a trip of 3 months or more, we'll also include a Golden Eagle Sticker, which covers your entrance fees at not only the national parks, but also at sites managed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the US Forest Service & the Bureau of Lang Management.

TRAVELLING TO ALBERTA, CANADA? ... More info available  on www.travelalberta.com

The Gateway cities of Canada are Calgary & Edmonton and most people want to see the Rocky Mountain, Jasper and Banff National Parks and Lake Louise.
Shopaholics wont want to miss The West Edmonton Mall, one of the largest shopping and entertainment complexes in the word with over 800 shops, entertainment and activities and even a hotel if you get tired half way through! .

Did you know that Alberta has five World Heritage Sites? 

Wood Buffalo National Park:  Canada's largest National park and home to the whoopig crane and the peregrine falcon, both endangered species as well as the world's largest free roaming and self-sustaining herd of bison!
Rocky Mountain Parks:  The beauty of the Canadian Rocky Mountains, Jasper and Banff,  are almost beyond description!
Waterton/Glacier National Parks:  International Peace Park , where wildlife and beauty abound
Dinosaur Provincial Park:  Walk in the footsteps of the mighty dinosaurs or join in a day dig - the park is a window into the ancient past
Head-Smashed-in Buffalo Jump:  An interpretive centre that celebrates the hunting techniques of the Plains Indians

If you'd like to see these sites, we'll be happy to give you  some info on a suggested 7-14day Unesco Trail  which takes in these 5 sites.  Just ask.

What to do?  The Icefields Parkway.  Stretching 229kms from Banff to jasper, the Icefields Parkway runs along a chain of massive icefields straddling the Continental Divide and is one of the most spectacular touring routes in the world.   Voted one of the ten most beautiful drives in the World!!
Just outside Banff are the spires of the Hoodoos - carved by forces of wind and water and standing guard, overlooking the Bow River.  Or take a 90 minute boat tour or go Scuba diving on Lake Minnewanka  or the Sulphur Mountain Gondola will take you to the top of Sulphur Mountain in Banff or ride the Jasper Tramway, the longest  aerial tramway in Canada, up Whistler's Mountain, then take a canoe on Lake Beauvert alongside Jasper Park Lodge where you can also enjoy a round of golf.   Try and visit Athabasca Falls, just south of Jasper where the Athabasca River is funnelled into a narrow canyon creating these spectacular falls.   Also near Jasper is the Maligne Canyon, spectacular gorge or cruise on the Maligne Lake and visit Spirit Island....

The main cities:  Calgary:
  Home of the Calgary Stampede....the 'Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth' every July...   Also home to the Calgary Zoo Botanical Garden and Prehistoric park.  Well worth a visit.   Always plenty of folk interested in dinosaurs and suchlike...visit the Royal Tyrrell Museum of  Palaeontology where you can  experience 4.5 billion years of the Earth's histroy.  The museum re-creates Western Canada as it appear 65-225 million years ago, with hands on displays, computer simulations and life sized dinosaur exhibits.

Alberta:  If you are a golfer, did you know that 70 of Alberta's 276 golf courses are within an hour's driver of downtown Edmonton!  If you're a nature loves, visit Elk Island national Park, home to 44 species of mammal including 1000 bison, moose, elk, deer, beavers, coyotes and 230 species of birds.  Just 45 minutes from downtown Edmonton.   If you're into history, much of it interative, visit the Provincial Museum of Alberta.  One of the top 5 museums in Canada.
Also consider visiting Odyssium, home of North America's largest planetarium dome, a Space Gallery, IMAX theatre and new Health, Environment and Forensics galleries witha plethora of hands-on activities, experiments, games and skill testing puzzles.  Fun for all.

WHAT'S ON IN ALBERTA? 

Banff Festival of the Arts
- May to August.  See www.banffcentre.ab.ca/CFA/festival
Calgary Folk Music Festival - late July.  A weekend summit of folk musicians from across North America and around the world.  www.calgaryfolkfest.com
International Jazz Festival - June/July.  A 10 day celebration of jazz, blues and world-beat music. www.discovercalgary.com/jazzcalgary
The Calgary Stampede - mid July for 10 days.  the Half Million Dollar Rodeo attracts the world's top professional cowboys. www.calgarystampede.com
Edmonton - The Heritage Festival in early August.  One of the largest multicultural festivals in the world boasting over 50  outdoor ethnic pavilions. see www.edmontonheritagefest.ca
Edmonton - International Street Peformers Festival.  uly.  The world's best street performers from mimes and minstrels to clowns and acrobats in over 100 impromptu performances. www.discoveredmonton.com/streetperformers.

Other resources: 
www.banfflakelouise.com
www.jaspercanadianrockies.com

NEED TOURIST INFO ON THE USA?

You can go to the website of each US State tourism office where you can request brochures and find more in-depth information etc.
Alaska - http://www.dced.state.ak.us/tourism
Arizona - http://www.arizonaguide.com
California - http://www.visitcalifornia.com
Colorado - http://www.colorado.com
District of Columbia - http://www.washington.org
Florida : http://flausa.com
Hawaii: http://hawaii.gov/tourism
Illinois: http://www.enjoyillinois.com
Massaachusetts: http://massvacation.com
Nebraska: http://www.visitnebraska.org
Nevada: http://www.travelnevada.com
New Hampshire: http://www.visitnh.gov
New Jersey: http://visitnj.org
New Mexico: http://newmexico.org
New York: http://iloveny.state.ny.us
Texas: http://www.traveltex.com
Virginia: http://virginia.org
Washington: http://www.tourism.wa.gov/



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