Saturday, February 4, 2017

Brief Take Away from My Recent Eastern Europe Trip

I am back and HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR to everyone!

Time flies, just back from my 10 days trip to Eastern Europe, covering 5 countries (Germany, Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary and Austria) and brief stop over at Slovakia for lunch. So, theoretically should be covering 6 countries. :-)

It is winter at Europe and our first time experiencing the brain-freezing, limbs numbing sub-zero temperature (the lowest was -8%), which is no fun if you are outdoor for an extended hours. Overall, it was a great experience and we (me and my wife) thoroughly enjoyed the trip.

There are a few take-away from this trip which I would like to share here...

1. Always do homework before the trip, even though it is a group tour. Just like in investment, even though you are going to invest in some unit trusts or ETF (which are supposed to be "managed" by the pros), you still need to do some homework about what you are getting yourself into or finding out something that you can't do without (e.g. minimum dividend yield). For our trip, I did an extensive research for the pre-paid data plan(s) and I think I managed to get a really value-for-money deal (in my opinion) from our very own provider, Changi Recommends.

It's called "Pay As You Go" from @ SGD 48 (with 4 GB data and validity period of 30 days, upon activation. The best part is that it is covering almost all the European countries, including UK). My tour manager told me that it is not advisable to get it from Europe as usually their plan only restricted to one or few countries only. Highly recommended if you need to be in always-connected mode. Note: most hotels and restaurants in European countries do have wifi service but the network stability is of no guarantee.    

2. Always get yourself covered! I am referring to the Travel Insurance here. Even though I didn't make any claim out of this trip (touch wood) but there was a pick pocket incident happened to one of our travel mate. A police report was made and hope he can get some compensation from his Travel Insurance. For Travel Insurance needs, I usually go to  

3. Most important thing to do during travelling is to ENJOY ourselves. For long-haul group tour, usually there will be few optional tours (i.e. we need to fork out additional $ for the tours). For example, in our case, there is an optional tour to the Wieliczka Salt Mine (one of the UNESCO site) at Krakow, Poland @ Euro 55 per person. Prior to the trip, we already made some research (related to item #1) and decided to go for this must-visit place of interest and we all did! It was a great experience walking down (via wooden staircase) 320+ meters underground, witnessing the marvelous salt sculptures as well as tasting the really salty stream. We thoroughly enjoyed it. 

Wieliczka Salt Mine
Wieliczka Salt Mine
Wieliczka Salt Mine
4. Keep an open mind. You may be surprise at the inferior level of customer service at some of the European countries, and many of the servicing staff at the shops or malls cannot converse well in English. So, just need to be patience, speak slowly and open your ear big big :-)



  1. Once I was at French Airport; the custom officer spoke to me in French. Of curse; I was blur about what he was talking and then he spoke in English: "Do you speak French>". Walau!

  2. Travel planning involves a lot of work yeah! But as you said, it's more important that we relax, have fun and enjoy yourselves even if things go wrong on the trip!


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