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by Jim Humberd

If you are able to get in your car, or take a bus, train or plane, and visit the US on your own, there is no good reason why you can¹t do the same in Europe. Remember, after a good night¹s sleep you can put up with most anything the next day.

Whether you travel by RV, car, or train, you must be aware of where you are and where you might be by nightfall. In travels in the US or in Europe, if it can be avoided, don¹t make the first visit to a town you know nothing about, if you will arrive late at night. Don¹t plan your vacation in detail, maybe not a plan for tomorrow, but do look ahead, a little.

A good guidebook will pay for itself over and over again, this is not the place to save a few dollars. Visit your local library to read and sample travel guides to see which one seems to suit you best. When you arrive at a location described in the guidebook, tear out the appropriate pages for the day. Those few pages take a lot less space in pocket or purse, and the publisher will be happy to sell you another for your archives.

Many people speak English, but often it¹s necessary to communicate with pantomime and pointing. We try always to have an English/French (or whatever) dictionary with us. Thank goodness most of the instructions on traffic signs look familiar, and can easily be understood in context.

Almost every town, except the very small, has a tourist office. Without fail they will have a listing of the hotels in their immediate area, and for a nominal charge they will often be happy to help you book a room for the night. We don¹t remember any tourist office where the workers and customers were not helpful and polite. They were delighted that we were enjoying their beautiful country.

Cars and RV¹s are available for rent or lease throughout Europe, but do make the arrangements in the US before you leave home, at least the first time. Familiar US auto rental agencies often have special rates, a lot lower than the cost of renting the same vehicle after you arrive in Europe. For travel by rail, the Eurailpass is for tourists only, but you must buy it in the USA. See your travel agent for more information.

Of course hotels are available in most towns and cities, large and small, and we have yet to find even the smallest village without a restaurant.

Check out Jim and Emmy's web site to buy the books. Click here!

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