5 Travel Tips You'll Definitely Want to Share

5 Travel Tips You'll Definitely Want to Share

“Je ne comprends pas ce que vous dites. Malheureusement, je ne peux pas vous aider…”,” the elderly French pharmacist spread his hands.

I tapped myself on the neck again: “Pillow! Need a neck pillow.”

“Je ne comprends pas”,” the Frenchman waved his hand and left.

Story No. 1. “But comprendo”

On the 2nd day, the bus ride from Moscow to Paris became torture. My neck, lower back and legs hurt. But if it was possible to move the legs, to change, even slightly, the position of the body, then the neck always remained straight. The muscles hurt so much that it was impossible to fall asleep or even take a nap. I stood up and looked around the salon. There were no more than 6 of us, inexperienced travelers on the bus, out of 30. And we were the only ones who did not sleep. Everyone else had pillows. You know, those rubber ones that you inflate and put on your neck like half a donut.

I was always the first to jump out at stops. If only I could escape from this damn bus.

— Where did you buy such a pillow?
— At the pharmacy. During the last trip.

In Paris, everyone went to see the Eiffel Tower. I started my acquaintance with France at the pharmacy.

— Pommade analgésique ici,” the French pharmacist returned with a jar of some kind of ointment.
— No, I need a pillow.
I cup my hands under my cheek, bow my head and close my eyes. Then I hit myself on the neck again and turn the imaginary steering wheel. Should I try some more?

— Et, comme vous avez besoin d’un coussin pour la voiture. 5 euros.

Ahhh! Pillow. Pad! I was ready to kiss the medicine bag. Now I know that happiness can be bought. It is sold in a French pharmacy for 5 euros.

TIP! Be sure to take an inflatable neck pillow when traveling by bus. Without it, you will curse everything in the world.

5 Travel Tips You'll Definitely Want to Share

Story No. 2. “The killer tram or the dream of Mikhail Afanasyevich Bulgakov”

I recommend that Bulgakov scholars spend the night near a window overlooking the tram tracks. It seems to me that the killer tram appeared in The Master and Margarita precisely after such an incident with Bulgakov. And this is how it happened with me. I decided to go to Vienna and booked a hotel near the Ring for 4 nights. Voila!

And here I am in Vienna. Atlas is a hotel for the undemanding traveler. Basic needs – toilet, water, bed, internet – the hotel will provide. But you shouldn’t expect comfort. The first night was difficult: we were accommodated in a room on the 4th floor, the windows of which faced the street.

It was impossible to sleep; there was 24-hour traffic. But the worst thing is the trams. The deeper the night, the louder the roar… I didn’t sleep a wink all night, and in the morning I ran to the reception and stuck my iPhone under my nose, on which I wrote with the help of Google translator:

Can’t sleep because of the noise of the road. Can we change the number?
Kann nicht schlafen wegen des Lärms von der Straße. Können wir die Zahl?

And they immediately found us a room with windows facing the courtyard. Vacation was saved! All 4 nights we slept in peace and quiet… Yes, ugly, but quiet!

My experience with the Atlas Hotel taught me how important it is to find out everything about the hotel IN ADVANCE. Because no travel agency will write about such things.

TIP! Study the hotel information as thoroughly as possible.Beautiful pictures of the hotel and the words “near the center” or “metro nearby” work magically. But this is just advertising. But the truth may be renovations in a neighboring building or a compost heap under the window. This is what happened to me in Germany, when I chose an eco-hotel designed like a country house. They went too far with naturalness. Ja, ja, natürlich.

5 Travel Tips You'll Definitely Want to Share

Story No. 3. “Tax Free Mathematics”

I don’t like walking around with bags in my hands, but here there are two at once. I took a couple of T-shirts, a very nice sweater, and a summer jacket. Trousers – you can’t buy these in Moscow. It’s not about the brand, but about the tailoring, just for my “I don’t understand what” figure.

At the checkout I asked for Tax Free Global Blue. The minimum amount for Tax Free depends on the country. In my case it is 100 euros. I handed over several receipts and a passport to the seller, and kept two for myself, since I bought the T-shirts and jacket at another store. It was 90 euros. And then the seller says:

—I see you have more checks, let’s give them too.
— They are from another store, it’s on the second floor in your center.
– I understand. But I see the inscription of our other store on the packages. We can add up checks because we are one company.

This is news! Now imagine the situation. You bought in one store for 90 euros, then in another store for 90 euros. For Tax Free, 10 euros are missing in both cases. And if you add up the checks, you get 180 euros, and the return at the border will be almost 20 euros. But to do this you need to know a life hack about “one owner”.

TIP! Feel free to show your receipts and politely clarify whether stores with different names and on different floors of the shopping center are not the same legal entity. If it turns out that yes, then you can use the Global Blue rule – “receipts can be attached to one Tax Free form if were issued on the same day in the same store“.

And further. Tax Free Global Blue forms, which are stamped by customs, do not expire. They can be cashed out even after 10 years.

5 Travel Tips You'll Definitely Want to Share

Story No. 4. “What drivers are embarrassed to talk about”

I didn’t have cruise control. But there was a leg. And she had been whining for half an hour. My right leg is tired of pressing on the gas. And there are still more than 900 kilometers ahead.

I pull out to a gas station. From the outside I look like an idiot – I hit my right leg with my fist, rub my ankle, and jump along the car. Three jumps forward, three back. And then a woman about 50 comes up to me:

—Your leg probably hurts?
— Well, yes, it’s numb.
— And you use compression socks. Try it, then you will remember me and thank me.

And she left. About six months later, I actually bought travel socks. This was the very incident after which it is customary to say the phrase “my life has changed.”

TIP! Use compression socks during long trips by car, bus, or airplane. Socks improve blood circulation and prevent stagnation in the calves. Your legs won’t hurt. Tested on myself.

5 Travel Tips You'll Definitely Want to Share

Story No. 5. “Viber Out and the search for Sherlock Holmes’ apartment”

The old town of Riga is very small. Five minutes to the left, five minutes to the right, and that’s it, the city is over. That is, you can walk around the entire Old Riga (Old Town) in 10 minutes.

Which I did. But I never found the house where they filmed “Sherlock Holmes” with Livanov and Solomin.

I called a friend in Moscow via Viber Out. When traveling abroad I use Viber as the most convenient and inexpensive way to communicate:

— Hello. I’m in Riga, in the Old Town. Where was Sherlock Holmes filmed?
— What street are you on now?
— Jauniela, house 22
— So you are standing right in front of the house where Sherlock Holmes “lived”. Club!

Jauniela Street, by the way, 240 steps from end to end. And where is Holmes’s house?

— I don’t see anything, no sign. Nothing like England.
— And you won’t see it. The film was shot in 1979, and in more than 38 years everything has changed there. A cafe was built there, which completely blocked the entrance to the apartment on “street 221B”. There is nothing left of Holmes there anymore.

So after all, I’m not a dumbass. Okay, if I can’t take a selfie with Sherlock Holmes, I’ll at least send a sticker to a friend via Viber. Viber has a large collection of sticker packs on various topics, including cinema.

TIP! To communicate in roaming, use the Viber messenger. A call from Latvia cost me 7 rubles. And if I called at the rate of my operator, then it would be 200 rubles

5 Travel Tips You'll Definitely Want to Share

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