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Holiday plans...advice, hints and tips!

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by phongus, Sep 13, 2012.

  1. Hello everyone

    Sorry in advance to the awesome moderators if this is in the wrong section and the bloody long post that follows.

    I am planning a trip to Europe for mid 2013 and was hoping to get some advice from those in the know. For now, it will just be myself traveling, so pretty flexible with things to do, except for the wedding I have to attend on the 22nd of June in Germany. I have at least 4 weeks but I am hoping to stretch it to 6 weeks but see how work goes.

    Anyways, considering the time of year, I will be exposed to a lot of good weather while venturing the continent so pretty open to a lot of entertainment.

    The one thing which I am hoping to do as part of my travels, is to experience the prestigious motorcycle racing event known as the Isle of Man TT. After a quick google the event is scheduled between 25th of May till 7th of June. I won't be there for the full event, but at least the last 3 or 4 days of racing before sight seeing around UK for a week or so. I had a look accommodation options, hotels/motels/B&Bs as well as camping and Homestay scheme (run by the government). If someone could pass on their knowledge and experience on accommodation during the IoMTT that would be greatly appreciated!

    Transportation I have a few in mind, first is to buy a motorcycle or car to get around. If I buy a motorcycle, I can fix it myself if it dies and I can sell it in other countries, car would require me to return to UK to try and sell off. I hear hiring is pretty cheap, but not sure if it would be cheap over a 1 month period. Do they offer cheaper rates if you say "deliver" the car between company stores? (one Hertz outlet to another across the continent). I have never rented before so I am not sure if it would be worth while to rent or buy. If not, it'll be Taxi and PT all the way...but this may reduce flexibility.

    For the rest of Europe after UK, I would probably travel through France, Switzerland, Austria, Czech Republic, Germany (for the wedding) then over to Netherlands to visit more family. Will probably go to Macedonia to meet up with some mates who are on holidays before heading back to Australia. This is assuming I have my own vehicle to travel with...if not, I will have to rethink my steps with the use of PT.

    From IoMTT- till the wedding date, I will have 2.5 weeks spare to travel, so not sure if I can squeeze all of the above in, but would like to :). Then another week or 2 after the wedding.

    Any other advice on transportation? Any places worth going through to have a geezer? Happy to take any opinions, advice that is thrown my way.

  2. You lucky stiff!! By any means possible, go to the IoM, and also check and see if any of the Irish road races, NorthWest 200, etc is on around the same time.

    If you get a chance to go to see Spa in Belgium, for ANY race, go see it, and see if you get a chance to do a lap or two around Nurburgring......
  3. Thanks hornet. I was thinking the Nurburgring, but if it's a rental car...no chance. If I buy a motorcycle, now that would be a hoot!
  4. You can buy a bike and ride. Insurance is the killer and it is a must have.
    Hitching or trains is the cheapest most desirable option.
    Cars are ok on the wrong side of the road...it takes a little more thought on a bike....no wheel.
    Kitzbuel is a hoot in Austria. Even in the summer...actually lots of fun.
    Salzburg is pretty..and every shop plays the sound of music or was where Motzart was born or shopped.

    Myself I love Italy. The know how to have fun.
    Prague is an amazing city, Great architecture.... with some very hot woman.
    Hamburg has the hottest hookers of any city I have been in
  5. Ditto Prague.
    Northern Italy, the Alps, and the lakes near Como. Amazing.
  6. Thanks for your input. I am putting some ideas together and so far, for the least amount of stress, would be to catch bus/train between countries. Something like a EuroRail pass or something, but during my stay in the UK for the IoM, I will most likely hire a car/bike to sight see.
  7. Just thought I'd update for those who may be interested of what I am going through in organizing this trip on my own, rather than through an agency (such as Regency Travel who are the travel agency for TT2013).

    Firstly airfares are self explanatory. I bought my tickets with a cheap departure ticket to London, however the flight home was on the expensive side. This is due to early bird specials for May flights and new releases for July...so was stuck in the middle. I'm sure prices will fluctuate but I bloody hope the prices don't drop to 50% of what I paid!

    To get to the island you can catch a ferry or fly. I am going to go the ferry way...prices do seem a bit expensive (something like $190 return), however that's nothing compared to the price I paid to get there so no harm. Supposedly there is plenty of tickets to the ferry if you're on foot so not too worried about that one.

    Tickets to IoM-TT. There are grandstand tickets and VIP tickets. Grandstand tickets started from 5 quid for practice week and 35 quid for race week. Unfortunately due to my spontaneous planning of going to the IoM-TT, the grandstand tickets were all sold out by the time I knew what was going on. So buy them early! VIP tickets are still to be released but according to Regency Travel, VIP tickets start from 312 quid...so that's about $500 after exchange rates :( . Which is bloody expensive and I believe it is only for ONE day...rather than 2 or 3, but I am not 100% sure on that. Have sent an email, however never got a reply, so I assume they are quite busy! Still contemplating on buying a VIP or not...seems a bit excessive for one day when you can watch for free. $500 is a lot of booze at the local pub.

    Currently working on my accommodation with the "Homestay" option. Since it is the cheapest and most flexible, but in all honesty it was because all motels/hotels/B&Bs have been booked out :facepalm:. Spontaneous holiday to a very famous event...not a good idea unless you want to sleep on a park bench! Anyways, how Homestay works is by having private home owners renting as many rooms as they can to anyone willing to pay for it. They register their homes to be part of Homestay and have their property up on the market during the event. Since they are privately owned homes, some will register early or some last minute so you have to keep watching the accommodation screen every day for anything new and available. So it is a slow process, however a very nice system. Average prices start from 35 quid a night for single rooms.

    To get around the island, you can get an unlimited 3, 5, or 7 day transport pass allowing you to get on and off any tram, train or bus during the event. So I'll be getting a 5 day pass for 35 quid I believe (can't find the webpage bah!) which seems reasonable enough!

    So once I have my accommodation set I am pretty much set for the first week of Europe. So excited!
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. Looks like my accommodation is set! 25GBP per night for 4 nights with my own bedroom :D. Sharing shower/toilets but I'm not complaining at that price!
  9. Update for those who may be interested...and to rub it in more :p.

    IoM is all booked up. I ended up changing my dates, so will be at IoM from 2nd till 6th of June, where racing dates are 3rd and 5th of June. This gives me more time to explore rest of Europe :). Bought a FanZone ticket which they released recently for ~$45 (27.50GBP) seated at the competitors return road...cost was originally 20GBP, but they slugged me with an international delivery fee of 7.50GBP! Slowly sinking in that I will be there in just over 3 months!

    Once all that was done, I looked through dates and possible destinations after IoM. After some quick googling...MotoGP Catalunya came up as a winner, so yes please to that. 2 motorcycle racing events in one trip...boo ya!

    Now here is a question for those who have been or in the know...what grandstand is the best at Catalunya?

    With a large variety of grandstands available, I wasn't sure what would be a good location. For those who don't know the layout, refer to the MotoGP website here.

    I was thinking grandstand "I", "G" or "C" according to the map. At those seats, I am hoping to see pretty much the whole end of the race. Main grandstand D is also an option, although I won't be able to see them very much zooming past at full throttle.

    What say you?

  10. I to am attending this years IoM!
    While bike hire would be nice, I am keeping it simple before a Japan trip.
    Camping is the option I chose, good way to have an adventure.

    Any other netriders going?
  11. Will you be there for the whole week?

    Going to be an adventure just being there, 79 days and counting!
  12. perhaps you could invest some time in downloading a small series called scam city if i recall correctly...it's a bloke going around and essentially being scammed then going back an talking to the scammers after assuring them he won't talk to the police...the bigger european countries i presume to not be much of an issue but if you plan on straying from the normal tourists path it might give you a few things to look out for
  13. Land on the 2nd, depart on the 9th.
    IoM netrider group walk?
  14. NR represent!

    Looks like we land at the same time. I'm catching the 6:15AM ferry over to Douglas from Liverpool and depart by plane to Manchester, early morning 6th.
  15. Thread revival!

    Anyone else going?
    Suggestions of a NR luncheon?

    I am currently loitering in the Singapore airport so standing by.
  16. Take Some pics guys. :)