Archive for August, 2012
There are some very comprehensive rules protecting European citizens when they travel around Europe. If the airlines fail to comply with these rules, they will be prosecuted and heavy fines are payable. So it’s in your interests to know your rights. Let’s start with the not uncommon situation of overbooked flights. You have paid for your ticket, you told the airline you were coming, and you present yourself at the airport on time only to find there are too many bodies waiting to get on the same flight. If this happens to you, the airline must first call for volunteers to give up their seats in return for agreed compensation. But suppose no one volunteers. Well, the choice falls to you.
If you decide not to travel, you are entitled to a full refund and compensation of up to 600 Euro. The actual amount varies depending on how long the intended flight and how many miles. But if it will still be worth traveling onward, you are entitled to be booked on to the first available flight to your destination. If you are offered a seat upgrade, the airline cannot ask you for the difference in price. If you must now break your journey and catch a connecting flight, all expenses must be met. Food and accommodation may also be necessary. Should the only available seats be in a lower class, you are entitled to a refund of the difference in ticket price.
As soon as independence begins to assert itself, parents have a choice to make. When it comes to food, there should be no negotiation. Children should eat what they are given. If you begin bargaining over what can or cannot be eaten, or resort to bribery to get healthy greens eaten, the slippery slope is encouraging your children to turn every meal into a battleground. While this is less of a problem at home, the moment you get into a public eating area, this empowers the children. They know you don’t get to shout at them. All punishments are in the future. So they get to play up. To reduce the problems, ask the company supplying your cheap car rental whether there are food guides for traveling with toddlers and young children in that area. If none are available, do your internet research before you set off. It’s fatal to assume diners will be child-friendly.
You should be looking for places that allow families to eat together, and have the furniture to make this possible. You also want small portions of nutritious food. For future reference, if children get too used to eating large portions from the early years, this becomes a very difficult habit break should they become overweight. If you find other children eating calmly, this is a great boost because it generates peer pressure for your picky eaters to eat their food quietly.
Some countries around the world are not open economies. For a variety of reasons, their governments have decided that money shall not flow across their borders and all transactions for goods and services shall go through a formal government department. This protects the local economy which might easily be swamped by foreign suppliers and it also shelters the value of the local currency. Governments can buy essential goods and services on the international markets using their currency reserves, and then sell on the goods at a subsidized price to their citizens. You always know when you are going to such a country because you cannot convert your US dollars before you go. You can only convert when you land in the relevant country. Equally, you cannot take any of the local currency away with you. You must either spend all you convert on local goods and services, or you must buy back US dollars as you leave – often at an unfavorable exchange rate.