Greece/Turkey Study Tour 2006

Trip Information for the Greece Turkey Trip Summer 2006 sponsored by Lee University. See Frequently Asked Questions Below for dates, places, prices, etc

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Important Travel Tips Important Please Read This

The Large Roman Theater at Pergamum, Turkey

Hello Everyone

We are now just 3 weeks away from departure on a once in lifetime experience. I hope you are getting excited and also beginning to get ready.

I found out today that finally everyone has received their passports. This is good news. It may seem strange to you that I am so concerned about your passports but this is the most important document for your trip.

PLEASE REMEMBER TO BRING YOUR PASSPORT WITH YOU TO THE AIRPORT, you will not be allowed to board the plane with out your passport. You should probably also bring along your drivers license or another picture id just in case.

Some important reminders:

1. Pack lightly; Bring only one suitcase to check in and only one carry-on bag. You can also carry on a camera bag or purse. Remember this trip is not a fashion show, bring clothes that are comfortable, cool, and easy to wash out. Remember we have to carry all of own luggage through airports and often times to and from the bus to our rooms. SO PACK LIGHTLY!!! Plan on wearing the same clothes several times on the trip. Leave room in your bags for items you buy to bring home.

2. Washing clothes: You will want to pack a few plastic hangers, a nylon line and clothes pins. Plan on washing out your shirts, socks, and underwear each evening and hang them to dry over night in your room. You will especially want to wash on days we are staying more than one night in a hotel. You should bring a small bottle of liquid soap for your clothes. Remember use very little soap in the sink because the soap is very concentrated and will be hard to rinse out if you use too much. Laundry service in the hotels will be very expensive and often times we will not be staying long enough to get your clothes returned to you. You can count on NOT FINDING any Laundromats in Greece and Turkey. So I suggest bring light clothes, cotton pants and shirts that dry quickly. Jeans take a long time to dry and seldom will dry overnight. You will also want to bring a plastic bag to put dirty clothes in.

3. Shoes: I recommend comfortable and sturdy shoes. Remember we will be doing a great deal of walking on this trip. I hope you have been preparing by getting some exercise, if you have not start now! You will want shoes with solid soles and good support for rocky paths and climbing hills. Bring a few band-aids, anti-biotic cream and moleskin in case you get a blister which can be quite painful. You will want to bring about 2 or 3 pairs of shoes. One pair for walking and a pair of sandals or flip-flops for the evening. It is good to be able to changes shoes in the evening.

4. Attire: You should err on the side of modesty. Remember when we are in Turkey we will be in a country that is primarily Muslim. While Turkey is not as strict about dress as many Muslim countries you will want to wear modest clothing so we do not offend anyone. So I will would recommend that you do not wear shorts while we touring in Turkey. You might bring a pair along for the hotel. Be sure to pack swimming clothes for the hotel pools. You should also avoid tank tops. Capri pants or any pants that go below the knee are fine. When we enter mosques you must have your shoulders covered and if you do not you will be asked to wear a shawl which the mosque provide. You might want to bring one set of nice clothes for special occasions in the evening. Please DO NOT bring clothing that has English words, logos or symbols, such as college names and sports teams, or any clothes which had US flags or logos with the words USA or America. We should as much as possible attempt to NOT draw attention to ourselves nor obviously identify ourselves as Americans. You should bring at least one long sleeve shirt or light jacket for evenings, air conditioning, or if you get sun burnt to protect you.

5. Medicine & shots: There are no special shots required to visit Greece and Turkey. But you should be sure as always that your normal shots are up to date especially Tetanus. If you have special health concerns please consult your physician.

You should bring enough medication with you for the trip. Do not count on finding it in Greece and Turkey. If you bring any medication with you must leave it the original container so it can be identified and verified as a legal drug.

6. Insurance:
Remember that this includes 2 types of insurance

A. Health insurance.

I believe Lee U has required you to purchase trip health insurance. If you have other health insurance coverage it might work overseas. You should check with your insurance agent or work place about your health insurance. Many plans do not cover foreign travel and locations.

B. Trip Insurance:
This covers you if your travel is interrupted for any reason

I do not endorse any particular travel insurance but some students on past trips have used.

Others have used

I have never purchased trip insurance but the above might be options you could consider.

7. Telephones: Your home cell phone will not work in Greece and Turkey so there is no use bringing it. Phone calls from overseas to home from the hotels are very expensive and they will be added to your bill and you will be expected to pay them before we check out. Any calls you make are your responsibility. I would recommend that if you do call home, call and give them your phone number and room number and let them call you back. The cost will be much cheaper overall for this type of service. You can also purchase a calling card in Greece and Turkey. Your home calling cards will probably not work in Turkey.

8. Internet Cafes: Turkey has some internet cafes but the connections can be slow and unreliable. We will try to find internet access when possible but do not count on good internet access.

9. Sun protection: You should bring plenty of sunscreen with you. I also recommend a good hat and sunglasses. We will be out in the sun for several hours each day.

10. Temperatures: You can expect sunny and warm to hot weather with the temperatures reaching 85-95 degrees in the daytime. In the evening temperatures usually cool down to the 70's. We should not encounter much rain on our trip.

11. Electrical Concerns: If you bring electrical devices such as battery chargers, blow driers, etc. You should make sure your device is capable of 220 volts if not you will need a voltage converter. You can find these at Wal-Mart and Radio Shack. You must check the voltage load of these devices to be sure they can handle high demand items like blow-dryers and curling irons. Many electronic devices are now equipped with a switch for 110 to 220 volts and many will automatically change for the other voltage. You will need also a plug adapter to switch from our US style plugs to the Greek and Turkish style plugs. These are also available where they sell the voltage converters often in a set of plugs. They use a 2 pin plug much like most of Europe in Turkey.

12. Money: You need to remember that we have tried to include as many fees as possible in the trip price. However you will be responsible for your lunches and your drinks throughout the trip. Of course you will want to buy a few items to take home with you. Turkey is not an expensive country however Greece is more expensive and remember we will be gone for 2 weeks. If you eat local food (that is not McDonalds and other American food) it should not be expensive to eat lunch. You should count on about $10-15/day for drinks and lunch which would be about $160-$240 for the trip. Also money for gifts and some money for some entrances and events that we did not budget into the trip. So I think about $500 should be enough to bring depending on what you plan to buy.

Remember to bring this money in US bills, I recommend that you DO NOT bring it in TRAVELERS Checks. Travelers checks are usually difficult to cash and normally have a poor exchange rate and extra fees are attached for cashing them. I would bring no bill over $50 and probably us should bring mostly $20's and smaller. We will try to find an exchange place soon after we arrive. Remember there are some ATM's in Greece and Turkey and you can get cash advances on credit cards at local banks. You can also use credit cards to pay for items at hotels and many gift shops.

Dealing with the foreign money can be confusing so be careful. In Greece they are now on the Euro. Today 1 Euro is equal to about $1.29, so if something costs 10 Euro that is about $12.85. So you will need to keep that in mind as you buy and pay for things your US dollars might not go as far as you think

In Turkey they have recently revised their money and now have the Turkish New Lira so as of today 1 Turkish New Lira = 67 cents so 10 Turkish New Lira = $6.65

Do not put all of your money in one spot and only pull out one or 2 bills at a time or you might lose some of your money.

You should plan to carry on you at all times your money and your passport everyday all day. You should plan someway to make it difficult for anyone to pickpocket you or steal your money or passport. You do not want to leave these things in your room on the bus. You can buy special pouches or belts or other means to secure your money, credit cards and passport.

13. Film & Photography: You should plan to bring a camera with you. If you bring a regular camera be sure to bring plenty of film with you because buying film in Greece and Turkey can expensive and some types of film are not easy to find. So estimate how much film you will use and then bring extra film with you. Plan on hand caring your film with you. Be sure to check your camera's battery and bring an extra battery with you just in case.

Digital Photographers should plan on bringing extra batteries and a 220 adaptable battery charger with a plug converter. You also should remember that you will need to store all of your pictures someway. So bring extra memory sticks. You could bring your computer but remember it will difficult to carry it with you and keep it secure. So I do not recommend bringing your laptops with you.

Also remember many museums do not allow flash photography and some charge extra fees for a photo pass. Some places do not allow video recorders.

13. Water: You should plan on drinking a great deal of water. Dehydration is the main reason trip participants get sick on our tours. Drink more water than you ever have before. You can not drink too much water. If you wait until you are thirsty to drink you have waited too long. We will buy bottle water in Greece and Turkey from local stores when possible. To keep your self healthy drink plenty of water and avoid tap water, when brushing your teeth and for drinking. Be sure to keep your mouth closed in the shower. You should also be careful to avoid vegetables that have been washed in local water. Some people are more sensitive than others to the local water.

14. Medicine: You should bring with you some anti-diarrhea medicine like Imodium, also some type of pain reliever and sun burn medicine, also a supply of band-aids, and anti-biotic ointment. Of course bring any special medicine that you might need as your physician requires.

15. Study Materials: Remember this is a Study Tour, You are required to keep a Daily journal which records your experiences each day.

Also bring with you books we have required for the trip.

Be sure to read these books BEFORE we arrive in Greece and Turkey so you will be prepared to make the most of this experience.

We will be having lectures along the way. So you should bring a notebook to write notes and for your journal and also some type of folder to keep your handouts in.

I will post more information on our Blog along the way. I hope to make daily postings to the log so tell your friends and relatives to check it once our trip begins.

Remember that address is:

If you have other questions or if I need to cover some other issues please let me know.

I will send more later but I am sure this is enough for now.

John Wineland


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