Q. Due to the current state of Greece’s economy, do you have any travel advice for me and any others planning a trip to the Greek Islands this summer?
Jen, via email
With tourists anxious about the effect of the financial crisis and with locals taking fewer holidays during this time of austerity, beaches and attractions will be quieter. You will also find that businesses will be welcoming visitors with open arms and with the pound strong against the euro, Greece represents good value for money. Be aware that there is an increased risk of strike action within the country affecting tourist services such as flights and transport. Protests have taken place in Syntagma Square in central Athens, but as you are visiting the islands, you should be fine.
Ensure you have a good travel insurance policy (that includes supplier failure cover) and keep abreast of local news. If you have booked a package, the operator has a duty of care for its customers all elements of your trip (transfers etc) are their responsibility.
Alternatively, book your trip on a credit card as you are covered by the Consumer Credit Act if you spend more £100. It is also sensible to take small denominations of euro as if Greece does leave the Eurozone, these may be easier to convert. Also, don’t rely on your credit or debit card for emergencies as electronic banking may suffer during a financial crisis, meaning having some emergency cash is a good idea.
Q. I’m planning on visiting the Romantic Road by flying into Frankfurt and flying out of Munich over four days. I want a day in Innsbruck, as well as visit Lichtenstein. Does this sound reasonable?
Shelly, via email
It would be incredibly rushed. You will find that you won’t be able to make the most of the route in this time if you are trying to cram in a number of other places which aren’t en route. My advice would be to concentrate on the Romantic Road itself.
Fly in to Frankfurt and pick up a hire car. Drive just over an hour south-east, to the start of the Romantic Road at Würzberg.
It is worth pausing here as this laidback student town is a pleasant spot on the Main River. From here, continue south to the tourist hub of the route, Rothenburg ob der Tauber. It is best to stay overnight, to be able to enjoy the town once all of the daytrippers have gone. Stay at the Hotel Raidel, complete with 500-year-old beams (romanticroad.com/raidel) – a single room with private bathroom is less than £40.
Make sure your trip includes the castles of Ludwig II near Füssen. Neuschwanstein Castle is said to be the inspiration for Disney’s castle and the adjacent Hohenschwangau Castle can both be visited on a guided tour from the ticket centre (£18.50) but be sure to get there early. From here, it’s a two-and-half-hour train trip to Munich for your flight home.
Lonely Planet’s Laura Lindsay will give you the benefit of her infinite wisdom if you email a question to email@example.com. If your question is answered, you’ll win a Lonely Planet guide of your choice.