Amsterdam Travel Guide
Passports are required for all American citizens traveling outside of the United States. It typically takes 6-8 weeks for you to receive your passport once it has been applied for. This is, however, by no means a guarantee so the sooner you apply the better. If you do not have a valid passport DO NOT WAIT! You can apply for your passport by going to your local post office, a passport agency or online at www.travel.state.gov.
Prague is 6 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time. To familiarize yourself with the time difference between your destination and home city please visit www.timeanddate.com.
Exchange rates fluctuate frequently. To find out the rate of exchange between the American dollar and Euro, visit an exchange rate website like www.xe.com.
When packing you may want to take into consideration the weather during your trip. Visit www.weather.com for an up-to-date forecast.
FLIGHTS, AIRPORT & LUGGAGE:
You will receive a finalized information packet that includes flight itineraries roughly three weeks before departure. You may receive an e-ticket. This means you will need to take your passport to the ticket counter to get your paper ticket(s) when you check your bags.
We recommend arriving at the airport 3 hours before the flight is scheduled to depart.
When traveling internationally, you are typically allowed two checked pieces of luggage, one carry–on item and one personal item.
June 25 - July 2, 2018
This refers to bags or suitcases too large to fit in the overhead compartments above passenger seats in the body of the plane. Each piece should be roughly 62 in. (length x height x width) and 50 lbs. or less in weight.
This refers to luggage that is small enough to carry onto the plane and store in the overhead compartments. This item should be roughly 45 in. (length x height x width) and 40 lbs. or less in weight.
This refers to a piece of luggage, typically smaller than your carry–on (purse, sack, backpack, etc.) that can be kept with you while you are on the plane. Your personal item must be small enough to fit under the seat in front of you.
Check with your carrier(s) before your departure to see if they have their own, more stringent, guidelines. Also, be sure to keep a little extra room in your bags, just in case you're over weight in one and need to transfer items to another. A fee is charged for all overweight bags, as well as luggage you check in addition to the two you are allowed. These fees are not covered by XCEL Lacrosse.
We ask all team members to wear one of the XCEL Lacrosse shirts they will receive with their travel information so that the tour leader, coaches and other group members can identify one another in the airport and once they arrive.
WHAT TO PACK:
Adapters - North America works on 110 Volts and Europe works on 220 Volts. What this means is that there is simply more power flying out of the outlets in Europe than North American appliances are used to. You will therefore need an adapter, called a step-down transformer, to use your North American appliances.
Cash - It always a good idea to have some cash on hand. It is accepted everywhere, and you never know when you will run into a vendor or taxi driver that accepts nothing else. There is a fee to exchange American dollars for foreign currency. You can choose to exchange your money before you leave, however it is not necessary since there are a number of currency exchanges in the countries once we arrive. Often times they charge a smaller fee than in the United States.
Debit/Credit Cards - Cards are extremely helpful because they give you up-to-the-minute exchange rates at the time of purchase. The drawback for this option is that they are not accepted everywhere and most debit cards will charge a small transaction fee for their use. The most commonly accepted form of card is VISA.
Travelers Checks - These are very secure but EXTREMELY problematic when trying to cash or use for purchases. Most vendors do not accept them and many banks will not cash them. We strongly discourage athletes from bringing these with them.
We suggest you bring a combination of cash and debit/credit cards to be used at your own discretion.
PHONE & INTERNET:
International calling can be expensive. For those wishing to save as much as possible while still keeping their friends and family in the loop, we suggest using a phone card and calling from a pay phone. Pay phones charge their fee for use. However, once you're connected your only expense is what you've paid for your calling card. Stay away from using hotel room phones if at all possible. They typically charge a very expensive price for the connection fee and airtime, especially if you don't have a calling card. Many cards for sale in the United States advertise their use as international, but this typically refers to calls made from the U.S. to countries abroad, not from those countries to the U.S. You will get a lot more minutes for your money if the card is purchased in the country the calls are going to originate from.
Cell phones - If you plan to bring your cell phone make sure you check with your provider to find out what your international calling options are and exactly what the international calling fee is. Internet
Internet is available at the hotel or at Internet cafes. Internet time may need to be purchased and the cost varies depending on the country, but it is usually a more cost-effective alternative to phone time. You typically purchase set blocks of time that begin and end with the user logging on and off. A select number of places may also allow you to buy unlimited access within a 24-hour time period.