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Drinking Restrictions
Use your common sense abroad as you would at home and you will avoid difficult situations arising from drinking and driving.
Even though many European dining traditions include drinking alcoholic beverages, don’t be misled: Europe takes alcohol limits for drivers very seriously. These restrictions are aimed at reminding drivers to drink responsibly. As you would at home, exercise common sense and caution: do not drink and drive.

In Europe, the Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) limit for drivers ranges from 0.02 to 0.08. Expect zero tolerance in Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and Ukraine.

The drinking age in each country varies too. To be on the safe side, carry your ID if you drink or purchase alcoholic beverages. Some countries list two legal ages: one to buy beer and wine and another to buy stronger spirits such as vodka. In some countries people under the legal drinking age are allowed to drink when dining in the company of adults.So if you do take advantage of the opportunity to sample special local drinks, just do so responsibly. Make use of all the available options to return to your hotel: avoid driving, relax, and hop into a taxi or take public transport

Going To Europe
If you need some information about taking your animals with you look at this link DEFRA this site will also give you some information on what you can and what you can not bring in and out of the country . Passport information can be found here at the PASSPORT OFFICE . For anyone who is worried about health problems whilst abroad take a look at this site Health Advice For Travellers you should find all the relevant information there regarding forms you need to take with you .If you know that you will need treatment like blood tests for example whilst abroad form E111 will not cover you and you will need form E112 to get that read here.What if it all goes wrong look here for some advice .
E-Mail Yourself - send yourself an e-mail with all your passport numbers, credit card details etc. - if bad luck strikes at least you may be able to access your details easily. Use a yahoo or hotmail account which is easily accessible wherever you are.
Tobacco And Wine Shops often use a generous exchange rate when working out the Sterling CASH price, so do take plenty of sterling cash when buying tobacco to get the best prices. Whilst you can pay by credit card, bear in mind that the price that shows on your statement will be about 7% more than the sterling prices listed in the shop.



Bank & Public Holidays
European countries have many public holidays; while that may limit some sightseeing and shopping, it also means there are numerous festivals and unique local entertainment to enjoy!
Check the local holidays in the countries you plan to visit as you might be in for a great treat if you plan well; processions, parades and other public celebrations are a wonderful way to learn about a culture. Some of the holidays are religious, such as Christmas and Easter, while others celebrate local traditions or are national public holidays. You will also want to have this information in case it limits your plans for that day. Museums, attractions, and transport may be closed or working on a reduced, holiday schedule. Essentially, banks and corporate offices close on national holidays, although some shops and restaurants stay open.

Among the holidays celebrated in Europe are:

New Year’s Day (January 1).
Epiphany (January 6)
Easter (varies in late March or April)
Labour Day (May 1),
Assumption (August 15),
All Saint's Day (November 1),
Christmas (December 25),
Boxing Day/St. Stephen’s Day (December 26)

Other well-known celebrations that attract large crowds and may impact your travel plans are Venice’s Carnevale in February and Munich’s fall Oktoberfest , to name just two.

Europeans tend to take their longest vacation during the months of July and August. For tourists this can be a distinct advantage as the cities are less congested. However, some museums and businesses may curtail their opening hours during this period. It pays to check schedules in advance of your trip – check each country’s page for more detailed information on public holidays.

Taking your Pet to Europe

Your Pet In Europe Beware

Warning Pet passports lead to surge in dogs dying from foreign diseases

A growing number of British pets are catching deadly diseases on foreign holidays as more animals travel with their owners on the "pets' passports" scheme introduced four years ago.The School of Tropical Medicine in Liverpool said that reported cases of some animal diseases picked up on holiday had doubled since 2002.Last year 37 pet dogs - almost half of the 84 tested at the school - were found to have leishmaniasis, an incurable disease passed on by sandflies in Mediterranean countries.The figure is more than double the 17 dogs that caught the disease on holidays in 2002. Symptoms include weight loss, eye disease and kidney failure.Other diseases that have shown increases of about 100 per cent include babesiosis and ehrlichiosis - blood diseases spread by ticks - and heartworm, a parasite passed on by mosquitoes.Brian and Jean Coleman, from Tyneside, were shocked and heartbroken when Hamie, their much-loved West Highland White terrier, died after contracting babesiosis when they were on holiday recently in south-west France."He was only 16 months old and had brought so much joy into our lives," said Mr Coleman, 55, a retired teacher.Hamie was "perfectly fit and healthy" last month when the Colemans left to spend the Easter holidays at their cottage in the Dordogne.The dog became seriously ill, however, shortly after the family returned home to South Shields and, after developing distressing symptoms, was taken to a vet and put on a respirator."We knew Hamie couldn't go on like that and that we had to tell the vet to stop the respirator," Mr Coleman said."It was awful. I never thought we would lose our little friend in such a terrible way. We were shattered by his death."Vets estimate that about 300 dogs nationally were known to have caught diseases abroad last year. They fear that many more cases go undiagnosed or unreported.As millions of Britons prepare to fly abroad for their summer holidays, Dr Jackie Barber - a veterinary parasitologist - warned pet owners that they should be aware of the risks."It is heartbreaking for owners when their pets catch these diseases and, in many cases, die. People must realise that it is a very real threat."Babesiosis, which has claimed the lives of at least two dogs since the Easter holidays, can kill pets within days, while other diseases have incubation periods of months or years.Dr Susan Shaw, a senior lecturer in veterinary science at Bristol university, said: "Animals have no immunity to the infections and there are no vaccinations. It is crucial that pet owners use preventative measures, such as repellents to stop the insects biting and spreading the disease."The situation is made worse by the fact that many British vets are unfamiliar with the diseases. Most vets refer the pets to tropical medicine schools, sending blood samples for analysis.Doctors fear that the diseases could be passed on to other animals back in Britain - and possibly to humans, although there is no evidence that this has happened.Most of the exotic diseases are picked up on beaches and in woods and gardens in Mediterranean countries including France, Spain, Italy and Greece.Dr Barber said: "We don't associate Europe with tropical diseases in humans, but for animals it is as if they were travelling to somewhere like Africa."The School of Tropical Medicine, which mainly treats human diseases but works closely with Liverpool University's veterinary department, has set up a diagnostic scheme, Testapet, to help vets to detect the exotic diseases.The Government's passport for pets scheme was set up in 2000 to allow animals to travel to Europe when their owners went on holiday. The scheme has been extended to cover North America and up to 150,000 pets are expected to travel abroad this year.Sandy Trees, a professor of veterinary parasitology at Liverpool University, said that owners should ask themselves whether they really needed to take their pets abroad.A spokesman for the British Small Animals Veterinary Association said: "It is vital that pets are checked as soon as they come back to Britain if they show any signs of sickness."British dogs are particularly susceptible to babesiosis because, having never encountered the disease, they have no resistance to it and can die within days of the symptoms appearing."I'd never heard of it and I was shocked when I did some research into it," Mr Coleman said. "If we had known about this we would never have taken Hamie to France."I hope our terrible experience can serve as a warning to other pet owners: if you are thinking of taking your dog abroad, don't."

My advice is to read this and form your own judgement .

Cite - Europe

The Development includes a Carrefour hypermarket along with such familiar names as Tesco, The Body Shop, Victoria Wine, Toys 'R' Us and Benetton. And when you fancy a break from shopping, you'll be spoilt for choice, with 30 places to eat and drink, ranging from the John Bull Pub to the Pessenet Champagne bar and that old favourite, McDonald's.

Before you go get covered for all events

European health card

 LPG in France

Passport Offices

Speed Cameras

Road Tolls


Suomen Tivoli
Hansa Park
Universal Mediterrana
Disneyland Paris
Santa World Tivoliland

Europa Park
Park Asterix

Alcohol or tobacco

If you are bringing in alcohol or tobacco goods and we have reason to suspect they may be for a commercial purpose, a Customs officer may ask you questions and make checks, for example about:the type and quantity of goods you have bought why you bought them how you paid for them whether all your goods are openly displayed or concealed
how often you travel
how much you normally smoke or drink or
any other relevant circumstances.
You are particularly likely to be asked questions if you have more than:3200 cigarettes, 200 cigars, 400 cigarillos, 3kg tobacco, 110 litres of beer, 90 litres of wine, 10 litres of spirits, 20 litres of fortified wine (such as port or sherry).The officer will take into account all the factors of the situation and your explanation.If we are satisfied that the goods are for a commercial purpose we may seize them and any vehicle used to transport them, and may not return them to you.If you are caught selling alcohol or tobacco goods they may be seized, and for a serious offence you could get up to seven years in prison.The country where you buy tobacco goods may have its own laws on how much you can buy or have in your possession, and what documents you need. If in doubt, check with that country’s authorities before you buy.If you let a coach, ferry or aircraft store your goods while travelling back to the UK you must make sure when you arrive in the UK that you collect the exact goods you bought.From some EU countries there are limits on the amount of tobacco products you can bring back without paying UK duty.From ESTONIA - 200 cigarettes or 250g of smoking tobacco*From BULGARIA, CZECH REPUBLIC, HUNGARY, LATVIA, LITHUANIA, POLAND, ROMANIA OR SLOVAKIA - 200 cigarettes**No limit on other tobacco products as long as they are for your own use.If you have tobacco products over these limits you should speak to a Customs officer in the red channel or on the red point phone.