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I'm traveling to Mantova, Italy this weekend to attend the literature festival and I cannot find any accommodation. Inexpensive accommodation is fully booked and/or too far from the city center. I have also tried Airbnb and CouchSurfing with no luck. I am currently considering spending the night roaming around, but it would be nice if there was some place that stays open all night (like a bookstore, diner, etc) (manga kissa in Mantova anyone? :-)) where I can spend some time recharging the laptop, rest the legs, sip some coffee. The place should be in downtown Mantova. I'd rather avoid pubs or disco, but I would consider them as a last resort. Anyone know of such a place?

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I am applying for a Schengen visa to travel to Germany and one of the requirements is showing proof of accommodation. I booked all my hostels via hostelworld. com, but only paid the non-refundable deposit (a couple of dollars for each place) instead of the entire amount. I intend to pay the rest of it on arrival at the hostel (or cancel it and go CouchSurfing, thus saving money). But for the visa application, will the non-refundable deposit be enough to show proof of accommodation? The reason I ask is, I emailed one of the hostels requesting a document showing my name and accommodation confirmation, and they replied saying they could only give me such a document once I pay in FULL.

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My friends and I are traveling to Europe, and I'll be going to the German Consulate in San Francisco to obtain my visa. One of the documents required is proof of hotel reservation. Can someone explain what this means? We booked hostels via hostelworld and some of these were booked by my friend. All I have is an email forwarded by her to me, saying "Dear X (my friend's name), Your hostel booking has been confirmed for 5 people...". Does this constitute proof of hostel booking? The email confirmation doesn't even have names of any of the rest of us. Also, how would Airbnb or CouchSurfing reservations work?

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We are wandering around the Netherlands (on foot, hitchhiking, and by bicycle). We aren't sleeping in campsites, but just putting our tent anywhere "in the bush". We are used to travelling this way in southern Europe but in the Netherlands we have trouble finding water (public water tap, public WC / street fountain) so we could get water for showering / laundry / cooking. Until now we have only found water taps in cemeteries which are not the best place to shower (especially in a "remote" conservation area!).

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We see a lot of questions about How much does it cost to spend X days in Y city? These questions always get closed, as there is such a range of lifestyles, and one could potentially stay in a 5-star hotel, and dine out every meal, or use CouchSurfing and eat ramen noodles, or anything in between. So for this question, I'm not asking how much it will cost to stay in a particular city, but rather I'm interested in determining the relative cost of staying in a city -particularly food, lodging and public transportation costs. In the US, comparing the GSA Per Diem rates can serve as a good indicator of what one might expect to spend.

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I plan to visit Europe for the first time in March and since the cheapest tickets (non-direct) usually involve a layover in Iceland, I decided to spend a week in Iceland, before continuing to mainland Europe (Spain and beyond). I'm still in the process of figuring out my itinerary within mainland Europe, but I plan to stay in Schengen Area for about 2-2½ months, then take a train to the UK, and then finally return home. I know that as an American I can enter the Schengen Area visa-free for 90 days, every six months.

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I have spent the weekend considering flying to northern Sweden tomorrow to see the aurora borealis. I live in the US. I have never to Europe or anywhere else outside of mainland North America. The things I've thought of to take into account: a lot of very warm clothing given the climate I would be heading for. I'll have to exchange my money somehow, somewhere. Not sure if my US Visa debit card works in Sweden, but by all accounts it should. I plan on checking with my bank in the morning. My Verizon phone won't work. I'll need to get a disposable phone there. Need to find hostels or couch surf. This is everything that's come to mind so far.

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I am a citizen of the Philippines currently living in USA with a green card. I have a ticket to the Philippines with a layover of over 15 hours in Japan. With my status can I go outside the airport and do some touring or something like that, or am I stuck inside? Because I know Korea has a layover that offers free touring.

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I'm worried about 3G coverage because I am traveling all over Indonesia. That is: Sumatra, Java, Bali, Lombok, Sulawesi & Komodo.

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There's an urban myth / story that you can see the tower from Norah head. One website claims to have a photo of it but it's hard to know if it's photoshopped and the comments certainly seem to argue it. Can anyone find scientific or irrefutable proof that it's possible, save me driving out there on the next clear Saturday and trying myself?

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