Mykonos! Santorini! Greece for n00b international traveler!
May 16, 2019 2:18 PM   Subscribe

Holy cats, we are leaving for Mykonos and Santorini, Greece *checks watch* TOMORROW. I'm crowdsourcing your best fun international travel tips!

I'm ridiculously giddy and looking for any international travel tips you may have. What do you wish you'd known before you traveled overseas for 10 days? How did you combat jet lag? What should I know about cell phone service/wifi? What should I worry about packing, and what should I leave at home? WHAT'S THE WORLD'S BEST SUNSCREEN. All advice gratefully accepted.

Extra bonus points if you know where to watch the Game of Thrones finale!
posted by Space Kitty to Travel & Transportation around Greece (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
You will love Mykonos and Santorini! They are seriously stunning. The main thing I can think of is that this is a hot, dry climate and loose, long-sleeved garments are better, both for skin coverage and cooling. When I went there I ended up buying one of those ubiquitous soft linen tunics that every vendor sells and it was a very positive life choice.

The best way to combat jet lag is to sleep on the plane (I order a beverage and put on an eye mask) and do not sleep until your desired bedtime once you arrive at the location.
posted by capricorn at 2:24 PM on May 16 [4 favorites]


World's best sunscreen: from the duty free pick up Shiseido's Ultimate Sun Protection. I like to use this for the face and a cheaper high SPF one for the body.

Jet lag: I like to force myself to follow the timing of my destination from the moment I step onto the plane. Even if I can't sleep I pretend to. Then, when I arrive, I force myself to stay awake till bedtime at my destination. I travel a lot, and this helps a great deal.

Packing: one of the most liberating things I've learned about travelling a lot is that you really don't need anything other than your passport, a couple of credit cards, some cash and a pair of comfortable shoes. Everything else can be bought, there's no point stressing about it.
posted by tavegyl at 2:26 PM on May 16 [2 favorites]


Are you going to be in Athens at all? We did a great food tour with Culinary Backstreets when I was there last year.

Phone service - I have used the $10/day international package from Verizon that has worked pretty well. You might check and see if you can get a local sim card when you land which will probably be cheaper. A quick google search will give you good advice about whether this is possible or feasible.

Jetlag - Drink lots of water. I rely heavily on hydration tablets or even Emergen-C packets, and that helps a lot.
posted by something_witty at 2:27 PM on May 16 [2 favorites]


We just got back from an international trip and bought local SIM cards for about $40 each when we arrived--best decision ever. WAY easier than dealing with Verizon. Just make sure to bring an earring/safety pin so you can switch out the cards!
posted by stellaluna at 2:31 PM on May 16 [5 favorites]


In Mykonos, eat at Fato a Mano.
posted by cabingirl at 4:01 PM on May 16 [1 favorite]


In Santorini have dinner during sunset in a restaurant with a fabulous view of the caldera. You will remember it the rest of your life.
posted by Winnie the Proust at 5:25 PM on May 16 [2 favorites]


In Santorini, in addition to eating at an okay restaurant with an amazing view of the caldera (very worth it), we also ate at the fantastic Taverna Katina at the bottom of the Oia steps, a recommendation from several locals. It was delicious and surprisingly reasonable. The seafood and the view were equally memorable.

The walk down to the restaurant is also very nice, but wear good shoes and watch out for donkey poop. Many tourists take donkey rides down the steps but we had read tourism blogs urging people not to (animal cruelty), so we walked down. My friend and I both have mild arthritis and we were totally fine. We just took it slowly.

General suggestion: I always travel with a large, lightweight rectangular silk scarf, one that folds up very small for my purse. It is multipurpose: you can cover yourself with it on the airplane or in buildings with cold A/C, use it to cover up in the sun, cover your shoulders or head when you visit places of worship. If you don't have one already, you can usually buy these relatively inexpensively on arrival. Plus then it's a nice souvenir.

Have a wonderful time!
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 7:11 PM on May 16 [1 favorite]


hurdy gurdy girl: "the fantastic Taverna Katina at the bottom of the Oia steps"

Oh yes this place is very good and is a haunt for many cute stray/feral doggos that will beg for your scraps.

While we're on the subject of animals, watch out for the giant pelicans that have been adopted as the town mascots in Chora; they're terrifyingly huge and I was not prepared the first time I turned a corner into one.
posted by capricorn at 7:20 PM on May 16 [2 favorites]


I hate to be a bummer since we were in general treated very well by everyone we met in Greece but I would advise that you take common-sense cautions for personal security especially in Athens and most especially on the Metro and at crowded tourist sites. When I was last there, with a group of friends and family members, we had several members of our group who were robbed during the short period of time we spent in Athens. (I lost my wallet to pickpockets at the Athenian Acropolis, my uncle's wallet was taken by a gang who staged a fight on the metro and used the diversion to pick the pockets of the onlookers, and a female friend of my aunt and uncle had a small gold chain with a crucifix hanging from it ripped off her by someone who ran out of an alley and tore the chain from her neck, cutting her in the process.)

Have a great time but be sure you know where your personal valuables are at all times and try to make them at least somewhat difficult to get to.
posted by Nerd of the North at 11:45 PM on May 16 [1 favorite]


Neon arts is an organization that does projects here in Athens, but today they just opened a summer exhibit in Mykanos that looks like a lot of fun.
posted by perrouno at 6:56 AM on May 17 [1 favorite]


Oia on Santorini: go to Atlantis Books!
posted by Logophiliac at 8:40 AM on May 17 [1 favorite]


IT.
WAS.
GLORIOUS.
posted by Space Kitty at 12:55 PM on June 28 [3 favorites]


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