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First time to Turkey (Antalya) suitcase/hand luggage help needed please!

edited July 2011 in - Turkey

I am flying out in a couple of weeks with my husband and son and as it's out first time to Turkey, I would be really grateful if someone could tell me what we should not pack in the suitcases as I read somewhere that sun lotion needs to be in hand luggage?
We are going all inclusive and are on a tight budget now because of that expense, so cannot afford to have anything confiscated from us lol!

Any advice would be welcome - thanks so much!

Also, could you tell me how much money you think we should take for 10 days if we are all inclusive and should this be Euros or Lira? Son is only 10 so we wont be travelling further than the nearest town, but they like water sports and i like massages and boat trips. Thanks again for your help....


  • edited July 2011
    First of all all liquids and that includes sun lotion must be in your suitcase NOT your hand luggage. You can only take bottles of fluids up to 100ml in hand luggage and these must be in a small clear resealable plastic bag. I watched one poor ladies holiday sun screen be thrown away at the UK airport because she had it all in hand luggage :o(
    If youhave any medication make sure it is in original containers and if prescription the label is in your name. If you are worried your son may need Calpol or similar on the flight may be a good idea to just have a cople of sachets in the hand luggage.
    Usual things you cannot take include firearms, explosives and dangerous gases ;o)
    I try to pack a change of clothes in hand luggage in case of delay or mishaps especially when travelling with children. A good idea to pack a cool t shirt for your son so he can change when he gets here if it's hot. I always travel in layers I can shed or add according to the temperature. Planes can be cold!
    You can buy drinks etc once you have passed through security and are "airside". If you haven't booked a meal on the flight the Boots meal deal is quite economic.
    I suggest changing £100 or so to lira before travelling then bring the rest in GBP (if you're from the UK). If your home currency is Euro then bring Euro. Lots of places to change money but if at all possible avoid doing so at your hotel - they usually charge a lot!
    Lots of airlines are getting a lot stricter now with luggage and hand luggage weight but as there are 3 of you this shouldn't be a problem.
    As you are AI you really shouldn't need too much spending money but obviously depends on your plans for the holiday. Do you intend buying anything while here? There are ATMs around that accept most debit cards and credit cards are widely accepted. Beware though your bank may charge for withdrawing abroad.
    Some AI hotels include watersports so check this out. Sorry am unsure of the costs locally as I never partake and you'd never get me up there parasailing!!!
    DON'T forget your £10 each for the tourist visa as you enter the country. You buy this at the airport just before going through passport control - it's £10 for each person and they will not accept defaced, torn or tatty notes.
    I know of people that have stayed AI and come back with change from £200 for a fortnight but if you intend going out and about and actually seeing the country I suggest a bit more!!!!
    I'm sure you'll have a great holiday
  • edited 1:37PM
    Hello from Turkey,
    If you stay in AI,you don't need to take too much money with you except day trips,massage at the hotel and water sports.
    I would suggest you to take Euro with you.But Lira is also accepted everywhere.
    Extra services in AI hotels in Turkey are massage in spa, all excursions, some of the import drinks, water sports.
    If you need any advice or help about excursions in Antalya Province, you can contact a local agent.
    [email protected]
  • edited 1:37PM
    Oh thank you Clare - you are fantsastic!!!! You have put my mind at rest now. I kept reading all sorts of stories and am so glad I found this site - and you!

    We are just going for a relaxing holiday AI really, and there's plenty at the hotel to occupy 10 year old SS. We're not planning any further afield trips - only local boat trips and a browse aroudn the local shops really, mainly trinket buying than anything grand so thanks for the tip about how much to take with us. Just another quick question if you dont mind, - and sorry to sound stupid, but if we take GBP will we need to go into the nearest town looking fro somewhere to change it into Liras or Euros? I just get panicky if i have to start looking for places as we werent planning on leaving the hotel complex that much as we are on the beach and having most of what we need there....should I not buy the Liras or Euros before we go? Sorry to be a pain!
    Do we also need £10 each in GBP for visas? Thank again Clare, really appreciate your help!

    Maxine :)
  • edited 1:37PM
    Thank you Tourguide for your help, I will also keep a note of the web address you provided! Many Thanks
  • edited 1:37PM
    ps) Would you know of a turkish bath near the Seher Resort & Spa, Antalya, Side? Ive just read very mixed reviews about this hotel on trip advisor! and am very worried now. I hear they cater only for German visitors and that none of the staff speak any English...with a young child, I need someone to speak English lol! Just in case he gets poorly, - I am trying to brush up on some Turkish but we are british and my other language is basic Spanish! Oh dear, i dont know if im looking forard to this now.....
  • edited 1:37PM
    Sorry only visit Side as I live the other side of Antalya.
    Don't worry about mixed reviews at all. At least it proves that all the "excellent" reviews aren't fake and written by family and friends of the hotel!!! Also what one person complains about another doesn't even notice - depends on your expectations really. Remember people like to complain but are not very quick to praise. As a friend once said to me "they would complain that Aladdin's cave was damp and dark".
    Most Turks learn a smattering of English at school and Doctor is Doktur in Turkish so they will understand. Most pharmacists speak English as well and are a good first port of call. When I was in Turkey many years ago my son (aged about 10 at the time) went down with tonsilitis - the pharmacist couldn't have been more helpful. We got anti biotics straight away over the counter. By the way pharmacy is Eczane in Turkish. Just so you won't need it My son is very ill is Oglum cok hasta = pronounced oolum chok hasta.
    Please please don't let a few disgruntled people put you off your trip - it's what you make of it.
    Yes £10 each for the visa.
    As for exchanging money just to let you know todays rate here at my bank is 2.6009 lira to the GBP.
    Also all bars, restaurants in Side have English speaking staff.
    The Turkish are by nature very friendly and helpful - everywhere is incredibly child friendly as well.
    Staff in AI may be a bit more disgruntled as they are on very low wages for the season and very often lose out on tips. Make one of the waiters etc your friend then you will be fine. A few sweets, or similar offered goes a long way here!
    I'm guessing your son will be much like mine at that age and spend most of his time on the slides in the pool!
    Looking at the Seher website ( they have a doctor and nurse on site. Usually they have a "clinic" time and I'm sure this will be posted somewhere in the hotel reception.
    If you are with a package deal make use of your rep - it is their job after all to help you but be wary of booking excursions with them as they are always more expensive than those booked locally.
    Please Please stop worrying :o) Turkey is fantastic!!!
  • edited 1:37PM
    Hi just looking at the reviews and it looks as though the hotel charges in Euros but I am sure they accept Turkish Lira - it is their currency after all. Lira are useful for your comfort break on the transfer and in Side, Manavgat etc.
    As I posted earlier I was in Side last week and only had lira with me and it really wasn't a problem at all.
    Lots of the reviews are from earlier this year before the season really started and things are properly open.
    Also I wonder sometimes if people get bad service because they are abrupt or rude in the first place.

    A few words
    Please - lutfen (Lewtfen)
    Thankyou - wait for it..... Tesekker Ederim (Teshekker ed er im)
    hello - Merhaba
    one - bir
    two - iki
    three - uc (ewch)

    If you learn these usually you are greeted with smiles etc
    so to ask for 3 cokes it would be "Uc Kola Lutfen"

    Also it seems a lot of the reviewers viewed it as war between Brits and Germans - make friends with a German family and there'll be no problem ;o) You have a child with you and kids are great levellers and make friends regardless of language, culture etc.
    LOOK FORWARD to your holiday and stop worrying it will be what you make of it :o)
  • edited 1:37PM
    Thank you so much Clare, I can't tell you how much I appreciate the time you have taken to help me and inform me and put my mind at rest.

    The hotel is in Colakli, Side. -I get confused because i keep seeing Antalya everywhere - or is it all three lol?
    I am such a polite person and I despise people who dont use any manners, i think a winning smile and and kind words can get you long in life, but
    I was concerned because the most recent review (29th June) said it was the hotel from hell on trip advisor and said the bar person by the pool shouts and screams at the English "you british are rubbish" - well I can tell you if I get spoken to like that they will wish they'd never met me because I am the nicest person you could meet, but speak to me like that ans insult me and i can turn in to she-devil!! Lol.

    I will tip them and smile and use their language for please and thank you's and i have my pocket guide to learn a few more - and yours - so thank you again Clare. You are wonderful!

  • edited 1:37PM
    you are very welcome Maxine
    Anatlaya is both a city and quite a large province which is where the confusion often arises. Side is about 100km from antalya city.
    Manavgat is the main town "feeding" Side. Colakli is another beach/resort.
    I promise you will find a lot of English speaking people in Side!!!
    As you say if you treat people how you expect to be treated then you usually get what you need. I have found that shouting or being aggresive from the outset rarely works - anywhere in the world.
    Also remember these people work very long hours (up to a 16 hour day or longer) in the heat and then have very cramped, shared accomodation. They also work for a pittance many travelling many miles from home for the season.
    As for the one review maybe just maybe they insulted the bar person.......
    If you are spoken to rudely (and it's not a misunderstanding) report that person. Or ask very calmly for the manager. I can tell you a funny story a few years ago I was in a resort in Turkey - I won't name it!! I was having a quiet cuppa in a cafe when the waiter was chatting to some customers. he asked where they were from and they replied Wales. Oh replied the waiter "Sheep sh.....ers" They were offended understandably so and left. He was bemused and asked what he's done or said. I explained what he'd called them. He was horrified and hadn't realised what he's said at all. He thought it was a nickname like Scouser or Brummie. Another "well meaning" tourist had told him that was what the Welsh were called!!!A lot of these workers learn their English from English tourists.......
    My other half's language used to be terrible until I explained what he was actually saying and again he'd picked it up from tourists. When he met my parents I really had to ban a few choice phrases and words! He had no idea how offensive they can be. He does now!
    Let me know how it goes and if you need to ask anything else ask away.
  • edited 1:37PM
    Hi Clare,
    Great to read your info. Off to Kentia Apartments in Side in Sept. Passport out in March 2012, so hoping I don't need to renew! Self catering, is it cheap out there? Will probably be dining out and drinking for 7 nights. Any recommendations? All the best, Nick.
  • edited 1:37PM
    Self catering can be really cheap. Find the nearest big supermarket as soon as you can and "do" a shop to stock up your apartment. Having stuff in the fridge really does stop you spending a fortune on incidental drinks and snacks. Also bring bottles of your favourite tipple from duty free as alcohol prices have really soared here (taxes) compared to a few years ago. That way you can enjoy a couple of drinks before heading out!
    Eating out varies in price enormously - if you take a few steps back from the main tourist drag then you can find some good quality cheap deals - you always pay to eat looking at a sea view or similar!!! Best is to eat then have a drink looking at the view. We ate out a few nights ago at a "mangal" restaurant - basically cooked over flame - and for 3 of us with drinks it came to 54lira (£20). For that we got a kilo of meat, no not raw, but made into kofte (delicious Turkish meatballs) bread, salads and drinks. We then went down to the sea to have a drink and that nearly came to the same price!!! Look out for where the Turks are eating.
    Have a browse through the best currency thread on here as there has been a lot written about s/c there. Or if you have any more questions shout!!!
    Passport - I would think it would be OK but check out the Turkish Embassy website. Usually it is OK as long asit is valid for the duration of your tourist visa (90 days for UK passport holders) but you may get a jobsworth at the airport. Do remember your £10 each for your visa. No torn or defaced or Scottish notes!
  • edited 1:37PM
    Merhaba Clare iki friends and i are going to the selcukhan in beldibi next week can you tell me if its easy to get to kemer and antalya from there and what shopping is like in beldibi are markets close by.also do you know if there are many restaurants and bars near by if we feel to escape the hotel for a few nights.........
  • edited 1:37PM
    Hi Sands

    A bus runs from Beldibi into Antalya fairly regularly - a local dolmus and ? think the fare is 2.5lira per person each way. There is also a service to Kemer but sorry do not know the fare. There are restaurants and bars in Beldibi. Also worth a visit is Goynuk Canyon - a beautiful natural peaceful area not far from Beldibi - plenty of taxis run there.
  • edited 1:37PM
    I have booked a holiday for the end of June, at the Green Park Apartments in Antalya is that a good place for water sports. Also is eating out cheap around there because we are going on a self catering basis. Thank you
  • edited 1:37PM
    Which resort are the Green Park Apartments in? Antalya is a big province!!

    You can always find cheap eats in Turkey by taking a step back from the main tourist drag in any resort and looking at where the locals are eating.
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