Are you planning for a trip to Greece in June? What are the things you have to know before going to Greece? A Malaysian traveler Hooi Ting who travelled in Greece for 10 days summarizes her experience and advice on driving license and tax refund.

Weather

As shown in the information, the peak season of Aegean Sea and Greece in between June and August. This period is the summer in Greece. In other words, the caucasians love to enjoy their summer there. We were there on 17th to 26th of June, which is the begin of peak season. At noon the temperature is somewhere in between 24-27 degree. Although the sun was bright but the breeze was chilling. We didn’t get bothered by the heat but we all got tanned when we are back. In the morning and at night, the temperature is about 20 to 23 degree. It felt comfortable but cold so you might need to prepare a jacket. The weather in Meteora was even colder. It was drizzling when we got up there. At top, the temperature is at 18 degree. At night it can go down to 16 degree. So be reminded to bring a jacket with you.

Time difference

Regarding the time difference, time in Greece is slower for 5 hours than that of Malaysia. However, from Google, the time difference was 6 hours when we were there. It may be due to the daylight saving issue. The day was long and the night was short. The day was bright as early as 6am and it only got dark at 9pm. Therefore it’s very suitable for travelling. We got out of bed late every time but still managed to visit all the attraction and take nice photos.

Car renting or Motorcycle renting – Need International driving license?

From the travel blog I read, it’s no need to have international driving license to rent a car or motorbike in Greece. It will only cost slightly higher. As long as your driving license is English, everything is fine.

However, if you really are going to rent a car or motorbike in Greece, I still prefer you to go to JPJ to apply for international driving license. It only costs rm150 and is valid for one year. In this way, you can rent the vehicles in Greece more easily. The international driving license tallies with your Malaysian driving license. In other words, if your Malaysian driving license is for driving car and motorbike, then your international driving license should allow you to drive a car or motorbike.

I was told that if you do not have an international driving license, then you may get fined by the traffic police. The police will issue a fine ticket to you and the rental company. 1000 Euro for each party! If you do not have it, you may not be able to purchase the insurance for the car as well. You are liable for the whole compensation if accident happens.

Tax Refund for Scoot passenger

Before this trip, I’ve read some airport tax refund formalities from bloggers so then I followed what they did. However, what I experienced was totally different, therefore I would like to share my experience here. I knew that Scoot Airlines does not allow passenger to check in in advance, we can only check in 3 hours before our flight. From the sharing of bloggers, they said that we do not need to have our boarding ticket stamped in order to proceed to airport tax refund. We can only collect our money after entering the gate. If we do not stamp the boarding pass, we are not able to get the refund. Therefore, we reached the airport way earlier than our flight, and went to the VAT counter to let them stamp the tax refund invoice. However, the officer told us that we need to collect our boarding ticket first in order to get our refund. After we have done the check in procedure and collected the boarding ticket, we went back to VAT refund counter and then was told again that Scoot passengers can only get the refund after we entered the gate. We were really confused and afraid we were cheated. They messed up the whole procedures. We did not have enough time to have our lunch. Luckily it was the Scoot anniversary so we managed to enjoy their free buffet. Otherwise we will need to wait until we get our flight meal. At last we still managed to get the refund.

So now I tell you the correct procedure to get the refund!

  1. Check in the flight and get your boarding ticket.
  2. Anything you buy and hope to get the refund, like bag, watch, belt and other non-liquid stuffs, cannot be put in checked-in luggage because you need to show the officer the item. Otherwise, you cannot get the refund.
  3. Once you get the boarding ticket, hold the items on hand.
  4. Go and have a meal. Go into the gate early because you need to queue for the refund.
  5. Before you enter the gate, you will go through body screening. After that, go to Scoot airline boarding gate.
  6. Once you reach Scoot Airline gate, show your passport to the Passport Control Counter officer.
  7. Tax refund Counter is just beside the Passport Control. There are two counters, one is VAT refund, another is Change.
  8. Show the invoice, the items you bought, boarding pass and passport to the VAT refund counter. They will look into these 4 items and proceed the refund.
  9. Take the stamped invoice to the Change counter and collect the refund. If you want to collect in Cash, they will deduct 4 euro for each invoice. If your refund exceed 130 euro, they will refund it into your credit card. It will take about 5 working days.

***If your refunded items are liquid that exceed 100ml, you must put them into checked-in luggage, otherwise they will be thrown in the dustbin when you enter the gate. Therefore, you need to tell the counter not to transit your luggage first because the liquid item needs to go through tax refund. After you show your invoice, items, boarding pass and passport to the VAT refund counter and have them stamped, you only put your liquid items into luggage then let them transit your luggage.

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