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*** Good Tips list for Ultimate European Trip ***

21 Oct 2006 Stunnerinau said

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Ultimate European is a fantastic adventure. Don't be afraid to go alone, as you'll meet plenty of other solo travellers on your tour who are just like you.
Contiki staff know what they are doing and you'll be looked after all the way, but there are some things you need to be aware of for your own benefit, that you should take note of;

If going to Egypt, take some pens. The kids along the Nile river think they are gold!

LUGGAGE:
Suitcase or Backpack? Well, I took a wheelie suitcase and since there are no elevators in European places where you will stay (we are in budget accomm remember) then you will have to lug your suitcase up staircases/hills etc. For a girl, its not fun. Take a backpack is my tip.

WHICH TRIP OPTION:
If going to the Greek Islands,. Good for party-goers and scenery, but you may get bored there for 5 days...all you can do is sleep, swim and drink but you can do that at home!...If you can afford it, Egypt is a fast paced, go! go! go! tour but you get to see a lot of amazing ancient history and get to go snorkelling in the red sea, go inside pyramids and ride camels in the desert etc ... lots covered in 5 days!! So choose which destination based on your interest and energy levels!! If you like history, you'll love the egypt trip. Girls, wear a fake wedding ring to avoid marriage proposals from the locals in egypt!! Sounds flattering, but they will harrass you until you're exhausted if you show any interest!

SECURITY:
Locks on all backpacks, including day bags you carry around. Nearly all European destinations have professional pick-pockets. At least one person on your bus will get money stolen. Nearly everyone will have someone approaching them begging for money or food in the poorer countries. Don't give them any. Take a pal with you to ATM's to watch your back. In France, don't allow a stranger in the street to distract you with questions or a fancy trick or gift. They are no doubt nicking something from you, or their friend is doing it while you are distracted.

MONEY:
Sorting your own currency can be cheaper than getting Contiki's currency. They often don't give you enough. For countries that don't take Euro's, then have some new, small, American bank notes on hand as most non-euro countries take american money, if its new. How much to take? Gosh, how long is a piece of string. Allow somewhere between AUD$2000 minimum and upwards to AUD$5000 for spending. That includes optional activities which you WILL want to do. I recommend doing the optionals to get the best experience from the trip. If you want to drink and buy gifts then expect to fork out more than the minimum as drinking overseas can be expensive and so can lugging extra bagging home with all those gifts you bought. Allow $2 per day for bottled water and some for non inclusive meals. Some say allow $100AUD per day.

HYGIENE & DIGESTION:
Carry tissues to double up as toilet paper for public loos, and antiseptic hand gel for where there is no fresh water.
Don't want to sound like your mother, but take imodium for diarreah, and senikot or something for constipation. You'll be eating foods that don't always agree with you one way or the other! And toilet stops may seem like they are few and far between as they don't like you using the ones on the bus, unless its an emergency!! However the bus stops at intervals of 2 -3 hours at service stations etc, sometimes sooner. There are showers at every overnight location, but a couple are unisex. None are luxurious but they do the job! Also, in Rome find a chainsaw for the breakfast bread rolls. They are hard as rocks so don't chuck them at your pals, because someone WILL lose an eye! No playing cricket with them either. The italian man gets mad. And Avoid playing "Guess the meat" loudly in eastern europe! Remember the motto, "It's not wrong, its just different"!!!

UNEXPECTED EXPENSES:
All Contiki tour leaders/drivers expect generous tips at the end of the tour (about $2.00 USA per day), but don't feel obliged to pay. Some hand you an envelope with your name on it to put your tip in, and others hand you a blank envelope so tips can be handed back anonomously....and, you also have to pitch in with other local tour guides for their tips as well at the end of a guide etc. These costs don't often get told to you until you're on the bus heading off. Most of the Contiki staff do work hard, and do deserve the tips but don't feel obliged to pay exactly what they are asking, if anything at all. They do get paid to travel the world remember.

FINALLY:
Drinkers beware, the bus ups and leaves early almost every morning and if you're not on it, they WILL go without you and you have to find your own way to the next destination. They give you a list beforehand of each destination address. Washing can only be done every few days and can cost more than the clothes themselves, so prepare to wear the same pair of jeans a few times etc. Take small sachets of laundry powder with you to save buying it. If you're desperate you can hand wash if staying more than one night somewhere even though they say you can't hang stuff around! Take a blow-up neck pillow for the bus, as lots of sleeping will be done on the bus and there's no where to rest your floppy head!

Oh yeah, Don't take a cheap pocket camera...you'll see the most beautiful sights in the world so don't waste the chance to capture them properly.
Full insurance is a must.

If you want to read a detailed day-by-day diary from a guy who did this trip (mykonas option) he includes expenditure, as well as what you can expect in the way of food and accom :
http://www.ultimate-european.com
  • 31 Oct 2006 ~* nushie *~ said

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    thanks so much those tips were really helpful! Ive never travelled on my own and appreciate that very much!

  • 9 Nov 2006 Stunnerinau said

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    quote:
    Originally posted by * nushie *:
    thanks so much those tips were really helpful! Ive never travelled on my own and appreciate that very much!



    You’re welcome! Even though you’ll be on a bus for 46 days with people you don’t even know, you will make friends easily as you are all out doing the same thing. Many people travel alone and its usually their first trip overseas ever, so you won’t be by yourself. You choose who to share your room with each night, so you won’t always be stuck with the same person ¡ but this trip will truely be one you’ll never forget. I went six years ago and I’m still pals with several people on the trip!! I want to mention, take a fake wedding ring with you and grab onto the nearest goodlooking fella on your bus, because all the men in egypt will want to marry you!!

  • 20 Dec 2006 Stunnerinau said

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    Hey that’s great you’ve booked the trip. You’ll remember it forever! It may be worth organising a credit card as an “emergency money back up” plan, but keep it as close to you as you would your passport. Don’t forget, any gifts you buy along the way can also be posted back home if necessary to save you carting them around, if you are stopping in a big city and have some spare time.

  • 5 Jan 2007 Josh B81 said

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    Thanks for the tips like everyone I think have booked and now all these things are popping up but feel a little calmer now going in July 07 and really excited

  • 9 Jan 2007 helly said

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    Thank you for the tips
    I have just booked my ticket for april 2007 and is the first time i have ever traveled on my own
    Thank you

  • 20 Jan 2007 Stunnerinau said

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    quote:
    Originally posted by Josh B81:
    Thanks for the tips like everyone I think have booked and now all these things are popping up but feel a little calmer now going in July 07 and really excited



    You’re welcome. Enjoy yourself!

  • 20 Jan 2007 Stunnerinau said

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    quote:
    Originally posted by helly:
    Thank you for the tips
    I have just booked my ticket for april 2007 and is the first time i have ever traveled on my own
    Thank you



    It will be the trip of a lifetime! Have fun!

  • 19 Feb 2008 Carli said

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    bumping this message cause i thought its worth a read

  • 5 Aug 2013 kristal ` said

    kristal `

    Thanks for the tips I will remember them for when I go over in march…

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