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EUROPEAN MAGIC - ASK YOUR QUESTIONS.
- 86 responses so far
To my knowledge no none of the hotels have a pool or gym, even if they did though you probably still wouldn’t use them since your never at any of the hotels aside from when your sleeping and even if you were at your hotel because you decided you didnt want to go out that day or night it would be for a good reason that you would be way to tired to want to do anything else other than sleep and if you have the energy and your at your hotel your not using your contiki time wisely! hehe =).
Hi JonoRocket. I’m doing the European Magic tour in july and i’m super excited!
How did you pay for everything (optionals, meals, shopping, )? Did you have loads of Euro cash with you right from the beginning of the trip or did you use visa/travellors cheques?
I had two methods i used for cash. One was my St George bank account Visa that i used which is was accepted through any VISA atm of course and my bank charged a very minimal fee which was good but be sure to check what the fees might be with your bank if you plan to do this option.
The second method i used was a travelX card loaded with euros which i picked up from my local post office, takes 2 minutes they load the cash on their for you and everything http://www.travelex.com if you want to get more information on that and where you can pick yours up from. To be honest though i wasnt all that satisfied with travelx while it was no fees to withdraw when i loaded my euros on they gave me a bad rate of about 5 cents or so from memory under the “true” exchange rate at the time and this really adds up if your loading a large sum of money on i loaded something like 1000 euro on and ended up losing about 60 euros worth now while i got no fee to withdraw my bank withdrawal fee was only about 2 euros per transaction and considering i only ever did big withdraws of about 250 euros each time i would have only ended up with an 8 euro loss however the safety net is nice to have but just be aware that many of the cash passports while a lot dont charge fees they will give you a bad rate. the biggest reason why i got this was to have backup if i lost my bank card or vice versa.
Finally in my wallet i kept $200 Aussie cash and just kept it there for if i really needed money i could use that to exchange on the many street exchanges / airport exchanges to get money if required…. also for the novelty of watching Americans be amazed when they try to but cant rip it lol :P
EDIT: Forgot to mention that all of the places are euro currency except of course Switzerland which is in Franc. however euro is also accepted which i just used to buy my lunch and pay for the optional to the top of the mountain. Im not sure if this really hurts you all that much in terms of costing you more or anything but since i didnt buy anything of alot of worth in Switzerland i didnt bother to get out any franc if your planning to buy something of a big worth then yes i would suggest getting it paid for in franc :) like my brother did when he bought an expensive swiss watch. =)
Is it true that we have to keep under 20kgs the whole trip? That’s what i’ve been told. True/false??
thanks from Kristy.
Thanks so much for the info!
Yes your luggage that goes under the coach must be 20kg when you first check in. you can have a small carry on with any weight that you want. If you hit the 20kg mark and you want to buy something that you dont want to carry around they have like this “souvenir” section under the coach so you should be fine if you wish to buy anything. In short i believe the weight is only an issue when you check in. =)
Excellent, Very happy news!!!
Also –- We dont need Visa’s rite to enter any of these countries on the tour?
Thanks again JonoRocket .
Nope no Visa’s required, if your from Australia there are only two or three countries in europe you need a visa for which is ukraine, russia and i believe moldova. same goes for i believe people from NZ, Canada and the USA.
=-) GREAT THANKYOU!!!!!
Hey JonoRocket, thanks heaps for all the great info. I’m going on my Contiki in June so I’ll be sure to come up with a few questions for you soon… :-)
Hi there…. =p
Was just wandering about the boat ride from Dover to Calais——- How long is the ride? What is the boat like, what has it to offer?
Once we have got off the boat…How long till we hit Amsterdam? What time do we arrive there?
thanks so much….
The boat ride is around 50 minutes on the boat there are some shops a bar place to sit down and eat etc. Once your off the boat its around 3 and a half to four hours until Amsterdam. We arrived in Amsterdam in the afternoon you get ready and go out and have the afternoon / night in Amsterdam then the next day you have the full day to explore more of the day time options Amsterdam has to offer before heading off.
PS: Your contiki leader will never advise times of when you will arrive at any place they will merely tell you how far in KM you have to go they do this because obviously they dont want to be held liable if anything holds you back form getting there at their assumed time such as traffic etc.
Hello JonoRocket! First of all thank you so much for answering our questions! I had a few questions for ya.
*First of all in your hotel rooms, where you rooming with people that were on your tour or was it other random people?
*Did you feel safe leaving your luggage in the hotel while you were not there?
*Finally when did you find out about the optional excursions? Was it all given to you the first night or as you arrived at the cities? Thanks so much!
I know many people ask about how much to budget a day already. But I’m just wondering if your budgeting includes the Option trips that Contiki offers? I am trying to budget it separately; so if i have already have some money in place for the option trips, roughly how much do you need a day?
Thanks a lot pal.
I roomed with my brother however others who travelled solo roomed with either 1 or two more people in a twin share or triple share room. If you have booked with a friend or two then you will be together otherwise if your travelling alone you will be paired with someone else. You can however ring up contiki and ask for a room to yourself however this will cost you extra… two people from our tour did this both were males and you could tell why they got their own room lol from memory i think it cost them an extra $200 or so.
Optional excursions you can see here on the website once you click on any of the tours your interested in but yes your contiki leader will also mention the optionals as you arrive in each city, such as price and what times and what it will involve.
As i said earlier the money question is hard to answer but i wouldn’t go budgeting any less than around 75 euros per day including the optionals and your meals. Again however i dont know specifically what you like to do such as are you a big shopper or drinker as these things will lower or higher the spending money you would need each day and if you do want to shop it obviously depends on what items you are willing to buy, we had people that bought designer clothing for hundreds of dollars worth in Italy for example.
so excluding shopping because this should be something you can kind of figure out how much you want to spend and just including your meals, drinking if you drink, optionals and any other small fees (cab rides etc) or extras you want to do such as museum visits i would say minimum 75 euro per day.
just curious, is there any ‘smoking’ done outside amsterdam?
hello Jono, i requested the list of the hotels i will be staying at, and there’s one that says JailHotel, i looked for it in the internet and there are terrible reviews about this, there are also great ones, so i am confused now, did you stay there? this one is in Lucerne and it use to be a real Jail.
If you mean buying weed and then planning on taking it out of Amsterdam into other countries then no i wouldn’t do that since its illegal in the other countries you go to and in europe and according to our tour guide its not uncommon for the police to pull over a “contiki” bus that has 18 – 35s written on the side of it that has just come from Amsterdam and put sniffer dogs on lol.
If you mean smoking it outside of the coffee shops its not really advisable nor really legal as far as i know but as long as your not being so obvious about it or are in inappropriate areas it should be ok.
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