Community_discussions_small  

Comment

Offering FREE ADVICE!!! went on escapade sept 11-oct 7, 07

19 Feb 2008 Hipjaz, the canuck from the T-Dot said

Default_avatar
hey all, i remember when i went on the tour, i wished i found someone who also went on it who would give me some advice. after piecing advice from about 100 different sources, i finally got the info i needed to prepare, pack and plan for my trip but of course missed some. if anyone is stumped and wants some info about anything regarding the tour or preparing for it, i can give it to you or try my best to do so. i like answering questions

if not then enjoy the tour! it's the best trip i've ever had so far and i still talk to the friends i made!
  • 20 Feb 2008 Mima :) said

    Mima :)

    Hey there! your post was so nicely put… you ROCK!

    I’m sure there are a million questions you’ll be asked..but i’ll start!

    1. Are we able to choose our room-mate?
    2. Would you recommend a WARM sleeping bag?
    3. Any options we should avoid/ def DO?
    4. Did you ever need the ‘recommended’ torch?
    5. CASH PASSPORT- yay or nay?
    6. Stamina…. in relation to the lack of sleep?
    7. How much spending money would you recommend?
    8. How did you find the accommodation?

    ……. there are millions more… but this shouldget things started!

    Thanks heaps x

  • 20 Feb 2008 Erin said

    Default_avatar

    Howdy,
    Appreciate the free advice Smiler<!--graemlin::)--> Just a couple of questions….

    My partner and i are heading off on the Sept 11, 08 tour and i’m getting all different answers about our sleeping arrangements. Do couples usually stay in the same room?

    Did you find you needed a lot of warmer clothing for this trip – did you need to bother taking a warm jacket?

    Did you do the paragliding option as i’m considering it and want to know if it’s worth while. I saw Mima asked about the tour options, but just another specific question – did you go to a Moulin Rouge show or do the tour’s cabaret show?

    Love to hear your answers to all of Mima’s questions too.

    cheers for that !!

  • 20 Feb 2008 Hipjaz, the canuck from the T-Dot said

    Default_avatar

    thanks for asking. I’ll answer both of your questions, Mima’s 1st:

    1. Are we able to choose our room-mate?
    - yes. what they do is while on the bus, they will pass around a room list. sometimes the people in the back will get it 1st, sometimes the people in the front. they will areas to writer your name depending on how many to a room. if you made a frind on the tour or coming with one, you can write your names down for a room. do note, you may end up sharing it with 1,2 or 3 other people or more. i travelled alone but made friends quickly and roomed with them. sometimes i didn’t get to room with them or purposely roomed with other people to get to know everyone. in the end, it was cool

    2. Would you recommend a WARM sleeping bag?
    - my tour was sept-oct. i took a warm sleeping bag it was was WORTH IT!! sometimes it gets really cold depending on where you are so i say yes, especially if you are travelling just at the beginning or just at the end of summer. i also took a small blanket in case it was too warm for a sleeping bag

    3. Any options we should avoid/ def DO?
    - DEFINATELY do the paragliding in austria!! i heard thwe rafting was ok, it all depends on the weather and the size of the rapids. i didn’t go to the caberet or the motzart concert and don’t regret it. i heard it was good. i did not go up the jungfrau mountain in switzerland because i know snow and cold weather (i live in Canada) for those who have never seen snow, i heard they had fun. it’s about 130 swiss franc. the dinner in amsterdam is worth it. the bike ryde in amsterdam was cool also. i didn’t buy the group photo, i took a pic of that pic and it turned out nicely. it’s pretty much up to you. i didn’t hear anyone say nything was awful

    4. Did you ever need the ‘recommended’ torch?
    - not once. i used it to be bothersome but i really could have lived without it

    5. CASH PASSPORT- yay or nay?
    - not too sure what that is but what id di was take my debit and credit ard and have about equal amounts of money on both of them. none of the machines ate my card THANK GOD!! i would withdraw like 500 eurps at a time, have about 200 on me and stash the other in my suitcase

    6. Stamina…. in relation to the lack of sleep?
    - the bus rides give some time to sleep. yes some days i was more tired than other but you don’t have to be an Olympic athlete to do this tour. if one day you’re tired, stay in and have a lazy day. there are actually a lot of chances to have lazy days. i would say though make sure you have energy for when you have free time in the cities. you have about 6-8 hours to see as many sites as possible

    7. How much spending money would you recommend?
    - i took about $3000 Canadian so like $2000 euros and came home with about 100 CDN. i also did not spurge and shop like crazy. if i knew i could find it at home, i did not buy it. a lot of the Australians on the tour bought a lot of stuff. i mean spent aout 4000 euros on clothes and stuff.

    8. How did you find the accommodation?
    - some places were shotty, others were nice. in the end, i didn’t care. there were beds, descent beds also and i was cool. just make sure not to put your drunk roommate on the top of some of the bunk beds.

    Erin:

    Do couples usually stay in the same room?
    - you are doing the exact same tour i did last year…sept 11-oct 7. my tour had 2 married couples. they had their own rooms. what i noticed is that on the rooming list, they would mark it blue for boys and red for girls and the coules rooms would have a heart on it. the couples always had their own room. they could swap if they wanted to but usually had their own rooms

    Did you find you needed a lot of warmer clothing for this trip – did you need to bother taking a warm jacket?
    - yeah, i wish i took my fall jacket. i took a sweater and got a bit cld easily. i definately would recommend a fall jacket and by fall i mean an australian winter jacket lol. it got cold ater the rainfall in venice, about mid sept and in switzerland around end of sept beginning of oct i think

    Did you do the paragliding option as i’m considering it and want to know if it’s worth while. I saw Mima asked about the tour options, but just another specific question – did you go to a Moulin Rouge show or do the tour’s cabaret show?
    - like i said, i missed the caberet show and it bugged me at that time but i definately got over it REALLY quickly. the beauty about missing that show is that you can spend more time in Paris exploring on your own and take the bus back to the campsite. just make sure you find out what times the last buses leave. me and a friend i made missed the tour bus back to the campsite so we took the city buses and by the time we got to the capsite, the tour bus left for the caberet. i really should have just stayed longer in paris and see all of the sites.
    Paragliding is WIKKED!! i recommend coughing up the money for it

    Hope i helped a bit. sorry it’s so long. feel free to ask more questions if you want

  • 20 Feb 2008 Ashleigh36 said

    Default_avatar

    Hey! Thanks heaps for this its sooo good to hear from someone who has actually done this tour! Couple of questions!

    1. I know this might sound dumb and you may not know i am doing this in July and wondering since coming from Aus where if you spend 2 hours out in the sun you get burnt!Do you get burnt easy in Europe? much need for sunscreen?

    2. Did you have a mobile or phone card?

    3. Was there anything you took that you couldnt live without or really glad you took it?

    4. Did you take a backpack or suitcase?

    5. I hear you do a lot of dress up nights/theme nights should we worry about bring anything for these or is it basically whatever you can find for it?

    Think thats about it as said before there as loads of other questions which are gunna come up but until then thats all!

    Thanks heaps for your help!

  • 20 Feb 2008 Andrew said

    Andrew

    Hey just a couple of questions…

    How many Euros did you spend per day? And were you a big drinker?

    How did you find the whole washing, drying and ironing your clothes thing?

    Thanks

  • 21 Feb 2008 Hipjaz, the canuck from the T-Dot said

    Default_avatar

    Hi Ashleigh, Andrew, i’m going to post your answers together. Ashleigh 1st:

    1. I know this might sound dumb and you may not know i am doing this in July and wondering since coming from Aus where if you spend 2 hours out in the sun you get burnt!Do you get burnt easy in Europe? much need for sunscreen?
    - lol personally i don’t burn in the sun (a benefit of having dark skin). i would definately bring the sunscreen though. when we went to Nice, BTW that place is GORGEOUS!!!!!!!! it was like the end of sept but so bloody hot!! and sunny. since you’re going in jul, i would assume there would be many many days like that one so yes, definately bring it and it won’t hurt to use it. if you really don’t want to, you can always buy it at a pharmacy in one of the cities.

    2. Did you have a mobile or phone card?
    - i took my cell phone but never used it. i used calling cards. the thing is, the once contiki gives you is a rip off. it costs too much. the other thing is, no one calling card has access # for all of the places you are going to. you ay get lucky to find a card that has 2 or 3 of the countries but not all. at the end of the tour i had a deck of calling cards, i could have started a poker game lol. some of the Australians had an international phone plan on their cell phones, others used calling cards. if you plan on making alot of calls, look into the phone plan. if you’re making calles like me, once every 5-8 days or so for about 15-30 mins, phone cards should be ok. in the end it may cost you $30 euros for phone cards

    3. Was there anything you took that you couldnt live without or really glad you took it?
    - Good question. i think it was my ipod charger or extra lithium battery for my camera or my small flannel blanket.

    4. Did you take a backpack or suitcase?
    - suitcase. about 85% of the people on the tour took suitcases also. mine was the max dimensions contiki allowed…almost everyone had that size. it was a bit hard carrying it up some stairs but you get people to help you. backpacks may be easier to carry but suitcases are more organized and saves your back. i would definately use a suitcase again

    5. I hear you do a lot of dress up nights/theme nights should we worry about bring anything for these or is it basically whatever you can find for it?
    - i brought a nice skirt, nice black pants and 3 nice tops. i wore my nice skirt and top to the Monte Carlo casino..everyone was dressed up and i wore my nice top to the last summer a the chinese restaurant in amsterdam and i wore my nice pants and my other nice shirt t the flamenco dancing in barcelona. bring items you can interchange or even possibly wear with a pair of jeans


    Andrew:
    How many Euros did you spend per day? And were you a big drinker?
    - the tour covers a lof of the meals, some days all of the meals. i was not a huge beer drinker but i saw some people throw it back. i budgetted for about 70 euros per day. if you’re a big drinker or big eater or big shopper, i would probably budget for 100-130 euros. it’s always nice to spend less and have more money left over than to budget too small and run out of money

    How did you find the whole washing, drying and ironing your clothes thing?
    - simple. if you pack enough clothes (i had about 20 items of clothes not counting underwear or socks), one of your stopovers will have washers or dryers or even a wash lady who will wash, dry and iron your clothes for about 5 euros a load. i brought detergent (that was a great idea) and it cost about 5-10 euros to wash per load and 5-10 euros per load to dry. one you make friends, sometimes you’ll end up sharing a load because you may have 1/2 a load to wash and them also. all in all, no problems with the washing or drying. sometimes the dryers are ****ty and you may not want to pay another 5 euros to re-dry your clothes (ahem..switzerland) so just hang it in your room to air dry. believe me, you won’t be the only one doing it. Just make sure that you are the 1st to the wash as you can end up waiting a long time or try to do it during high time (as suppose to down lazy free day time) it will take about 30 mins- 1 hour. while its in the wash, you can go drink, party it up then come back, put it in the dryer, go back and drink party, then take it to your room, fold it etc..and go back and party. irons?? never found one and nobody took one. make sure your clothes are wrinkle free

    OH man i miss Contiki sooo much Frowner<!--graemlin::(-->

  • 21 Feb 2008 Erin said

    Default_avatar

    Thanks for all your advice – it’s really useful!
    Yeah looks like we are doing the same tour! I was booking mine in last year when you were doing it i reckon! Good to hear couples are kept together – not that i’d want to be with him 24/7!! Do couples get shunned a bit? Cause we are not the “old married couple” type at all and want to have fun with everyone!

    I have thought of some more questions for ya…

    1. What did you do about storing photos? From what i’ve read some people take a few flash drives to store them on while others bring a few or one huge memory card. Do you have much access to computers where we camp or do you have to find internet cafes in your free time and upload them?

    2. So you took your ipod – can you store photos on them – tho i believe the computers you use need the i-tunes application – do the computers have them?

    3. Just re the baggage – they allow 20kg bag of some sort, but if you buy lots of souvenirs along the way – do they care if it’s over the 20kg as you travel? i assume the dimensions they give allows only about 20kg of weight anyway but what if you bought an expandable bag for example would they allow you to expand it? or do they not allow expandable bags?

    4. Finally, we are hoping to be able to use the internet cafes to call home via video link – like the “Skype” program – if you’ve heard of it. Did you see anyone doing video calls – is that possible anywhere in Europe? Just that we are leaving our young son at home and would LOVE to be able to keep in close contact with him.

    Thanks again – so glad you like to answer questions – sure most would agree that the advice is invaluable !! Smiler<!--graemlin::)-->

    Erin xx

  • 22 Feb 2008 Hipjaz, the canuck from the T-Dot said

    Default_avatar

    hey Erin, the couples on my tour being shunned? NOT at all!!! they were really young (between the ages of 23-28) and super cool. nobody cared that they were married at all

    1. What did you do about storing photos? From what i’ve read some people take a few flash drives to store them on while others bring a few or one huge memory card. Do you have much access to computers where we camp or do you have to find internet cafes in your free time and upload them?
    - generally most of the camps had paid internet access. the thing is, not all the computers had areas where you can input a flash drive and upload pictures or anything like that. i brought 2 memory cards totalling storage of 1000 pics. in total, i took about 800 and it was the easiest method i found..taking like 2 1G or 2G memory cards for the digi camera

    2. So you took your ipod – can you store photos on them – tho i believe the computers you use need the i-tunes application – do the computers have them?
    -the computers are barely in english lol. all they give is the internet for the most part. i didn’t store anything on my ipod except for my songs nor did i see anyone doing that. int he end, it may be worth it to just buy an extra memory card.. less tampering and playing around and transferring with your pics=less chance of accidental deletion.

    3. Just re the baggage – they allow 20kg bag of some sort, but if you buy lots of souvenirs along the way – do they care if it’s over the 20kg as you travel? i assume the dimensions they give allows only about 20kg of weight anyway but what if you bought an expandable bag for example would they allow you to expand it? or do they not allow expandable bags?
    -generally the rule is 20kg at the beginning. i mean when you depart from londond, they have a scale and EVERYONE weighs their luggage before boarding the bus. if it’s over, you gotta trash some clothes. after that, it didn’t look like they cared. just remember you gotta lug this suitcase with you everywhere so if you can carry the weight of the souvenirs and they aren’t hyge like a guitar or a HUGE kookoo clock, then you’re ok. under the bus, there’s pretty much room for just the suitases so all of your souvenir is stored on the bus above head but so is about 50 other people stuff.

    4. Finally, we are hoping to be able to use the internet cafes to call home via video link – like the “Skype” program – if you’ve heard of it. Did you see anyone doing video calls – is that possible anywhere in Europe? Just that we are leaving our young son at home and would LOVE to be able to keep in close contact with him.
    - yep, i know skype but i didn;t see anyone using it. the computers i saw did not have microphones or cybercameras. maybe an internet cafe in one of the cities would.
    the most i saw people looking at was: facebook, online banking, news websites from home, e-mail etc… honestly, i would guess that it would be hard to use skype

  • 22 Feb 2008 slock31 said

    Default_avatar

    This thread is amazing!!

    Just the one question i can think of from the top of my head…

    Did you do the T-shirt thing in Venice? Its the only optional extra that i cant find any information about it!

  • 22 Feb 2008 Hipjaz, the canuck from the T-Dot said

    Default_avatar

    Hi Slock 31,

    Did you do the T-shirt thing in Venice? Its the only optional extra that i cant find any information about it!
    - did i ever!!! not only did i buy a t-shirt but i also bought a hoodie. the tops are really cool. mine had a pic of our bus (all cartoon of course) then a map of europe, mapping out the path we took and had little icons at each stop i.e clogs in amsterdam, flmenco girl in spain etc… then the bottom had our bus slogan and all the names of the people on the tour.

    thy don’t say much about it because it is optional but i would recommend it. i don’t know anyone who did not buy it. we ordered it and got it in switzerland but if you really liked it, there is an opportunity to buy another one and receive before the tour ended. definately worth it and they have t-shirts, tank tops, and hoodies in different colours and it’s pretty good quality material

  • 26 Feb 2008 Explorer548631 said

    Default_avatar

    Hey! Thanks for doing this its really great of you…just a couple of questions I quickly thought of:

    Do you really need a sleeping bag?
    Do you need a bath towel or are they provided at all the places you stay?

    Cheers

  • 26 Feb 2008 Hipjaz, the canuck from the T-Dot said

    Default_avatar

    hi southerncross,

    Do you really need a sleeping bag?
    - some nights get really cold and a lot of the beds just have the sheets that are covering the bed. i would definately take one. i had to lend my friend my extra blanket many nights because she as cold

    Do you need a bath towel or are they provided at all the places you stay?
    -take at least 2 towels with you. towels are barely provided, especially on the campsites

  • 2 Mar 2008 Erin said

    Default_avatar

    Hi again Hipjaz…
    I have another query i’m hoping you can help me with…did you stay in the Royal National Hotel after the meeting the night before the tour?
    I have heard it’s not that nice for the money and that there are others near by…any advice?

    thanks again Big Grin<!--graemlin::D-->

  • 3 Mar 2008 Kaydee said

    Default_avatar

    Hey, I love that your doing this huge favoure, its hard to find good advice.

    What did you carry for a day bag, big bag/purse or backpack?

    thanks a bunch!!!

    KIM- London ontario

  • 3 Mar 2008 Ashleigh36 said

    Default_avatar

    Hey…thanks for the answers i have more questions (i knew i would) when u get the change to answer them!

    - We do actually get to go up the eiffel tower dont we?

    - Do you get much free time on this tour to go explore yourself or is it pretty crammed?

    - how was the accommadation?

    - Did you stay at the Royal National beforehand??

    Thats it for now..thanks!

  • 7 Mar 2008 Hipjaz, the canuck from the T-Dot said

    Default_avatar

    Hi Erin, Kaydee and Ashleigh, thanks for the questions. Erin, your answers 1st

    did you stay in the Royal National Hotel after the meeting the night before the tour?
    - i stayed at the royal national, to me it was alright, typical hotel/motel room. i knew i was not spending more than 1 night there anyways. the beauty is that the departure is in the courtyard outside of it, as suppose to staying somewhere else and having to lug your suitcase around. a lot of the people stayed there so you got to see many of them from your tour and others

    Kaydee
    What did you carry for a day bag, big bag/purse or backpack?
    - i actually founf this great purse from CAA. it’s roots and it’s a clith material. it was great because i wanted a bag with one big pocket, as suppose to many small ones that would make it asier for pickpocketers. inside had a zipper pocket and i kept my passport in there and money and cards. i was also able to extend the straps so that i could wear it across my chest or shorten it and wear it on my shoulder. i would recommend bringing a dressier purse for those days you go out also

    Asjleigh
    We do actually get to go up the eiffel tower dont we?
    -definately if you want to. what they did was the 1st night in paris, we went on a driving sightseeing tour, kinda like “Paris at Night” and got to take pics of the Eiffel tour (from afar though). on the next day, they dropped us off at the Eiffel tour, gave us maps and about 8 hours to do as much sightseeing as we wanted to. the maps showed the Metro and where the famous sites are. some went up the tower then saw the other sites (i did, the wait was long but worth it) others skipped it and went to the other sites.it’s completely up to you

    Do you get much free time on this tour to go explore yourself or is it pretty crammed?
    -to me, it felt like one of those sample platters at restaurant. it was enough time for me to see stuff and judge if i would see it again. the things i liked, i will go back to europe and see it, the stuff that were just ok, i could at least say i saw it and don’t have to go again. it’s definately fast paced but not ridiculous. i saw another tour and they were on a 20 day tour. they spent 1 day in each area and were complaining because it was super fast paced. they had to lug their suitacses on trains

    how was the accommadation?
    -on a budget tour, you can’t expect a lot lol. some places were nice, others were shotty but you just gotta make the best out of it and poke fun of it with your friends on the tour. the accomodation in Paris was the worst one. florence was pretty cool

    Did you stay at the Royal National beforehand??
    -yes i did. see my response to Erin’s question

    Thats it for now..thanks!

  • 2 Apr 2008 Danni said

    Default_avatar

    Do you remember the names of the accommodation you stayed at? ive only the ones from the site but i wanted to know the others and have a look at them on the web before i leave?


    Thanks

  • 3 May 2008 Corrinna said

    Default_avatar

    Thanks for all the info you have provided. You have already answered so many questions. I do have a few more though.

    There has been alot of talk about shopping? Just curious as to what kinds of things there are to purchase? What kind of shopping?

    I am also from Canada going on the Sept/Oct. Escapade trip. What types of clothes should I pack. Sweaters, jeans, t-shirts, shorts?? Runners, sandals?

    I can be a pretty shy person to start, so I am kinda worried about meeting new people, or not meeting new people and being alone most of the trip. On your trip, what were the dynamics like? Did everyone pretty much get along?

  • 4 May 2008 Corrinna said

    Default_avatar

    I came up with a few more questions?

    Would u recommend taking the excursion up Jungfrau mountain?

    What was Mauthausen(concentration camp) like?

    How long are the trips on the bus? Is there a way to use a portable DVD player on the bus?

    I am going in Sept/October. What kind of clothes would u suggest. Sweaters, jeans, short, t-shirts?

    What is the t-shirt making all about?

    I am in Kitchener ont Canada

  • 4 May 2008 Corrinna said

    Default_avatar

    What is the recommended torch?

More Discussions

Follow this Discussion

Related Discussions

Discussions Details

Last response about 6 years

This comment was posted about over 6 years ago. It has been discussed 21 times.

11 people are following this discussion.

  • Default_avatar
  • Default_avatar
  • Default_avatar
  • Andrew
  • Default_avatar
  • Default_avatar
  • Default_avatar
  • Default_avatar
  • Default_avatar
  • Default_avatar
  • Mima :)

Questions?

x

Visas? Money? Where to go? Chat to us about travel.