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European discovery April 26th 2012 anyone?

1 Feb 2012 Maybellina asked

Maybellina

Hello, I booked the tour for European discovery that starts on April 26th 2012...anyone else going on the same tour?

  • 10 Mar 2012 Maybellina said

    Maybellina

    *triple post… For some reason, I am having trouble posting comments on the site…

  • 10 Mar 2012 Phil said

    Phil

    I’m having trouble too, this is my third try posting, the last two disappeared very quickly.

    From other threads, it looks like luggage will be stowed under the bus for the most part. I’m planning on bringing a suitcase for clothing and a backpack for on the bus (snacks, music, books, etc.).

    There’s a great thread called “What do you wish you’d known?” with all kinds of tips. I would share the link, but… I think that’s why my previous posts have disappeared.

    Welcome to the group Kelley. I’m sure we’ll hear from more of the group as April approaches.

  • 10 Mar 2012 Ali said

    Ali

    no problem maybellina i didnt want anyone else to go out and buy a soft bag like i did and then realise their mistake =P. i’ll be landing about 130 on the 25th as i’m going early to meet a friend of mine.

    hah i’ve had that problem following people it followed the person three times XD.

    Thanks for the thread Phil that’s going to be so helpful, i’m so going to check it out!

  • 14 Mar 2012 Maybellina said

    Maybellina

    Thanks Phil for the info~ I will check out the thread :)

  • 15 Mar 2012 Carlene said

    Carlene

    im not getting updates from this anymore…sorry guys! im going to scotland, ireland and greece afterwards…5 weeks in total…i get to london the 24th…if anyone wants to tour with me afterwards let me know! all my hotels are already booked but i think i might get a bit lonely….I got all my travel documents from contiki today and i honestly started to panic a little…i have to leave my house in 34 days cause i have to drive to denver first for my flight and 34 days is SOON….WHAT DO I BRING?!?!?! thats what i’m worried about the most! i feel like theres 100 things i should be doing to get ready but i can’t think of a single one!!!! SO EXCITED for this trip….CANNOT WAIT!!!

  • 15 Mar 2012 Carlene said

    Carlene

    im not getting updates from this anymore…sorry guys! im going to scotland, ireland and greece afterwards…5 weeks in total…i get to london the 24th…if anyone wants to tour with me afterwards let me know! all my hotels are already booked but i think i might get a bit lonely….I got all my travel documents from contiki today and i honestly started to panic a little…i have to leave my house in 34 days cause i have to drive to denver first for my flight and 34 days is SOON….WHAT DO I BRING?!?!?! thats what i’m worried about the most! i feel like theres 100 things i should be doing to get ready but i can’t think of a single one!!!! SO EXCITED for this trip….CANNOT WAIT!!!

  • 15 Mar 2012 Maybellina said

    Maybellina

    Hey Carlene, I am having the same concerns as you but over the past 2 days, I was reading one of the discussion board that Phil recommended. The name of the thread is “What do you wish you’d known?" It’s a super useful site but mind you, there is a lot of readings involved but it gives u a good idea about what to pack :) Just a tip: don’t get too overwhelmed with all the information on that discussion board :) They really insist on packing light ;)
    Carlene, that’s so cool that u will be going to Scotland, Ireland and Greece :) I will need to plan to go to those places on another vacation~ Maybe i can get some tips from you after your trip ;) I will be arriving in London on the 26th around 10 am :) I also started to make my list about what to pack hee hee~ So excited!!
    From what I gathered from that discussion board, a few items came up many times re: what to bring:

    Hand sanitizers (since in Europe we have to pay to use the bathrooms), tissues, extra camera battery, converters for chargers, travel pillow (for the long bus rides), Ipods or something to read during the long bus rides, medications (apparently, everyone gets the “Contiki cough/cold”), eye mask & ear plug, flats or heels to go out, dresses, running shoes, flip flops, extra SD cards for camera, calling card (if u need to make international phone calls) and scarf or pashminas (they said in Rome, in many places, we need to have our shoulders covered and knees too), money belt or/& back pack to put stuff for the bus, a warm sweater..ect.

    Phil: thanks a lot for sharing the thread. It was very useful :)

    I was worried about feeling lonely during the trip since I am kinda shy. But, I am glad I get to know you guys prior the the trip :) It’s gonna be amazing!

    Would anyone of you know if it would be easy to find a currency exchange office in Europe? I am thinking of exchanging my money when I get to Europe. Or anyone has other suggestions?

  • 15 Mar 2012 Maybellina said

    Maybellina

    PS: For those of you who is planning to use your credit card in Europe, make sure you notified the card company so that they are aware and won’t freeze your account in Europe :)
    Cheers!

  • 21 Mar 2012 Carlene said

    Carlene

    i was told to pack light too problem is…packing light for 5 weeks is kinda a challenge so im thinking ill just bring a contiki bag then store my other bag in there basement till our tour is over…as for the currency i was planning on exchanging some there but ive been told by a close friend whos done this once that its always good to have even just $50 exchanged when you go over there that way if you get stuck at the airport or somewhere or something happens with one of your cards then you have a fall back plan till things get fixed….and tell your banks or whoever that youll be over there or they will freeze your cards…its happened to me before and its not fun…it happened to my friend as well, and when they told her they mailed her a new card out she panicked cause she wasnt oging to be home for months and she now had no bank card… so call your banks and tell them and make sure you have a fall back cash fund already exchanged jsut in case something happens….

  • 22 Mar 2012 Ali said

    Ali

    hi guys! Thanks for all the suggestions they’ll be so helpful! I was going to suggest the same thing as Carene having at least some money on you before you go is good just as a safety precaution in case there’s a problem. When I was over there a while ago I was lucky I had money already because sometimes it can be difficcult to find a bank machine that will work with your card (I had serious issues with this as my bank inst as big as some and some of the smaller places I went I had to rely a lot on cash I’d already exchanged back home. We figured out what was going on with my bank eventually and after that cash withrawls were a lot easier and mostly what I did (it costs you every time so I usually did large amounts so I could withdraw more often) but having cash ahead of time saved my ass more than once. Also if you are planning to do bank withdrawls and you rely on a letter password know the number equivelant as that’s all they have. Credit card wise you will want to have cash too as some smaller places will most likely just take cash. Sorry…couldn’t resit chiming in my 2 cents as I know I had lots of problems and how stressful that was.

  • 22 Mar 2012 Ali said

    Ali

    double post god now I’m doing it. Edit: Also if anyone doesn’t have a credit card with a chip it will make your life easier over there to get one that does if you are planning on using it often theurrs all do and so some may have issues/not like accepting non chip cards(though you’re probably okay better to be safe than sorry)

  • 22 Mar 2012 Maybellina said

    Maybellina

    Thanks Ali and Carlene for the info. I do plan to withdraw some British pounds, CHF and Euro prior to leaving :) I am with RBC and today the teller told me that we are better off to have 4 digits pin numbers in Europe. He told me in some places, there might be some trouble to get $$ if your pin is more than 4 digits….pretty odd~ I think I will most likely use my credit card than my debit…I was told that there will be a service charge each time I withdraw $$. Thanks girls for your 2cents :)

  • 23 Mar 2012 Phil said

    Phil

    Thanks for the tips everyone!

    For converting money before traveling, I’ve taken two routes in the past:
    1) Made a request at my branch for foreign currency (they usually had a limited supply of Euros and GBPs — asking ahead helped reserve some)
    2) Airport Exchange — The airport usually has a kiosk that exchanges and in some cases, if you hold onto your receipt, they will waive the admin/transaction fee if you have left over currency.

    1) is the best case, 2) results in a fee. If you can find an ATM when you land, taking a larger amount out might be better in terms of the banking fee instead of 2).

    If you’re planning on a few days in London, also check out the Oyster card — it makes getting around on the tube much easier.

    Carlene, do you happen to have the hotel name Contiki lined up for the 27th? I haven’t received my package yet, but I’d like to line up a few stops. I’m landing early that morning @ Gatwick and will have the better part of the day to roam.

    5 weeks, hard to believe, eh?

  • 23 Mar 2012 Carlene said

    Carlene

    I believe… I’m not at home right now to double check but as soon as I am I’ll post

  • 28 Mar 2012 Ali said

    Ali

    thanks for all the help money wise guys =) to add to what Phil was saying there are places that specialize just in the exchange of currency. I’ve got one down at the local mall that i think im going to use (I don’t believe there is any fee and you will probably be able to convert a larger amount that at a bank). Hope this helps, I can’t believe it’s less than a month away now!

  • 28 Mar 2012 Maybellina said

    Maybellina

    I hope time will past faster! I can’t wait for this trip! By the way, Phil, the hotel on the 27th is called the Imperial Hotel in London~ I got my package last week :) Yay!!
    @ Ali: yes, I saw there are some places in Montreal that does currency exchange and they said no fees needed~ Thanks for the tip!

  • 28 Mar 2012 Carlene said

    Carlene

    i did post that at one point…my post never made it onto the page though :(

  • 28 Mar 2012 Ali said

    Ali

    carlene: i swear this website has a mind of its own ;p it’s like delete here, double post there evil laugh.

    Everyone seems to have gotten their packages so far except me =( .

  • 28 Mar 2012 Phil said

    Phil

    Hi Ali, I’m in the same boat too with the package. I’m hoping it arrives this week or next. Thanks for the info, Maybellina!

  • 28 Mar 2012 Carlene said

    Carlene

    If u booked through a travel agent ur papers will go there….

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