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Euro Magic 12th July 2009
- 73 responses so far
Europe is beautiful, you’ll love it! I’ve been to London and Paris only (once before), but I’m really excited about all the places on this tour! I just paid the balance on my trip this morning too!
LA – I’m jealous! <!--graemlin::)-->
Yeah, the luggage restriction is a little light, although when we flew home from the last Contiki the airline enforced about the same restrictions on weight. My sister and I were literally standing at the check-in desk with our luggage on the belt pulling out curling irons and shoes and stuffing what we could in our carry-on to be under weight. It’s kinda ridiculous. But ironically Contiki never weighed our luggage before the tour and we were more stressed about that. They also don’t weigh it at the end of or during the tour either.
Contiki is really a great option for traveling. You’re guaranteed to be in a group of people around the same age and you see a lot and do a lot for the money you pay. It’s a lot of fun – the tour manager and bus driver we had last time were really fun and made the trip great. I can’t wait to go again! You’ll love it, for sure!
this is a little random, but I just got back from this exact tour 2 weeks ago—if anyone has any specific questions, feel free to ask while it’s still fresh in my memory bank <!--graemlin::)--> I had tons of specific questions before I left, but couldn’t find anyone who had gone on the euro magic tour…
I had a BLAST, by the way!
Thanks the willingness to answer questions! How much money would you say you spent for the whole tour for excursions and food and everything else (except for miscellaneous shopping)? Also what did you think about the excursions? I was thinking of doing pretty much everything except for the cabaret thing. Is there anything that stands out that you think we should know? or that was really fun and was a “must do”? How big was the group of people you were with? Also I read somewhere on the forum that you should bring a towel and toilet paper? I mean is that really necessary? It would just take more room in my suitcase. Did you post up any photos of your trip on here? I’d love to see it!
Leanne- are you flying in a bit early at all? or are you just flying into London right in time for the tour?
To answer your questions:
How much money would you say you spent for the whole tour for excursions and food and everything else (except for miscellaneous shopping)?
I spent about $1200 US dollars for the entire trip…I’d say maybe $300 were on souvenirs (I didn’t really bring back too much). The excursions were close to $400, so that was a major chunk of my budget. With the amount that I spent it was ideal for me. I don’t drink too much and I wasn’t too interested in shopping, so I really didn’t have to to think about how much I was spending the entire trip.
Also what did you think about the excursions? I was thinking of doing pretty much everything except for the cabaret thing. Is there anything that stands out that you think we should know? or that was really fun and was a “must do”?
I signed up for all of the excursions along with the majority of my tour group. The Moulin Rouge was worth it (in my opinion) but mainly because it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for me. Otherwise (and I hate to say it) I’ve seen better shows for much cheaper! Otherwise, I highly recommend all of the excursions (especially if you’re traveling solo like I was). Of all of them, the bike tour in Munich is a MUST! I would do it again in a heart beat. The tour up to stanserhorn mtn was awesome, too. and FYI if your tour guide mentions a special excursion in Amsterdam, be cautious but have an open mind (that’s all I can say about that! haha)
How big was the group of people you were with?
We had a full group, total of 51 people. The strange thing about our group was that there were a lot of couples, which might’ve made our groups a little tamer than I would’ve liked…however, everyone was really great and we all got along very well <!--graemlin::)-->
Also I read somewhere on the forum that you should bring a towel and toilet paper?
Don’t worry about the towel—I brought one and never used it. All of the hotels had plenty to spare. The hotels in Amsterdam, Munich and Venice were by far the nicer ones on the tour (comfy beds and blow-dryers [a must for me-haha]) I do, however, suggest bringing toilet paper since not all of the public bathrooms (esp in Venice) had any. Also, be prepared to pay for the public restrooms. I think everywhere except France charged (usually 50 cents or so).
Did you post up any photos of your trip on here? I’d love to see it!
I put a few pix from the trip—you should be able to see them. Otherwise, I have TONS on facebook. Can’t remember if my account is private, but you can add me if it is (email@example.com).
Let me know if you have any other questions-I know it would’ve been helpful for me when I was planning!
Asia, that’s awesome – thanks so much for posting about the trip. I was planning on doing all of the optionals too and am excited to hear the bike tour is worth it – I’m looking forward to that! I was wondering how you handled money and what you brought with you? I know everyone says use an ATM but I have a fear of not having access to my money (bank card gets fried, or something silly). Did you bring Swiss Francs as well or withdraw there?
Lizette: I’m flying into London about 6am the day of the tour. I talked with Marc about checking out some sights together that day – London Eye, etc. What time will you be getting in? I am planning on staying an extra day in Paris though after the trip (I’m really looking forward to that).
I can’t believe the trip is just over a month away – wow!!! :O
I came with about $200 US cash and exchanged about $100 for pounds when I landed in Heathrow. I had no issues paying for things/getting money through the atm machines with my debit card. I just made sure to call my bank before-hand and let them know. However, a lot of the people on my trip were having MAJOR issues with their cards (mostly people from Canada—for some odd reason). Fortunately, we all became pretty friendly and just went with IOUs until we reached a city that was compatible with their cards <!--graemlin::)--> Make sure to note your banks intl number that way you can call and hassle them if anything goes awry.
You pay for your excursions within the first 2 days or so and our tour guide converted all of the prices to Euros to make it easier to pay as well. For people that were having debit card issues, our guides were completely understanding and patient.
As far as getting francs, I wouldn’t bother. When we went up to stanserhorn mtn (our first Swiss stop) they took euros and gave change back in francs. If you don’t spend money there (I didn’t) it still doesn’t matter because the shops that we went to keep their own stash of change in ANY currency (made it super easy for us). If you plan on going out to a bar in Lucerne, just bring your credit/debit card and you’ll be fine. So many people exchanged to francs and then were stuck with way too much when we left for Paris the next morning.
Hope that was (somewhat) helpful! If any other questions pop up, just ask away <!--graemlin::)-->
Hi Leanne- We actually leave L.A. July 1st and do like a week in Scotland on our own and then get to London I think on July 8th so we’ll have a bit of free time to go around. At some point I want to make it down to Bath and Stonehenge =) We are also staying 2 extra days in Paris. We booked our room at the same hotel Contiki is staying in to make it easier. It was pretty cheap still. I think it was only 40 something pounds in the same hotel just a different building. I’m also planning on staying in the Contiki hotel (This its called Ibis) in Paris also for the 2 days after the tour. I’ve stayed at an Ibis hotel in Sydney before. They are ok for the money you pay. Plus we would have to keep checking in and out. Did you post up any photos from your previous Contiki trip?
Asia- Thanks so much for all that info!! I just looked up your photos on here. I tried to look you up on facebook but it said there was no one with that email. Looks like you had a blast! I’m glad to hear the excursions are worth while. You just got me more amped up to go!
Oh are you allowed to take alcohol with you? You know how they sell cheaper bottles at Dutyfree.. I kinda drink a lot (when I’m on vacation only) and am scared I’ll spend way too much money on drinks hehe. BTW, are you from the US? and are there lots of people from the US. I really don’t care, I love meeting ppl from everywhere I’m just curious.
Not quite sure about bringing alcohol on the trip (as far as the rules go) but I know that a few people definitely brought some along. Some of the weeknights provided for early closing times at the bars, so we would drink a little (or a lot) back at the hotel <!--graemlin::)-->
I’m from San Diego, CA and there were only about 6-7 Americans on my tour. Pretty much the entire group was from Canada (which our tour guide said was out of the ordinary). Quite a few Aussies, too.
Sorry about the facebook thing—firstname.lastname@example.org should work (if you still want to see pix).
Our tour is finally showing FULL !! I wonder who else is going. <!--graemlin::D-->
hi lizette and leanne…. not long to go now i cant wait but im nervous because its my first trip on my own n stuff but ye it should be fun
my plans r to arrive in london on the 9th jul, the 10th im off to old trafford to tour manchester uniteds ground which is a must for me but i will be back in london that day as i will just take the train. as for the 10th (night time) and 11th i have no idea what i am going to do or what there is to do so if you want to we can all maybe go out together somewhere at least then i wont get lost lol
i will also be staying at the royal national hotel in london….do you guys know whats the best way to get their from the airport??
I’m so glad more people are posting on this<!--graemlin::D-->
I was just wondering, Asia, what time did the tour start in the morning? Me and my friend will be at concert the night before and won’t be able to go to the meeting at 6pm.
what meeting? is there a meeting?
Yeah on the 11th at the hotel at 6pm there is. I think you get like info and meet everyone.
Yeah, there’s an introductory meeting/dinner and then a walk through Covent Garden (I think)…I missed it the last time I went because our flight was delayed, although I don’t think too much is missed – just introductions like Missy said.
I think Marc and I are going to travel around London a bit that day (the 11th). I’d be up for going out that night after dinner for a bit. This is my first time traveling alone across the pond so I’m a bit nervous too but getting excited! I can’t believe how fast the trip is coming up.
Lizette – you will love Bath and Stonehenge. Bath is beautiful (we did that on our last tour) – I would really like to go back sometime. That’s cool that you’re staying on in Paris after the tour. I’m booked for one extra day there (wish I were staying for two). I haven’t posted any photos on Contiki from before, but I have some on my facebook if you want to add me – email@example.com.
Andross – if you’re flying into Heathrow then the Tube connects from there, and I believe the hotel stop is Russell Square. The Tube is super-easy to use and cheap too. I’m going to pick up a day-pass before I leave. If you’re doing a day of sightseeing in London, you’ll definitely want one of those.
I still can’t decide on what to do about money. I want to do some shopping in Paris so I’ll probably save my credit card for that. Using an ATM scares me though – I always fear my card won’t work and I’ll be stuck with no money (crazy, I know).
What’s everyone else got left to do to get ready for the trip? <!--graemlin::D-->
Depending on how many Euro tours are departing the same day (I think there were 3 different tours when we went) it’ll be anywhere from 6am-6:45am. We got a later time slot because the Euro Magic is a superior tour. It’s about a 2 hour drive, 1 hour ferry and then another 2 hour drive until you’re in Amsterdam so even if you’re tired in the morning you get plenty of rest time!
I missed most of the pre-departure meeting (went to the wrong one-haha) but they just give youa simple waiver to fill out before you leave. You can fill it out in the am if you can’t make the meeting. BRING YOUR TRAVEL INSURANCE INFO! Even if you got it through Contiki (it’s in the packet they sent you), because you’ll need the reference number.
I just realised it says 6.45am in my contiki pack haha silly me! but thnakyou so much for all the info you have given us<!--graemlin::)-->
The one thing I remember about the bus from last time is it SUCKED – totally sucked for sleeping! It was very uncomfortable (haha). So this time I’m bringing my travel pillow (might be a good idea for anyone thinking of it).
I’m Danah Ruth from British Columbia, Canada. But I’ve been living in London for the past 10 months, playing Mary Poppins to a Nigerian family here (thus the Nigerian username). I’m going on this tour along with my two best friends from home, Jo and Lonie. It’s only 20 more sleeps! <!--graemlin::)--> Looking forward to it immensely!
Hey Danah! I can’t believe how close the trip is getting, it’s going to be here before we know it. That’s pretty cool that you’re living in London – that would be awesome, I love London. Are you all ready for the trip? I’m still trying to figure out my cell phone (I’ll probably buy a European SIM card) and my travel adapters – haha. But I’m almost ready. <!--graemlin::)-->
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