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3 Back to back tours advice

7 Feb 2013 AlexG asked

AlexG

Hey
I am planning on going to europe jul/aug/sep 2014 and want to do the scandinavia and russia plus tour then the great britain and ireland tour and finishing off with the european adventurer tour with a few days in between each tour. I want to do all the optionals and i love shopping and having a few drinks so i will have to count those things into my spending money....Has anyone been on these three tours and got any advice? like what the weathers going to be like, packing, how much money you took, going places to go sight seeinng and just general stuff that i might need to know ...
thanks

  • 21 May 2013 Clancy said

    Clancy

    Hi AlexG,

    So this year (2013), from Aug 1st – Oct 15th, I’m doing back to back – Scandanavia end Helsinki, 2. Croatia sailing, 3. Scotland (only), and 4. European Contrasts. Previously I have done the Winter Wonderer and Enlgland/Scotland (Feb/March) back to back.

    For money matters, my first trip (in Winter) I budgeted on 200euro/day for my entire trip (3 months long) and brought a whole new winter wardrobe (went over with an empty backpack really, came back with a full suitcase), did every optional activity on the tours and had no worries with food/drinks and occasionally had a splurg somewhere expensive. Came back broke needless to say :-) and I was lucky to have found some friends to stay with in between for a few days here and there to save on accommodation costs for non tour days. I did find the Contiki guidelines for approx. 100 euro per day (thats the upper end of the range they suggest) whilst on tour is pretty well spot on – you shouldn’t be strapped for cash unless you like shouting rounds of drinks, hard core drugs, or very expensive fashion. I have been warned Scandinavia is more expensive so the next trip this year I’m budgeting on 150 euro per day. But otherwise this time around I’m not planning on shopping so much (I don’t need summer clothes!), and I’ve budgeted on 100euro per day whilst on tour and in between 220euro/day (I’ve found accommodation costs are a lot more expensive than winter!) for all other costs. I’ll let you know how my budget went when I return!!

    I’ve looked up weather stuff and checked through blogs on contiki forums, and spoken to friends who have been traveling same time of the year, and I guess the summary is especially around the Mediterranean, it’s gonna be hot. For Scandanavia – I’ve been told to bring a jumper, and jeans (even though its first on the agenda). Not a fan of the heat (lol, yeah I’m Australian too) so hopefully it wont be as bad as my friends made it out to be!

    For packing – the Contiki Europe Winter guide pretty much worked out to be spot on once I had been shopping for a week in London, so I plan to follow the summer guide this time too. Just remember hand sanitizer, toilet or tissue paper, universal adapter for UK/Euro and a power board!, and pack less if you plan to shop more.

    There is a great blog on “Things I wish I had known before going on Contiki” that comments on sight seeing and packing too. Worth a read for a fair deal of it. I knew nothing before travelling and Contiki was great for me because they gave great advice whilst on tour of where to go and what to do. There were also of course other people on the trip who knew a lot of history and had places they wanted to go see so just tag along and you will discover some pretty cool stuff too. But generally, I recommend doing ALL optional extras – your not going to regret the things you did when given the opportunity, but you will regret doing the things you didn’t do when given the opportunity.

    My first trip, I went solo, meet some amazing people and just went with the flow. I took note of the stuff I wanted to come back to do again one day (which I have been back to do some of it too!). And this time around, thats my plan again (although this time I’m going with BF and other friends too).

    My only other advice is, try to line up tours around festivals/events. This year we should be in Scotland for the Fringe festival and have plans to see a couple of comedic acts. We might be able to attend Tomatina in between our tours, pending on a family organised trip. We will just be missing the Military Tattoo unfortunately. But will also get to be in Munich for Oktoberfest!

    When in Rome…

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