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Versailles and a few other things

28 Dec 2009 Mel the aussie said

Mel the aussie
Hey guys im going on my first trip to europe next year and i was just wondering some things.
ive read a heap of topics but i cant find anything on here or on contikipedia that exactly answers my questions.
ok so here are my few questions... i apologise if they sound silly or anything.

1) On the euro highlights is there a chance to visit Versailles on your free day?
i know there is a heap of things to do that day and there are a heap of things i want to see but Versailles fascinates me and i would love to go see it. but i fully understand if there is no possible time.

2)I arrive in london around 530am.
are the tube services open then... and what is there to do at this time of the morning. ive read about the dot to dot thing aswell. is that a good option to go with.

3)I'm lactose intolerant and ive read you basically get cereal and sometimes toast for breaky.
i was wondering is there anything else to choose from that isnt dairy. i can deal with toast i was just wondering coz ive heard in italy(?) they hav packet toast and its pretty foul. i dont wanna make a big fuss out of it and i can have a little bit, i just wanted to find out my choices.

4)would it be better to buy shampoo and that after i arrive in paris or would it be better to bring it from home.
im not worried about room in my bag coz i hav a fairly big suitcase (still in the limits of contiki) so i'll hav alot of space, its just the weight im concerned about.

5)i plan on sending stuff home like souvenirs, is it easy to get away to send it home or should i bring another bag as my second check in on the way home?

6)Also i would like to buy a top from most places i visit as a souvenir to wear back home. are these shirts easy to find and do they cost much?

i know its a fair few questions but yeh any reply would be great!

-Mel- Smiler
  • 28 Dec 2009 NaHdz said

    NaHdz

    Hi Mel, I don’t have a response for everything but i’ll try my best :-)

    1) I didn’t do a Contiki through Europe but I did do another coach tour. Going to Versailles you can either do a day tour which is all day from like 8am to 5pm or I think you can catch the train..it takes a couple of hours there and back. Not sure what Contiki does in Paris but if there are any Optionals you want to do you won’t have time for Versailles. I was there for 2 full days and didn’t find the time as there were other things I wanted to do as well..shopping along the Champs Elysee, The Lourve, Notre Dame etc

    2) I never caught the Tube while in London as I didn’t have much time. but most trains start sometime between about 5.00am – 5.30am Monday to Saturday, and between 6.30am – 7.30am on Sundays. Obviously though if the train leaves the beggining of the line at 5am and your stop is 6 away it might not get there until 5:45am..so it really depends on where you catch it etc

    3) If the breakfast is continental which they are more often than not, they usually consist of cereals, yoghurt, fruit, breads and pastrys so you may not have much of a selection..

    4) If shampoo and conditioner are going to make your bag to heavy on the way over then you have problems! How long are you going for? If you only pack your bag half full, or less if you can manage it, you should be fine, and by the end of your tour you can throw them out..

    5) Again how long are you going for? If your travelling for a long time it might be handy to post some things home but don’t post your souvenirs, post clothes etc as they can be replaced and they’re light and won’t cost as much to send. You are allowed to take a carry on bag, like an overnight bag, that you can take on the bus and plane with you. Don’t take another suitcase as it will cost you a fortune to bring back

    6) There are sooo many souvenir shops everywhere you go so you’ll have no trouble finding cheap shirts

    hope that helps a little

  • 28 Dec 2009 Stacey88 said

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    i havent been on a trip yet but with reference to the shampoo and conditioner i saw some suggest using Lush shampoo bars, they last for ages and weigh hardly anything. i plan on using them cos i am terrible at packing light and definitely saves a lot of weight

    and also depending on who you are flying with, i know with qantas you can send unaccompanied baggage and its cheaper than paying for excess kilos, but im not positive about prices so maybe check the website of what airline you are flying with cos that could be a good option

  • 28 Dec 2009 Mel the aussie said

    Mel the aussie

    hey NaHdz and stacey,

    thanx so much it helped me alot!
    i’ll hav to keep an eye out for those shampoo bars sounds like a pretty cool idea lol

  • 4 Jan 2010 Mel the aussie said

    Mel the aussie

    Also i’d like to know when i should tell contiki about my lactose intolerancy. do i tell them before i go or would the pre – departure meeting be fine

    thanx

  • 5 Jan 2010 NaHdz said

    NaHdz

    Let them know now..just call them or tell your Travel Agent to make a note in your booking. Did you also request lactose free meals for the flight?

  • 6 Jan 2010 Mel the aussie said

    Mel the aussie

    no i didnt… its not all that bad… its just stuff like milk and large amounts of yoghurt and icecream that give me a tummy ache so i just tend to stay away from it. i’ll tell my travel agent n see what they can do.

  • 7 Jan 2010 cdm115 said

    cdm115

    Versailles – you’ll have to arrange that on your own, but there will be time. You probably wont be able to do much else that day. I believe there is a train that goes there.

    If shampoo is going to make your break your bag in terms of weight then you have too much other stuff. I would bring at least some travel size bottles to get you through a few days.

    I would tell Contiki before you go about your lactose intollerance, then remind your TM at the pre-tour meeting. The breakfasts are sometimes kinda sparse even if you can drink milk so it wouldn’t hurt to pick up or bring some little snacks that you can eat in the mornings. Often there is bread, cereal and maybe some cheese or meat or yogurt.

    The tube should open up around 5 or 6am. But by the time your 5:30am flight de-boards, you go through customs and get your luggage a good hour will have gone by. Then it’s another hour to get to Russell Square – 7:30-8:00. Most touristy stuff will not be open by then, but you could grab some breakfast and go see stuff that doesn’t have to be open to see and before you know it things will be open.

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