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What do you wish you'd known?

18 Jul 2007 ashleightara asked

I'm curious to know what ppl wish they'd known before they went on their trips, and only discovered afterwards...<BR><BR>For example, <BR>Did you miss something in a town you wish you'd known about? <BR>Did you pack something, and never used it?<BR>Did you NEED something you didn't pack and had to go in search of it?<BR><BR>In particular, looking for different advice to what is already available on the board...share you experience so others can learn from you 'mistake'.<BR><BR>Thanks <img src="" alt="Smiler" width="15" height="15"><!--graemlin::)-->
  • 8 Nov 2011 candicelancaster said


    This is soooo helpful guys :) Thank you sooooo much! Amazing how people just keep adding to it!! I cant wait for my trip! Hurry up June 8 2012!

  • 8 Nov 2011 AlexG said


    thats the way i feel :) my trips not until june 30 2012 just feels like its taking for ages ….. all the tips have been so helpful im looking at packing my bag with a whole new light :)

  • 15 Nov 2011 Dsince1984 said


    I’m doing the European Magic Nov-Dec. Do you usually go out to clubs or bars? Do girls mostly wear dresses, even in the winter? And how much money do you usually spend on alcohol/night? I think only budgeted for food lol

  • 20 Nov 2011 Aleisha91 said


    omg love this forum… have read the entire thing!!! hahaha cant wait for my tour next June :D

  • 21 Nov 2011 Aleisha91 said


    i have a question for the german concentration camp, how much do uactually get to see at Dachau?

    I really want to see the dachau concentration camp, but i dont just want to see the outside. and walk along the memorial site but i want to be able to go inside aswell.

    How much to u actually get to see?? can u go right into the camp to see the bunks and the gas chambers etc.? thanks for your help

  • 21 Nov 2011 jade89 said


    I went on European discovery, went to a mix of clubs & bars. Most girls wore tunics & tights, though for the moulin rouge a lot dressed up in dresses.. but there was a real mix, just depended on what people brought/bought & how they handled the cold.
    I probably spent around 50-100 euros on nights out, including the taxi home (usually, with a full cab, was only 5 euros each). We went out (as a group) about every 2nd night and obviously you could have much cheaper nights if you chose to ;)
    You go inside Dachau and see it all. There is a museum and a 20 minute movie in the old administration quarters, but the rest is original – bunks, gas chambers, crematorium…

  • 21 Nov 2011 Aleisha91 said


    ohh thanks so much jade :)
    im glad u dont just walk along the outside or whatever lol
    it must of been pretty amazing??
    thanks for that.. good to know :D

  • 21 Nov 2011 jade89 said


    It was… I’m not sure how to describe it. Humbling… horrifying… something very different anyway.

  • 21 Nov 2011 Dsince1984 said


    Thanks Jade! Did a lot of people go to Moulin Rouge? I’m thinking of skipping it and hoping someone a few others do to and will be around to grab dinner.

  • 21 Nov 2011 jade89 said


    Almost our whole group went. It was ok – probably not worth the $$ but it’s just kinda the thing you do when you’re in Paris.
    But I’m sure it will depend on your group and what they have planned – we didn’t have to pay for things until day 3 or 4 I think so by then you’ve got the chance to talk to lots of people and convince them to skip it with you.

  • 21 Nov 2011 JL said


    I would definitely recommend the Moulin Rouge. Our group went to the La Nouvelle Eve though (which has a similar show than the Moulin Rouge). Like Jade said, it’s not worth the money, but it’s still entertaining and it’s something you absolutely have to do in Paris. P.S. Our WHOLE group went.

  • 1 Dec 2011 Explorer1215150 said


    Hi! I’m going on the Southern Adventure in the US early next year and was just wondering if anyone had any helpful tips/advice regarding this particular tour, such as suitable clothing/footwear (its in the middle of winter), luggage & bags, optionals etc.
    Thanks :)

  • 5 Dec 2011 Explorer1214057 said


    Can anyone shed some light on touring in Winter? I’m looking at heading over in Dec 12, looking at either the European Discovery (12 days) or European Encounters (16 days) and although have picked nearly everyones brains am still a bit unsure as this will only be a small part of our 6 week holiday. Can anyone suggest what to pack/ what not to pack for a winter tour?
    Thanks :)

  • 5 Dec 2011 jade89 said


    I did a winter tour. Took merino thermals (I’m told silk are also good) + jeans, thin socks to wear as ‘inner’ socks, plus thick outer socks (only need 2 pairs of these as they don’t get dirty like the inner socks, so saves space). Windproof/waterproof coat, light-weight quick drying 3/4 sleeve shirts – thermals add lots of warmth underneath. The thermals don’t take up much room, and dry quickly. I regret taking my heavier weight shirts, as I found them warm enough without thermals but they took so long to dry. Thermals, thinner shirt + jacket should keep you nice and warm. And a good pair of WATERPROOF shoes – I wore leather boots, could walk inthem all day and party in them all night. For going out I took a tunic and used thermals as tights (figured we’d be indoors + alcohol, so didn’t need to worry bout staying too warm).

  • 6 Dec 2011 Amy said


    any tips for the Winter Wanderer tour? im going in january. any tips would be appreciated. how much spending money?
    AND how did people take there money i cant decide on what to do!

  • 8 Dec 2011 kna0909 said


    Hey guys, my boyfriend and i are doing the london to athens tour in june next year. We are stuck with where to go after… thinking about going to santorini or some of the other greek islands, has anyone been?

  • 13 Dec 2011 Explorer1333075 said


    I recently got back from a three week trip that covered the continent. There are few things that I’m glad I did, some things I wish I did and some things I wish I would have done different

    I’m glad:

    I brought earplugs. There are some nights that you will want to sleep. I’m a light sleep normally, but got a decent set and missed on some roommates late night entry into the room. Also, you will get sick. Nothing major, mostly just a cold, but as our parents/doctors/friends/strangers have all said you need fluids and sleep. Fluids come in abundance (I don’t think they meant beer, but I figure water is the main ingredient so it counts) but sleep does not. The night you feel sick, go to bed early. Trust me, it will help!

    I know it may seem daunting at first, but really get out and meet different people. Cliques will for almost instantly, but I avoided join one or the other by simply sitting next to different groups at breakfast, lunch, dinner. For the most part, people are willing to meet other. To those that weren’t, I just left them to their own trip. I also went around by myself from time to time. It made seeing things a lot easier.

    I’m glad I lugged around a high end camera, but not a laptop. I figure the memories will fade, but the camera will always help bring them back. For a laptop, a few people had them, but I was on vacation and really didn’t want to be tied back to home too much. There are plenty of places to check your email/facebook so it just seemed like an extra piece. Also, odds are, someone in the group will let you use their laptop.

    Our trip was pretty casual and short of a couple nice shirts and jeans I didn’t bring much ‘going out’ clothes. Maybe because I’m more of a bar guy over a club guy, but it seemed as though most places were the same. For the most part you go to ‘Contiki Bars’ as there always seemed to be other groups there; most of the bars are fun enough. Girls, I’m not positive, but I didn’t see too many in our group in f*** me heels often and I know they were recommended against most nights as the cobblestones apparently cause problems. Plus there is a lot of bar crawling, aka a lot of walking.

    Buy drinks at a local market and pre-party in your room or the lobby. A lot of the places are expensive to drink as they are tourist related.

    GET OFF THE BEATEN PATH! The trip is some much better if you hit the major sites and then just wonder. Venice is amazing just a few streets over from the tourists. Amsterdam has much more to offer outside of weed and hookers. Barcelona has some spectacular little neighborhoods. It doesn’t take much to get out of the tourist hoards and makes for a truly unique trip. That being said, hit the major sites. Your manager will either take you or tell you how to get there, but remember that there is a reason these are famous sites and usually worth hitting.

    I’m glad I took time out to just soak in where I was and what I was doing. Overlooking the city in Barcelona, sitting in café in Paris just people watching with friends, marveling at St Marks Square at night, these are amazing experiences that I wish everyone could enjoy and I feel special that I could. Take the time to relax and think about it.

    Other tips:

    If you are staying in Switzerland, don’t buy drinks if you are a guy. A) Everything is overpriced B) Girls get major discounts for not having a penis. I would just give girls at the table money and have them go get it, which they were fine with as they normally got a free shot for doing so. Before you think me cheap, my example I paid 18 francs for two drinks and a girl next to me order three of the same and paid 6 francs. The choice is yours.

    DON’T try to catch a cab in Florence. Literally took 2 hours to FIND one and then it was a hassle from that point on. Catch the bus, trust me, it will make for a much better night.

    The optionals are hit or miss. To be honest I wish I hadn’t gone to the top of the Jungfrau as I’ve been to the top of mountains and I would have preferred to hike around the valley. If you skip the Vatican tour, you are a moron. That place is huge and this cuts you right to the heart of it so you have time to see as much as possible Most of the ones with food were a solid deal unless you had a local place already in mind. For the most part they don’t add much outside of a place to mingle with the tour.

    I wish I would have stayed after the trip. I would have gone anywhere, probably the British Isle as I’ve not done that yet, but anywhere is better then back at work/school.

    Bottom line is, the trip is what you make it. There are a lot of different people on the bus and like life some you’ll like some you won’t, but at the end of the trip and the flight home just make sure you left with no regrets. When you get home all you will have is memories and stories. The best thing about the trip is remembering all the little things that made the trip fun.

  • 14 Dec 2011 Aleisha91 said


    Some good advice :D cant wait for my tour in 5 months!!!!

  • 20 Dec 2011 Explorer1334491 said


    Hi everyone, thanks for the great advice!!! I am going to Italy and france, and am planning on taking a backpack everywhere. Is there anywhere where you aren’t allowed to take a backpack??? i.e. can you generally take them into all the sight-seeing places? What about museums? I was planning on keeping my passport and money locked up in there, so I don’t want to have to leave y backpack anywhere.

  • 20 Dec 2011 JL said


    We also took a backpack everywhere and generally had no problems. The only place where we weren’t allowed to take it in was the St Mark’s Basilica in Venice.

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