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What do you wish you'd known?

18 Jul 2007 ashleightara asked

ashleightara
I'm curious to know what ppl wish they'd known before they went on their trips, and only discovered afterwards...

For example,
Did you miss something in a town you wish you'd known about?
Did you pack something, and never used it?
Did you NEED something you didn't pack and had to go in search of it?

In particular, looking for different advice to what is already available on the board...share you experience so others can learn from you 'mistake'.

Thanks Smiler
  • 29 Feb 2012 drmalisa said

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    JL thanks so much for answering my question! That’s exactly what I wanted to know.

  • 1 Mar 2012 Reka803 said

    Reka803

    Great thread. I have done 3 and not sure if this had been mentioned before but do NOT bring a hairdryer all hotels have them, one towel is enough to bring, bring an extra battery for your camera and buy a memory that you will not have to replace. Buy a few cell phone batteries in case your phone dies and you cant charge them for a while. I replaced mine the first time ( camera with memory card)and lost about 800 pics, could not find memory card still upset to this day. Bring an adapter for all electrical units and your phone. For the summer trips I would take a few extra tanks as it gets really hot. I am going to bring really small perfume sizes as they take up a lot of place. Charge everthing the night before and bring an extra alarm clock as some hotels forget the wake up call. Bring your sheet that will tell you where your hotel is located and what the address and phone is, most taxi drivers do not know where they are. Two of the tour managers gave us their direct line, one did not make sure you have those. Call your credit card companies and tell them you are traveling. Bring your drivers license just in case for extra identity just to be on the safe side. I would not travel around at night by your self even if you know the city not safe. I would do all the extras on the vacation they are all worth it and dont forget to have fun!!!:)

  • 2 Mar 2012 Emz said

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    ADAPTORS!!!! Mission impossible finding the right ones overseas!
    Knowing a bit of french and german was pretty helpful, especially ‘do you speak english?’, ‘is there a toilet near by?’ etc
    Get travel insurance, medical bills can get pretty pricy without it.
    Pack light cause you will buy up big time
    Get to the Colesium early, didn’t get there before it had closed :-(
    Take a vitamin c, garlic etc tablet a few days before you head off on contiki and then all the way through to avoid the infamous and given the amount of time in the bus, very contagious contiki cough, or contiki SARS as we called it.
    MOST IMPORTANt: Have fun, party at night but hungover or not get out and see things during the day, you haven’t paid thousands to just drink (although its a pretty fun part of it!)

  • 2 Mar 2012 Reka803 said

    Reka803

    Yes, I came down with a terrible case of the flu for 10 days, it was pretty bad thanks for the advice about bringing vitamins. :)

  • 4 Mar 2012 Megan said

    Megan

    For those who have been before – is the drinking/partying a big deal? It’s not to say I never drink, but honestly, I have been saving for this trip for a long time and wanting to travel for forever, and also I don’t have an unlimited budget- plus am travelling for 2 weeks after (I’m going on Euro Inspiration in a week!) . Will I feel left out of the group if I choose not to participate in drinking, etc? I’m sure I’d join in for going out at night just to be there, sometimes, but I want to be able to be awake and non-hungover to enjoy the sights! and also I feel there’s less of a chance of me getting sick if I try to get enough sleep each night. lol

  • 4 Mar 2012 Explorer1334491 said

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    Hi, I’m not a drinker really either. I will probably only really have one drink at a time. I’m hoping that there will be a range of people, and so you should fit in with a few others like you.

    also, has anyone who has been to Europ before had issues with drinking water? I am going to France and Italy and was wondering whether I should budget to buy bottled water, or whether it is perfectly fine to drink tap water and just fill up my own bottle.

  • 4 Mar 2012 Explorer1334491 said

    Default_avatar

    Hi, I’m not a drinker really either. I will probably only really have one drink at a time. I’m hoping that there will be a range of people, and so you should fit in with a few others like you.

    also, has anyone who has been to Europ before had issues with drinking water? I am going to France and Italy and was wondering whether I should budget to buy bottled water, or whether it is perfectly fine to drink tap water and just fill up my own bottle.

  • 4 Mar 2012 Amy said

    Amy

    Megan: You wont feel left out of the group if you dont go out drinking every night. But Its still nice to go out every couple of nights there will usually be a few people that will go home early anyways.

    Explorer1334491. Bottled water is cheap as. You will find it at all rest stops. Most people just filled there bottles up with tap water it was safe to drink. I think i the only place we were told not to drink the tap water was Prauge.

  • 4 Mar 2012 Megan said

    Megan

    ^ thanks to both of you for your replies! :) Yeah, I plan to go out every couple nights or on certain nights, maybe have 1 drink or maybe not drink at all, just to hang out with people. I’m hoping I’ll find other like-minded people in my group!

    and good to know about the bottled water as well! I’m have a water bottle like this: http://vapur.us/ , it rolls up so it’s easy to pack and clip onto a backpack or bag. :)

    As for luggage requirements, what I’ve gotten out of this thread is that your bag doesn’t have to be the exact specifications – just as long as it’s under 60 inches total it’s ok? Does anyone know this for sure? Mine is a bit longer in width but shorter in length/depth than the requirements. I may just call Contiki to be sure!

  • 5 Mar 2012 EmmaEmily said

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    ok, i went on the 12 day euro discovery over christmas/NY and i only went out 2 or 3 times. i wasn’t always the only one piking out early and no one really tried making me feel bad about not going out all the time. water was ok to drink and i often just refilled bottles to save money (though it really wasn’t that expensive to buy it anyway)

    and yes, as long as the total dimensions of your bag doesn’t exceed the total measurement set by contiki i think you’ll be fine.

  • 6 Mar 2012 emily7 said

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    im going on the horizon tour in may. Just wondering, what size bags did you guys take? im thinking a medium size with a long strap, or just a big handbag. How did you guys go with travel insurance, i havent booked it yet and i dont want to spend a lot on it!
    Was it warm in may?
    Also does anyone know any info on the room in paris? I read that it has lots of security but strange guys hang around, and also that its ages away from the city centre! i was planning on staying on there for a couple of nights is all
    Thanks

    This post has been so helpful!

  • 6 Mar 2012 emily7 said

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    the vapur bottle sounds amazing. Has anyone used it before? Im obsessed with water, so this would save me heaps!

  • 8 Mar 2012 amalia said

    amalia

    Emily7 – Travel insurance is crucial. try Covermore. We used them for Bali and never had a problem. i’m in europe for 7weeks and my insurance was only $350. You dont have to spend “alot” but getting enough cover just incase is better than not being covered at all.
    I havent been before but someone asked this on facebook. It starts to warm up in May, so just make sure you have a pair of long pants and a jumper or cardi to keep you warm on cooler days.
    Nooooo idea about paris :/

    I’m taking a Water Bobble. its a reusable drink bottle, with a filter built into the nozzle bit (you drink from).

  • 12 Mar 2012 caroxdsouza said

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    Hi Freinds, i am new here . hope this is a nice experience for me to being with you all and we learn new things as well and share information.

  • 13 Mar 2012 Sharna said

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    Emily7- I agree with amalia try covermore……. I am going for 5 weeks and mine cost $209…….. and I am covered for everything you could possible imagine including IF i end up in hospital it coveres magazines for me to read……. also worse case scenario (i know no one likes tho think bout it) but if you were to pass away….. your body gets brought back to your country……. where as if you dont have insurance it can cost thousands and thousands for that……….. but you also get experienced doctors with the insurance……… it is the best thing whether you use it or not…… it could be the thing that saves your life!!! anyone who doesnt get it is silly!
    in regards to the room in paris…….. search for the hotel on google and it will tell you all about it……. if someone doesnt get back to you in time on here…….. thats what i did……. and im going on horizon tour in June so I wanted to know same thing…….

  • 15 Mar 2012 Maybellina said

    Maybellina

    Hey guys,
    I am from Canada and I signed up for the European Discovery tour that’s coming up in April :) I am so excited!! I had many questions but this thread has helped me a lot with all my concerns :) Thanks guys for all your tips! There is just one thing I am not so sure about….is it better to exchange all the Euros before leaving Canada? Is it easy to find a currency exchange office in Europe? Any suggestions? Thanks! :)

  • 15 Mar 2012 Maybellina said

    Maybellina

    Hey guys,
    I am from Canada and I signed up for the European Discovery tour that’s coming up in April :) I am so excited!! I had many questions but this thread has helped me a lot with all my concerns :) Thanks guys for all your tips! There is just one thing I am not so sure about….is it better to exchange all the Euros before leaving Canada? Is it easy to find a currency exchange office in Europe? Any suggestions? Thanks! :)

  • 15 Mar 2012 Maybellina said

    Maybellina

    Hey guys,
    I am from Canada and I signed up for the European Discovery tour that’s coming up in April :) I am so excited!! I had many questions but this thread has helped me a lot with all my concerns :) Thanks guys for all your tips! There is just one thing I am not so sure about….is it better to exchange all the Euros before leaving Canada? Is it easy to find a currency exchange office in Europe? Any suggestions? Thanks! :)

  • 15 Mar 2012 LauraM12345 said

    LauraM12345

    Hey Maybellina, I exchanged some Canadian to Euros (and pounds for england) before I left, but that was because I wasn’t getting into europe until right before my trip started. I had enough at least for the first few days and optionals. I took out money every so often throughout my trip, but I used a travel prepaid credit card which was accepted everywhere, and worked like a debit card at atms and converted to the going rate. The euro is pretty cheap for canadians at the moment though, so it wouldn’t hurt to pick some up now!

  • 15 Mar 2012 Maybellina said

    Maybellina

    Hey LauraM, thanks for your reply :) I am wondering, can you give me more information about the prepaid credit card? I know if I use my credit card in Europe, I will need to pay a fee each time…is that the same concept as prepaid credit card? Where can I get the card? Thanks again! :)

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