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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
  • 21 May 2012 emily7 said

    Default_avatar

    I wasn’t able to sleep on the bus for the first few days. Until I got sick then I found it really easy, as I was so tired! I always find it hard to sleep on planes and the bus was the same! I guess just try your best and talk to people around you. My tm did play music, most of the time, I got used to it. After Amsterdam we were all so hungover, that he didn’t play any! Maybe just talk to yours. The seats are. A little more. Comfy than airplane seats also. Hope this helps

  • 21 May 2012 emily7 said

    Default_avatar

    I wasn’t able to sleep on the bus for the first few days. Until I got sick then I found it really easy, as I was so tired! I always find it hard to sleep on planes and the bus was the same! I guess just try your best and talk to people around you. My tm did play music, most of the time, I got used to it. After Amsterdam we were all so hungover, that he didn’t play any! Maybe just talk to yours. The seats are. A little more. Comfy than airplane seats also. Hope this helps

  • 21 May 2012 JL said

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    @MattFoertsch- The seats are a bit more comfortable than airplane seats and you can also let them down to lay flatter. I found that a travel pillow is a must. There is also more legroom if you sit at the back of the bus, or right in front. If you have no one sitting behind you the seat can almost be as flat as a bed (this can of course depend on the bus).

    Our TM played music very softly when he saw that most of the bus wanted to sleep. They are quite flexible with that. He even switched off the music and played a DVD on the front screen for those who did not want to sleep.

  • 21 May 2012 MattFoertsch said

    MattFoertsch

    OK, thanks for the info, guys. I definitely like that the seats can lay back more than airplane seats, that should be huge. I’m a very light sleeper and, even with ear plugs in, it’s gonna annoy the crap outta me if I’m dying for sleep and have to hear music playing, but hopefully that won’t be an issue. Sounds like I should maybe try and get a seat in the back of the bus for more legroom and music less loud…

  • 21 May 2012 Jezzcar said

    Jezzcar

    When sleeping on the plane, I just adjust the headrest, which a lot of people don’t realise you can do, as in move it so it surrounds your head, so that I can just lean my head to one side, put my iPod in and fall asleep. Easy peasy.

  • 22 May 2012 AlanaM said

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    Who is going on the European Vista – starting June 25, 2012??

  • 22 May 2012 cdm115 said

    cdm115

    Jason, speculating on the Euro is like speculating on the stock market, everyone will have a different opinion, and it will do whatever it wants. From the bits and pieces I’ve heard, my guess is that Greece will not pull out of the Euro.

    I’m in the US, but I’ve used tripinsurance.com to pick insurance, it lets you compare different plans.

  • 22 May 2012 cdm115 said

    cdm115

    Duplicate

  • 22 May 2012 Blue_Eyes131 said

    Blue_Eyes131

    it never hurts to buy closer to your holiday. just keep an eye on the news and on the exchange rate on a daily basis and go from there. I’m from canada, and our dollar is pretty much at par with the australian dollar now, so that what i’m doing. if the euro goes down, chances are i’ll get them then.

    but i agree with cdm, i don’t think greece will pull out any time soon.

  • 22 May 2012 Sharna said

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    Hi Jase, I’m from Australia to and I think covermore is probably the best insurance provider…… I saw them at travel expo and had massive chat and my travel agent recommended them……. I’m about to go overseas for 4 weeks and my insurance cost $200 and that’s including my medical condition I have…….
    as for euros….. it is like Cdm said…. it’s like the stock market…… but yeh greece arent pulling out anytime soon and all we can do is wait and see……. I’m in the same boat., i brought some euro and GBP awhile ago when rate was good and now its gone crap so I havent been able to buy anymore………. all we can do is check each day and as soon as u see a good rate, GRAB IT!

    Safe Travel!

  • 23 May 2012 Sparks.55. said

    Sparks.55.

    Hi Jase, have a look at the website canstar, its great for comparing travel insurance in australia :) thats what i used to find mine but just so happens cover more was the best for me :) My cousin has used southern cross travel insurance and had no problems claiming a while back. good luck!

  • 23 May 2012 Sparks.55. said

    Sparks.55.

    Hi Jase, have a look at the website canstar, its great for comparing travel insurance in australia :) thats what i used to find mine but just so happens cover more was the best for me :) My cousin has used southern cross travel insurance and had no problems claiming a while back. good luck!

  • 24 May 2012 travellingjess said

    travellingjess

    I got good insurance with allianz…shopped around a bit first and was really competitive and at least its a company i’ve heard of! Also I’ve bought my Euro’s a couple of weeks ago and since then the dollar has dropped so I’m glad I did, though i’m travelling in 8 days happy dance so had to get organised. But don’t stress too much!

  • 24 May 2012 MattFoertsch said

    MattFoertsch

    Hey, I’m about to go on the European Panorama tour and just wondering about the hotels? I have been looking at reviews online of some of the hotels were going to stay at and some of the reviews are horrible! Dirty, smelly, bugs, in bad neighborhoods, etc.. What was everyone’s experience with the hotels in Europe? Thanks.

  • 25 May 2012 Sharna said

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    MattFoertsch……………. I am sorry if this offends u and its probably the Aussie coming out in me and how upfront we can be BUT……No matter where you stay there is always going to be someone who likes it and someone who doesnt…….. everyone has their own thoughts……. Contiki have been around for years and do their research to give us cheap but decent enough accomodation…… That way you can travel for a cheaper price……. STOP worrying about what peoples opinions and reviews are and just along for the ride………. I am about to do Ireland and European Horizon and I have also looked at my hotels and some of them aren’t the kind of places I would choose to stay at BUT its all part of the experience……… I know you’re just trying to find out what people thought but really……… just go with the flow……. and about the whole sleep thing u posted……. i’m sure u will get to sleep……… stop stressing and worrying about these things…….. just go along for the ride…….. party………. have fun! u sleep enough when ur dead anyways!!!!!!!!!! and if ur that worried about it all…….. maybe u should reconsider doing a tour where you’re on a bus and with a group of people and staying at hotels already picked for u.??? maybe do ur own tour and pick where u want to stay yourself..

  • 27 May 2012 TalissaB said

    TalissaB

    @JoJo you would be better off to take lighter clothes that you can layer up, i havnt been during that time, and im going in june/july/august, but considering they will be hitting autumn during that time, it will be quite cold, or at least getting colder.

    Take light clothes to layers maybe one thermal piece and either take a jacket or buy one over there :)

  • 27 May 2012 TalissaB said

    TalissaB

    Duplicate :)

  • 27 May 2012 AlexG said

    AlexG

    @jojo … ive been to spain and france during sept/oct and pack some summer clothes as well as when I went it was actually quite warm with a cool breeze :):)

  • 27 May 2012 Jezzcar said

    Jezzcar

    Agreed, I went to France mid-september and the first day in Paris, and the week following was absolutely beautiful weather, and I was staying in the north near Belgium. I ended up wearing 3/4 jeans and a t-shirt on most days because it was mid-twenties and sunny.

  • 2 Jun 2012 Megan said

    Megan

    I did London & Paris plus Rome, and I have quite a few things to share!

    - I wish I would have been better prepared for the weather. London and Paris are pretty chilly, even in mid May. I packed a lot of dresses and tank tops, but ended up wearing the same jacket every single day.
    - I did a pretty good job of packing light, but I still had at least 4 shirts left over at the end that I never wore. I also didn’t take into account the fact that I’d be shopping and buying some new clothes, so it’s not necessary to bring something to wear every single day.
    - I budgeted $2000 (US) and only ended up spending $1200. So now I know an approximate budget for my next trip.
    - I’m really glad I didn’t bring a hairdryer, because I usually just ended up letting my hair air-dry and it would have taken up too much space.
    - I saved a ton of money at the bar because I bought my own bottles of liquor duty-free at the airport, so I’d just have pre-drinks before going out.
    - I’m glad I brought two cameras with me. One is big and quite nice, which I used to take photos while sightseeing during the day. The other is tiny and I would bring it out with me at night to take photos of me and my friends.
    - I really REALLY wish I would have opened up and made friends sooner. Once I finally formed a “group” to hang out with, it was two days before the end of the tour and I had to say bye to them!
    - I’m so glad I did the Moulin Rogue optional in Paris. It was totally worth the money – that was the best night of my tour.

    I’m sure there’s tons more, but those are just the things that popped into my head. Either way, my experience with Contiki was incredible and I can’t wait to do another tour!

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