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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::)-->
  • 28 Apr 2013 JulianeBell said


    Less clothes, more money, infinitely more underwear

  • 3 May 2013 Elizabeth said


    Love this post! So much useful info.
    I’m going on Simply Italy in September and will definitely be taking heaps of meds with me now…

  • 6 May 2013 Lauren said


    Megan- I have absolutely no idea whether or not the voltage conversion would blow up the dryer, but I will say that you can get a blow dryer for like $30 at any drug store or target. They aren’t the best quality, but they will last you 6 weeks, and its probably better than blowing up a good quality blow dryer. I am not sure that all hotels will have one, but it is something you can request, but again, not sure it is worth it. Just buy one when you get in.

  • 7 May 2013 Jessica said


    i was disappointed that you weren’t aware you were joining an already started tour until the day you started and strongs bonds/cliques were made and some people were not interested in making another friend. Make sure you ask Contiki if you are joining onto an existing tour.

  • 8 May 2013 Clancy said


    PACKING Mistakes first trip:

    1. Brought one adapter only (phone, camera, hairdryer/hair-straightener, electric toothbrush) and most places had very few outlets to share with everyone else!
    -one universal adapter and a power board… so worth it

    2. Didn’t have a phone or an alarm, or a watch!!!
    -iPhone on the second time around was a god send (maps, travel apps, alarm/time, music, peoples contact details, internet access, etc… an all in one device)

    3. Didn’t have a First aid kit – your fav over the counter drugs can be difficult to find in another language
    -Now have a complete mini version covering the essentials cold-flu, diarrhoea, pain/injuries, allergies, prescription stuff, then of course Hang-over (combination of diarrhoea/pain/cold and flu and bandaids of course – high heels and drunk chicks suck at night clubs).

    4. Didn’t have a travel pillow
    – you can sleep so much better on the bus with a damn pillow

    5. Took over a small back pack and came back with 2 suitcases (after having to replace twice due to constant breakdowns)
    – take over 1 largish and as empty as possible sturdy suitcase or real back-pack and a good collapsible carry on bag

    6. Took a large handbag
    -not practical for going out and always end up carrying more crap than necessary, sore neck etc and flight attendants thought big enough to be considered travel on so other bags not considered

    7. Took one normal towel
    -need 2 microfibre/quick-dry towels

  • 15 May 2013 marc said


    Hi There guys,
    Is anyone doing the European Discovery tour in June?
    Would i have a problem trying to find Wifi hot spots?

  • 19 May 2013 katherine said


    hey guys,
    just wondering what europe is like in terms of id and whether they even check?
    will i need to carry my passport around or is my australian drivers license ok?

  • 21 May 2013 Brendon said


    Hello guys, great stuff on here. Just wondering if anyone here bothered to go to their contiki meet up meeting? We have one for 6pm the night before we leave and speaking to people who have done tours they haven’t bothered, just got there on time the next morning. I ask only because I get in that day and would like to avoid the hassle of going if its a waste of time/spend my 18hrs in London more productively!

  • 21 May 2013 Brendon said


    Hello guys, great stuff on here. Just wondering if anyone here bothered to go to their contiki meet up meeting? We have one for 6pm the night before we leave and speaking to people who have done tours they haven’t bothered, just got there on time the next morning. I ask only because I get in that day and would like to avoid the hassle of going if its a waste of time/spend my 18hrs in London more productively!

  • 21 May 2013 emily7 said


    Hi Brendan
    I didnt bother and after our first night in Amsterdam, i feel like i was close to people in the group. I went alone.
    However the people in my group that did go, already knew each other, and i felt that maybe i should have gone.
    If u have only one night in london, id say dont bother as youll get to know everyone fairly quick!

  • 21 May 2013 emily7 said


    In response to kat_91 with ids europe isnt strict at all. I never showed id when clubbing. They checked our passports at the port of dover on the bus and leaving france. My tour guide said he would let us know when to bring our passports.
    I guess as they know your in a tour group who are over 18, that no one will be underage.

  • 21 May 2013 emily7 said


    With wifi hot spots – marc.
    I did the european horizon tour and id say it would be the same. Some hostels have wifi, some dont. Some you need a password and it may not work. In venice it was 4 euros for 2 hours of wifi at the wifi bus. Or 5 euros for 24 hours. It was freezing and this was in may, and i wish i just bought two hours as this was enough.
    The first few days i really wanted wifi but after that i got over it.
    Your on holidays, tell your friends youll chat to them if you can. And enjoy europe!
    Also most macdonalds have free wifi!

  • 21 May 2013 emily7 said


    Marc- If your thinking of wifi hot spots during the days. I didnt find anything.

  • 28 May 2013 kaitlin said


    Hi guys,
    just thought I’d share a tip my friend gave me about cameras.
    I was thinking about getting a waterproof camera because im going to italy/greece soon.
    My friend told me about this website:
    they are special waterproof cases that go over your existing camera.
    She has had hers for 3 years and still works underwater, protects from sand and she even used it during the tomato festival.
    They also sell ones for your phones and ipads.

    Just thought I’d share incase you hadnt seen them, ill be definately getting one because i have ruined two cameras at home with sand getting in it.

  • 2 Jun 2013 Sarah said


    I may have missed someone discussing this somewhere in this vast thread and I do apologise if I have!

    However, sure I cannot be the only one stressing about having my passport stolen/lost?
    Does anybody have any decent advice on where to store it

    My travel agent said she just left hers in the hostel safe and brought her own padlock, however my concern is some of the hostels may not provide safes?

    Or is it better to carry it on you at all times? My concern with that would be losing it while being pissed off my nut or someone cutting my bag open, pickpocketing etc!

    Any advice would be amazing! I think I would probably cry if the contiki bus drove off without me because I couldn’t cross the border!

  • 3 Jun 2013 cdm115 said


    If I planned on a big drinking night I did not take my passport with me. Otherwise I kept it in an inside pocket of my purse or in a money belt.

  • 3 Jun 2013 Sarah said


    Yeah, that is what I am thinking…..don’t know how trustworthy I am when I am drunk not to lose stuff! What type of day bag did you have? Been told that one that goes across the chest is better, worried about the straps being cut, so was considering getting an anti theft bag, but that may just make me stick out! Maybe I am just being too paranoid! Haha.

  • 4 Jun 2013 Megz said


    I can’t remember if anyone has talked about this before, but does anyone have advice about as for how to bring my money over for 40 days from Canada???

  • 4 Jun 2013 Elizabeth said


    I’d use a combination of cash, credit cards and a travelex card – I’m from Australia so not sure what you have in Canada but basically you load it up with whatever currency you need (it can carry a few different ones so like euros, pounds etc can be put on the same card). Works like a debit card so you can use it as eftpos or with ATMs, so just ask your bank. Check to see if you can get a credit card with no international transaction fees, they can be expensive!

  • 13 Jun 2013 Julia said



    I’m also from Canada and I’ll be overseas for just over 6 weeks. I was wondering what to do for money too, and then my friend told me about this great account TD Canada Trust offers. I don’t bank with TD, but I went over and set up this account because it’s awesome for travelling.

    It’s called the Select Service Chequing Account ( The account provides you with a debit card that has no TD or network fees for non-TD ATM use anywhere in the world. Just make sure you’re withdrawing money overseas at “Plus” ATMs – which are everywhere and have a blue symbol on it, check it out here:

    Good luck and happy travels :)

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