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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::)-->
  • 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 :)

  • 17 Jun 2013 Jada said


    So I’m going on my first Contiki (European Contrasts plus Corfu) on the 24th of August. Whats the weather like in Europe that time of year? I’m from Australia and it’s pretty hot over here so don’t want to freeze! Also does anyone recommend and to do’s when in Europe that the tour might not include? And it’s a 29 day tour any idea how much spending money I should take.. Hoping about $5000 would be enough? :)

  • 19 Jun 2013 Catherine said


    Question about luggage…so we can bring one suitcase, backpack (would this be considered an overnight bag?), AND purse?

  • 30 Jun 2013 Gemmaek said


    im seeing alot of posts about european trips but im wondering if anone had done a latin america trip?
    im going on the mexican fiesta next april and would love to hear some feedback and tips bout the tour! thanks!!

  • 30 Jun 2013 Gemmaek said


    Hi All!
    im reading alot about the europeon tours on here but im wondering if anyone has done any latin america tours?
    im travelling next april to do the mexican fiesta tour and if anybody had any feedback or tips about the tour that would be fantastic! thanks!

  • 2 Jul 2013 RosyThomson said


    Liked the discussion.Found many interesting thing to pack before we leave for a tour. Don’t forget to collect your favorite music collection in your iPod.

  • 3 Jul 2013 Leigh said


    For those who have been on the Europe trips in the Fall, is there a pretty decent mix of ages on the tour or does it tend to be younger? I will be 28 when I go this year and I was just wondering if I’ll be considered old on my trip, heh.

  • 3 Jul 2013 Sarah said


    Hey there Elizabeth, I’m from aus also….just wondering what type of travel cards you are using. I was looking at getting a cash passport from matercard as it doesn’t carry fees, however, the only two currencies it supports that I’m going to is pounds and euros…I’m also going to czech repub and a few others that don’t do
    euros. Do you know of any others we can use or?

    snd Leigh I doubt you’ll be old!

  • 4 Jul 2013 Elizabeth said


    Hey Sarah. The cash passport is the only thing like that I know of, but check out the 28 degrees credit card – – it has no international transaction fees and you can load up extra cash on it before you go or just pay some off through internet banking along the way if you need more. I used it last time I went to Europe and it was pretty good, no complaints. So if you used something like that in combination with the cash passport that would probably do you!
    Also Leigh, I’m 27 doing Simply Italy in September, I also doubt you’ll be old!

  • 4 Jul 2013 Sarah said


    Thanks for replying Elizabeth! Yeah my mate is in europe at the moment and says the 28 degrees card has been the best thing. I researched it a bit and couldn’t see any debit card options…but yeah he said to just load money onto it as you go. Commonwealth travel card seems to have a few fees and doesn’t seem worth it to be honest. Thinking about just taking my debit, credit, cash passport card and probably the 28 degree one now. Just have to apply for it! Ah so much planning….just hating the thought of being stuck somewhere without access to money!

  • 4 Jul 2013 Elizabeth said


    Yeah I just take a few different options so if one doesn’t work I have backup :) for my trip i’ll be taking 2 credit cards, cash passport and some cash as well.

  • 30 Jul 2013 Megs said


    I’m really glad that I:
    *had a super comfy travel pillow and an oversized scarf – useful for absolutely everything!
    *packed bug spray to keep away the mosquitoes
    *did all the optionals I wanted to do
    *went to bed early the first night I felt sick
    *went to the kickstart meeting and spoke to people on facebook before the trip. It made going alone much less scary
    *went alone – I learnt so much about myself and really got out my comfort zone
    *socialised with everyone and tried to sit at a different place at dinner most nights
    *read up on everything before I went – I was prepared where a lot of people weren’t which means things didn’t upset me much
    *changed my plans on a whim and didn’t stress about seeing everything and rather enjoyed what I did see
    *tried to use the language in each country
    *took the time to speak to the onsite teams, my TM and driver coz they were all incredible!

    I wish that I had:
    *not underestimated the Contiki cough
    *found better brownies in Amsterdam
    *taken more videos that aren’t upside down
    *planned where to keep my key so I wouldn’t need to jump through the window
    *brought antistax with me so my feet wouldn’t get swollen
    *had time to travel longer afterwards!

    That’s all I can think of for now. Haha.

  • 14 Aug 2013 Ben said


    Excellent topic! going on an contiki in September and there is so much helpful ideas in this thread thanks all.

  • 22 Aug 2013 Rylan Parker said


    Yes. I had been to Kolkata a few years ago and that too on the eve of the traditional Durga Puja and missed the whole mass rally that passed from just outside the lodge I was staying at because I was dead tired and couldn’t get out of bed.

  • 4 Sep 2013 Laura Cowen said

    Laura Cowen

    Following this discussion! It’s fantastic!! :)

  • 5 Sep 2013 Sbrown said


    This place is filled with amazing information!! I’m sure it’s been asked somewhere but I can’t read all 38 pages, what is the weather like in the fall season. I’m doing London, Paris, and Amsterdam sept 27-Oct 6. What advice do you guys have. I’m so nervous!! Will I have time to explore each city on my own. Can skip out on some of the excursions and do my own thing one day? HELP!!

  • 9 Oct 2013 annabel_walsh said


    anyone have advice to do with the grand southern tour?

  • 17 Oct 2013 Kelsey said


    @ Annabel_walsh – I did the southern adventure which is half of the grand southern and ends in New Orleans. It is such a great tour, I wish I had stayed on and done the whole trip with everyone. What time of year are you going? We went jan-feb and needed all types of clothing because Vegas is warm enough for jeans and a tshirt but then Colorado it was snowing. Pick out your optionals before going – makes it easier to budget for sure. I think I spent about $3500 for 5 weeks total travelling in the US.

  • 18 Oct 2013 Ben said


    Did the European Vista, not really disappointed about anything and somethings were both good and bad but things that i did miss out on were
    -missed out on the heineken experience in Amsterdam supposedly amazing too.
    - got blinded at Oktoberfest don’t remember anything and struggled to find my way back to the hotel. therefore I didn’t get to experience Oktoberfest properly aka didn’t have any food or buy any merch etc.
    - didn’t buy many souvenirs til the last minute.
    - didn’t plan anything or organize anything.
    -doing all the optionals i didnt mind it doing them all but some were hit or miss and i’d rather have more free time than time wasted. aka: the bunker in Prague is a big miss and so were the italian walking tours.
    - not going to the meet up in London, missed my flight and had to meet up in Paris lol.
    -packing alot of stuff i didn’t need but just followed the guide: bug spray, sunscreen, swimmers.
    -left my vitamins at home probably wouldn’t of gotten this sick.
    - wish i got a gopro as well probably wouldnt use it much outside travelling but a couple of guys had them and they were awesome.
    - Paragliding was cancelled due to the rain, fog and wind.

    + some of the optionals were awesome: Monaco dinner was the best feed, Whitewater rafting was a great experience and excellent team building.
    + didn’t do all the pub crawls as i was tired enough as it was at the end of the day and i didn’t miss out on much from what i heard.
    + saw most of the big attractions at each place.
    + got blinded at Oktoberfest
    + high in Amsterdam
    thats all that comes to mind.

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