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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
  • 27 Apr 2008 nazza1 said

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    well im goin on the 26th june 08 contrasts tour and it will be the peak summer month so oct would be really getting wintery there and knowing about london means it will be about 20 degrees colder than perths winter months hahaha

  • 29 Apr 2008 Asher said

    Asher

    well I didn’t go on a contiki, but I went to Europe with my brothers in 2005 and my biggest regret is that I let my brother hold my day bag while I was in the bathroom in Barcelona and the dumb@$$ somehow let it get stolen. I wish I had kept the memory card from my camera in my money belt or transfered the pics daily cause it was stolen like halfway through my trip so I have no pictures of Paris or Portugal. Also I wish I’d kept an online journal. I kept paper one but it was in the stolen day pack and I was crushed. It totally ruined Barcelona for me.

    If its summer when you go bring good walking sandles for the days in the big cities cause shoes get hot and flip flops blister.

    I was really glad I did the Eifle Tower like an hour before the sun set so I got to watch it set from up there. It was beautiful plus I got to see the city in the sunlight and again after the sun went down to see all the twinkling city lights. If you do that though, bring a sweater cause that wind can get chilly when your so high. Smiler<!--graemlin::)--> Budget lots of time to be at the top of the tower cause there is shops up there and I spent over 3 hours and could have spent more Smiler<!--graemlin::)-->

  • 1 May 2008 Danni said

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    well im going for 2 months (a month of that on contiki) and although the limit is 72cm, i am only taking 66cm, but im filling it, i dont plan on buying many sourvierners and if i really need to i will use my plane carry-on as a spare bag, my suitcase is at almost 20kg, so i cant imagine how heavy it’ll be if i had a 72cm.

    sorry about the rambling, bottom line taking a 66cm its full and almost 20kg

  • 25 May 2008 Ash said

    Ash

    This topic is great! I’m going on the european whirl on june 29th… anyone got some tips on what to pack for this tour?

  • 1 Jun 2008 Crispy said

    Crispy
    Greek Islands – Aegean Classic – April

    I wish:
    I’d Shared a room instead of single
    I didnt drink so much before walking up to the grotto
    I knew the plugs were American and not European

    I’m glad:
    I took advantage of the 20 euro a day drink package (it came in very handy)
    I sat with a different table each night for dinner
    i did all the extras possible

    It was stink that:

    We didnt have longer in each place.
    We had to many food places on the ship to choose from – oh the choices… it made it hard not to eat ALL day and night (hehe)

    I will never forgot:

    THE TIME OF MY LIFE THAT I HAD!!!
  • 1 Jun 2008 sternie said

    Default_avatar
    quote:
    I wish:
    I’d Shared a room instead of single
    I didnt drink so much before walking up to the grotto
    I knew the plugs were American and not European



    Do they use American plugs all over Greece?! Or was that just on your boat?

  • 1 Jun 2008 Crispy said

    Crispy

    Was on the boat, at hotel in Athens was European, not sure about any of the islands as we didnt stay at nights.

  • 4 Jun 2008 Chillibg said

    Default_avatar

    Hey this forum is a brilliant idea.
    I’m addicted to it! making a list for myself!
    My boyfriend and I are going on the European Horizon tour Sept `08! We are so excited!!!
    Keep the tips coming guys!!

  • 5 Jun 2008 Anjel said

    Anjel

    Hi all

    My first tour was the Ultimate European in 2004. I still remember some of the things Im glad I did:

    - Didnt take a hair dryer, just used my towel, which was actually a sarong. Dries much faster, is smaller to carry. I have really long hair and managed fine without a dryer.

    - Took hand sanitiser gel, very good for when you just dont want to touch those taps.

    - A first aid kit (mini for travel of course, esp. bandaids, antiseptic cream, headache tablets, )

    - Sneakers. good walking shoes, because I lived in them.

    - silk liner for sleeping bag, makes it warmer on cool nights, and use it instead of sleeping bag on warm nights.

    - Spare batteries, in case there is no chance to charge the ones you have.

    - I didnt need a book or ipod on the bus. You either sleep, or spend hours talking to the other people on your tour.

    - Definitely write a diary. I had some people contacting me months after our tour ended asking what order we did some things in because they couldnt recognise their photo’s.

    Heres an idea for you. If you want to take as little as possible but not sure what you can live without, spend 1 week not using the things you plan to leave behind.
    For 1 week, dont use your hair dryer, use a travel towel, dont wear heels, etc

    If you can manage for a week, you can manage for a month. Remember that everyone else will be in the same boat and you will all recognise each others clothes by the end. As long as its clean, who cares?

    Have a great tour, everyone…

  • 6 Jun 2008 Explorer1102270 said

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    How much would everyone estimate that they spent on their tours? I am thinking of going for the Europe Experience in early July and have been wondering. I am traveling for the first time solo. Anyway, if I hijacked the thread; I am sorry.

    Thanks very much

  • 24 Jul 2008 marilourdes23 said

    marilourdes23

    Hi!
    I’m planning on doing the European Highlights tour in 2009. I think the information on this forum has been super helpful. Smiler<!--graemlin::)-->

    I do have a question:
    5:30 am wake up calls???? That’s kinda rough!

  • 28 Jul 2008 teachergeek said

    teachergeek

    Any tips for those of us doing the winter trip in December?

  • 29 Jul 2008 BostonPug79 said

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    Hello all…

    I just wanted to chime in that this thread has been invaluable. This is the only one I’ve read through entirely and Imade a list of things as I went along since I noticed so many of you said the same things over and over.

    More like a “I hope this was a good thing….” but I put medications in ziploc baggies instead of carrying around the whole box with the bulky packaging. I wrote in black marker on the back of the capsules what they were. Others I put in the baggie loose since I know what they are. I taped this baggie to the inside of the part of my suitcase that lifts up. The two front pockets on the front of my suitcase are deep and I hate filling them and scrounging around for stuff.

    So, I taped the meds in addition to other lighter things to the inside “cover.” I hope this was a good decision!

  • 30 Jul 2008 kb1986 said

    Default_avatar

    i really hope for your sake that customs appreciate this packing strategy! otherwise you might have to do a hell of a lot of explaining as to why you have bags of lose pills strapped to the inside cover of your case! :S good luck!

  • 30 Jul 2008 sophc said

    sophc

    This is the best topic! i neva realised how important a little u shaped pillow would be? Does any one out there have anything to add in relation to New Zealand?
    Thanks!

  • 31 Jul 2008 Kristen M. said

    Kristen M.

    I did Euro Vista in May/June ‘08

    I’m glad I:
    1. Got a prescription for motion sickness patch from my Dr.
    2. brought a travel pillow
    3. had my iPod, extra camera battery, and extra memory cards with me at all times
    4. stepped outside my comfort zone and did a lot of things I wouldn’t normally do at home
    5. Bought the things that I really wanted, when I saw them
    6. didn’t get totally wasted everynight and wake up *****y and hungover every morning!
    7. I bought an authentic Italian leather purse. I LOVE it and I don’t think I’ve ever had more compliments on a bag!

    I wish I had:
    1. brought a bigger suitcase and brought more clothes. They say take out what you want to bring and cut it in half, but I wore the same things four times at least! It was gross.
    2. maybe gone out a couple more nights. It seemed like a lot of good stuff happened the nights I decided to stay in.
    3. brought a better plug converter b/c mine shorted out on the second night of a 23 day tour!

    But all in all I don’t really regret anything that I did or didn’t do. Even with the things I wish I had done, I still had a great time and would do it again in a heartbeat!

  • 31 Jul 2008 cdm115 said

    cdm115

    I regret taking a cream colored fleece on my first trip. It was chilly and I wore it all the time, half way through a 2 week trip it wasn’t looking pretty.

    When I did my Scandi and Russia tour I was glad i brought some “disposable” clothes as the weather got warmer I ditched some of the heavier stuff and made room for some new t-shirts.

  • 1 Aug 2008 Terri said

    Terri

    When I was on the Western Highlights and I didnt go around San Diego abit more…and in the Grand Canyon I wish I had gone on the All Dayer Helicopter ride.
    Also I wish I had booked myself for the Wild Western rather that just the shorter one finishing in VEgas

  • 2 Aug 2008 FSLS said

    Default_avatar

    For LONDON TO ATHENS JULY 2008
    I am glad that I:
    Packed lots of bright colored makeup (it cam in handy for all the theme parties)
    Did all of the optionals
    Took tons of Vitamin C before I left
    Didn’t spend alot on alcohol
    Bought the tour photo
    Didn’t eat alot of junk food at the services
    Packed alot of jewellery to dress up outfits
    Packed “going out” outfits
    Packed a small pair of scissors, sewing kit, and nail kit
    Took 2 hoodies even though it was boiling hot
    Did London to Athens (some of our tour stopped in Rome, Corfu and Athens were the best part)
    Took a travel pillow


    Things I should have done:
    Spent more money in Barcelona, because it had the best shopping
    Took a bigger suitcase (they weigh it at the beinnning, then never again, and they dont measure it)
    Packed more dressy shoes
    Packed an extra pair of flip flops
    Packed tape (its amazing how much you use it for)


    ahhh there is so much more, but I hope this helps someone out

  • 2 Aug 2008 marilourdes23 said

    marilourdes23

    Hi FSLS!

    Its so nice to hear from another person that took the London to Rome / Athens tour!!! (I met a girl through here that took it recently too..Olivia…maybe on ur same tour??) She has also been a great help. She actually helped me decide on taking this tour instead of the European Highlights! You say that Athens is the best part…is it worth the money and days? I am trying to get all the days off from work so I can go all the way to Athens…but in budgeting, I am still undecided!!! :/

    Your list definitely helps out. I didn’t even think about packing up a lot of jewlery to make the outfits different. (i was thinking so practical…and kinda boring really…lol). I love the bright make-up tip (i will def do that). Oh, and I would have never thought about bringing tape! (great tip!).

    Smiler<!--graemlin::)--> have a great weekend! Smiler<!--graemlin::)-->

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