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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::)-->
  • 2 Aug 2008 FSLS said


    OMG!! Olivia and I became bestest pals on our trip.
    Going to Athens was sooooooooo worth it. And Greece is pretty cheap, so you dont spend that much more money while you are there. If you have the time, I recommend going!
    I was on a really strict budget the entire trip. I spent about $2200 while I was there. That was including optionals, bottled water (which accounted for alot, haha), moderate shopping, good food, and drinking. However I did not go crazy on booze. I had a couple crazy nights, otherwise it was just a glass of wine here and there!
    Enjoy it! Its going to be an experience of a life time!!

  • 2 Aug 2008 marilourdes23 said


    wow…its a small world…well-smaller on the contiki forums. :P
    Thanks for the tip on budget…I was budgeting approx $2000 spending money so I am glad to hear that amount is realistic when doing optionals, partying, shopping and even going all the way to Greece!
    I will enjoy it!!! Wish I could go right now. Smiler<!--graemlin::)-->

  • 5 Aug 2008 JoaNne89 said


    Can anyone give advice/tips for grand southerners pleeease!!

  • 8 Aug 2008 Katie said


    hey yeh, im going to new york and doing LA to the bay in dec/jan… just wondering if anyone has any tips/ideas on what to bring to get over the cold (mainly in NY!) i’m not really sure what to wear on nights out!!


  • 8 Aug 2008 Nyclizzo said


    it’s FREEZING here in NY in the winter…winter coat, scarf, hat and gloves are a must…If you are hitting up the club scene, cute jeans, boots, and a cute top is usually what girls wear…but if your walking around the city, you have to bundle up!!!!!

  • 10 Aug 2008 Katie said


    hey Nyclizzo

    thanks for that, thats what i was planning on taking – jst puts my mind at ease Smiler<!--graemlin::)-->


  • 11 Aug 2008 Nyclizzo said


    No problem Katie…if you have any questions or anything, feel free to personal message me…the club/restuarant scene changes here every few months, so if your interested in knowing whats good and whats not, let me know!!!

  • 17 Aug 2008 Katie said


    a question you could probably answer the best!

    im doing the tour with my brother, but neither of us will be 21! will this restrict our clubbing options in nyc? like do they have many 18 and over clubs?


  • 19 Aug 2008 Dee said


    Hi all, I’m from Cairns Qld, Aus (where it’s warm 365 days a year) and will be going on the European Inspiration Tour late December, just wanting to get some ideas on what I should pack, seeing as I have never been to a really cold place before! I know this probably sounds like a dumb question, but I really have no idea! Any help would be great. Also, if anyone has any “must do activities and sites” I would love to know! Thanks heaps

  • 20 Aug 2008 Sophh Bee said

    Sophh Bee

    this is great, have really taken note of what ppl have said, will prolly come back closer to my tour time once i’ve booked to write down the key points and stuff Smiler<!--graemlin::)-->

  • 25 Aug 2008 Explorer1110499 said

    6. Really glad I took a hair dryer. I was told most of the hotels would have them, but thought I’d be safe. I’m glad I did, a lot of the hotels had dryers that looked like vacuum cleaners, just a pipe. Totally useless and would barely dry the hairs on ur arms. I have long hair and it was winter, if you use one at home then take one. Don’t use a straightener, but a lot of the girls had them and they got shared around to ppl who didn’t.

    Hey ashleightara,

    I’m planning to go on a winter tour in 2009 and I also have very long hair which I am absolutely pedantic about. Just wondering what brand hair dryer you used over there? I have an expensive one and I’m terrified to take it in case I blow it up!


  • 25 Aug 2008 ashleightara said


    To be honest, I’m not really sure. Sunbeam maybe? I bought it at Big W and it was the only ‘travel’ hairdryer they had. It was good because it was small and folded, there are a lot around though. It was also a dual voltage one so if I ever go to America i can use it there, but Aussie appliances are no problem in Europe.

    My only other advice is to set your alarm for earlier than your roomates so you can shower and wash your hair before they get up, saves them from getting grumpy you’re taking so long :P And then blow dry your hair in the room while they use the shower.

    Let me know if you have any other questions, I haven’t finished my travelogue yet but I’m hoping it will be up within the next few months (I’m working full time and still finishing a post-grad research degree so I don’t have a lot of time) with any luck it will be full of good advice Wink<!--graemlin:;)-->

  • 25 Aug 2008 nursedreamie said


    hey im going over in winter too, jan and feb 09, im definitely taking my hair dryer, have a travel one. i cant stand having damp hair in the cold and i have long hair too. reckon i’ll need to get an adaptor so i can plug it in! the explorer1110499 poster.. which winter tour r u doing? im pretty pedantic on my hair too lol

  • 25 Aug 2008 Explorer1110499 said


    hey nursedreamie,

    I’m going to do the Winter Discovery but in December of 2009 (so I can save copious amounts of spending money!). I’ve seen a lot of posts on here with girls saying not to take a hair dryer but I can’t live without mine haha and you’ll want to look your best in all the photos!

  • 25 Aug 2008 marilourdes23 said


    I am taking the European Highlights…its a short trip compaired to the ones most of u on here are taking, but I am still taking my blow dryer and straightening iron. For me I don’t know when I will take another trip like this, so like Explorer 1110499 said, u gotta look ur best in all the photos! Smiler<!--graemlin::)-->

  • 26 Aug 2008 Chillibg said


    I’m doing the Euro Magic 17th -25th Sept.

    I wanted to know how is the night club dress code, can I wear jeans because I read that its not acceptable dress code in Euro, I’m a jeans-club fan!!!!
    I’m taking on my trip:
    Toilet wipes, hand wipes/hand wash-lotion
    Some energy bars when I’m feeling hungry
    Taking my Biconculars
    Bodywash (instead of soggy soap)
    Washing powder
    Hair straightener (for wet ‘n dry hair) -can leave my hairdryer at home -yippieee
    Bug spray
    Medical supplies (cough syrup, Vitamins, allergy tabs, cold/flu meds, painkillers, Berocca)

    I hope I got the most important things, Here’s hoping to pack light!!

    This is the best forum yet!!!

  • 5 Sep 2008 Dancingsu said


    When I went to Australia I wish I always had a swimsuit available, you never know when you will stop at a beach or lake!

    Also there is a really good, condensed packing list on Rick Steve’s web site.
    Womens’s Packing list
    Universal Packing list

  • 24 Sep 2008 lexi said


    i’m doing the eastern discovery and the BAE what time does the eastern discovery get in into NY?? I have met the people on my tour and we are all going for dinner and possibly a play but we want to meet for a get to know you dinner before our tour starts

  • 27 Sep 2008 ContikiTourBirthdayGirl said


    I just returned from London and Paris plus Rome. An amazing trip and I would recommend it to anyone! Here are a few of my tips:
    -I wish I double checked each day to ensure I had spare batteries for my camera. I had to pay 6 euros twice to buy more. (but at Versailles and the London Eye it was worth it!)
    -I am so glad I brought my ipod (and not just for the long bus ride)
    -I wish I brought 1 extra pair of good daytime touring shoes. Switching walking shoes everyday would have helped my sore, tired feet everyday.
    -I wish I brought an umbrella and on a side note to that, I’m glad I brought my jacket! (Stonehenge was so cold!)
    -I’m glad I ate an expensive meal on the Champs d"elysee and in Rome (right off the Spanish Steps)
    -I’m so glad I busted my butt to see so many sights and everything that I wanted to see. My roommate and I had incredible luck.
    -I’m glad I froze outside and drank too much wine and smoked too many cigarettes to hang out with a few of the girls from the tour every night.
    -I’m very glad that I always had a little snack in my carry on bag. (God bless my boyfriend for giving me that huge bag of chocolate covered macadamias for the trip!!!)
    -I regret not doing a tour of Buckingham Palace (I’m a bit of a royal freak) and being able to do a cruise of the River Seine.
    -Even though I bought tons of cheesy souveneirs, I wish I bought more
    -Here’s my biggest tip. If you are doing the Rome extension, TAKE FOOD WITH YOU!!!!! I can’t stress this enough. There is only the dining car and it is very pricey (like 30 euros). While they do sell sandwiches, they are terrible, mushroom and ham on stale bread is not a good option. (and it’s expensive) There is a small grocery store a few doors down from the hotel, go there and purchase whatever food you would like for your trip. (I really wish I did) As well, be prepared for a cramped night in the couchette, there are 6 people in a room made for 4. An ipod and a good book or magazine will be your lifeline!!! (Uno is also fun)
    -I agree that hand sanitizer and kleenex are saviours, especially when you leave half of the washrooms feeling dirtier than when you entered them!
    -Go have fun and make the most of this wonderful experience! I loved it and I can’t wait to do it again! (Egypt and the Nile next year…if anyone has some hints or reviews for that one, I’d appreciate it

  • 27 Sep 2008 ContikiTourBirthdayGirl said


    I forgot to add a couple of things
    -Be prepared to be lost and or confused on the Metro in Paris. (I always was and I’m someone who is used to taking a subway)
    -The Rome metro is very easy and user friendly, but after either 12 or 1230am the passes expire, making it necessary to purchase a new one to get home
    -In London simply purchase a day pass for the Tube, it’s not much more than a single fare and definitely worth it!

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