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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::)-->
  • 15 Oct 2009 toddt85 said


    This is an awesome thread I have to say. It’s just made me decide to take a journal on my trip. I wanna be able to remember everything I did, and a journal will ensure that the memories don’t fade too quickly! Can’t wait to go… but it’s still 6 months away LOL. Razzer<!--graemlin::p-->

  • 16 Oct 2009 Jessie said


    1.PACK LIGHT!!! I can’t stress that enough. You have to lug that suitcase everywhere, every single day. If you start off heavy, its just going to get worse. You are going to be buying things everyday and you need room in your luggage.
    2. Pack Smart – Make sure that every single thing you bring, matches at least 2 other things. If it doesn’t throw it out. You will be wearing your clothes at least twice – you need to be able to mix and match.
    3. Bring small packs of tissues – some of these restrooms are aweful. Some don’t even have toilet seats.

  • 24 Oct 2009 Mel the aussie said

    Mel the aussie

    What an awesome topic! its helped me so much…
    I’m going on the European Highlights tour next year and was stressin on what to pack (i like to be well prepared) so thanx Smiler<!--graemlin::)-->

  • 16 Nov 2009 Explorer1157304 said


    This has been very helpful but does anyone have specific tips on a winter short tour of UK?

  • 24 Nov 2009 natalie_syd said


    I keep reading about converters? what are these

  • 24 Nov 2009 Cricky said


    I’ve been on 2 tours of far (London 5days and Egypt and the Nile)planning on a third.

    Stayed Longer in London but booked trip 1 week before and went so couldn’t get enough time.
    Wish I had an ipod charger and outlet adapter.
    Wished I had taken the excursion to Alexandria (Egypt and the Nile)
    Taken more pics of the Local peoples, they truly speak to the culture.
    Brought a watch.
    Biggest is wished I had known to do this many years before when I had the time to take 30 days off.

    I learned a lot from the first trip til the second and looking forward to more down the line.

  • 8 Dec 2009 Ruthie said


    Take thermals for cold (english) weather.

    They are light on the suitacase – this way you only have to pack 1 warm jacket and a couple of hoodies. Wink<!--graemlin:;)-->

  • 15 Dec 2009 Aoi-Ninja said

    Originally posted by Krissi:
    Take thermals for cold (english) weather.

    They are light on the suitacase – this way you only have to pack 1 warm jacket and a couple of hoodies. Wink<!--graemlin:;)-->

    Thanks so much! I leave for London is just two months. I was a bit worried about the weather, but I’ll make sure to buy a few more pair of thermals!

    I love this thread!

  • 25 Dec 2009 Kbell285 said


    Anyone been on an Asian tour with some advice on what they wish they had brought???

  • 1 Jan 2010 Louise said


    This is SUCH a helpful thread! I go on my trip a week today- one question i have is, do we normally do a days sightseeing and then just stay out for the evenings activities or do we usually go back to the hotel and change (i.e do we have to look nice all day?!). such a girlie question Wink<!--graemlin:;)-->
    also my shoes I wear in the day are no what i would wear at night.


    Did u take ALL your cash out at the beginning of the trip..and did you carry it around out sighteeing and on nights out? too (can you trust it in the hotel rooms? at there safes?) OR did you just get cash out from a cash machine as and when?


  • 4 Jan 2010 Explorer1123323 said


    Hi Louise

    I’m so jealous that you are leaving in a week!!! I really want to do another tour, just have to save up!!!! I did the Eurpoean Highlights in June 09.

    On normal bus days when you spend all day driving, you get to go to your hotel first when you arrive at a new city and then have time to get ready before going out that nite but it’s sometimes not a lot of time like in Germany, we only had 10 minutes!!! Eeker<!--graemlin::eek:-->Luckily I had done my hair in the morning which i strongly recommend you do every morning and I did my make up on the bus so just had to shower and change. On days where you spend the whole day in a city ie Paris. The bus will have a collection time usually in the late afternoon and will take you back to the camp site and then you have time to get ready before going out again like when we went to the carabet show. The only time when we didn’t get a chance to get ready was in Amsterdam we spent all day sightseeing and then we had to change in the bus but our TM told us this would happen so we all packed a change of clothes and shoes. The girls kicked the boys out and turned the bus into a giant wardrobe. We got to wash our faces in the toilet and there are plugs in the bus so we did our hair, it was all very funny Big Grin<!--graemlin::D-->

    With regards to cash, I had a cash passport card and drew money throughout the trip, every two days or so. I just didn’t want to draw out all my money and then get robbed. Although sometimes I didn’t have enough money at some places and there wasn’t an ATM but luckily people lent me money until I found an ATM.

    Hope this helps. If you have any more questions just give me a shout.

    Enjoy your trip.

    Luv Sam

  • 5 Jan 2010 Louise said


    Hi Sam

    WOw thank you sooo much for your reply! It’s all very helpful, im so excited and the bus shinanigans getting ready does actually sound like fun!ooh better bring a bus mirror in that case he he. I think im just going to pack as much as I can carry concidering its going to be very cold in the day and the evenings all my clothes are big and I have about 20 millions pairs of tights packed ha!

    Hope you get to go on another tour soon Smiler<!--graemlin::)--> Louise

  • 5 Jan 2010 EuroSteph said


    Wow ok so I finished my Contiki tour on new years day!
    14th Dec – 1st Jan European Inspiration
    So many things to say but basically.
    I wish:
    That I had not left my adapter in one of the hotels, i think it was switzerland, or was it florence lol. Cant keep track.

    I hoped that I wouldn’t get sick and even tho I took vitamins and had antibiotics I still have a lovely cough and there was one day in switzerland that i felt like death!

    I wish I hadnt fought with my friend the entire trip :S.. not so fun.

    I wish that I was back on contiki still.

    I wish i was prepared for the weather in prague… something rediculous like between -13 and -17

    I’m glad I had my thermal tops in my suitcase but a singlet underneath a normal long sleeve top was fine for me. I wore cotton tights every day under my jean or was also able to wear 2 pairs of cotton tights without any jeans. (I feel the cold on my top more than my legs)

    I wish I had shoes with good grip actually… went arse over tit way too many times cus of slippery shoes.

    So much to type but I wont lol. if you have questions add me on fb. Stephanie Le Poidevin

  • 5 Jan 2010 Amy_UERT said


    If you want to know anything about contiki or about life ont he road and what tours are like you should watch this new show on FUEL TV, Australia.
    It’s called ‘The Ultimate European Roadtrip’ and I was actually a traveller on it – such an amazing and crazy expereince. It’s on wednesday nights at 7pm.
    You can watch the trailer online too:
    And join the fan page on facebook to find out more.
    If you’re thin king about doing it, don’t hesitate – you’ll have a blast!

  • 9 Jan 2010 janejanefane said

    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?

    -Miss : Restaurants… all the time! Always hear about them AFTER I get back home
    -Not needed : clothes, clothes, clothes, I always think I might go somewhere fancy, but I realized that when I am traveling, I tend to prefer the laid back places
    -Needed : anti-nausea pills… when I get sick in the plane… unfortunately!

  • 19 Jan 2010 Little_Amy said

    Originally posted by Kaznagan:
    When i went to New Zealand

    I’m Glad
    - i had packed somac (hangover free trip)
    - packed accessories – it made up outfits and also saved space
    - did the dodgy underwear shop – to reduce laundry i went to best n less and got about 14 pairs of underwear for $7. wore em for a day then got rid of them – perk i was able to fit a bit more in at the end of the trip
    - study learnt what i wanted to see, and was happy to go and do my own thing, i saw some beautiful things that others didnt
    - had spare batteries and memory for my camera and mp3 player
    - had money already for when i arrived
    - over budgeted, it meant i could buy practically anything i saw….
    - old shoes, i took heels and thongs that were nice but were old or cheap (target always has nice clearence shoes – i think the best is $5.00) then you can get rid of them at the end of the trip to make more room

    What i wish i’d done
    - spent more time with everyone, shared rooms with different people
    - did more optionals, go with the opinion that this could be the only time i’m here, lets do it all
    - had a journal, cause you mix up things
    - not drink tooooo much the night before going bungee jumping lol

    thanks everyone who has written their thoughts on here – i’m going with contiki for a second trip to america for the grand southern in july next year and i plan on using this advice, especially for the contiki cough……

    When you say you over budgeted how much did you over budget n how long was our trip for??

  • 20 Jan 2010 MarciaW said


    If you’ve been on the london & paris w/ 2 day extension…advice please…thanks! I’m going July 30th.

  • 13 Feb 2010 Alesha Fraser said

    Alesha Fraser

    this is an amazing site i am thinking of doing either the europe 37days or the usa grand tours or the aussie 25day one i am from new zealand and 21 this year any ideas on were to start first? i am having such a hard time deciding! also is it a good idea to do back to back tours?

    thaks alesha

  • 16 Feb 2010 Explorer1169498 said


    How much more drinking money i was going to need!!

  • 19 Feb 2010 Ing said


    I was thinking of taking magazines to read rather than a book so that i can throw them out once done with them

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