22 day camping questions - i have just returned - please ask away

2 Jul 2007 darthilicious said

hi, i have just returned from 22 day camping - 5 th june<BR><BR>i had a great time, and i would be happy to help anyone else with any questions you may have before your trip, so please ask as much as you like and i will try and help
  • 24 Jan 2008 darthilicious said


    hi mr and mrs tonkin, thanks for stopping by.
    When i went on my tour their were all different ages, from 18 right up to me(35) and there were a couple of 30 year olds as well. there isnt enough time to worry about peoples ages, its non stop from the moment you meet your tour manager in london, right up until you say goodbye to all your new friends at the end of your tour. so please go tell your hubbie to stop worrying and go pack his slippers or dancing shoes.

    any other questions you or your hubbie may have

  • 25 Jan 2008 MrsTonkin said


    You said that you leave your pack in your tent and someone mentioned locking your tent and taking valuables with you … we’ll be bring a small guitar, can you leave them at the camping ground office? It’s to valuable to leave in the tent but to big to take around for the day…it’s mainly for sing a longs around the campfire at night!

  • 26 Jan 2008 syaz said



    wanna ask ur opinion, do u think 1000 euros would be enough for 22 days if m juz gonna do very very minimal shopping and for lunches as i’ll be having quite a tight budget . thxx

  • 27 Jan 2008 darthilicious said


    hi mrs t, well its a nice idea wanting to take a guitar and im sure the campsites would be happy to look after it for you. however i dont really think you should take it if its worth something, as for a few reasons. it could get broken on the coach to start with, now on my tour their was very limited space on the coach, and we just got everything on. another reason why i wouldnt take it is on the campsites, you share it with normal holiday makers, and as such you cant make too much noise, which was hard at the best of times. also on some of the early morning starts, when u may be a little hung over, you might get a few hundred miles down the road, and remember your guitar is still at the camp site.
    it is a great idea, but if it was mine, i think it would be best kept at home….

  • 27 Jan 2008 darthilicious said


    hi syaz, yeah you will budget yourself on what you can afford, im sure you could get by on 1000 euros, but if you can keep a little by for a few trips, it would be a good idea. for example, the group photo and tshirt are nice keep sakes to show ur grand kids later on in life.
    any more questions

  • 28 Jan 2008 syaz said


    thxx…now i feel a bit relieved knowing that if i dun have enuf time to get more than 1000euros i might still be ok Smiler<!--graemlin::)-->

    Was wandering whether there’s vegetarian food ? And the group photo, do u have it in every country ?

  • 28 Jan 2008 darthilicious said


    your supercook will go round the whole coach on day 1 even before you get to your first campsite, to find out any dietery requests, like vegan or veggie….

    the official group photo is done in one country, but there will be a few chances to get a pic of the group on your own camera.

    your tour manager will tell you all about it as your tour unfolds, but they really do have everything covered.

    doesnt your new adventure sound great?

  • 28 Jan 2008 Gilly said


    Hi darth and all, thanks heaps for this thread, it’s good to see somebody answering some camping-specific questions with such detail.
    I’m off for the 21 day trip leaving the 2nd of July solo.
    One question – what type of main bag did you use and see others using? I have one of those cases with wheels and a telescopic handle but I’m wondering if a backpack would work better?

    Thanks for any advice.

  • 29 Jan 2008 Mick said


    Hey Darth. I’ve just read though your thread and it is unreal. All this advice is going to be priceless. I’ve booked myself in to do the 46 day tour on the 19th of August. Like Mr Tonkin, i was a little worried about my age, being 33 but you have put me at ease when you mentioned your age. For now, i do have one question for you though which is the same as Gilly’s. What type of main bag do you recommend? And is Contiki strict about sizes or being a LITTLE over the size ok? Well, that’s two questions, hope you don’t mind.

  • 30 Jan 2008 Gilly said


    And one more thing please…phones. Is it worth buying a cheap prepaid mobile phone that will work in Europe or do most people just buy phone cards if needed. A mobile phone would double as an alarm clock to help with the early wake-ups after late nights too.
    Thanks again!

  • 30 Jan 2008 syaz said


    Hi again darth Smiler<!--graemlin::)-->…thank you soo much for answering all my questions. m a bit nervous a bout travelling alone.

    i have one last question…actually maybe a few last question Smiler<!--graemlin::)-->.

    Im planning to arrive in london maybe the evening before or early morning of the tour. Where do i meet my other group members ?

    And on the last day, where do we depart and do we have to get to the airport ourselves.

    And do you anyone who has ‘stayed’ at the airport instead of booking a hotel on the last night ?

    Thxx again !!!

  • 30 Jan 2008 darthilicious said


    hi gilly, well i took a large holdall(mine was the largest bag there), but there were plenty of people with your type of case – seemed to be the best option. just make sure its not overweight, and you will be fine.
    i wouldnt reccomend a back pack, because in my experience, if something is at the bottom, you have to unpack the whole bag, and you will be living out of your case – with sometimes only a short time to get changed.

  • 30 Jan 2008 darthilicious said


    hi mick, well you have probably read last advice from me, but either a suitcase or a large bag/holdall would be a good idea – not so much a ruck sack/back pack as its a pain to keep unpacking. size isnt or wasnt really a problem(but dont go mad), but they are very strict on weight, VERY. your baggage will be weighed on the morning of departure, and if its overweight, u need to unpack some items, and leave them in contiki office(for a small charge). best advice, dont be overweight on your baggage. so if you dont really need it dont take it.

  • 30 Jan 2008 darthilicious said


    can i just say thanks to everyone who has either read my little advice page, and all those who have replied.
    i really enjoy trying to help you all, and i enjoy reading any feedback you have from my answers, like it i was helpfull or not.

    so thanks again, and please keep throwing those questions at me.
    i actualy live in the U.K, in Kent(near London)
    so if you have any questions about London, or any of our airports please ask me, and i will try my best to answer them

  • 30 Jan 2008 darthilicious said


    gilly, im not sure about mobile phone question to be honest, i took my normal one, but then i already live in europe. lets hope someone else can help you out with this question, and tell us what they are doing. you should deffinetly take a mobile, so probably get a phone card or maybe a europe chip(if there is such a thing) how about calling up your mobile network and asking them. i strongly advise keeping in touch with your family as much as you can do while you are away, as they will be happier if they know where you are

  • 30 Jan 2008 darthilicious said


    syaz, dont be nervous about travelling alone, be excited, you wont be the only person travelling alone, and to be correct, as soon as you meet your contiki group, you wont be travelling alone, your be travelling with about 45 friends.
    ok, very important, – arrive at least a day before for a couple of reasons
    1 – London deserves to be toured(i can advise on some great things to do)

    2 – the night before you travel, you get to meet your contiki crew and group, in the hotel to get the low down on your adventure.

    3 – MOST IMPORTANT – you leave London very early in the morning – if i remember right it was about 7am –

    at this point it might be a good idea to advise that the contiki office is NOT close to any London airports.

    i would say probably about 2-3 hours traveling time away – you have been warned
    so i strongly advise you arrive the night before and stay in the hotel

    the hotels contiki offer, are extremly cheap, and although you may be sharing a room with another contiki guest(possibly not on the same tour as you), its well worth it.
    dont leave it till the last minute to book london hotel – do it now – and just book the hotel contiki offers – the hotel with the contiki basement in is so convenient.

    and on your return, again i would reccomend staying in london, because all your new friends will probably be doing the same thing, and you get to spend one more night with them, maybe over a few drinks.

    any more questions -

  • 30 Jan 2008 Gilly said


    Thanks again darth!
    With regards to the mobile phone issue I’ve found some talk on it elsewhere on these contiki forums (just type mobile into the search feature). However I checked things out myself and found out more.

    Anyone who’s with Telstra can find info from

    It’s a surprisingly useful page for Telstra. Turns out they have agreements with phone companies across Europe to backcharge to your account but it all depends on your phone and prepaid or account type.

    I would appreciate hearing your opinion for things to do in London from the point of view of Contiki travelers/backpackers. I will have 3 days there before the tour and a couple of days after where I will stay in the Generator Hostel.

    Syaz – I’ve read that the Generator is a cheaper alternative to the Contiki place and is a short walking distance. Apparently it is a great party spot also which could be fun…

  • 31 Jan 2008 Em6011 said


    Hi Darth

    Your info has been really helpful. Just a few questions…
    With guys clothing how often do you need to wear dress pants, shirt & tie? Most places you go out at night, a few, or not really at all.
    And.. a bit of a girly question, but i read somewhere that you shouldnt really wear strappy tops that show your shoulders when you go out at night, is this right?
    thanks mate

  • 31 Jan 2008 Mick said


    Darth, what things do you recommend to do during our spare time in London?
    I’ll be staying 3 nights before my tour and 4 nights after it.

  • 31 Jan 2008 syaz said


    Hi again darth,

    Do you know how far is Heathrow (not sure if its the right spelling)airport to the hotel with the contiki basement ?

    All contiki tours will deoart from the hotel ?

    What’s the best way to get to the hotel ? Cab or some kind of other transportation .

    Thanx again



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