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Mr_Netzler started this discussionFollow This User
23rd May 2013
Dont judge me when i say this but the whole reason me and my mate wana go to europe is for those two reasons: sex and booze.
which tours suit our needs? We kinda wana mingle with both the locals and others in the tour.
My friend just broke up with a long term gf so i think this will be great for him. As for me i wana try new things and celebrate my 21st.
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GEM started this discussionFollow This User
23rd May 2013
Hey guys, I just returned from my UE+Egypt and thought I’d put some tips on here for others yet to go on theirs!
- YOU WILL MISS EVERYONE. It was harder than I thought to say goodbye to my tour mates. After 45 days you get rather attached! We have a facebook page and we have all been keeping in touch on that. Lots of photos have been shared
- Take a travel pillow – not a blow up one, a proper one, it will be used A LOT on the coach
- Take more than one camera battery! During the day I always had a spare in by bag, I ended up usually charging one every night!
- Take an iPod. I didn’t take one, it wasn’t the end of the world as our tour manager had really great playlists but he also had iPod-oke – if you’re late to the coach you had to sing!
- Be prepared to pay for toilets everywhere! You usually won’t have to pay if you go into a cafe (and buy something of course) but always expect to (usually around 50 euro cents). In a pub in Amsterdam we had to pay every time – and you pee a lot when you’re drinking!
- Things will not always go to plan. None of us got inside the Colosseum – it closed early (just means we have to return to Rome!). Some days (Tuesdays usually) art museums are closed. Some days traffic will hold you up. Some days it will rain (we were lucky we only had 3 rainy days out of 45!) And it seems like most cities in Europe have scaffolding over their landmarks! Contiki can’t control these things.
- When ordering your Contiki shirt/hoodie/singlet pay close attention to the measurements, I went a size up and my T-shirt is still pretty short. But the hoodie sizes are closer to the mark. I didn’t get a hoodie to begin with but our tour manager managed to get one ordered for me (and a few others) a week or so afterwards and we had to have them posted home for 8.50 euro. Mine took about 3 weeks to arrive (quicker than I thought).
- Get the professional group photos and have everyone sign your folder at the end.
- You WILL get sick of stairs. I’m especially sick of spiral staircases :)
- I took a suitcase, a hand bag and a bigger tote bag for the coach. A backpack would also be handy for mountain biking in Hopfgarten.
- If doing the March departure to attend to ANZAC day – you WILL BE COLD! wear layers and definitely take your sleeping bag. And the walk to the NZ and Oz services isn’t as hard as you’d think. I’m not saying it is easy though. About the same as the walk to the "Top of the World’ at the Chateau.
- You will more than likely have to use a squatter (toilet) at least once – got through Egypt without having to but had to once in Turkey. Lovely.
- Girls – Take a fake wedding ring to Egypt and have a husband lined up. I took a scarf to cover my blonde hair but only used it in Cairo on the coach when I got a few stares. And it is entirely possible for your ‘husband’ to be seriously offered camels for you… try to get more than five.
- I budgeted around 50-100 Euro per day and that was fine. I did all the optionals too. I didn’t go overboard with shopping though – there is not a lot of time for shopping anyway.
- Be prepared for Theme Parties. There will definitely be a Toga party in Corfu. We also had a P Party at the Chateau, a masqurade party in Rome, a ‘Twin’ party in Hopfgarten and a red and white party (Swiss colours) in Lauterbrunnen (the themes change though.) Cellotape, safety pins and bright makeup come in handy…
- Watch out for sleazy Italian men.
- The men in the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul (and those in Egypt for that matter) are very pushy when it comes to trying to get you to buy things in their shops. Be prepared to haggle. And look out for them at the Valley of the Kings, the men all lined up to block us on the way out – you’ll get good at side-stepping. The guys around the Eiffel Tower, La Ramblas, Pisa (most tourist places really) are annoying. Girls you’ll probably get called ‘Lady Gaga’, ‘Spice Girl’, ‘Shakira’ and ‘Pretty Eyes’. DON’T buy anything from these men – it’s illegal in most places.
- We were all lucky enough to not get pick-pocketed on tour – but that could have been because we were alert. Keep an eye on your stuff – especially on the Metro and in the busy markets.
- If going to Egypt be prepared for ‘King Tuts Butt’/‘Tutankhamuns Revenge’ – visit your doctor and get something to help. I got a drink vaccine thing. Be careful with the water – no ice, brush your teeth with bottled water and steer clear of fruits and salads that may have been washed in the water.
- Take hand sanitiser.
- Take laundry detergent – you probably will not escape handwashing. On that note, a travel clothesline is a must too.
You will be expected to tip your TM and driver at the end – about 2 Euro per day – I had no problem with this as we had the best in the business in my opinion!
- Keep a travel journal – make sure you keep it up to date too – Coach days are great for that. I also wrote down what I took photos of – at the end you probably won’t remember what you took photos of at the start. – Also, I wish I had taken photos of the rooms/hotels etc. I can remember each and every one but don’t have all the photos to go with what’s in my head. Take photos of every Day Sheet too – they come in VERY handy both during and after the tour.
- You’ll get the Contiki Cough. Simple as that. I had cold and flu pills, multi-vitamins, throat lozenges and all sorts and I got the cough in PARIS! I still have it now a month and a half later. I only felt under the weather for a few days, it’s just the cough that hangs around. Towards the end of the tour one of the guys did have to go to hospital though – so take it easy every now and again and look after yourself. Have a night off once in a while.
- There will be people of different ages, backgrounds and different personalities. We were very lucky we managed to go 45 days with little drama.
- We had 41 on tour – 30 girls and 11 guys. There were 30 Aussies, 4 Kiwis, 3 Koreans, 2 Canadians, 1 American and 1 South African. 23 went to Egypt and 18 went to the Greek Islands.
- CLOTHES: Don’t pack too much crap. You have to carry it! I only took clothes I wear all the time at home. Take a few dressy tops and a dress (although you may not wear it much it’s good when you want to really dress up). I wore jeans out, sometimes I wished I had something that fell between a dress and jeans, like a pair of dress pants or leggings. Don’t just take long pants and short shorts – you have to cover your knees in Egypt and in most churches etc – take a knee length skirt or 3/4 pants. Also remember you have to cover your shoulders in these places too.
- SHOES: I took heels, I feel more dressed up in them – but if you’re not good in heels they won’t be the best on cobblestones, some others took wedges. I had a pair of skechers I wore when we did a lot of walking, I also had jandals (thongs/flip flops) and a pair of ballet flats to wear out when I didn’t want to wear heels. I also had a cheap pair of sneakers for Jungfrau and walking on ANZAC day. But the right sort of walking shoe could be used for that too.
- You do not need to be done up to the nines every day. Most days I didn’t even use my make up, other days maybe just lipstick and mascara. Save it for the big nights out.
- Be prepared for some crap, tiny showers and hard beds… but also be prepared for comfy beds and awesome showers – Bulgaria had a great shower! The accommodation varies but I can’t think of a bad place off the top of my head – just don’t expect 5 star, it is a Concept tour after all, you’re only there to sleep. – Actually, I thought of maybe the worst place: there was a nappy in our bathroom bin in Cairo… and also used soap in the basin… and I’m still not sure the sheets had been changed… but those were easily fixed.
- The included meals won’t be spectacular, they’re not bad though – we had Moussaka in Corfu though that was delicious. Breakfasts consist of: bread rolls, ham, cheese, salami etc, cornflakes, maybe museli, sometimes yoghurt, toast with jams and sometimes nutella. In some places you’ll get hot food as well – In Hopfgarten we had bacon and eggs which was great! And in Luxor there was a guy that made your omlette while you wait.
- In Amsterdam we were told by our TM to only eat half a brownie to begin with, if nothing happened after an hour, eat the other half. At the Grasshopper they sold brownies by the half for 7.50 Euro.
- On your Day sheet for Amsterdam it may possibly say Dutch Cultural Evening – this means Live Sex Show. It is exactly that. Go to it, it’s a fun night, but some people may get freaked out :) If you end up on stage with a few others and a stripper, try and be the first to eat the banana… unless you WANT to go last…
- At the Tuscan and Greek optional dinners you will get A LOT of food. Take advantage of the included wine at all the optional meals too. And the buffet on the Nile and Danube cruises are great, you’ll probably want lots of vegies by then.
- On that note – do all the optionals. Some might not be what you thought but at least you went out and tried them. I even did paragliding which scared the crap out of me.
- Expect to pay 19 Euro for a Mojito in Monaco!
- Make an effort to get to know people at the start of the tour. I was a bit slower and only in the second half (after Egypt) did I branch out a bit more.
- Afterwards you’ll miss the Day sheets, the long coach days, your Day song and maybe even your annoying Wake Up song.
Hopefully you have great tourmates like I did and if you get Steve Ellison™ or Aidan Hopkins (TD) you’ll be in good hands, those guys are fantastic.
Any questions? :)
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