Hello again!![br][br]ok… so here are some of my questions that i have and i was hoping if some of the people who have already travelled (or anyone else who has an opinion :)) could help me with.[br][br]1 - Did you have any problems with pickpckets or did anyone try to scam you? What did you do?[br][br]2 - Did you take special walking shoes with you? Or did you just take ur runners/thongs?[br][br]3 - How did you go with being in other countries where (if) you didnt speak the language?[br][br]4 - What do you wish you had taken with you??[br][br]Leeana[br]Canberra, Australia[br]Spirit of Europe 16 Sept 08[br]+ London Stopover[br]+ Edinburgh Minibreak
[font=Comic Sans MS]I’ll try to answer these for you Leeana[br][br]1. Did you have any problems with pickpockets or did anyone try to scam you? What did you do?[br][br]Always just be cautious with your belongings and just keep an eye on the people and the surroundings.[br]I never encounted any pick pockets, but we were warned about being more cautious in Rome. On the metro just keep a hold of anything valuable as well. There a lot of gyspy’s around which you need to be cautious of.[br]There are also a lot of beggars. In Barcelona and I think it was the Vatican city there are actually beggars that do damage to themselves in order to make more people take pity on them. Lets just say you won’t want to be looking at them for too long.[br]I also encounted some beggars in Nice as well. I was suprised how many that there actually were.[br]As, we were leaving our hotel in Rome we actually had some gypsy’s try and pull a scam on our bus. They drop money around the bus and other things and then get the bus driver or whom ever to come off the bus so that they are picking things up while one of them would try and sneak onto the bus and steal the tour guides bag with all the money from us on it. Our guide was aware of this however, and locked the door behind our driver as he got off the bus.[br]Apparently, they had pulled the same scam on a tour bus a month before so they were prepared. Unfortunately, they got the money last time and it was like $20,000 something like that.[br]What I don’t understand is how they would get onto a bus full of people on tour and not have anyone say something or do something with a stranger on board… odd hey.[br][br]Just try and spread your money out in different places. That way if they get some it won’t be a lot that you lose.[br][br]2 - Did you take special walking shoes with you? Or did you just take ur runners/thongs?[br][br]Something definately comfortable. I wore sneakers all the time. You will be doing a lot of walking. So, whatever you are most comfortable in wearing. Anything flat would probably be good. There were a few girls that wore heels though. It was a laugh on cobbled streets :)[br]I’d take thongs as well for showers though.[br][br]3 - How did you go with being in other countries where (if) you didnt speak the language?[br][br]Majority of places will speak basic english. They will probably deny it somewhat though. I’m not sure about top deck, but they should give you a cheat sheet which will have the basic things that you need in each country. If you are trying to order food, the pointing system works. haha;D[br][br][br]4 - What do you wish you had taken with you??[br][br]less stuff… I didn’t use half the stuff that I took that with me. I went over prepared and then wondered why I was carrying around stuff with me that I wasn’t using. They say pack what you want and then half it.[br]I don’t think there was anything I wished i had taken that didn’t.[br]I did wish I took a lot more photo’s though. So, definately lot’s of memory cards this time round will be taken.
I just want to add a question?[br][br]How many power outlets are there on the buses? Is it one per seat or just a few at the front of the bus?[br][br]Thanks[br][br]Odette[br][br]Mega European June 22nd
1 - Did you have any problems with pick-pockets or did anyone try to scam you? What did you do?[br]- Basically be cautious wherever you go. I felt really unsafe in some places so therefore was more cautious. I had my bag across my shoulder and carried it like this for the whole trip and always had my hand on the bag. I had a Pacsafe bag and felt a bit safer with it. [br]- Don’t put your bag down on the floor whilst eating at restaurants and if you are traveling alone don’t let someone else in your group look after your bag whilst waiting to board the bus in the morning etc. [br]- I saw beggers/gypsies etc mainly in Rome and also in Venice, however the guards seem to move them away really quickly esp. at the Vatican. [br]- I carried a little purse in my bag that I kept small loose change in. That way I wasn’t pulling out heaps of money at a time. I never carried my cards in my purse and always had them in the bag which I never took my hand off. Another good tip, if you are a bloke…keep $5 Euro or so in a pocket you can use in Emergencies or if you come across someone selling something (we bought an umbrella) you can offer them what you have in your pocket. [br][br]2 - Did you take special walking shoes with you? Or did you just take your runners/thongs?[br]- I took runners and wore these everywhere due to the amount of time being on your feet but I found them too hot to wear whilst traveling in Summer. I highly recommend taking a pair of Keen sandals or something similar. I now have a pair and they will be a MUST on my next trip. Take comfy shoes. [br][br]3 - How did you go with being in other countries where (if) you didn’t speak the language?[br]- France was the hardest esp because they don’t particularly go out of their way to speak English for you. As ‘cruisey’ said, TD gives you info sheets on each place you visit which also includes some basic words to get you by. Otherwise most people speak English and will be happy to help. [br][br]4 - What do you wish you had taken with you??[br]- Surprisingly I think I under-packed (if there is such a thing). I was traveling to the UK prior to the trip which made it hard because I wanted to make sure I didn’t freeze. If you are traveling in Summer make sure to take lots of summer clothes, but also take warmer clothes-jacket/pants etc. [br][br]- Pack what you NEED not what you MIGHT use or what might come in handy. Take heaps of memory cards or a couple really big ones and make suer to keep these safe. For those who are taking a laptop, take cds to burn your photos to, which will allow you more room on your memory cards. [br]-Allow extra room in your bag for those ‘unexpected’ extras you may buy whilst on your trip. (Roll your clothes to make more room and decrease crinkles).[br][br]Enjoy your trip.
Just another quick question about footwear - I practically lived in my thongs last time I went away, and was wondering if I could do the same in Europe (depending on the weather of course)… I’d take other walking shoes, but love my thongs and can walk in them forever. What do you think?
yeah i’m with Odette - are there any power points on the bus? or you just got to take your luck with talking to the cook?
There’s power points on the bus??[br]
If it’s just a regular bus (I haven’t actually been on a top deck tour) there will just be an outlet (like a cigarette lighter thingy)up the front where the driver sits. I wouldn’t rely on it though. If a few people are wanting to recharge there ipod etc there may be a wait.[br]I’d take a powerboard and that way a few people can charge things at the same time and not have to worry.
Hey Guys,[br]I did my tour last month. Here’s my two cents worth:[br]Beggers/Gypsies/Pickpockets:[br]There were a lot about in most bigger cities. I found completely ignorning them worked the best for me, as in DO NOT even look at them and just keep moving. If they get in your face just look really harsh and say NO. They soon get the hint. I had a bag that went over my shoulder. If I saw a few dodgy characters around or was in a situation where I thought it was the perfect situation for a pickpocket, I just moved it to the front of me and kept my hand on my bag. You should be fine. Being alert is really the only thing you can do. No one got scammed on our tour.[br]Shoes:[br]Mine was a winter tour, which made it a little easier. I had runners for the day, and a pair of flat boots for going out. Definitely take thongs for the shower. If your doing a summer tour you could get away with wearing thongs all day, but I guess it depends how your feet hold up doing a lot of walking in thongs. Somedays you would walk the equivalent of a few kms.[br]Language:[br]Topdeck give you little sheets when you enter a new country and it has the basic words on them. Most places you’ll go the people will speak enough English to get by. Don’t be too fussed about the language barrier…but ALWAYS remember to keep the sheet with you, as it also has the address where you are staying on it. Take it from someone who DIDN’T have it with them while trying to get a taxi at 3am in Prague - ended up being an experience let me tell you!!![br]Packing:[br]Don’t take too much. Seriously, if there is something you find you really need you will have the chance to get it somewhere. Just make sure you have enough memory cards/cameras batteries etc. That kind of stuff is probably most important, cause it’s the most expensive when your away and you don’t want to waste all your spending money on “necessities”! I had a 2MB memory card, took over 1400 pics and still had a spare 350 left on my camera. The bigger cards cost more, but they are definitely worth it. For winter trips, definitely take a scarf & hat. You WILL use them![br]There was only one power charger on our bus, and it was at the front. People only used this to charge their ipods, and I think only a few people used it if that. I don’t think you’ll be getting a bus that has individual power points for each seat. [br]Enjoy your trips! I wish I was coming!
Thanks for all the advice guys its good to know that pickpocketing isnt as bad as what some people make it out to be :)[br][br]Leeana[br]Canberra, Australia[br]Spirit of Europe 16 Sept 08[br]+ London Stopover[br]+ Edinburgh Minibreak
gday[br][br]hey you no how they say you should have a copy of your passport. well i actually have a copy on my email address, plus some phone numbers and email addresses that i may need if something hits the fan!! least the email one is always clear. i still take a copy but if you lose everything least you have a very clear copy on a computer. i think its a good idea[br][br]anyway catch yehs
That’s a really good idea! I think I’ll do the same… thanks for that!
Pickpockets/scams:[br]I also find it best to use a bag that goes over your shoulder. They can’t grab things from your back without you noticing, and you can hold it in front of you in dodgy situations. Also, I would recommend breaking up your bigger bills in trustworthy spots, and always carrying small bills (5 or 10ers) in different pockets so that you can pull them out and claim that that’s all you have when bargaining for items in markets. Because as soon as they see a twenty, it will be hard to buy something for less…[br][br]Shoes:[br]I travelled for 36 days in Eastern Europe last summer, and my best advice is to have 2 sets of comfortable footwear, like one pair of runners and one pair of thongs. Because, regardless of how comfortable your shoes are, there’s a lot of walking, and there will be some pressure points. So when your foot starts to hurt from one shoe, at least you can give it a break by switching to another shoe for a day or two. I wore my thongs some days, but be warned: your feet may be black by the end of the day![br][br]Language:[br]If you’re Aussie, you probably don’t have this problem, but for Canadians, we have similar accents to Americans, and there are a lot of people in Europe that can be rather anti-American. So sometimes if we say “Hello” in English, they assume we are American and don’t give us good service. So, this may seem weird but, if you are a fellow Canadian, I suggest saying “Bonjour” before “Hello”. When we started introducing ourselves that way, we got much better service.[br][br]Packing:[br]If you can’t afford extra camera memory cards, buying some flash drives/USB keys can be a good alternative. When you get the chance, you can just empty your memory card onto your drive. But always have an extra battery camera on you at all times. You never know…[br]Also, make sure to have all your important information (passport number, phone number of your insurance company in case of emergencies, etc.)[br]Usually you end up packing too many clothes. You pack things you think you may wear, but you never do. But on the contrary, make sure you pack the medicines you might need. You might not use them, but you might be kicking yourself if you need it, don’t have it, and can’t understand the language at the local pharmacy.