Hey guys,[br][br]I’m in the process of organising my first overseas trip. Doing the Grand European in June or July '09.[br]I’m so excited but also very nervous, as I’m travelling solo, moving to London afterwards, and have never been further than Tasmania! :)[br]SO i thought it would be handy for those who have been travelling to tell us ‘inexperienced travellers’ what your best big tips are - whether they be packing tips, flight tips, money tips, tour tips etc… the list is endless!![br][br]CK :)[br]
I’m totally jealous already! I also went in June/July (Spirit of Europe Tour 2008), it was my first trip to Europe - I had an incredible time, learnt lots and partied LOTS! You will have an absolute blast, don’t be nervous you will fine a lot of people will be in your shoes, 70% of passangers on our tour came alone. You’ll meet some of the best people. Quite a few aussies, it will be great fun!!! [br][br]Yeah note - the further south you go eg. Italy the hotter it gets, and trust me, it’s HOT! I lived off thongs, short, singlet and tees. However, you probably need a good lightweight jumper. 1 or 2 pairs of jeans is plenty (night time & London is cold). I did not touch my sleeping bag the whole tour however lived off my silk liner sheet (all you really need in summer); earplugs if your a light sleeper like me; ipod - for the looong ass bus rideS; sunnies; hand sanitisers - best things ever! Buy a double adapter (along with other euro/uk) so you can charge a few things at once; invest in a mirco towel rather then your normal towel to save space and drying time.[br][br]Topdeck crew were great, always up for a party; food was fine, some good resturants and i enjoyed the picnic lunches. In regards to accomo, i did the hostels tour - it was alright, you’ll have a few cramped, shabby ones, most are average, a couple are decent. They mix it up alright, it didn’t bother me so much.[br][br]And finally be glad you’re not coming back home. Once the amazing sight-seeing, partying days are over and reality hits? aaahhh it’s all VERY depressing… Good luck in your travels!!![br][br]Kim[br][br]
hey kimz![br]how sweet are u! you’ve reassured me heaps and given me a bit more to think about![br]yeah i’m totally excited and i know i’ll be fine once i get there. i’m not a nervous shy person AT ALL, so i know it will all be good :)[br][br]definately a good tip with the towel and those few other things you’ve mentioned.[br]i’ve already started making a list of all the things i’ll need.[br][br]what hostel did u stay at when u first got there?
Hi Colina,[br][br]I went on the Essential Europe in Dec/Jan this year and had an absolutely amazing time! As Kimz said a silk sleep sheet (you can get them from Mountain Designs) comes in handy, as well as the hand sanitiser, some vitamins (as heaps of people seemed to get sick, not me though), a super absorbent towel and maybe a little Pacsafe slashproof over the shoulder bag…[br][br]You are so lucky you are going to be staying over there afterwards as it is the most depressing thing to fly home! I’m hoping to head off on another Topdeck adventure in 09!
Hi! I have just come back from the Sept/Oct Spirit of Europe tour! While im not going in summer, i can still give you some tips :)[br][br]the best things i took with me were:[br]* ear plugs[br]* first aid kit[br]* my micro fibre towel[br]* my windproof rain jacket (Gore-tex) (although im not sure if you will need this as i was in englad and scotlnd before my tour and then we also went to switzerland as well)[br]* my blow up pillow for on the bus[br]* my ipod (which had movies on it!!)[br]* extra memory cards for my camera[br][br]I would also recommend taking:[br]* extra socks![br]* less clothes!! Some of the girls took so many clothes that they could barely close their bags when we started!! take clothes that will go with heaps more outfits![br]* hand sanitiser[br][br]I’ll probably think of more things later on :)[br][br]You will have a blast!! Trust me!! We had Brad and Damo and they were just awesome!! unfortunately it was their last tour with TD, i would have loved to have gone onto another tour with them!![br][br]I have some of the best memories of my life from my TD Tour!![br][br]Leeana[br]Canberra, Australia[br]Spirit of Europe 16 Sept 08[br]+ London Stopover[br]+ Edinburgh Minibreak
Thanks Leanna :)[br][br]I’ve noted all those things down in my nerdy ‘what to take on my trip’ list. haha[br][br]I’m wondering also where you got your bag?[br][br]Are they all pretty much the same? I looked at some at Kathmandu. Is that the best place to get one?
heres a few other things i found helpfull[br][br]- zip lock plastic bags (for shampoo bottles, soap, smeely socks, dirty shoes … basicaly anything you dont want to contaminate your other clean things in your bag)[br]- double adaptor a must [br]- micro towel yes [br]- some travel soap for washing socks/ undies bra’s etc while you have a time to let them dry on your peg free washing line. Wash your small items in a sink let them dry in your room while you are out all day exploring the city, when you get back in the arvo/night/next morning haha you will have less laundry to pay for later.[br]- ipod, i only just got one , im uploading it now getting it full before i go… [br]- a tube of vegemite. if you like vegimite and are gone for a long time from down under[br]- if you have breakfast included at a hotel and to hungover to eat, make a snack wrap it up and eat it when you can stomach it like an hour or 2 later, save you some cash [br]- spare batteries[br]- torch[br]oh oh those little towelets from KFC- start saving them, they are great[br][br]I cant think of anymore at the moment. hope it helps[br]
cheers alicia :)[br]I’ve taken note of all the things u have mentioned.[br]i just bought a special micro fibre travel towel from ebay last night.[br]mini towelettes from KFC? haha[br]too bad i don’t eat KFC :)[br]maybe a thing of baby wipes will do the trick
Hi Colina, [br][br]I’m doing the Grand European trip at the end of July 09. Do you know when you’re doing your trip yet? we might be on the same one! I am sooooo excited and just can’t wait that like you i am being a little nerdy and writing lists of what i need to take, what i need to do and all the helpful tips i keep reading on forums like this and travel sites etc.[br][br]I’m also travelling alone and staying in London for a bit before the trip and then doing a couple months more travel after the trip I think it’s a good idea to wind yourself down slowly instead of coming straight home and being hit with the shock that it’s all over. I’m looking into doing a second top deck tour a month later which does all of Britain and Ireland but not sure yet might be feeling adventurous by then and do it alone.[br][br]I created a topic like this for helpful/handy travel tips as well so you might wanna check it out at some stage.[br][br]Nicole[br]Grand European 2009
Take an alternative means of cash - just in case!!![br][br]I had my Cash Card chewed up by an ATM and my bank was unwilling to forward me a replacement to one of my hotels![br][br]Relied on credit card from there on![br][br](I was in a rather drunken mess when I lost the card however so I can’t confirm if it was my fault or the banks ;D)
Don’t comprise when it comes to first aid stuff cause u want vitamins, panadol, bandaids, stingos, cold and flu tablets, upset stomach tablets, thongs (for the showers) and moisturiser! There is nothing worst then being sick and having nothing to fix it.[br][br]Also take stuff u r prepared to throw away, take cheap shoes as long as they r comfy, a towel u can throw away if it gets gross - just buy a new one at a supermarket for really cheap, sleeping bag u can throw before u fly home (i flew back from venice to london, bought the sleeping bag at argos in london), clothes, etc. don’t take ur favourite clothes so ur not attached to them if u need to chuck them to make room for stuff u buy.[br][br]also, NEVER, ever fill ur suitcase before u go (leave atleast 1/4 - 1/2 empty)- reason 1) u’ll buy stuff!, reason 2) u always pack it so neatly before u leave yet when u have 10 mins to pack up before moving to ur next destination u r not going to neatly fold like u did when ur first packed.
[quote]also, NEVER, ever fill ur suitcase before u go (leave atleast 1/4 - 1/2 empty)- [/quote][br][br]missrik while that is a good notion i think i might have some trouble only taking half a case of stuff. i’m the kind that like to be prepared for any weather. do you have any suggestions for clothing that might bring my luggage limit down?[br][br]Nicole[br]Grand European July 2009[br]+ Britain & Ireland September 2009[br]+ Greek Islands
Nicole - For much of your trip, the weather will be very similar. The UK’s summer is well… warm at best, plain old rubbish at worst (trust me, I’m a Brit!). However, the parts of Europe that border the Med have a much better time of it, and it will be scorchingly hot at times during the Grand European (and on the Greek Islands).[br][br]I’d go for simple dresses that can be layered with leggings and a cardi in cooler weather, then worn in the evenings jazzed up with a belt and funky jewellery, or worn simply in the day with sandals. Think of an outfit, then think of all the different ways you can wear it![br][br]KA x
so many of the girls on our tour bought WAY too many clothes, then bought more!! when i went, i made sure that everythign that i took could be worn AT LEAST 3 different ways. By the end of our tour those girls couldnt figure out how i could still close my backpack, even though i had bought some clothes… be sensible with what you take! take stuff that you look good wrinkles and dry quickly.[br][br]I don’t think i have update the list of what i actually took with me on my site, but if you want i can update it so that you can see what i took :)[br][br]Leeana[br]Canberra, Australia[br]Spirit of Europe 16 Sept 08[br]+ London Stopover[br]+ Edinburgh Minibreak
KAdoesEurope - i never thought of one dress in so many ways! lol. that was such a helpful tip, it’s making me think about what clothes i own and what would work together to form multiple outfits. Thanks for that! Do you have any other clothes suggestions?? i’m not really into fashion so i need a little help with what can work together :-[[br][br]whirlsie- if you have an updated list of what you packed it could definately come in handy for me. Thanks[br][br]Nicole[br]Grand European July 2009[br]+ Britain & Ireland September 2009[br]+ Greek Islands
Hey, yeah i took a simple black cotton dress which was great cause it was cool when in italy, nice enough to go out at night in (with a belt - i had to limit my packing to 1 belt though which was hard), it was really comfy for bus travel days and i had 3/4 tights to wear with it in the UK. [br][br]Also, remember, its europe, not the middle of the desert, they have clothes shops and plenty of places to pick up some extra items if u need them (particularly in italy and some of france cause it is fairly cheap - like no more than wat u’d pay for clothes back home) also then u have a shirt or top or something to remind u of ur trip (i luv my shirt from nice and know that other ppl in aus don’t have it and was strangely excited bout bringing home toothpaste from italy with all italian writing on it)[br][br]good luck with ur trip! u’ll have an awesome time! [br][br]I’m prob going on another trip in 2009 with Topdeck again so anyone got any tips for eastern europe???
I’m doing the Red Star Special (June 14) - it does all of russia/scand and the baltics and poland. Have a look at that one :)[br][br]Red Star Special: June 14th, 2009 and Espresso Italia: September 13th, 2009
[quote]Also, remember, its europe, not the middle of the desert, they have clothes shops [/quote][br][br]Ah shopping… the solutions to all of life’s little problems lol[br][br]Nicole[br]Grand European July 2009[br]+ Britain & Ireland September 2009[br]+ Greek Islands
Hey everyone,[br][br]Thanks so much for these amazing and helpful tips! Am noting them down and will definately keep them in mind when packing!! Just a quick question to those who have been on Europe trips regarding money. How much did you spend on approximately each day? Im not a heavy drinker but would like the occasional beer or two and souvenirs for the family are a must (so they say…haha). Im just struggling atm as being from NZ the conversion rate is shocking and since im doing a 26day tour (summer fun and sailing) i am beginning to think i will need $2,000-$2,500 just to get by, do a couple of extras and feed myself when top deck isnt doing that for me.[br][br]Any help/tips/advice would be much appreciated![br][br][br]Adela [br][br]
I have been thinking the same about the money side of things![br]I hate the conversion rate![br]Would love to have some advice on the money side of things to.[br][br]Thanks