Couple of random questions


#1

Hey guys,

If any of you can help out that would be awesome :slight_smile:

I’m just wondering if it would be a good idea to bring my laptop? I’d be using it mainly for photo storage and emailing back home as I’ll be away for a while.

And also, would it be safe to carry cash? I don’t think it’s ideal but I’m uncertain about how money cards work and how accessible they are in Europe…so any experienced topdeckers advice would be appreciated.

Cheers x


#2

Hey there.

I’m not an experienced out of country traveler but I just got a money card a few days ago. Basically you can pour all your cash into it and have a couple of currencies. The only ones they don’t usually carry are like Swiss Franc and Hungarian and Czech dollars, the rarer ones that are only likely to be found in one country and not several.

The way it was described to me was that you can use it with eftpos and you won’t be charged, and if you’re in one of those countries that doesn’t use Euro or whatever where you’re going, it’ll just exchange the money for local currency when you take some out from the ATM.


#3

Hi!

I leave for my first Topdeck tour on Sunday and this is what I’ve done. I’m not taking my laptop but my partner is, so we still have internet connection and storage. If you have room and it isn’t too heavy, I’d take it. Maybe purchase some kind of laptop padlock (from travel stores/ online) so if you want to keep it in the hostel room you can attach it to something and it won’t get stolen.

As for currency, I think its a little bit risky taking only cash. I’m using the Muli-currency cash passport http://www.cashpassport.com/1/en/au1/multi-currency/ because its the best thing for me. When we’re in Poland, Hungary and Czech Republish I’ll just withdraw that amount that I want to spend whilst there and deal with the conversion fee. If you’re unsure about travel cards, go to your bank; they explain everything and will answer your questions. :slight_smile:


#4

Here’s a random question! If I’m staying near Oxford st, and want to watch a premier league game, what’s the closest football club that I can watch a game?


#5

[quote=36694]Hey guys,

If any of you can help out that would be awesome :slight_smile:

I’m just wondering if it would be a good idea to bring my laptop? I’d be using it mainly for photo storage and emailing back home as I’ll be away for a while.

And also, would it be safe to carry cash? I don’t think it’s ideal but I’m uncertain about how money cards work and how accessible they are in Europe…so any experienced topdeckers advice would be appreciated.

Cheers x[/quote]

Cash cards are a good idea, I’ve toured in Europe before and many people that were just using standard ATM and VISA cards were having troubles getting money out. I would also avoid carrying bulk amounts of cash around… take enough out for a few days at a time.

I’m using this card http://www.cashpassport.com/1/en/au1/multi-currency/ as well traveling this year… as Katie’s mentioned, they are simple to use… also pays to take a couple forms of cash (ie. Cash card and a Visa card). I used travelex last time and that was simple too.

Regarding the laptop, it really depends… I took a little netbook with me last time which was fairly light but still became a pain to carry around… it spent most of the time locked in my suit case… I used internet cafes most of the time as they were available most places you stayed cheap… (I am however taking an Ipad this time round, mainly for use on the bus editing photo’s, per-writting emails etc).


#6

Hey another random question to add to the thread,

When the luggage allowance says “20kg” does that include your hand luggage too?

sarah x


#7

Just adding to the random questions as well:
Is it easy to pick up a UK prepaid sim card at the airport? Is it cheaper doing it this way or should I get the global sim card topdeck suggests?


#8

20KG doesn’t include your hand luggage… i think the recommended for this is 5-6KG but it doesn’t generally get weighed… best thing to do it wear all your heavy item’s on day of departure if you can… also to cut down, buy toiletries along the way (soap, shampoo, deodorant etc).

Buy the sim card in the UK, it works out to be a stack cheaper. I don’t recall seeing them at the airport but then I wasn’t really looking, but in London when I did look (to get one myself) I found they were everywhere, most corner stores had them.

Just keep in mind, the UK one will have a lot better rates (think similar to our local rates), but won’t work in every country, you’ll need to check it before buying… the global sim works everywhere but the rates on it are ridiculous! (I had the global one, but ended up buying a UK one as well).


#9

ahh, so much useful info. Thankyou!

one more thing…what about laundry? is it easy enough to find places to do your washing along the way?


#10

Thank you so much Trent.


#11

[quote=36944]ahh, so much useful info. Thankyou!

one more thing…what about laundry? is it easy enough to find places to do your washing along the way?[/quote]

Best to check with your tour guide once you start, they will be able to tell you what places have facilities… There usually isn’t a shortage of options…


#12

thank you :slight_smile:


#13

if your prepaired to carry it then do so, depending on which bus your on theres normally between 2 (on the bus i was on) up to 5 power outlets to charge devices up. as for money get a card but take out as much as you need for the day. all hotels offer wifi, some places you have to pay and other places are totally free, and go on a 24 hour basis. noticed wifi was slow when everyone just got there codes at the start of each place.


#14

Forget your laptop, internet cafes are everywhere, and some are rather cheap. Take a small hard drive (which uses computer power intead of wall power) and store your pics on there. Its smaller and lighter. As for money, Travelex Cash Passport or the Commonwealth Bank has a similar, you can store upto 5 (i think) currencies, just get about 100 of each in cash before you go, thats enough to get you by at markets and at places that dont take card. You can always withdrawl more funds if you need it. I used the cash passport last time and this worked a treat, just check the fees for with drawals etc. I really wouldnt be to worried, there are heaps of tips for storing cash if you need it, like an empty asprin bottle is great for keeping cash safe. I spent 6 months in backpacking europe solo and Ive learnt a tonne. All the best for your travels!


#15

Adding to these questions, do many people go on any of these tours alone?


#16

Last tour I did (was actually Contiki, not Topdeck) probably 20 out of the 48 people on our tour were all solo travelers. On the bus from London to Paris you pretty much get to know 80% of the people, and the other 20% you’ll known by the end of the second day…


#17

If you are only going for a few weeks I wouldn’t bring a laptop. Buy a 32GB SD card and log in to the odd internet cafe instead.

I am travelling with a Citibank debit card and a 28 Degrees credit card. A money card could be a good idea given the exhcange rate to Euro is at a record high (you should buy this before you leave home). Choosing the right money option for you is up to you - Google is your friend!