Greek Island Hopper 28 Aug 2010


#1

Hi there!

I see that the website says this tour is almost full :slight_smile:

I was wondering if anyone else on here was doing this tour on these dates? Would be great to have a chat before it starts.

Thanks in advance

Emma


#2

Hi Emma,

Me and my 2 friends are booked for greek island hopper 28 aug too! very excited!

Brooke.


#3

Hey Brooke,

Great to hear from you! I’m so excited about the trip and its coming around so quickly :slight_smile:

How old are you and your friends? Are you guys travelling anywhere else before or after the Greek Island Hopping?


#4

Hi Emma, i am going on this one too! Glad to hear its nearly full, im hoping we have an easy going, fun crowd :slight_smile:

I am from Perth WA and am going on this tour with my sister, Kate, who is 24. Im 22. We will be starting our Europe travels on the 30th July and going home on the 25th September so the Island hopping tour will be a nice way to break up the trip :slight_smile:

So enough about me! Who you going with, travelling anywhere else while in Europe??

Sally


#5

Hi Sally!

Awesome to hear from someone else on the tour :slight_smile: Im 23, from NZ and travelling solo! First time overseas too so i’m really excited and waiting for the nervousness to kick in haha

I fly over to London on 1 Aug and start another Topdeck tour on the 5th. It goes for 21 days around France, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, Monaco and finishes in Greece 3 days before the Greek Island Hopper, so I have 3 days in Athens to relax before our tour starts!

Are you in Athens at all before the tour? Where are you guys travelling before and after?


#6

Wow! By yourself will be cool, im sure you will meet heaps of awesome people.
Yeah im getting pretty nervous already!!

That tour will be mad fun! Good idea having a few days to relax in Athens :slight_smile:

Sounds like we will be in London around the same time as you :slight_smile:
We arrive in London 31st July and are staying there for 5 days then we head to Berlin (stopping in Amsterdam for a few nights) to start the Eastern Escape Tour, starts on 8th Aug and goes for 12 days.

Then we heading through Switzerland by ourselves and going to Venice, Italy for a few days. Then we fly to Athens the day before our tour starts, so weve booked into the baby grand hotel.

After the Island Hopping we have about 20 days left to go through Italy and France. We arent just doing it at our own leisure though, all our accommodation is booked and we have a pretty thorough schedule. First time overseas for me too so wanted it to be well planned!

Are you all organised? got enough spending money saved?..im saving really hard right now!


#7

Wow the Eastern Escape tour looks amazing. I would love to have a heap more time to visit more places. Unfortunately the cost starts piling up! I’m pretty sick of saving by now but still keeping at it. Its definitely going to be worth it :slight_smile: By the time I leave i will have enough for about 115 euros a day.

Where are you staying in London? Sounds like you are so organised! I would never know how to book all that accommodation. But i’d definitely be the same with having everything planned out and booked. I’ve pretty much arranged everything I need to. But just when I think i’m set, I remember like 50 other things that I need to do haha!

I am also staying at the Baby Grand Hotel. Haven’t really planned much to do for the 3 days in Athens coz I dont know how tired I will be. I have a fair idea of a few things I would like to see but because both tours each have their own time in Athens as well, I actually end up with quite a bit of time there.

Is there any place in particular you are really looking forward to? What kind of work do you both do? It took me forever to save up all my holiday leave! Havent had any time off since January last year


#8

Yeah i think it will be pretty amazing. More time…we all need that! But as long as we can get a taste of the places we’re visiting then the ones we really love, we can just go back to again one day for a more extended stay…hopefully :slight_smile: Thats a good amount to allow for spending money, we will have about that much too.

We are staying at a place called Kensington Rooms, which is just a short walk from Hyde Park. Where are you staying??

Haha yep its like that! so much to think about, i would love to pay someone to organise it for me but i dont have that kind of money plus it would take all the fun out of it :slight_smile: im lucky too because my sister is really well organised and she has done a lot of the hard work. I couldnt have done it by myself!

Cool, right well you’ll just have to see how you feel :slight_smile: this website is fairly basic but there’s a few good ideas: http://www.athensguide.com/top-10/index.htm

I think because we are staying in Athens at the start and finish, they will cover quite a lot of the main features. I am a bit worried about the situation with thugs, crims etc. I hear its pretty bad there for that at the moment and they can take advatage of us tourists! When you are there by yourself make sure you stay with the crowds and keep everthing on you very well secured. Even if you wear a backpack that is locked, someone can just come behind you and slash open the bottom of it. Im sure you are up to date with all the travel tips anyway!! It will be just fine :slight_smile:

I am looking forward to the whole thing very, very much. I feel pretty lucky that i actually get to visit all these countries. Right now it just seems like all these places are imaginary but when we get there it will be like, what the!!! Crazy exiting :slight_smile: I am quite looking forward to our 3 day stay in Amalfi, Italy. It appears to be absolutely breathtaking. What about you??

I work for local government doing mainly administration work and my sister is an accountant for an insurance company. What is your job?

So you must really be hanging out for this holiday then! It will be here before you know it :slight_smile:


#9

haha omg thats so crazy I work doing admin for my district’s local government too. In the finance department doing accounts receivable, rating database and property sales. lol for coincidences :stuck_out_tongue: I also work at a retail store one day a week as well. I’m only doing that up until my holiday though so i’m really looking forward to having my 2-day weekends back afterwards!

In London i’m staying at The Clink Hostel in Kings Cross. Its where the Timeless Trail tour i’m on departs so I just booked a package to stay extra nights beforehand. I’ve read a few reviews and it seems like an only ok place to stay but i’m not too fussy and its so close to everything which is great. What are you guys planning to see while you are in London? I’ve prebooked most of my stuff to avoid waiting in lines. So handy!

I heard about all the crazy stuff going on in Athens too! Makes me quite nervous. I actually bought a pacsafe bag that goes across your body kinda so if I feel somewhere is dodgy I can just move it in front of me. And they are all slashproof and stuff so its really good aye. Hopefully there will be some people staying after the tour like me anyways so I won’t have to wander alone :slight_smile: Thanks for the link, I will definitely check that out!

I get what you mean about the imaginary places! Im sure its not going to sink in until im actually there and i will just be totally blown away. I really looking forward to Greece as i’ve always wanted to go there and im starting to get quite excited about Switzerland too which struck me as a surprise as I was originally going to pick a tour that didnt go there. But they have some optionals which sound so awesome. I’m hoping I will pluck up the courage to go skydiving!

How are you guys getting from place to place? Are you using buses or trains?


#10

haha really!!? Thats so strange!! Crazy coincidence! wow you would get hardly any time off, but its all worth it :slight_smile: 2 day weekends…luxury. I used to have a second job just for extra saving money but it got too demanding after a while, i miss the money though!

Yeah that place looks alright and it really IS close to everything!! That will be so convenient :slight_smile:
Well we will go and see all the major stuff which will be great however im really looking forward to seeing Covent Garden, Portebello Road and Kew Gardens. And what about you? We havent booked anything yet. What kind of stuff have you booked?
The Great Brittish Beer Festival is held at Earls Court and goes from the 3-7 August. We bought a 1 day pass for that this morning, should be fun to go along for a few hours and have a look :slight_smile:
http://gbbf.camra.org.uk/home

Oh thats good. You’re on to it! Yeah there will probably be a few people from our tour that stick around for a bit longer so everyone can stick together! I think we have those pacsafe bags too, we got all our lugguage from Kathmandu.

Haha i know! It will be too much to take in all at once, I hope i dont have a manic flip out in public due to the overwhelming exitement. That might be a little bit embarrassing :o

Greece in high on my list too :slight_smile: Switzerland looks amazing! You will have to love that place, how could you not?! We are staying in Luzern for 3 nights, looking forward to that!
!!! Skydiving!!! Oh my you are game! I could never do that! But if you’re feeling up to it, why not I guess! Skydiving there would be awesome actually. Do it!

We are using mainly trains, we both bought a Eurail pass which basically allows us unlimited use of the main train system throughout Europe. Cost us about $800 each but worked out to be the cheapest option. We have had to book two flights as well. One from Venice to Athens and one from Athens to Naples. Booking all this stuff has been scary.

What size bag are you taking for the trip?


#11

Yea working 6 days a week is really tiring. You are right though - its definitely worth it.

I have just booked tickets for the obvious places this time round. London Eye, Tower of London, Hop on hop off bus etc. I’m only in London for 3 days and I didnt know how tired i’d be after my flights and stuff so I don’t want to arrange too many things to do! I’'m hoping to move over and work next year for a while so I figure i will have time to see more of the less touristy type things then. Do you plan to travel again when you get back?

Haha its hard to imagine not flipping out once i’m actually there. I’ve been so excited about it for ages! I think everone here must be sick of hearing about it lol

I’m really keen to do the skydiving but I’m not sure if i’d back out once I was up there haha. I’ve seen videos though of other people who have done it and it looks so amazing!

The only accommodation I really had a hand in booking was my nights in Singapore. I only had a list of about 6 to choose from and I was confused haha. I cant imagine booking an entire holiday of that length. You guys have done really well!

I ended up with a pacsafe handbag for my daybag which is just a bit bigger than a regular handbag and my luggage is a ripcurl bag thats kind of like a big dufflebag with wheels. Its about 75x50x25. Are you taking a backpack or suitcase?


#12

Oh right, we will have to get onto booking that type of stuff! I didnt even know you could book them before hand i just though everyone had to line up! Thanks :wink:

Yeah you dont want to completely wear yourself out by trying to cram too much stuff into each day. Awesome, yeah i was thinking of doing that too. I have lived in the same town for my whole life and i need to get out!!! I rekon living and working over there would be great. Heaps of people who have done it tell me its one of the best things you can do. I would also love to do a nice long tour around Australia. And NZ of course :wink:

Haha i know what you mean!

Well you should give it a go, if you back out then at least you gave yourself the opportunity. For the amount you’re paying you would want to go through with it!

Oh so you’re doing a stop over in Singapore?? ha thanks :wink: i hope all the bookings are correct!

Right, that sounds about the same as us. Ours are kind of bag/suicase things on wheels and we are also going to take backpacks just to wear around during the day to put bits and pieces in.We also have on of those things that go accross the body, not very big its just to put stuff like our passport and money etc.
Im so scared im going to lose something! As long as its not my passport!

Not long now!!!


#13

Yea you just go to their official websites and you can get quite good discounts. I got 10-20% off most places I booked. Then on the day you just show them the email confirmation you get.

Theres a few companies who can find you a job with a pub somewhere and accommodation is included and even food subsidies while you’re working. You pay the company a fee of course but it sounds like a real easy way of being organised before you arrive. I reckon it would be awesome living and working overseas and having a white christmas and new year would be so fun!

I would love to travel so many other places as well though. Australia would be great fun to tour around. Although I have to admit I am terrified of the gigantic spiders and snakes I always hear about!! We are pretty lucky in little NZ without the big bugs haha.

I am staying in Singapore on the way home. Not very long though, only booked 2 nights. I fly in about 6am so I booked 2 nights so I can check in straight away. Then I leave at 7pm the next day. So I only end up with almost 2 days. I figured I might need a decent sleep in a comfy bed by then! Which airlines are you flying with?

I got a passport pouch thing that goes under your clothes as well. Its better to be safe than sorry aye. I plan to keep my passport on me all the time so it should come in handy. Also I heard its best to get money out for about 3 days at a time so it will be great to have a safe place to put extra small amounts of cash.

Have you had a look at the optional activites we can do on our tour? Do you plan to do any/all of them? Less than 6 weeks to go now :slight_smile: Its going by so fast!


#14

Right i will have to get on to that!!

Yeah it would be so much fun having a job like that for a while. Have you had much experience doing bar work? Definately, a white christmas would be magic!

Haha i never even see snakes and spiders, i think you would be pretty safe :wink:

Thats a good idea, yep you will definately need a comfy bed, you will be pretty wiped out by then i rekon. Two days will be a good amount of time to check out the sites, ive only heard good things about Singapore. We are flying with Royal Brunei. You?

Oh right i was thinking of getting one of them as well, definately! Hm…yeah i think im gona have to follow your lead on this and get one. Losing money and passport would be slightly crap. Well i guess you wouldnt want to be looking for an ATM everyday, good idea.

They all look really good. I guess we will decide when we get there and see what everyone else is doing.

Im not sure how many photos to allow for per day. How many do you rekon you will allow for??

39 sleeps… ;D


#15

Sally,

I’m going on the Eastern Escape tour as well. I’ve been checking the site for a bit now as well as facebook and did not see anyone who was going on this one so I was starting to get nervous.

This is my first overseas trip and I’m going solo so it’s nice to know at least someone else is going.

I’m getting more and more excited as the days past as well as nervous about the most random of things…mostly losing my passport and figuring out a place to do laundry. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Tim


#16

Hey Tim, so glad to hear there’s another person on our trip! I spoke to someone from Topdeck Tours and they said our tour is pretty much full so thats good! So don’t worry, we won’t be the only ones there :slight_smile:

First overseas trip for me too :slight_smile: Except im going with my sister.

Haha try not to stress, but yeah i know what you mean. Have you got a pacsafe bag or a body belt to put your passport/money etc in? What kind of lugguage are you taking?

I was trying to figure out the laundry thing too! I guess we will need to take some washing powder and im pretty sure the tour guide will point us in the right direction if we want to do some washing. Theres a few things i might need to hand wash, guess i can do that in the bathroom sink if i have to!

Im new to this as well so you’re more than welcome to throw some advice my way :slight_smile:

So what are you doing before and after the tour???


#17

IÂ’ve had a lot of customer service experience but not working in a bar. A local polytech has an evening course that you can do just for experience and a bit of fun (learning to mix drinks etc) so me and a couple of friends are going to sign up for that. Should be a bit of a laugh!

IÂ’ve never heard of that airline before. Are they good to fly with? IÂ’m flying with Singapore Airlines. Do you have a stopover for a few hours anywhere during your flights? I have to wait 5 and a half hours in Singapore on my way over and arrive into london at something like 6am! What time do you arrive in?

Just a heads up if you guys are looking for more advice about general travelling stuff in Europe, you should also check out the Contiki forums. I was looking around there a bit before I changed my mind and booked with Topdeck. They have a whole heap of general topics that were a great help aye. The tour specific ones probably won’t be much use but there’s a huge ‘Travel Talk’ and ‘Europe Advice’ section which would apply to anyone travelling in Europe - http://connect.contiki.com/eve - they have topics on anything and everything!

In regards to photos, I’ve kind of gone with over–estimating, so I don’t run out of memory haha. I found this link which tells you how many photos you can get on different sized memory cards depending on how many mega-pixels your camera is - http://kb.sandisk.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/69 - So far I have 4gb of memory. I bought 2 x 2gb cards so if the worst happened and I lost a card (or, heaven forbid, my camera!), I won’t have lost all my photos. I think I will end up with a third card though which should give me about 60 pictures a day. Sounds like heaps but I’ve been known to end up with 70 photos after 1 night out! By the time your friends have finished taking photos and you’ve got a couple of videos it just seems to add up lol. Besides, it won’t really matter if I have a card left at the end and it would be good to not have to worry about spending time sorting and deleting photos while I’m away.

Have you heard much about what the boat trips between the islands are like or how long they take?

Gosh IÂ’ve just re-read what IÂ’ve typed and IÂ’ve practically written a novel! Sorry about that haha.


#18

I’m going to be using a backpack as my main form of luggage. I thought about just using standard luggage, but a backpack seems much easier to move from place to place, and seems to be what Topdeck prefers. I am going to invest in some kind of body belt/money holder. I was talking with a friend of mine who has traveled all over and she basically said that as long as you’re not careless with your stuff (ie. daypacks and purses) you should be fine.

My flight arrives in Berlin the day before our tour and I added on an extra day in Munich at the end. I still need to make arrangements for a place to stay on each end and I’m probably going to try and get a room at the place we will all be staying just for convenience sake. Or at the very least someplace nearby. I just have to get our itinerary info to find out where that is. What are you plans for before and after?


#19

Hey guys,
sorry to burst your bubble, but just for future travellers I would advise against doing this tour. It is not operated by top deck - they out source to a local company. This is fine, however on my recent trip there were stuff-ups with every hotel. We had to share beds as single female travellers, in mykonos we were in a 6 share room with no air con and one bathroom. This is despite paying for twin/triple share. Bed sharing is required and expected if you’re in a 3 share (strangers or friends). The whole thing was completely unprofessional.

The whole trip was disorganised and although our guide was gorgeous, the agent who runs it for top deck are clearly incompetant. I requested a refund and got some money back, but not enough.

My tip - don’t bother with this one.


#20

Hi lozza,

Good to hear some feedback! How was the trip outside of the sleeping arrangements? Did you do the optional activities?

I have to admit my expections are that the accommodations aren’t going to be flash and I don’t really plan to spend much time at the hotels if possible. I’m also bringing a sleeping bag so, while having my own bed would be preferrable, i’m not overly fussed if bed sharing is necessary (its not like we will be under the same covers haha).

Was the guide a topdeck guide or from the other company?