Just Home from Essential Europe Tour


Hi All,[br]We have just arrived home from the Essential Europe Christmas New Year tour and it was awesome! We had the time of our lives…[br]I thought I would post this for all you guys that are wondering what to expect. It was 12 days packed full to the brim, we went prepared to do both lots of sighseeing and partying and we weren’t disappointed. I will now probably spend the next week sleeping to catch up![br]Our group was quite large, after Rome there was 50 which could get on your nerves at times, however everyone kinda breaks into smaller groups which is fine. We met heaps of great people and winter is Europe is beautiful.[br]Italy was very crowded,the line outside the Vatican was huge by the time we came out, and if thats in winter I would hate to see summer![br]The tour was exhausting because you pack so much in, but I wouldn’t have done it any other way and 12 days was a good length, any more would have been too much, any less wouldn’t have seen enough. You do get overloaded by all the beautiful sights…[br]Anyway if you have any questions about tour life, just ask!


wow!! sounds awesome!! :)[br][br]my tour is for 24 days, and on a guaranteed depature, so i think our bus will be packed :|[br][br]were there many things that you had to pay for yourself, or was alot of it covered in the price??[br][br]and if you dont mind me asking, how much did u budget for per day, and was it enough??[br][br]Leeana[br]Canberra, Australia[br]Spirit of Europe 16 Sept 08[br]+ London Stopover[br]+ Edinburgh Minibreak


Hi Leeana,[br][br]Yeah it definetly was the time of our lives…Our tour was also a guaranteed departure hence why it was full to the brim![br][br]There was a lot of things we paid for ourselves such as entry to all the museums, sights etc…Because I was on tour with my husband we had budgeted about $130-140 Euro per day for the two of us and we came in quite under budget…We drank and ate as much as we wanted, I guess I didn’t buy many souvenirs, but I think it was ample…[br][br]Also there were quite a few optional meals that everyone went to which cost around 15 euro each, the gondola ride was about 18.50, dinner cruise in Amsterdam 35 euro, bike tour of paris was about 22 euro and definetly worth it![br][br]


awesome!! thanks :)[br][br]Leeana[br]Canberra, Australia[br]Spirit of Europe 16 Sept 08[br]+ London Stopover[br]+ Edinburgh Minibreak


Hey Luke & Ali,[br][br]I was wondering what do people use to carry around their stuff during the day? I am planning on using a “day bag” (an over the shoulder bag similar to what a uni student might use, but smaller). I was surprised to read that some girls used handbags…I was thinking you’d need something bigger, to carry all your daily stuff (ipod, cash, passport, camera etc etc). Do most people use a bag or backpack during the day?[br][br]Thanks for the tips, its been great reading about your trip![br]Katie


Hi Katie,[br][br]We carried around all we needed cash, passports and camera in our inside coat pockets…We did have backpacks but left these on the bus coz we didn’t want to have to carry them around all the time. Some people did take their backpacks off the bus with them, however I just thought it made you look more like a tourist and therefore more of a target.[br][br]Several of the girls carried handbags, although I don’t think its a good idea. It can be very crowded particularly on public transport and very busy tourist sites and it would be easy for someone to nick it.[br][br]


[br]Hey Luke and Ali![br]My husband and I are also going on a tour in a few months neither of us have traveled before and we both in our mid to late 20’s. How did you find being on the tour as a married couple? Were hoping to do stuff together but also with new people we will meet separately. Were there many other couples?[br]Thanks for your tips also![br][br][br]Lisa -o-[br]Melbourne


In regards to handbags, I travelled to Europe during the peak period. I was worried and paranoid that someone was going to steal my bag/purse in whatever way they could after hearing disaster stories from friends etc.[br][br]So, I decided to get a “PacSafe” handbag (there are various styles/colours)! Loved it to bits and felt so safe with it. Basically it has a slash proof strap and the bottom of the bag is also slash proof. It also has a little zip lock thing to ensure 2 hands are needed for your bag to be open. The bag was still good enough to go out for dinner etc. Even fit our digital camera in it. Check them out at online travel stores as they can be alot more expensive in shops. [br][br]In Summer you don’t want to be lugging a backpack with you. The less you carry the better. Take what you really need, not what you might need.


Hi Lisa,[br][br]We had a great time being on tour as a married couple. I am 27 and my husband is 29, but we were prepared to join in and party with best of them…There were a few other couples in the group, no other married ones, however it didn’t worry us in the slightest. On our tour at least we ended up in a group of about 10 that most of the time did stuff together. There were a couple of nights I was really tired and so just went to bed and my husband came up later.[br][br]I wouldn’t go on these as a honeymoon, as they are pretty full on and you are around others most of the time, but we had the time of our lives…


hey :)[br][br]quick question, what was the longest time you spent on the bus?[br][br]Leeana[br]Canberra, Australia[br]Spirit of Europe 16 Sept 08[br]+ London Stopover[br]+ Edinburgh Minibreak


The longest time we spent on the bus was about 9 or 10 hours from Lucerne, Switzerland to Paris. The bus does stop every 2 and half hours for 15 minutes to go to the toilet and stuff and every 4 hours or so usually around lunchtime.[br]


awesome :slight_smile: thanks!![br][br]Leeana[br]Canberra, Australia[br]Spirit of Europe 16 Sept 08[br]+ London Stopover[br]+ Edinburgh Minibreak


Hello[br][br]I posted this question in another thread but it might have been better placed here.[br][br]I have a question about charging phone and camera batteries on the camping trips- especially the Mega European. How easy is it to charge batteries, I really do not want to have my camera battery die at any stage. [br][br]Thanks heaps!


Hi,[br][br]We took two camera batteries with us. That meant we always had a spare while the other was charging.[br]We were on a Eurohotel tour, so every room had a powerpoint, you just needed an adapter. You are also allowed to charge your phone/camera at the front of the bus whilst driving, but you would have to take turns…[br]I am not sure with the camping tours you would have much access to powerpoints…:sunglasses:


Hey Like and Ali,[br][br]Firstly thank you so much for staying in touch and offering advice to the rest of us who are still yet to leave :([br]My tour is next month and ive been waiting so long, it feels like it been years!!![br][br]I just wanted to ask about the tour from rome? Did another tour join you - hence the reason why you said you had 50 people from rome? Did most of the tour start in london or amsterdam? i am doing the essential europe too - instead its over easter, not christmas so i’m guessing we’ll probably have the same numbers.[br]Thanks heaps[br]Kat


Hi Kat,[br]With our tour the majority of people started in London, but then a few joined in Amsterdam the first night, and then when we got to Rome, a couple left and we got a few newbies…I think Topdeck sell shorter tours and just join them into longer tours…[br]As it was Christmas, quite a few people on the tour were Aussies living in London who wanted something to do over the Christmas break.[br]I wish I was you still having the tour to look forward too, you will have an awesome time!:slight_smile:


Thank you so much for all your help[br]Have you thought about where you might go next… haha[br]I’ll be so sad when i get off the plane back in melbourne, i think i will plan another trip right away.[br]thanks heaps again[br]kat[br]


Thats ok Kat, glad to be of assistance. I couldn’t get much info before we left, so I didn’t want others to have the same problem![br]Not surprisingly I have already been thinking about where to go next…Would like to see Eastern Europe probably next and hang out in the UK and see a bit more…At this stage probably towards the end of this year, I didn’t mind being there when it was cold, and there are less crowds most of the time…[br]I thought before I went that maybe once I had been to Europe it would sate for appetite for travel for a while, but it has had quite the opposite effect!


Hi Luke and Ali[br]First I’d also like to thankyou for still posting here after your trip - I bet few people do. Just a question about adaptors - can you get one that covers Europe and the UK? We plan to stay in England for a week post trip.[br][br]Cheers :)[br]And thanks again[br][br]Toni


Hi Toni,[br]Yeah we got one that did both the UK and Europe, I think we just bought it in a luggage shop… We also stayed in the UK for a week before the trip and a few days after so had to be able to use it in both…Very important for recharging the camera battery and my straightener!