New to topdeck


#1

I’m hoping someone can give me a great intro to topdeck. I’m heading to the UK next year for 10 or so months and think that it would be awesome to do a tour of europe before starting work, just to um get my feet wet so to speak before doing it myself. I was originally considering contiki, but I thought, well I want to see europe, not get drunk, stay drunk then not remember the wonderful tour (I know thats not the case on all tours but) [br][br]Anyway I just had a couple of questions. How much money on average do topdeck suggest you budget for the tour? I also noticed that different types of tours leave from different hotels/hostels - from that I gather that topdeck doesn’t have the set up that contiki has at the royal national (the contiki basement) I only say this because I’m going to have to leave some of my luggage behind somewhere whilst I’m on tour as there is no way I will be able to stick to a 20kg weight limit if I’m going to be away for so long…and I don’t want to have to take my laptop with me. Are there facilities that would allow me to do that?[br][br]If anyone would be nice enough to share there topdeck experiences that would be fantastic as I don’t quite no what to expect.


#2

Hi Mishmush,[br]I may be able to answer some of your questions:[br]Topdeck used to have a set up like the Contiki basement but the hostel they used closed down. Now all Camping and Hostel trips depart from the Generator hostel and Hotel trips from the Umi. The Generator does have a left luggage facility, not 100% secure but for people going on tour they place your bags up high down the back out of the way and if you have a decent lock there is nothing to worry about. You can hire a safe for valuables but might be a but pricey. Although a ‘Contiki basement’ would be handy Topdeck have twice monthly info nights at various pubs in London and the reservation staff are excellent if you have any questions. The average suggested budget for a camping/hostel tour is ?50 a day but varies (travel days are much less, if you want to do heaps of optionals you will spend more). Hotels are a bit more expensive.[br]I travelled solo on the 20 day European Getaway, just so I could get a taste of what Europe had to offer, I’m on a 2 year Visa so I can always go back and have done so. I had the time of my life on tour, made some awesome friends and seriously didnt want the trip to end! My Tour Leader and Driver were fantastic, and made the trip so much more enjoyable-they are a pretty professional company but their employees still know when and how to have a good time, their knowledge of the cities and countries we visited was excellent and not too over the top or boring.[br]I can’t recommed these guys enough, if you have anymore questions I’m more then happy to answer then. You can email me at chrispy0102@yahoo.com.au[br]Hope this helps[br]Christine[br][br]European Getaway 16 May 2009[br]Oktoberfest 18 Sept 2009


#3

Hey, thanks for your info[br][br]No doubt I will think of more questions later.[br]You may or may not know the answer to this one, can I book my flights through topdeck? If so which airlines do they use?[br][br]At the moment I’m thinking of doing either Essential Europe or European Odyssey.


#4

Hi,[br][br]I did the 23 day Europe Uncovered Hotel tour in June and absolutely love it.[br][br]For a hotel tour they recommend about 50-60 Euros a day so to be safe I took an ANZ Travel Card with enough for 70 Euros a day on it and ended up with 300 Euros left over at the end of the tour. You will find that on your travel days when you’re on the bus for most of the day, you will hardly spend anything. Just lunch and snacks at your service stops, and whatever drinks you buy in the evening (dinner was usually included on the travel days). But then the next day which is your free day you will spend quite a bit on entrance fees, lunch, souvenirs/shopping, dinner, drinks and maybe some public transport when necessary. So over the 2 days in a place it averages out to the 50-60 Euros a day. But then in Prague for instance, everything is cheap - I changed 80 Euros and even that was too much for the 2 days there. Similarly on Pag Island, Croatia things are cheap and it’s mainly a beach/relaxing place anyway so your only spending will be drinks and food and perhaps a souvenir in the market.[br][br]I went by myself and would definitely recommend doing it, especially if you are alone. I saw so much more than I could have done by myself and managed to see everything I wanted to see on the tour, with the exception of the real Michelangelo’s David (saw the replicas around the city) in Florence as we unfortunately didn’t get enough time there - most of us left for Rome half a day earlier than planned so we could do the Vatican the day before planned as most of it was unfortunately going to be closed the next day for some sort of event. So we had to choose between the half day in Florence, or an extra half day in Rome, but that was through no fault of Topdeck, just one of those uncontrollable things. [br][br]I chose Topdeck mainly on the recommendation of a friend who did a tour with them last year, and also partly because I’m not really a drinker and as you mention Contiki have that sort of reputation. There were of course some who drank a lot, and some like me who didn’t drink much and I think that would be the case on any tour with people of this sort of age. I can only speak about Hotel tours though as that’s what I did. [br][br]I also did a Hotel tour around the UK with Contiki and also really loved it. The reputation of being all about getting drunk and all that didn’t come about and I found it no different to the Topdeck tour, just with a different name on the bus. Although from the others who had done Europe tours with Contiki before this one, it did sound as though things were more crazy in that respect than the Topdeck one. As far as differences, if any, I’d say Contiki seemed a bit more organised if that makes sense. While both are easy to get in touch with before you have booked, I found Contiki very easy and quick to get info out of afterwards whereas with Topdeck it was harder to get anything out them after they had my money. Also I had all the documents and things from Contiki the morning after booking but with Topdeck it took a couple of months to receive anything. So Contiki were a bit easier to deal with outside of the tour.[br][br]One thing with Contiki though is that they steer you towards certain bars and places in the evenings, possibly because they have deals with them and the leader gets cheap or free drinks etc. With Topdeck our trip leader sort of recommended a few things to do and we did all go together sometimes, but often we were left to do our own thing in smaller groups. With Contiki it was more “ok guys, meet in reception at this time and we’re going here, then here then here.” So we’d spend an hour and a half at one place then it would be “right guys, 5 minutes then we’re going to this place.” Each place they took us to was great though and we’d have missed out by not going.[br][br]Sorry for the very long reply! Happy to answer any more questions.[br][br]Alex[br][br]