Pearl of Wisdom


Hi Guys,[br][br]My question is aimed at people who have already travelled with Topdeck. I was wondering what the one crucial piece of advice is that you would give to a first time traveller? [br][br]It can be about packing or optional extras or buses or accommodation or anything!!!.. Basically what’s the one thing you wish someone had told you before you left for your trip?[br][br]Thanks[br][br]Nic


Nic,[br]The main thing that I wish I had been told was to pack a back back not a suit case!! I dont know what trip your going on but in the hotel trips there are alot of stairs and elevators only can fit about one person and two bags!!! Take hand sanitiser, cold and flu tablets(all our group got sick and one point on the trip and us who took cold and flu tablets with us were like gods cause it’s hard to find them in Europe!) make sure you have some back up money for those things you didnt budget for - our credit card came in handy!! Most of all just leave with the knowledge that this is once in a life time, make the most of it and have no regrets!!! Happy travelling![br]Jo


Thanks Jo! I’m heading off on the Grand European in 2009- so excited!![br][br]Nicole[br]Newcastle, Australia[br]Grand European 2009 :slight_smile:


You will love it! It was the best thing my partner and I ever did! Ill give you one more piece of advice, if you see something you want, but it! There were a few people on our trip that said they should of brought something when we were in a certain country and they didnt and they were pretty disappointed! We spent heaps and now we are home with all our things, we are as happy as!


That’s a good tip Jo… I don’t want to be thrifty all trip and get to the end and have extra cash and no tangible memories[br][br]Nicole[br]Grand European 2009 :slight_smile:


Yeah, when we got home we realised we had 40 pounds left in my suitcase and I was devistated I hadn’t spent every last cent! Ill give you a tip, we spent heaps in Amsterdam - especially presents! Also germany cause we brought steins and I brought a pair of birkenstocks! And switzerland on swiss army knives! We brought bigger souveniers that we would use and always enjoy rather than lots of little things that will just collect dust on the shelves! I hope all this helps, I was on here before we left getting info and it came in handy when we were overseas![br]Jo


I totally forgot about Swizz army knives!!! nice one! make a good pressie!!![br][br]Essential Europe Winter Tour- 23rd Dec


they make awesome presents cause you can get a few little ones and they engrave your name on them for free! yah![br]


Brilliant ideas… Yeah i’m a “dust-collecting-sourvenir-buyer” myself lol but the other i’ll definately be looking into! And yeah these forums are already really helpful and a great source of info and insight :)[br][br]Nicole[br]Grand European 2009 :slight_smile:


Hi just thought I would add to this and say (if you aren’t afraid of heights) do the skydiving in Switzerland or the canyoning in Austria, any of the optional extras are great. And you have to have real Italian gelato, it’s the best.[br][br]European Wonder 16th July.[br][br]A bad day on holidays is still better than a good day at work!!!


I love your philosophy schmim! ;D[br][br]Nicole[br]Grand European July 2009 :)[br]+ Britain & Ireland[br]+ Greek Islands


I am totally going to have some gelati while i’m in Italy! who cares if its winter!! I live in Tassie so I’m pretty used to having to eat icecream in the cold!;D[br][br]Essential Europe Winter Tour- 23rd Dec


omg!! the gelati RAWKS!!![br][br]a girl and i on the tour just couldnt get enough of it!! especially strawberry!! i cant wait to go back and have more![br][br]Leeana[br]Canberra, Australia[br]Spirit of Europe 16 Sept 08[br]+ London Stopover[br]+ Edinburgh Minibreak


I’m of italian heritage and i’ve never been to italy so i am so psyched to taste all the foods i grew up on!!!.. Gelati is high on my list along with pizza and of course home made pasta mmmm yum ;D[br][br]Nicole[br]Grand European July 2009[br]+ Britain & Ireland September 2009[br]+ Greek Islands


Hi All![br][br]I have recently done the Spirit of Europe trip. I guess my advice would be…[br]* go for the backpack over the suitcase, especially if you dont want to wait in the line for the tiny lifts at the hostels.[br]* do as many optionals as you can! They are heaps and heaps of fun :slight_smile: We were not going to do the Jungfrau trip due to the price but that has ended up being one of the fav days of my life.[br]* be prepared with some medication! everyone gets sick, its just the way bus tours go. I took cold and flu tabs, antinausea and antidiohrrea, berrocca and panadol. We used them all and had to dish a few out to tour mates! easier to have them already then spend limited time in cities trying to find them at a chemist.[br]* take a travel pillow for the bus rides so you can get sleep[br]* I am not necessarily a heavy sleeper so I took ear plugs with me just in case of a snoring room mate or loud neighbours! [br]* Try the local food in every place! Its all yum and awesome… especially the sausages in Vienna… [br][br]Have a ball guys! You will meet heaps of amazing people :)[br][br]ps Nicole the food in Italy is awesome![br][br]Chell[br]Spirit of Europe[br]14th October 2008


Thanks for all the advice chell!![br][br]As for the food, didn’t doubt it for a second! :p[br][br]Nicole[br]Grand European July 2009[br]+ Britain & Ireland September 2009[br]+ Greek Islands


If you see something you like…buy it! I did the Discover Europe Trip last year and had the most awesome time! From the pork knuckle and bratwurst in Munich to the croissants in France, the spaghetti and gelato in Italy and the most devine dessert I have ever had in Slovenia (Gibanica) are just a few fantastic memories in Europe to experience. The food is devine. [br]


sounds like you certainly enjoyed all the exotic tastes on your trip ice! :slight_smile: I guess all those walking tours compensate for the food though ;D[br][br]Nicole[br]Grand European July 2009[br]+ Britain & Ireland September 2009[br]+ Greek Islands


Do any other past travellers have any advice??[br][br](Not sure how many people actually come on this forum after their trip, probably not too many :p)[br][br]Nicole[br]Grand European July 2009[br]+ Britain & Ireland September 2009[br]+ Greek Islands


My main bit of advice is to take cold and flu tablets. My last trip I got a bit of a cold when I got to London, then went on a 28day contiki. I could not find cold and flu tablets anywhere! By the 3rd week of my trip it had turned into a bad throat infection (prob worse coz everyone on the bus gets sick as im sure your aware), anyways, I had to call a doctor to the hotel in Vienna and it cost me nearly $500 (when converted) to see him and get some antibiotics. It was all covered by health insurance later, but I still had to pay for it then. [br]So i guess from that, always make sure u have at least an extra $500-$1000 just in case of an emergency - so u don’t have to ring your mum (like I did) and get them to transfer money to you :)[br]I guess other tips are pretty much what you’ve heard - make the most of it, try new things, try not to think about money too much - eg. i went to the moulin rouge in france and it cost a couple hundred, but at the end of the day it was the greatest show that i’ll never forget.[br]thats all i can think of for now - hope it helps :)[br][br]Red Star Special: June 14th, 2009 and Espresso Italia: September 13th, 2009