Pre-departure info for summer Europe 2009


Hello All,[br][br]Please find a summary of our pre-departure info below. We will be loading the detailed information as well as the optional excursions list onto the trip itinerary pages as soon as possible but this could be a good starting point.[br][br]We sent out an e-mail regarding the change of hostel in London but you can also find the details on our Top News page
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Please read the ‘NEW LONDON DEPARTURE POINT’ letter on the aforementioned page carefully and let us know if you have any questions.[br][br]GENERAL PRE-DEPARTURE INFO - SHORT SUMMARY[br][br]Things to remember[br][br]* PASSPORT & LEGAL IDENTIFICATION[br]* AIRLINE TICKETS[br]* INSURANCE POLICY (YOU MUST BRING THIS WITH YOU TO BE ABLE RECEIVE TREATMENT IF NECESSARY)[br]* VISAS; IF REQUIRED[br]* LABEL YOUR BACKPACK/TRAVEL BAG[br]* VACCINATION CERTIFICATES (IF REQUIRED)[br]* CAMERA, FILM, FLASH, BATTERIES[br]* CONVERSION PLUG[br]* TOP DECK eKit GLOBAL PHONECARD OR PHONE[br][br]Suggested Clothing List[br][br]? smart casual evening wear 1 pair sandals/thongs/jandals[br]? 2 pair jeans 1 pair walking shoes[br]? 2 sweaters/jumpers 1 warm jacket / coat (winter)[br]? 4 shirts / t-shirts 1 rainproof jacket[br]? 2 pairs of shorts/skirts 1 pair shoes (smart/casual)[br]? underwear and socks[br][br]General[br]? swimming costume / towel sleeping bag and pillow[br]? washing powder basic medical kit (inc. aspirins, plasters)[br]? insect repellent sewing kit[br]? sleeping sheet (optional) toiletries inc. toilet roll![br]? pillow case (optional) torch[br][br]Please be aware also, entry into some sights requires clothing to cover knees, chest and shoulders.[br][br]Visa and passport Information[br][br]Please make sure your passport is valid for at least 6 months after the last day of your trip. Some countries will refuse entry if there is not at least 6 months validity on passports after your departure date from their country. Depending on your nationality, you may require a visa to enter certain countries. It is your responsibility to obtain these prior to the departure of the trip. Consult your agent to determine which visas you will require.[br]We also have a visa chart on our website listing the visas required by some nationalities travelling on our trips. To check go to;[br][br]Remember that some visas can take up to six weeks to obtain, so do not leave it until the last minute. Also bear in mind that the validity of the visa often runs from the date of issue rather than date of entry into the country. Please check with the appropriate embassies prior to departure as requirements do change periodically.[br][br]Multiple Entry Visas[br]Certain trips may require multiple entry visas. Note that all trips departing and returning to London; under normal circumstances, enter and exit Europe through Calais in France. Please check your itinerary for the correct port of entry / exit for your trip.[br][br]SCHENGEN AGREEMENT:[br][br]France, Italy, Austria, Germany, The Netherlands, Portugal, Luxembourg, Greece, Spain, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Malta are all part of the Schengen Agreement, which means that one visa can be used to cover all of these countries. If you need a visa for any of these countries that your trip visits, you will require a multi-entry Schengen visa. The country you will be spending the most time in usually issues the Schengen visa.[br][br]Insurance and Security[br][br]It is very important that you take out comprehensive travel insurance before the trip departs covering cancellation, medical expenses including repatriation, loss or damage to baggage and personal belongings, money and public liability. You MUST bring a copy of your insurance policy with you on your trip. We can introduce you to Global Travel Insurance servies check out[br][br][br]Health & Vaccinations[br][br]If you suffer from any medical complaints, be sure to have an ample supply of medication before your trip departs, as it can be difficult to obtain medication in some countries. If you suffer from any kind of illness, you must advise Topdeck at the time of booking, or at least six weeks prior to the departure of your trip.[br]No vaccinations are currently compulsory for entry into European countries. You should however reconfirm this before you leave as conditions could change.[br][br]Accommodation[br]The ?What?s Included? section for each trip in the Europe brochure details what type of accommodation is used for each overnight stop. [br][br]Food Fund[br]Breakfasts are included every day (except the first morning and on ferries). Topdeck provide lunches and evening meals as detailed in the ?What?s Included? section for each trip in the main Europe brochure and on your detailed itinerary. Some of these meals will be prepared by our ?On Site Chefs? and some by local restaurants and accommodation places.[br][br]Food in the Eastern Block and Russia can be of a more basic standard as supplies can be difficult to obtain and the variety of food is not as good as in other countries.[br]For food on the Red Star Special and other Scandinavian trips you will have your own cook on board.[br][br]Itineraries / Excursions[br]The itineraries have been designed to let you see as much as possible whilst in Europe but also to give you as much time as possible to explore by yourself. There are a number of optional excursions both during the day and in the evening which are not included in the trip price. These will be arranged by your Trip Leader. You can either join in or do your own thing if you want.[br][br]Clothing[br]Make sure you take a warm jacket or coat, even in summer. It is advisable to take a warm jumper and light clothing that can be washed and will dry overnight. Drip dry clothes are best as irons are not normally available. Service washes for clothes are often difficult to obtain and can be very expensive.[br][br]Personal Spending Money[br]We suggest personal spending money of an average of ?50-?60 per person per day for most of our trips. There will be travelling days when you will not spend much money at all and other days when you may spend more.