Questions, Tips & Advice for All Tours - ASK HERE


#203

Hi all,

Im looking at doing the grand european in april/may next year. I see in the optional activities that skydiving can be done in the swiss apls and also the Austrian alps. Im wondering if anyone has done either, or both and which one they would recommend. I think they will probably end up being roughly the same amount of money but idont really want to do both. Id rather do the one with better scenery i guess.
If anyone has done either please can you offer some advice?

Thanks


#204

Hi!

I’m just wondering what the wifi situation is like - is there wifi on the bus and how much is it? Do most of the hotels have free wifi on the tour?

Also, what are the sleeping arrangements on the sailing tour? I’m doing the discover Europe which has three days sailing the Greek islands and wanted to know what to expect.

Thanks!


#205

Hi Teegs,

I’ve done the skydiving in the Swiss Alps and it was such an amazing experience. You get to go on a helicopter ride up through the valley and then a bit over the mountains and then skydive back through the valley. It’s very pretty if you have a clear day like I had.
Quick video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQXHDakESyU

I haven’t done the Austrian skydive so I can’t be any help regarding that.

Cheers

Coggo


#206

Hi Erynlouise,

Some Topdeck buses do have wifi but it is very expensive and not worth it on the buses. The majority of places you stay at have free wifi. There are quite a few international sim options which will allow you to use data overseas for quite cheap so you should look into that. A lot of the people on my tour were offered travel sim’s through their phone providers and just used that when they didn’t have wifi.

If you are doing the flotilla sailing in Greece then you are on sailing boats like this: http://www.seduniatravel.com/sites/default/files/topdeck/eemerl-imperial-trail.jpg
The boats have room for about 5-6 people on them. If I remember correctly up the front of the boat is a double bed, there are two or three sofa’s/chairs which turn into single beds and one single bed out the back. There is a surprising amount of room on the boats and you only take a smaller bag on the boats with you to last you the three days so you don’t have to take your big bag with you. The boat has everything in it you need including kitchen, toilet, fridge, table etc. I did sail 3 years ago so the boats may have been upgraded or changed since I last sailed.

I hope this helps.

Coggo


#207

Coggo you are an absolute legend for this! It’s taken me over an hour to read through all of these posts!
I was just wondering about the ages of people you had on your tour? I’m looking at the Europe Uncovered which is a Hotel Tour and I think a part of the one you did? I’m 19 and not big on drinking and was hoping for a more mature crowd, would that be something that would occur with a hotel tour? I was going to book in May 2016, when did you do your tours? I’m hoping for warm temps but sorta off peak so you dont get the sweltering days and long lines of tourists :smile:

Dayna


#208

Hi Dayna,

I’m glad the thread has been able to help you. It’s quite hard to judge what ages you are going to get on your tours. My last tour (in July 2015) which was the European Pioneer, ages ranged from 19yo’s to 30yo’s. The average age would have been about 24-25. There were people who wanted to drink all the time and others that didn’t want to drink that much all the time. Everyone was really cool about it though and didn’t pressure people to drink or to not drink which was really awesome. If you don’t want to drink just tell people you are going to have an easy night and I’m sure they will all be cool with it.
Because I did a hostel tour we wouldn’t have met up with any hotel tours as hotel tours stay in some nicer places. From talking to my previous tour leader the hotel tours generally attract a bit of an older crowd most of the time who are a bit more mature. There will probably be quite a few couples on the hotel tours as you usually get to stay in two person rooms. That being said it is very hard to say what type of group you will get. Try to chat to people in your tour group before you head off. TourRadar is the best spot to find you tour group.
I did my tour from 18th of June through to the end of July. The weather was really warm which is how I like it and even though it was the middle of peak season I found that it was easy to get into all the places I wanted to see and I think “peak season” is exaggerated by most people. I think from the end of April through to October there is always going to be people travelling around Europe so you can’t really miss peak season.
The best advice I can give you is to realise that there will always be people who want to go out and drink but you don’t have to feel pressured to go out and join them if you don’t want to and if you are out with them you don’t have to drink excessively. Most people will be more than cool with your decision if you don’t want to drink. Just enjoy yourself and do your holiday how YOU want to do it. There were plenty of people on my tour who wouldn’t want to drink every night and we would just go out and explore the city by night and enjoy how the city looks all lit up and find a nice place to grab dinner. It’s your holiday so see the things you want to see and experience Europe how YOU want to.

Hopefully this has helped you a bit and if you have any more questions just ask.

Cheers

Coggo


#209

Hi Dayna,

I am booked on a Europe Uncovered tour for 5/5/2016 departure date. I’m also not that big on drinking and partying, thus I chose Topdeck over Contiki. This is my first Topdeck Tour but I have done a Contiki before and it was party, party, party! I’m hoping Topdeck will be a little different with a more mature crowd.

Let me know if you end up booking the same tour as me, we can start a group or something on facebook.

Laura


#210

Hey Coggo,

I am so grateful that you take time out to help fellow travellers on this forum, such a nice thing to do!

I have booked 2 Topdeck tours (Britain & Ireland 14 day tour and Europe Uncovered 22 day tour) for next April/May 2016. I am trying to plan out the rest of my trip around these tours.
My question to you is where are the MUST SEE places to go back to?
I think I want to go somewhere in Portugal and Spain as they are not covered on the tour and I would like to visit Paris for longer than the 2 days on the tour as I am an aspiring pastry chef. Is there anywhere else that should be on the Bucket list of things to see and do? I am thinking somewhere in Germany but not sure which city?

Any advice is much appreciated Coggo!

Laura


#211

Hi Laura,

Please be away that even though you have booked a Topdeck tour there will still be people who want to go out partying. As I said to Dayna above, just enjoy the trip you want to do and there will always be other people who will want to just enjoy quiet nights like you.

Your question is quite hard to answer because I would love to go back to all the places I have visited. I have not explored any of Spain except for Barcelona and would love to do more of Spain. I have also never been to Portugal but I have a couple of friends who have just returned from travelling along the coast of Portugal and absolutely loved it. Unfortunately I cannot provide you with any recommendations for that part of Europe.

From my experiences I really enjoyed sailing through Croatia and seeing all the little islands. That was definitely a must see for me. Also I have always been a massive fan of Germany so on my last trip we stayed in Munich and based ourselves there. Munich itself is amazing and has heaps to do (English Gardens, Science Museums, Glockenspiel, Marienplatz, beer halls, palaces, bike tours etc.) but is also located in the Bavaria region of Germany. I found Bavaria to be one of the most beautiful regions in Europe and from Munich you are able to do day trips to Neuschwanstein Castle (the castle they based the Disney Castle off) and Zugspitze which is Germany’s highest mountain and Lake Starnberg and the five lakes region just to name a few. From Munich you can easily get the train and do day/overnight stays in places like Salzburg and Innsbruck as well. Nearly all of the Bavarian Alps and it’s little towns look like you are walking into a postcard. If you are into hiking or the outdoors like me the Bavarian Forest is the oldest national park in Germany and has some spectacular walks.
If you have time I’d highly recommend Munich and the surrounding Bavarian areas.

There is so much I could recommend but I’ll leave it at that for now before I get too carried away haha.

I hope this helped.

Coggo


#212

Hey Laura, sorry I’ve just booked on the Spirit of Europe instead! Have fun!


#213

Hi all, This question isn’t too much about the tours themselves but I was wanted to get your thoughts on day bags for the tours around Europe? I have been told its safer to have a bag on your front (satchel or across body) so can have your eye on your belongings and away from pick-pocketers, but then I have been told that if you have one of the bags in the front, thieves can slash the strap ???

  1. your thoughts? preferences?
  2. should I even be worrying about thieves/pick-pocketers?

Thanks :slight_smile:


#214

Hi Lomas,

I’ve just returned from the Mega European earlier this month and had an amazing time.
In regards to pickpockets and thieves there shouldn’t be too much of an issue. People on our trip had all sorts of different bags. Most of the girls had crossbody bags and the guys mainly had backpacks with locks on them. You still need to keep your wits about you (no wallets in your back pockets, watching out for people you don’t know hanging close to you) but our tour leader was really good at letting us know how prevalent pickpockets were in each city. (Paris being one of the worst). As far as I can recall no one on our trip had anything stolen off them while travelling on the trip

Hope this helps


#215

Thanks Deborah :slight_smile: that helps a lot!!! I also have another question that maybe you will be able to answer… what would you recommend… Backpack or suitcase?

My tour is only 24 days but I will be doing a small bit of travelling before and after the tour.

Thanks again :slight_smile:


#216

I want to go in 7 days tours to Uzbekistan coz I think this is very nice place for trip. Maybe who was here and can to advice me something. I meant something like coffee shops or market. Also maybe you know beautiful place… thank you


#217

I had a Macpac backpack with me and that was fine for the trip. On our trip about half had suitcases and half had a backpack. I would recommend a backpack as you are only carrying it from the bus to the accomodation each stop. At some of the stops like Barcelona there was only one lift for the hostels and only one or two people could fit in the lift each time so I found it much easier and quicker being able to take the stairs with my backpack to get to the rooms :blush: also take a day pack with you if you’re doing the Greek sailing or Mykonos/santorini as they recommend not taking your big bags with you for that leg of the journey.


#218

Thank you :slight_smile:


#219

Hi… I have heard a lot about Europe. I want to go to Europe, but I don’t know is it a safe place or not. Will you guide me? Please tell me is this a safe place for my family?


#220

Hey,

So I’m doing the mega European tour next year and just wanted to know people’s thoughts on taking a laptop to transfer photos onto


#221

@maryanneeeee When I’ve travelled before some people have bought laptops and I think they are an extra weight to lug around and security may be an issue if you are staying in backpackers? I’ve just taken extra memory cards and swapped them out so that I didn’t have all my photos out with me at one time, so I might only lose 1-3 days worth rather than the whole trip. If you are taking them on your phone maybe look at backing them up over wifi to Dropbox at the end of the day.


#222

Thanks . Security was one thing I was worrie about I was thinking about taking my phone, iPad and gopro. I was thinking of a camera but I feel the gopro is probably enough.