Questions, Tips & Advice for All Tours - ASK HERE


#223

you can get memory card readers that connect to your iPad which is another option is you have enough storage space on your iPad http://www.apple.com/au/shop/product/MD822AM/A/lightning-to-sd-card-camera-reader


#224

That’s awesom! I didn’t know something like that existed! Thank you so much for that! :slight_smile:


#225

Hi guys, I’m doing the Mega European next year (19 April - 06 June).

Apologies if this has been covered before but I am curious to know what people do about photography. I am a hobby/enthusiast photographer so figured carrying my DSLR with a couple of small and light lenses (about 350g each) would serve me well. Point to note: I am already travelling light - will only have a plane carry-on for the entire trip + an empty day pack for roaming / exploring, and still have a couple of kgs worth of room.

However, I have been suggested that a point and shoot or even the humble phone cam would suffice. I don’t have an iPhone or Samsung device so the phone cam isn’t going to be good. Point and shoots are OK but it’s a trip that I’ve waited for all my life - so don’t want to regret getting shoddy looking snaps.

What are people’s thoughts on this topic?

Thanks!! :slight_smile:


#226

Hey @shikharb

I think with a camera it is all about what you’re personally comfortable carrying. I went away a few years ago and my travel buddy and I had a DSLR with us with one lens and we found it quite difficult to manage and everything a bit heavy. A girl on our tour was a photo journalism student and had her DSLR and about 4 lenses and other gear and she was happy and managing well.

If you comfortable with your gear and you have good carry cases that you think will work for you then take it. But if you think that you’re not going to manage it well then I would think about getting a point and shoot.

Personally, I don’t know how to use the DSLR as well as I should so a point a shoot works perfectly for me - I can put it in my bag or in my pocket, and I got a really good one so the photos turn out pretty well anyway.

hope that helps :smile:


#227

Hi @lottie

Thank you for the response and the insight - this certainly helps. I am very familiar with using my DSLR and am planning on only having 2 lenses, one attached for most of my travel and one if required for “distant” snaps.

I’m confident that with my setup I’ll be able to manage. In saying that, my tour is still 6 months away so have time to think; though your response has given me something to think about :slight_smile:

Cheers!!


#228

Honestly speaking Topdeck is a heaven for travelers and usually everything I am visiting somewhere there is 2 things which is definitely on my list to look to make the trip/holiday or whatever you want to call it complete one is obviously the Travel authorization ESTA which fills my journey with joy solving any visa or other issues and rest is this Topdeck forum for all tips and anything else since everything is available here to know!


#229

Hi, Coggo!

Me again. Sorry. Thanks for the reply, no matter how late it was. Sounds to me like you were busy living a wonderful life so I can’t fault you that. :slight_smile:

I do have more questions for you. Have you been on any winter Topdeck tours? I’m going to Europe for Christmas/New year on the Winter Spirit this year (Just 5 weeks away actually but who’s counting? :wink:). My question is in relation to packing. Would you say it’s easier to use a backpack for a winter trip or can I just use my normal suitcase? I’m not sure if wheeling the suitcase will be hard if it’s been snowing and is icy.

Also can you advise me on what to wear out for dinners in winter? Do you think I can wear a knee length dress in restaurants or will I freeze getting there? Haha.

Much appreciated!


#230

Im booked in to go on the grand european in april next year (26th april to 23rd may) however the departure date isnt a guaranteed date. Does anyone know what happens in the event that it doesnt fill up? Do they have to cancel it and put us on a different one etc?

Thanks :slight_smile:


#231

Hi Coggo and other travellers

Sorry if this has already been asked and answered. I will be spending about 12 weeks in Europe next summer and am from New Zealand. Just wondering if anyone has any recommendations regarding a travel sim card or the best way to have access to data and calling if needed when wifi is not available.

thank you :slight_smile:


#234

Ok I need help with the Russian Visa. I have filled out the online form and then I need to print this, stick a photo and send it (among other things) to the consulate. However when I click on the ‘print electronic form’ button, it just prints blank page with my application number on it. Help?


#236

Hi Beccaboo,

This response is way to late as Christmas has already passed! Once again I’m sorry for such a slow reply!

I will answer this though in case others are looking for an answer to this question. It will depend on where you are planning on travelling through Europe during winter as it doesn’t snow everywhere. You should be find with a normal suitcase as you won’t be carrying your suitcase with you every day.

In regards to what to wear out to dinner, you will definitely need some stockings of some sort or else you will be quite cold. Once again depending on where you are in Europe it can get quite cold and I’ve had some female friends who preferred to wear thermals and jeans when it was really cold.

Cheers

Coggo


#237

Hi Teegs,

Most likely your tour will be filled up however if in the very rare chance it is not they will contact you well before your tour and reschedule the tour.
I can nearly guarantee you though that the tour will go ahead :slight_smile:

Coggo


#238

Hi Lulu,

Most phone carriers now offer plans for people who are travelling overseas. For example, I know Vodaphone have a plan where you pay $5 a day and you can use your phone like you would at home and that works in over 50 countries. If you current phone company offer something like that then it can be a lot less hassle by going with what they offer.

Alternatively you can buy prepaid sims when you get to Europe from vendors everywhere however I’ve had varying reviews of these. Some of these work well for people and others are not so great with you not getting very good reception in a lot of places.

Personally I’ve always just used the wifi in the countries but if I was to use data then I’d probably just go with my first option of seeing what your local carrier offers. Maybe someone else can chime in and help you with this as well.

I hope this helps.

Cheers

Coggo


#239

Hi ngm,

I’m not sure really what you can do here besides maybe trying a different computer to print the form from? Alternatively maybe you can find if they can mail you the VISA form and you can then fill it out manually and post it?? Lastly maybe they have a help section on their website which can help you with your troubleshooting errors or contact the embassy?

Sorry I’m not more help.

Coggo


#240

You’re a champ Coggo. I’ve read through everything and it definitely cleared a lot up for me, so thank you!

My sister and I are doing the Grand Europeon in July after a week in Sicily and a week in London. Can’t wait. I do have a couple of questions that I’m hoping you’re able to help me with though.

Travel insurance - We have paid for Cover-More insurance with our travel agent. I’m just wondering if this is the only type of insurance one needs, or should we be getting another type of travel insurance as well?

Skydiving - Sorry if this is a dumb question, but was there a weight restriction with skydiving in Switzerland? I’m assuming there will be just like Aus, but I haven’t been able to find anything written about this (but I’m probably as blind as a bat ha!)

Wombats - was it relatively easy to get yourself from Heathrow to wombats hostel? I’ve looked at trusty Google for reference but wanted a human opinion haha.

London - Also I read that you did the Hop on Hop off tour. Did you find this took you to generally everywhere you wanted to go or did you still need a few other days to do the other things?

Money - In regards to allowances each day, when they say budget for 50-70 per day, do you talk about that in Aus or Euros? I think I’m making myself confused by it all so just wanted to get a clear vision of what was needed.

Optional Activities - Was there anywhere that you found that listed the optional activities prices before you left or only when you received your pack a few weeks before departure?

Anyways, I think that’s all for now. Thanks for taking the time to read this and answer what are probably silly questions haha.

Cheers,
Sam.


#241

Hi Sam,

Depending on what is covered by your Cover-More insurance policy you shouldn’t need any other insurance. Just check what you policy covers and also quickly check what the exclusions are on the policy but that is all you should need.

The weight limit for the skydiving is 100kg if I remember correctly.

Its really simple to get yourself from Heathrow to the Wombats. Usually Topdeck will provide you with details of how to get from the airport to the hostel in the tour info package they provide you. The easiest way is to just take the tube. It has to be one of the easiest train system’s I’ve ever encountered so you will be fine. Have a look at the Wombats website https://www.wombats-hostels.com/london/find-us/ and it provides you with directions on how to get from the airport to the hotel.

I have only done the hop on hop off tour once and to be honest I preferred getting to attractions myself using the tube or by mostly walking through the city. The Tube will take you to most of the important sites however I’d recommended walking some days as you will see a lot of cool things just walking around the city. Depending on what you want to see in London I would definitely recommend having 3-4 days to explore and see things yourself. I booked a day tour which took me to Windsor Caste, Bath and Stonehenge and that was a great thing to do and it gets you out of the city. Definitely looked at doing something like that, preferably before the tour when you are not tired.

The 50-70 is in Euros however not everyone will spend that. Budgeting is probably going to be one of the biggest “hit-and-miss” pieces of advice I can give because everyone has different spending habits. I’ve covered this topic before but look at what meals are included each day (and then what you will be paying for) and what optional activities will do and then you can work out a rough budget of what you will spend. Take into account going out at night and buying souvenirs as well. You’ll definitely have to increase your budget for Italy because of the amount of Gelato you will buy :stuck_out_tongue:

The Optional activities for your tour are on the Topdeck website now! https://www.topdeck.travel/tours/grand-european/details?display=details Go to your Grand European tour’s page, select the “Details” tab and it should be under there and they include prices.

I hope this helps!

Cheers

Coggo


#242

Hi Sam,

I’m a travel agent and am also doing a Topdeck (in July) and I can definitely confirm that Cover More’s policy is more than enough for your travel insurance. Just bring a copy of your policy with you to show Topdeck. One of the best feature of Cover More too is that they have a Travel GP - someone back in Australia that can even video call you to speak about your symptoms, advise you of the best/closest doctor to go to, and which medication to ask for no matter what country you’re in or what the local language is. Hope this helps!


#243

Thanks heaps for the reply. I really appreciate it.

I did look at the Wombats website a while ago, but for someone who has zero sense of direction, I just wanted to make sure it was pretty easy hahaha.

We’ll definitely look into the day trip in London. That sounds amazing. I’m definitely keen to just walk around the city though to see what we stumble upon so I think we’ll do that instead of the hop on hop off. We’re also doing a day at Harry Potter world haha. So I think that’ll cover most of our days.

I definitely think I’ve researched as much advice about budget as I possibly can, so I think I’ll be right. If not, I’ll wing it haha. You’ve definitely got great advice about budget though and I understand everyone is different. I think I just need to start thinking in Euros instead of Aus so I understand the conversion and everything else haha.

Again, thank you so much for all of your advice. I really appreciate everything you’ve written.

Cheers,
Sam


#244

Hi Caitlin,
Yes, that definitely helps. Thank you so much for letting me know. I was about to email my travel agent about this, but you’ve answered everything for me. I’m so happy to hear it covers everything we need. I wasn’t there when we booked our tickets so I didn’t get a chance to ask ha. But thank you for letting me know!


#245

Hey there, Is there an actual Harry Potter world in London? The only one I can find is more like a behind the scenes tour of the sets and stuff, it doesn’t look like it has rides or anything!

Cheers,
Dayna