Questions, Tips & Advice for All Tours - ASK HERE


#141

Hi Coggo,

Im trying to decide between the Mastercard multi-currency cash passport and the citibank plus debit card. I’m trying to find the pro’s/con’s of each but you seem to already know a bit about them. Just wondering which one you would recommend?

Thanks
Luke.


#142

Bumped here and found lots of info… Thanks all!


#143

Tracy,

Wow you guys have done a lot of travelling over the last couple of years! How do you guys get so much time off work!? I can’t get that much time off work unfortunately. One day I’m sure I will be able to get to those countries. We were planning on flying over to Europe in early June. Last time I was in Europe between June to August and I feel like all the people who told me that Europe is too busy in peak season over exaggerated. I really didn’t find it that bad and the weather was perfect around that time.

I’m sure there are some really good providers for SIM cards over there. Research it up and you’ll find something which is cheap and will give you good reception. The wifi in some places is a bit slow but it didn’t really bother me.

A can’t stress enough how handy a waterproof jacket is haha! I had one which could be rolled up into a small ball and had it down the bottom of my day bag. It came in handy quite a few times when I needed another layer to block some chilly breezes or when it randomly started to rain. It kept all my other clothes dry and saved me a lot of trouble. It was also handy when we were having snow fights in Lauterbrunnen!

I wasn’t aware of the change to the 28 degree’s MasterCard. I prefer to load the cards up with my own money but that is just a personal choice. I’m going to have to have to do some research about which card I want to take but will probably end up taking the Multi-Currency Cash Passport again as I had no troubles with it last time and it seems the fees are the same. There is a fee to put money onto your cash passport however if you go to flight centre and get the card through them they will wave all the loading up fees. I’m not sure if there is a fee to retrieve the money back off the card at the end. I had some money left over when I came back last time and just withdrew the money through ATM’s here and wasn’t charged anything.

Wow using the one suitcase between two of your for 8 weeks is quite ambitious haha. My partner and I are both taking 75L backpacks when we head over. That should give us both some spare space in case we buy some souvenirs and also makes them easier to carry around.

I only had a 2 hour stop over in Dubai so I’m not sure what the place has to offer. If I was staying there I would definitely want to check out the Burj Khalifa and go up to the viewing platform. That place is amazing. It would also be pretty interesting to check out the man made islands they have there.

Cheers,

Coggo


#144

Hi Luke,

I had a quick look at the Citibank plus debit card online and had a bit of trouble finding a comprehensive list of the fees they charge with the card. It does have some good reviews though from what I can find including:

  • Fee free use of the Citibank Visa Debit Card around the globe to make in store purchases or withdraw cash at any ATM
  • Free international money transfers from Australia to any account, anywhere in the world.
    I did read that it says Citibank charges no fees at all for transactions made at International ATM’s however some bank operators may charge a fee at the ATM, this is not a Citibank charge but many operators have fee free ATM’s overseas. There is also no withdrawal fees or commission rates which is awesome.

Here is a link about the multi currency cash passport card’s fees: http://www.cashpassport.com/1/en/au1/multi-currency/About-Cash-Passport/Fees-Limits/

They both seem pretty good so I would recommend both of them to be honest. The best thing to do is to get a print out of both of their fees and charges and have them side by side and work out which one suits you better.

The more I read about the Citibank plus card the more I am starting to lean towards this option I must admit. Once again I haven’t fully researched both so you should definitely do that! the easiest way sometimes is to just call up their help line and get an operator to email you a list of their fees and charges and get them to explain anything you don’t understand.

Sorry I couldn’t be more help. I hope this helps you in some way though.

Cheers

Coggo


#145

hey Coggo,

did you go to Europe in 2012 or 2013? yah it’s hard to get leave, sometimes we go on holidays with non-paid leave - we only live once! we can’t move forward with applying for leave yet since Topdeck European tour dates are not out yet! hope it comes out soon!

Cheers

Tracy


#146

Tracy,

I went to Europe in 2012. That actually seems like quite a while ago now. I can’t wait for next year!

I’m waiting to find out tour dates as well before I look at locking in any leave as well.


#147

Has anyone reading this done the Northern Europe trip? 'm interested in doing that one next summer, would like to hear any feedback…

Is TopDeck primarily Austrlaians ain the same way that Contiki is? Not that I’m complaining, I think Aussies are awesome!.

(I’m American)


#148

I have been reading this over the past couple of day and want to thank everyone for all their advise. I now feel more comfortable flying and touring with TopDeck. Thanks Coggo, you are very helpful :slight_smile:


#149

Hi Teej,

If you are planning on doing the Northern Exposure tour then I can’t really help you with that because I haven’t personally traveled there before. Hopefully someone else can help you with that.

In regards to the nationality of the topdeckers it will really come down to chance. I know for my tour I think it was about 60% Australians, and then rest was broken up between New Zealanders, Canadians, Americans, South African’s, Koreans and couple of people from south east asia. It was a good spread of people though and everyone got along really well.

Cheers,

Coggo


#150

Hi Ash,

I’m glad I could help! I know a lot of people have questions and can feel a bit scared about not knowing what to expect heading off on their tour and can feel a bit under prepared. I’m glad I can help people feel a bit more comfortable and make people feel more prepared and confident going into their trips.

No question is a stupid question so keep asking!

Cheers,

Coggo


#151

Hey Coggo

have u and ur gf booked any tours for summer 2015? we are thinking of doing the pioneer tour from the 23 July to 27 Aug =)

Tracy


#152

Hi Tracy

We have already book the European Pioneer departing 18 June 2015. We got some really good cheap flights as well the other day for $1,600 return with Singapore Airlines. We’ve pretty much got everything booked and ready to go now. Just have to wait now haha.

Have you booked your tour in yet or still looking?


#153

hey Coggo,

That’s great news! we haven’t booked yet, will do it soon, you got the 15% off early bird discount yah? were you able to get any more discount apart from the 15% off?

what other places are you guys going to apart from the pioneer tour? when are you returning back to australia?

we are thinking of booking with emirates, coz we want to stopover in dubai. but i know singapore airlines is fantastic too!

one more thing, are you guys getting travel insurance separately or you guys using the credit card travel insurance by paying for the trip (or part of the trip) with a credit card?

how exciting!!!


#154

Yeah I got the 15% discount for both of my tours :slight_smile: I don’t think you are able to go over 15% with the discounts.

We’re doing a Croatia Sailing tour “Adriatic Sunsets” tour straight after the Pioneer with Topdeck, so that starts on the 25th of July and goes for 8 days. We are then thinking of flying to Munich for 4-5 days and doing day trips to Innsbruck and Salzburg and checking out Munich. After that we will probably have to fly home.

We are going to get travel insurance seperately through covermore (http://www.covermore.com.au/) as I’ve used them before and was happy with them.

What are you travel plans after the tour?


#155

hey Coggo

we have booked our tours!! yay! but not flights yet. we are still hoping to book it with emirates and going via dubai, 3 days stopover then into London, stay for a couple of days and then going on the European Pioneer tour 23 July to 27 Aug and a couple of days in london again and then starting our Britain and Ireland tour 30 Aug to 12 Sept, then 4 days in Santorini before heading back home!

so i guess we won’t be bumping into each other! haha

your Croatia sailing sounds awesome! wish we have more tome to travel! it was backbreaking to get the 9 weeks off! they would only give us 6 weeks initially. wish we have 3 months!

where are you guys staying in London before and after the tour? the clink 78 hotel?


#156

Yay for having tours booked. We pretty much have our whole trip booked now which is a relief. You guys are going to have so much fun on your tours! We’re really looking forward to the sailing trip. It’s definitely a holiday within a holiday. Also if anyone reading this has done a Croatia sailing trip and has some tips or advice for the tour please let me know.

We’re staying at the Clink78 before the tour and getting a private room which is still really cheap. I’ve stayed there before and had no troubles and found it really central to most places.

Now the waiting game begins.


#157

hey Coggo

whats the best way to get from Heathrow airport to Clink78? the tube? get an oyster card and use it for local london sightseeing as well?

thanks

Tracy


#158

By far the easiest and probably one of the cheapest ways to go from Heathrow to the Clink78 is to get the tube. Once you get out of the airport to the where the tube leaves from there is a little newsagent which sells oyster cards. I bought one and put about 30 pounds on it and you get the Piccadilly line straight to Kings Cross and its about a 5-10 min walk from there to the Clink.(It might be King’s Cross St Pancras) Really simple and the train trip takes about an hour I remember correctly.

I then used the oyster card pretty much every day in London for the tube because it’s a really easy way of getting around London and seeing the sights. I had a lot of people tell me to be very careful on the tube because of pick pockets but I had no trouble at all and felt really safe every time I used the tube.


#159

great! thanks! i have booked clink 78 private room before and between the tours! EXCITED! =)


#160

Hi Coggo.
This is such a great thread with so much good information (I may have read through it twice already). I have recently book the Mega European leaving June 16th next year and I cant wait. I will definitely be returning to this thread when i get closer to departure.

Just a quick bit of information for Tracy, and anyone else looking at this post as well. I believe for their 2015 tours topdeck is no longer using clink78 as their starting point. I was told by my travel agent (flight centre) that they are changing to Wombat Hostels (I believe the London one is under construction). So this may affect a few people who were planning on staying at the clink thinking it was the starting/finishing point. Im not 100% certain, but I did see another post about this on a different forum as well.
I hope this information will be helpful to someone :slight_smile:
Caleb