Questions!


#1

Hey!

I will be doing my first topdeck tousr this year, Winter Spirit 19th December 2010 and Skiing Les Deux Alpes 16th Janruary 2011 :slight_smile:
I have lots of questions I hope you can help me out with!

  1. in regards to sleeping bags, how necesarry are they? it seems like a waste of space when we have restricted luggage…

  2. has anyone tried using an optus post-paid iphone in europe? what are the costs/reception like?

  3. what things did you take (specific to these trips or generally) that you didnt use and what things did you forget. any general tips on what to take would be muchly appreciated! i dont want to waste space and i love to shop, dont want to go over 20kg!

  4. should i buy a big winter/snow coat once i get to europe? i feel that australian outdoors stores have no idea what european winters are like!

  5. did you spend a lot of nights out and drinking? what did you wear? was it expensive?

  6. will a big over-the-shoulder handbag suffice, or will i need to buy a small backpack?

  7. shoes…joggers, boots, covered flats? i’m clueless!

  8. is there any need for a laptop? i figure we will have access to internet cafes but i would rather be safer than sorry!

  9. would you reccomend a condensed towel (like one of those microfibre chamois-tyoe things), travel pillow and travel blanket?

  10. specifically for the ski trip, what snow gear do they supply? is there an opportunity to hire the items that arent supplied/included in cost?

I know it’s early but i love to plan and being a full time uni student and working almost full time i have to do things when i can which means starting now!

any other tips/info/advice/etc is muchly appreciated, please share your experiences!!!

tam :slight_smile:


#2

Hi Tam! I hope my answers to some of your questions are helpful! :smiley:

  1. in regards to sleeping bags, how necesarry are they? it seems like a waste of space when we have restricted luggage…
  • a good sleeping bag is definitely a must! not sure about the accommodation for the ski tours, but they are good even if it is just an extra layer you need at night in the hostel/hotel
  1. what things did you take (specific to these trips or generally) that you didnt use and what things did you forget. any general tips on what to take would be muchly appreciated! i dont want to waste space and i love to shop, dont want to go over 20kg!
  • I stuck to the packing list they provided us and anything extra I needed I picked up on the way. most of the stuff you need is really easy to find in europe and affordable. I had plenty of room leftover in my pack
  1. did you spend a lot of nights out and drinking? what did you wear? was it expensive?
  • most places were pretty cheap to buy booze, but clubs etc will always be more expensive. we wore smart casual mostly
  1. will a big over-the-shoulder handbag suffice, or will i need to buy a small backpack?
  • I think this is a personal preference. many people on my tour had backpacks because the zips could be easily locked together for safety
  1. shoes…joggers, boots, covered flats? i’m clueless!
  • definitely a good pair of sneakers for walking and the rest is up to you :slight_smile:
  1. is there any need for a laptop? i figure we will have access to internet cafes but i would rather be safer than sorry!
  • some people on my tour had laptops but the majority just used internet cafes. in my opinion a laptop would be a bit of a hassle and it is an expensive thing
  1. would you reccomend a condensed towel (like one of those microfibre chamois-tyoe things), travel pillow and travel blanket?
  • microfibre towels are the best! dry quickly and pack really small. travel pillows are also good but I would skip on a travel blanket because a sleeping bag is good

#3

Hello! I did summer fun & sailing 2 months ago and thought I’d answer some of your questions too :slight_smile:

  1. in regards to sleeping bags, how necesarry are they? it seems like a waste of space when we have restricted luggage…

-I didn’t end up needing mine, but you’re going in a different season so it might be a good idea to take one. You can buy really small ones these days!

  1. what things did you take (specific to these trips or generally) that you didnt use and what things did you forget. any general tips on what to take would be muchly appreciated! i dont want to waste space and i love to shop, dont want to go over 20kg!

-This answers a few of your questions in one… I didn’t need to take my travel pillow, but am so glad I had my neck pillow for on the bus - you spend a lot of time on it! I wish I’d taken a day backpack as opposed to an over the shoulder handbag. Make sure you take panadol and cold and flu tablets. You end up wearing mostly the same things so don’t take too may different outfits, it’s just a waste of space. Make sure you have a good camera!

  1. should i buy a big winter/snow coat once i get to europe? i feel that australian outdoors stores have no idea what european winters are like!

-You can always buy things when you’re there!

  1. did you spend a lot of nights out and drinking? what did you wear? was it expensive?

-Yes, but you don’t have to if you don’t want to. I was sick for a little while so I took it easy those nights. Mostly just casual clothing, no one gets too dressy as you usually just go to pubs. Yeah it can be expensive to buy drinks, but just drink whatever is cheaper there, and have pre drinks before you go out :wink:

  1. will a big over-the-shoulder handbag suffice, or will i need to buy a small backpack?

-As I said before, I would recommend a small backpack and will definitely buy one for myself for next time I go.

  1. shoes…joggers, boots, covered flats? i’m clueless!

-Joggers yes. Not sure about boots as you’ll be there in winter, so perhaps? And I wore flats a lot, as well as sandals.

  1. is there any need for a laptop? i figure we will have access to internet cafes but i would rather be safer than sorry!

-No don’t worry about it! There are plenty of internet cafes around, you get really good at spotting them haha!

  1. would you reccomend a condensed towel (like one of those microfibre chamois-tyoe things), travel pillow and travel blanket?

-Microfibre towels are good, they don’t take up much space and dry quickly. Not as nice as your normal towel but still good. Travel pillow - the neck ones as I said before are a godsend! Travel blanket, I don’t think you’d need it especially if you’re taking a sleeping bag.

Feel free to ask away with whatever questions you might have, I know I had a lot before I went! Good luck :slight_smile:


#4

Hey Tam, I’m certainly not a seasoned topdeck traveller, but I took my iphone (optus post-paid) when I went Japan and Vietnam and I would highly recommend NOT turning data roaming on. EVER! The data charges are ridiculously high (11 days using minimal internet - and I mean VERY minimal - added an extra $400 on my bill). But it was great to take to connect to free wifi, even if it was slow. I’m not sure how Europe will work, but in Japan/Vietnam we connected to the local phone network - different companies have different signal strength. Not sure if that helped any! - Patti :slight_smile:


#5

hey patti,
i have spoken to optus and i still have to pay my bill when overseas so i may as well take the phone! i got told that you can turn roaming and other automatically-connectiong (and costly) things off to save money, hopefully i wont come back to a $400 phone bill lol
tam


#6

I just came back from a topdeck tour and one thing I need to add is how handy my sleeping bag was!!! It wasn’t always that cold where I was, but sleeping in cabins we often were not given sheets and the beds were gross looking! I was really paranoid about bed bugs for a lot of the time! We also did not have pillows, so people had to use their clothes, I had a travel neck pillow thing and used that. Buy or borrow one of those small ones you can get. Mine was about 20cm long and weight 700 grams. It was super easy to put back in it’s case too. I borrow one off a friend. It was worth it’s weight in gold. Later on in my trip, I attached it to the back of my travel backpack (i didn’t take a suitcase).

Take clothes you won’t be afraid to get wrecked. I took one top I really liked on this top and it got stains on it from mud that got in my bag :frowning: On my last europe trip, I had the same happened and my fav pair of shoes got wrecked also! This time I took a lot of old clothes and threw them out over there and bought some new ones from all the awesome H & M stores over there :slight_smile: It’s always really hard to predict weather in Europe (maybe not so much in winter…it’s probably always cold!) but you will likely find clothes over there that it would be handy to have! It is super true what they say…pack your bag and then halve your clothes. I know it’s hard…but it’s the best advice I can give. Luggage is the bain of your existence when you’re doing a lot of travel!

I took a travel towel and a really cheap normal towel. Only because microfibre towels annoy me! I used my cheap towel until I got sick of it and threw it out too. Was great to have the two towels because the chance to wash a towel doesn’t come around all that often. I just had to hack the extra weight though.

Also remember to take flip flops for the showers if you are staying in any camp sites or hostels! Worth their weight in gold also!!!

Happy travels, hope you have a fantastic time!