Winter Spirit 19th Dec! General Q's :)



I will be doing my first topdeck tousr this year, Winter Spirit 19th December 2010 and Skiing Les Deux Alpes 16th Janruary 2011
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!!!



Hi Tam,

Welcome to the tour! Hope this helps (in order of your questions):

  1. Sleeping bags - it’s winter in Europe. No matter how well insulated the hostels are you’ll still need a bag. We aren’t staying at hotels but hostels.
  2. Vodafone is actually better in Europe. Or even better, take an unlocked old phone and use a phone card that you buy in Europe.
  3. What to pack - I wouldn’t take jeans for three reasons, one - denim takes forever to dry in the European laundromats, two - denim isn’t actually that warm and three - jeans take up more room than a warm pair of pants.
  4. If you go to Snowgum, Colorado or Paddy Palin, you can get really decent winter coats that will be good in Europe. Now is probably a good time to go as they are having end of season sales. In Europe, it’s all about layering. The other brand to consider is Icebreaker ( which has everything from singlets, to layer tops and warm jackets. This is an NZ brand and you know how cold it can get there!
  5. I’m planning on taking my hiking boots, a pair of black ankle boots and a pair of thongs for the showers. The ankle boots are going to be my night shoes and hiking boots day shoes. Sneakers will get wet through if you have to walk in the snow and hiking boots cope better (this is from experience of living through an NZ winter). Travel days tend to be a bit closer to home, but when you’re in town, you will have a good time.
  6. Backpack or handbag, it’s totally up to you. Check out which has great travel bags/backpacks
  7. Covered flats - your feet will freeze. Go with shoes that you can wear thermals and socks under.
  8. Taking a laptop will totally depend upon how long your trip is for. If it’s the start of something longer, then it might be worthwhile. Otherwise, internet cafes are common around Europe, or if you have an iPhone, take that.
  9. Take all three, brilliant on the plane and on the bus!
  10. I’m not sure about the snow gear, but I had friends who were in Austria in winter and the snow gear companies work basically the same way as they do here in Australia

Look forward to meeting you on the 19th in Paris!

Stacey :slight_smile:


Thankyou so much! Awesome info, it has helped a lot!
I’m off to the city tomorrow so hopefully I can find everything I’m looking for :slight_smile:
So glad i finally found someone doing the same tour as me, I was beginning to thing it was only me lol
Can’t wait, just need to save now! (possibly the most difficult bit!)

tam :slight_smile:


Hey Tam,

I’ve just received a notice in the mail today that Snowgum are having a sale on all winter gear at the moment, including the thermal woollen wear (best thing to layer). They are at Chatswood, Horsby, Rhodes (near Homebush), Kotara and Rouse Hill.



hey again!
i actually raided the kathmandu sale yesterday, got absolutely everything i needed for $400, it sounds a lot but i had absolutely NO winter stuff…got a -12C sleeping bag, big duck down coat, 4 thermals, gloves, waterproof boots, passport pouch, adaptors, travel towel etc so im pretty happy!


I think will your be over here At this the tourism time abound with interesting and agreeable thing. all of everything reasonword for perfect equilateral tourism time.


Anyone joining Tam and I on this tour?


Just pulling this thread up…


Hay Tam
Iam doing Winter Spirit next year and I was wondering how much money did you budget for the trip and everyday, and what was accommadtion like on the tour.