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General Travel Tips and Advice Have you traveled before?- Please share your tips and advice with fellow Tpunks!

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Old 09-21-2003, 02:11 AM   #1
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Hi Guys,

Great site from what i've seen so far. I'm heading over to Europe by myself next year around March (I'm an Aussie, male, 27) and as this is my first time backpacking i'm not sure what to expect. I'm thinking i'll start with a Contiki tour for a few weeks to get the major sights covered and then i plan to do my own thing for a while. I guess my main question is how much planning do I need to do because i'm not one to plan too much and would much prefer just to hang out and go where i want, when i want. Is it possible to do it that way?

I'm looking at going for a few months but being my first time it is a bit daunting but i'm certainly looking forward to it. Any advice for a first timer? In the meantime i'll get reading the other posts on this site.

cheers,

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Old 09-21-2003, 03:08 AM   #2
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Hey cliffo! Welcome to the boards!

Quote:
would much prefer just to hang out and go where i want, when i want. Is it possible to do it that way?
Abso-frickin-lutely! That´s the way, uh huh uh huh, I like it It´s certainly a liberating feeling, not traveling with a strict itinerary. You will meet people here and there, and may just "up and head out" with them to wherever they´re off to (if it sounds good, that is).
I think a couple of members on this board did the contiki thing (CDude?). I hear it can be a blast!

Get your transportation (Eurail, bus, etc) out of the way, and book hostels in the more popular cities(during hoiday weekends or festival weekends) to avoid "no vacancies," before you head over to Europe. Then you can just concentrate on the fun and the relaxation.

Break in a good pair of shoes as you´ll be doing a lot of walking, with a heavy pack, for a few months.

There are tons of tips on this board that will answer some, if not most, of your questions.

*You may want to check if you´ll be needing any specific visa´s for entry into certain countries. Go here to find out more about this-Australian Travel info

Hope it helps
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Old 09-21-2003, 03:41 AM   #3
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Cheers TP,

thanks for the link and tips...I will have to organise some visas but from the quick look i had i don't need them for quite a few countries. A few mates have done the Contiki thing over the last couple of years and they had an awesome time so i think thats the way to start the trip.

I plan to party my arse off when i get there...now how do i make the next few months fly by till i go?

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Old 09-21-2003, 04:12 AM   #4
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I hear that Contiki is like hedonism on the bus :P Maybe your friends can confirm that here

Stick around and meet some of the tpunk locals and you´ll feel like the partys already started! That should make the wait a little less painful B)
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Old 09-21-2003, 04:51 AM   #5
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Quote:
Stick around and meet some of the tpunk locals and you´ll feel like the partys already started! That should make the wait a little less painful
I plan to hang around this site and learn all i can. i'm starting to get psyched just reading other people's posts...i want to go now damnit!!!
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Old 09-21-2003, 07:34 AM   #6
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I will add my 2 cents on Contiki....

I did a 21 day Contiki a couple of years back, and man what a great time I had, it was basically a 21 day party. I still keep in touch with most of the peps from my tour, and have even been to Australia to visit. You will make frineds on the tour you will keep for life, and the good times pretty much don't stop. Its weird for the first few hour on the bus from but from the first night whn the booze starts flowing, you make friends real quick.

A warning though WATCH OUT FOR THE CONTIKI COUGH...everyone I have know gets this bug, sore throat, sniffles, cold symptoms kinda...it has to do with one person being sick first, then the bug goes through the air conditioner system of the bus. So bring some antibiotics if you can, if not take some cough medicine with you. It was a bit of a pain, everyone on my tour got it, but it did not stop any partying, or sex, or sight seeing, or drinking...FYI

And Welcome to da boards!!!!! B)
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Old 09-21-2003, 08:07 PM   #7
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Canadian Dude,

Thanks for the info...how did you find the 21 day tour? Long enough, too long, just right? i'm not sure whether to do a short tour or a long one. Guess i've still got plenty of time to decide what to do.

As for the Contiki Cough...all those symptons can be 'treated' with a healthy dose of Vodka - best to have more than you think you need just to make sure you get better
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Old 09-22-2003, 04:42 AM   #8
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Contiki SARS 2-3 weeks sounds just about right. It could be a good option for the last leg of a trip too, no?

Vodka- definitely a good antidote that, or Absinthe

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Old 10-01-2003, 05:54 PM   #9
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The 21 day was just perfect amount of time to spend on the tour...i did one week on my own before the tour, and the day after the tour I flew home, got a hair cut, did my laundry slept for 2 hours and went back to the airport and flew to Cuba that same day...I was a regular jet setter!!!

I would FO-SHIZZLE recommend Contki for part of your trip, but plan some time on your own aswell!! I would say do the Contiki on the last part of your trip. B)
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Old 10-01-2003, 07:20 PM   #10
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I'm starting to think i might skip the contiki and just do it all myself, or if i do a contiki just a 2 week tour. still undecided at the moment but i like the idea of not having to organise anything for a while...what to do what to do..hmmmmm..plenty of time to ponder yet
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Old 10-04-2003, 05:34 AM   #11
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Spontaneity is good when backpacking. Bro, you could meet a chick on your first week, fall in love, and stay together throughout your whole trip!

Or you'd be happy and merry for a week or two, then realize that you paid some cash money for a contiki reservation that starts pronto and you'll have no choice but to break the news to her. Could be difficult to say, "so...listen, babe....uhh...I have to go on my contiki trip now for 3 weeks, so...do I have your email address?" And then, the beautiful French girl in her exquisite French accent will sadly say goodbye, give you a kiss goodbye, and as she wallows in her sorrows, some other foreigner will see her, offer his condolences, invite her for a cafe, and close the deal that you left open And, I'm a closer B)

Can you reserve your spot on contiki, then pay the day you show up? Or, do you have to pay it all in advanced?
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Old 10-04-2003, 08:18 PM   #12
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I think its all gotta be paid when you make the booking which is the problem i have with it. i mean if i book the contiki i gotta do it or lose some big $$ but who knows what i'll be wanting to do when i get to europe.

Everyone tells me i should do the contiki cause i'll have a blast, which i'm sure i would but then again i can have just as good a time, meet just as many (if not more) people if i do it all myself plus it'll be cheaper.

Uh!! TP you said the 'love' word - me and my girl just broke up a few weeks ago - thats the reason for this trip mate...i gotta get away for a while...and i'm already wallowing in my sorrow....

women!!! will i ever work them out...i think not

now i've made myself depressed thinking about my ex...don't you hate when you're still head over heels for someone even though you have to try to get over them and get on with your life....oh sorry wrong message board...which way to the love and relationships forum..hehehe
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Old 10-07-2003, 01:57 AM   #13
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Whoa! I feel ya, about the relationship thing, bro. Especially if it was long and meaningful

If you're outgoing filled with positive energy and have good rapport skills, no doubt that you'll have a blast doing things on your own terms.

Taking a backpacking trip like this, can and will be a life altering experience. It will give you a new perspective in life and it can influence many of your future decisions. You wish see some of the "other fish in the sea," and maybe hook a few of em

On the other hand, yep, I have a tendency to throw the "love" word around quite frequently. When you come back from your journey, you will really know if that was the woman of your dreams. I think adequate time and space apart will help you both to see things more clearly. I'm sure you've heard it all before.

But dude, when you come back and you know for sure that your ex is absolutely, categorically, unequivocally, the woman of your dreams, pursue her with all of your might! Or you will be sad for a very, very, long time , and you will be comparing every woman, under the sun, to her(and that won't be fair to them). I went through that excrutiating process and it wasn't until almost ten years later, when I went on my first backpacking trip to Europe, than I was able to see a serious future with another woman. I only wish that I had taken that trip right after the break up! I could have save a decade of agony and despair

Now, I'm with a girl that I met on my first trip (the very last day of my trip!), and would you believe that we are constantly discussing taking it to the next level?! D'oh ! Like I said...these trips can be life altering.

Heck, you could meet the person of your dreams on Contiki! But, you may be hard pressed to squeeze in some quality private time . That, you can only do when you're traveling on your own terms .

Hanng in there, bro! Cheers B) !
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Old 10-07-2003, 02:52 AM   #14
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it was fairly long - 2 1/2 years..well the longest relationship i've had anyway and very meaningful. She decided she's too young to be in a serious relationship (she's just turned 22, i'm 27) but damn i love that girl. she's just as messed up as me at the moment but she feels she needs to hang with her friends and she wants to travel on her own too.

worst part is i understand where she's coming from - when i was 22, the last thing on my mind was a relationship. still, i can see us getting back together when she's done all the stuff she wants to do. if not then, i guess thats the way life goes sometimes.

But i gotta put that behind me or i won't enjoy my trip. i'm trying to concentrate on how much fun i'm gonna have and i think thats getting me through.

Wow TP, ever considered a relationship and life counselling website as a sidebar to travelpunk..hehehe....at least i can see you've been through the same shit that i'm going through (i'm sure everyone else has too) so i guess that gives me hope....cheers bud
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Old 10-07-2003, 03:58 AM   #15
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Yeah, I know, huh...We could start forum here on relationships

Mine was a 4 1/2 year-er. But it took me a while for it to fade into a distant memory.

You're right, concentrate on the future and the trip that you have planned! Stay busy! Sitting around the house won't do you any favors, take it from me. Hit the gym, go running, grab some beer with da boys, etc...

There is a movie called the "Tao of Steve" which is about this guy that had a methodology to picking up all the chicks, and it always worked for him (and he was an overweight regular dude). It's a funny independent film thats well worth watching, especially for guys like us who've had relationship mishaps.

Also, I had a post about the book The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. This is a simple fable, but I think you can benefit from it greatly, bro. I encourage you to read it. Joanofarc also had a coule of recommendations on that thread that you might want to look at.

Did some surfing and found something for you. She's in France and sends her love.

Cheers!
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Old 10-07-2003, 10:26 AM   #16
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great looking out, tp!
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Old 10-07-2003, 03:29 PM   #17
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I'm on my way TP
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