General tips and ideas from former travellers


Don’t get caught eating gelato for breakfast.











Listen to Susan’s advice; she is spot on every time! Enjoy every moment.  It’s the funny, scary and silly things that you’ll take through life as memories. Walk until your feet cry; when you get home you’ll forget about the pain, but the things you saw along the way will be burned into your memory. It’s an amazing opportunity, so get the maximum out of every day!!  Best part of going back to work- when someone asks how your holidays were and you get to relive the memories of each city.



Take a photo, or if you are in pairs, keep a copy of the info sheets; in particular the places to visit section, as they will help to recall the name (& spelling) of all the main tourist attractions & maybe even assist in identifying photos, churches all begin to look similar towards the end!!





Do everything early! It’s a great feeling beating the lines (coloseum for example- we enjoyed a peaceful and not so crowded view of the inside for about 15 minutes before people started pouring in & you couldn’t move). If there are stairs – go up them…all of them. You’ll most likely get an amazing view. If there are alleyways…go down them. Explore the cities both night and day if you have the chance. I challenge anyone to find the absinthe ice cream shop in Prague (and buy the ice cream). Best advice from Susan…just get lost.




Hire a bike in Lake Bled.  You will cover ground much faster & have heaps of fun!




10359164_10202331585747205_4561624319851307117_n   Katie: If someone in the group suggests something just do it!




If you buy cheese, make sure the label is clear and doesn’t rub off! Mine rubbed off and we couldn’t get it through customs





I bought jewellery as souvenirs in each place – nothing outrageously expensive, just things from markets that were a bit unique and I knew I wouldn’t find at home. It takes up hardly any space in your suitcase and I get more use out of them than other souvenirs. Magnets are also good but make sure you get one in each place – I only bought 3 (when I couldn’t find something else I liked) and my fridge seems incomplete!




I got charms everywhere I went. I now have a beautiful charm bracelet as a souvenir from my Europe trip!






I recommend doing all the optional activities. The fat tire bike ride in Paris was really good and paragliding in Switzerland was amazing! Also hiring bikes for the day where you can is an awesome way to get around. I found some of the cities really big and walking to all the sites can take a lot of time out of the day.



1005264_10200978583799600_763248047_nJustin:      1970381_10202736254300264_1493003110_n

I recommend that everytime you hop on that bus, wherever it maybe going that you know the exact location of your passport as “it’s somewhere in my suit case”, does not pass as a valid answer!



Buy things in every location, with that being either postcards, magnets, charms etc. I am also a big believer in eating your way through Europe. This was worth every kilo I put on.
The optional activities are the best. The bikes in Paris were awesome. The paragliding was worth every minute. You are only there once, so I say do everything that is handed your way. Make the most of your time in every place you visit.
Be very wary of the pick pockets in Rome. Even though they seem like innocent little children, don’t let them deceive you. They are smarter than you think.
I will also recommend the nightclub that you took us to in Prague; the multi-storey club, as this was one of the best nights.
Also the tips that Susan and Kevin gave us were great I will remember them all for my next trip. I could go on forever. It was truly a trip of a lifetime that I am so glad I experienced, and I made friends that will be there for my entire lifetime.



I think my favourite memories of the trip involve just not being afraid to walk around and get a bit lost! I would definitely recommend walking around the cities as much as possible, rather than catching taxis or trains. It’s a great way to see the city and find things you would never expect to find




Just buy a single electrical adapter and then bring a small power board to cater for everything that needs charging. A really good backpack is essential as well.

Make each moment count!!! Its too late when you move on and then say” If Only……….”




Roll your clothes instead of folding them & pack them into what’s called ‘cubes’ (ie. pack shirts into 1 cube, underwear in an other etc) as it makes it so much easier to find things. Cubes can be bought at places such as Snowgum.




Always have more the one person look at the departure times for flights.






If there are things that you know you want to do ahead of time, book them online and sometimes it’s cheaper.  Always take less than you think that you need – don’t begin with a full suitcase, but take twice the number of knickers that you think that you need, as sometimes it’s a long wait between laundromats!



admin-ajaxMegan :

Don’t over plan a trip down to the last minute every day. You end up missing out in the opportunity to just wander around a city and absorb the local vibe




184553_10151390852360342_2022267623_n(1)Jenny :    Visit Angelina’s in Paris, and the battling musicians in St Marks square in Venice for Hot chocolate / coffee. The Sound of Music sights in Salzburg for the tragic like me.  Swimming (or going topless!) in the Med on Nice beach. Making an effort to meet others and go to group dinners somewhere different on our nights off. Really everything you suggested to us – there wasn’t really anything which disappointed me. Your memory card for your camera needs to be bigger than you think! Limit what you buy for others – the memories are yours and small things you can use or look at often keep your memories alive. Take a double adaptor (or power board) with only one European adaptor to charge all your devices. Tape the adaptors together so you don’t leave it in the wall!  Mobile phone call and data roaming charges need investigating before you leave home. Make sure your plan won’t leave you with a massive bill when you return home.  Make sure you have travel insurance. If your think you can’t afford it you really cant afford to travel.



Yep global roaming cost me an AUD$17 k bill. Ouch !

Save more money before you go, there will be sooooo many things you want to buy, you only go once (well most do) every many years so don’t come home wishing you had more cash to buy the things you see.




Going on ALL activities organised by the tour guides, worth every penny. Enjoying the company and making the most of your friends on the tour. Try all different cuisines for each country, delicious! Paragliding in Switzerland = AMAZING! Go to the Jungfrau = UNFORGETTABLE!  Venice = go on a gondola ride, must do!  Go to at least one concentration camp = INDESCRIBABLE!  Paris – go to the Cabaret, so much fun!







So many highlights, so little time. I would recommend the Jungfraujoch to anyone, as well the gondolas in Venice, a quintessential European experience. I think an important piece of advice would be see the well known attractions sure, but after that get out of the tourists areas, try the local eateries and just wander about and see what you find. You will have more fun getting a little lost than you will in a queue for the EiffelTower.




Paraglide in Switzerland – absolutely amazing and beautiful views!! Venice after dark…and the duelling musicians in St Marks Square, but you must dance, however & whoever with…then catch one of the last ferries back and enjoy the views, peace & beauty from sitting in the front of the boat and watching Venice slip by…ahh that was one of my favourites!



197936_1002579418752_8301_nMark and Ammie:

Hi Susan.  We have been meaning to tell you this for a while – besides that your tour was AWESOME and we totally loved it!!!!! If people buy things duty free (such as alcohol) and have to transit through Changi airport in Singapore, their alcohol will be taken off them. We weren’t allowed to take it on the next flight with us back to Oz. Something you don’t need to deal with after a 12-14 hr flight!

(Check for current rules and laws in regards to carrying alcohol)



Truck stops have the best food! Make sure you have time to explore as well as loo line time!





207_32475486420_8021_nKristi :

Pack light, keep room for purchases. You can eat maccas at home, why not try something new. Bring me back your stories of romance on the Danube and gypsies in Paris. I have enough t-shirts.



5138_99461347340_4478315_nAdeline: Don’t eat just before you paraglide.






29044_425429585907_3793044_nEileen:   Really go see anything that you learnt about in school and fascinated you. It’s so great to go from imagination to real life. Also just make the most of it and being with new friends and new experiences. I treasure the memory of paragliding with Grace and Emily. Life is short and you never know when life changes completely but those memories and photos remind you that you lived, really lived.  Bring gastrolite sachets. And pack and unpack a few times, you’ll see your bag get smaller and smaller (& lighter).




Don’t hold back… Spend the few extra Euros or pounds on that tour ticket or buy that souvenir because when you get home you won’t remember what you spent but you will cherish the memories.





If you see something you like buy it, you probably wont see it again (actually think this was your advice, but great nonetheless!)





Sell everything at home because you won’t want to go back home!






I would say: Hangovers are bad but they’re 1000x worse on a bus ride. Don’t get massively drunk before a long drive the next day. You will regret it (and so will fellow passengers!). Drink as the Italians do – to enjoy the quality and time but don’t drink in excess! Oh and bring back the most random photos you can possibly take to have a giggle. I don’t need any more tea towels.




Visit the Trick fountains in Salzburg!





296675_204427302949091_6777060_nRussell and Frieda:

Do everything on offer, don’t let a single opportunity pass you by; memories are much better than regrets. Don’t forget to take photos of all the little things not just the tourist stuff. Photos of the cafe where you had lunch, or an ice cream, can bring back memories of conversations and street scenes that are the essence of the tour.



248349_108075779284518_2213939_nJane: You must do the activities, and remember to stop in the evenings, look at the evening light & the people.  Let the street hawkers entertain you. Postcards can be better then your photos (they’re minus crowds that get in the way) buy fridge magnets from each place. They are great small gifts, and easy to post or pack, Ladies, flirt in Italy & France. It’s fun & doesn’t cost you anything.You may travel a lot underground on trains, but get a group together and get a taxi. Before going know your pin numbers to your card- your Internet & phone banking code.  Open a separate account for your spending money, then move funds when needed keep the spending $ card with you. Your other cards keep in the hotel safe or in your luggage. Finally if you are travelling overseas for more than a month, have a trusted person setup as signatory on your banking for any financial emergencies



I’d say do some research on the countries you are visiting so you’ll appreciate it more when you’re travelling. Also I’d buy another white Swiss army knife-personalised of course!




362_49578475589_5745_nKirin :

Don’t spend your time hung over. Make sure you actually see everything it is worth it. Only have a few big nights as you can stay home and go out every night. Also make sure you got lost at least once. Especially in Venice!





Buy a few postcards of all the places you visit just in case anything were to happen to your camera or memory cards! Even though I have all my photos, my collection of post cards are stuck all over my bedroom wall so I can look at them in bed and remember where I was and what I did!!!




1928_43309437633_4516_nAmanda and Jim:   The best advice I would give to anyone travelling is look beyond the normal tourist areas and seek out the yet to be explored. That is where you find the best of each country. Like the mum and pop restaurant in Italy with the fresh home made lasagne and pasta, the little shop in France that sells the alcoholic drink made from crushed violets (so good), the little back street pastry shop that makes the perfect sweet and the mini ham on a spit served at your table in Prague. If you see something you like so much, buy it. Get that clock in Switzerland, that vase in Venice (the red one), eat that Sachertorte in Vienna.  Take that picture in places they tell you not to. Is it worth the risk taking that photo and adding I to your collection? Yes, it is. I have pictures that I’m not suppose to have. But I enjoy looking at them everyday. Have fun and set a fun challenge. I stood next to a Swiss guard at the Vatican holding a copy of the Da Vinci code novel and I have the picture to prove it. It’s something fun to show your family and friends. Do something that is bit of fun, but not illegal! Your trip maybe the once in a life time trip, so make the most of it. Your guides know all about the places you are about to go to, so listen to them. Take the best and go with it. Travel is not just about exploring, but experiencing the beat that each                                                                                             place has to offer. You haven’t lived Europe, if you haven’t experienced its                                                                                                                       hidden treasures. Just do it!


539060_10151452105150484_220117274_nJess: Make sure to leave the maps and compass in the hotel room as often as you can. Allow for days here and there for independent time away from everyone and rejuvenate to ensure that the dreaded travel apathy doesn’t set in (ie. templed-out, shrined-out, churched-out etc; forgetting names of places you were at yesterday etc). Don’t pack days so full that you get overwhelmed. Better to learn about places you’re seeing properly than skim over them, just to tick it off your list.Don’t fear sounding or looking like a tourist, as this will prevent you from interacting with the locals. If you get the chance, talk to the people who run the cafe; get to know the staff and learn about their lives, the local area and culture.You will want to update and check-in to places as Facebook becomes your travel journal. It also provides a feed to family and friends at home without you having to regularly send emails or call them. Get postcards of everywhere you visit as they will be better than any photo you get (and they help if something happens to your phone/camera). You can create pieces of art with them as I did and display on walls etc. No matter how carefree you are and willing to accept the consequences, don’t leave your belongings unattended.



I treasure the ink drawing from Montemartre, that we had framed back home and now hangs in our hallway….a great memory of Paris.All the fridge magnets from each country that are on my beer fridge in the man-cave that provides much conversation. The special collection of European t-shirts that are being well worn……just to mention a few special things!




Two copies of Passport above in overhead luggage as well as packed luggage. Pack lightly where possible





Tell your bank/building society your travel plans & for how long you’re going





332_91022320152_9797_nJason and Cilla:

Never be too tired and never say its too much money. The Swiss Francs you spend on a joy flight over the Swiss Alps just may be the memory of a lifetime.




140_12703115606_8264_nKate and Troy:  Have some local currency. Do a beginners language course for the main country you are going to. Helped us to find a laundry in Rome and buy a stamp in Paris. Bring your phrase book. Listen to Susan as she has all the info you need and tips on how to book things. Bring a game for the bus. Leave copies of your travel docs and credit cards with some one back home in case you lose them. Copy in your suitcase too. Do your laundry regularly – you get a bit of local life at the laundromat. Buy small souvenirs like jewellery that will mean something 5 years later




Scan or take photos of your itineraries and passport, etc, and keep them locked on your phone of pad. // If you’re going to several countries, it’s worth it to buy a travel sim – a lot of ppl on my tour bought a local sim but then couldn’t get a recharge at the next place and had to buy another. // Eagle Creek Pack-it folders or something similar are amazing. You clothes are folded so they don’t crease much, they squash down so you can fit a lot more in, and you don’t have to fight with loose clothes in your bag. // If you can get hold of No Jet Lag tablets (known as Jet Ease in Aus), it works wonders, esp travelling west. After 39 hours in planes and airports, I arrived in Prague, had dinner, crashed for 9 hours and then was up and about the next day like nothing had happened.





546838_10151400827279467_1132374604_nAlana and Hayden:

Get packing cells for inside your pack, keeps everything together and tidy and you can always find that pair of socks that you are looking for! Also, make sure you have enough money to do everything that you want, that gondola ride in Venice may seem pricey at the time, but how much will it cost to fly back there??





Keep a travel diary of places visited and take photos of signs for names of buildings, monuments, etc. these will both help when putting together photo books or albums together. You think you will remember but lots will be forgotten by the time you get home and think about photos





Everyone travels with multiple devices that all need charging. Take 1 adaptor per type for all the countries that have different power outlets & have 1 power board






Take a bottle of iodine (aka Betadine). One drop in a bottle of water might save that annoying sitting around for hours.





7034_167912631910_1819083_nCatherine:  Bring: a scarf/wrap of fine material – great for the plane trip, evenings & if the weather cools down, and packs in easily; really good shoes that can walk for ages in and over bumpy & uneven surfaces (sore feet will ruin your enjoyment of the most beautiful place or stop you from exploring that little bit further); a hat than can survive being squished lots; Berocca, suncreen & band aids.  Take pictures of the food (the good & the bad!) – will remind you of a great meal, or a meal shared with friends or the laughter as you all tried to work out what the meal really was made of.  Take a copy of the travel itinerary with you – can write notes as you go of places you liked, meals you had, and the notes really help when it comes to sorting out the five gazillion photos you took.


Susan Burn: Watch out for those pesky photo bombers.10619_1223031009318_5609109_n







Do you have any money tips?