You have accomplished the task of packing, the long haul flight is done and dusted and now you are sitting in the hostel the night before the tour starts wondering what to expect. The memories you will make, the feelings you will experience and the people you will meet will stay with you forever and here are some tips to prepare you for all that a Topdeck Tour has to offer…. Which is A LOT!
1. From Buses, Trains to Ferries
A Topdeck tour will set you up with a variety of different transportation, the main one being the bus where in the first few days you will be all wide eyed with your face to the window not wanting to miss anything. But once the fun starts and the late nights kick in, you are guaranteed to be staring at the inside of your eyelids (trust me this was me) and you will become a pro at sleeping on a bus (slightly angle yourself on the seat, neck cushion is a must, earphones in and you are good to go!). Depending on your tour there is a chance you will be catching trains to the city centre as the hostels are located slightly outside walking distance. Keep your valuables close by on trains due to thieves. If walking be careful because from experience trains take off a lot faster than here in Australia, I saw my life flash before my eyes while on a train in Prague that took off so quickly I was flung down the aisle! If your tour sees you going from England to France and Italy to Greece you will be spending some time on a ferry.
2. Once you arrive
Every city you visit has something unique to offer, when on the bus on the way to your next destination your guide will give you a brief on the city and its history. To help you out Topdeck gives you a little booklet consisting of information about money, shopping, eating, drinking, safety, getting around, a quick talk section including phrases you need to know, things to do and it includes a map of the city centre. Once you have checked in and gotten comfortable in your accommodation a walking tour of the city or a bus tour will be accompanied by dinner.
3. Where you will be sleeping
The variety of accommodation with Topdeck comes down to the particular tour style you choose. This ranges from hostel plus, explorer, hotel and camping.
Hostel plus has a variety of accommodation styles, from modern hostels to bungalows, cabins at campsites to yachts and is multi-shared accommodation depending on the destination you visit. Multi-share sees two to four people in a room. My tour, Summer fun and sailing was the hostel plus style and I loved it. The variety of accommodations I stayed at were amazing, from hostels on the outskirts of Paris, Prague and Amsterdam, to a castle in the Rhine Valley, yachts in Greece and fun camping sites in Rome and Venice.
Three + star hotel rooms with a local vibe, you travel in smaller groups allowing you to experience each city as a local and escape further off the beaten path. They are located close to the action, so you are in the thick of how a local would live.
It is all about comfort, the hotel trips offer en-suite twin or double rooms that include all the amenities one needs. The hotels you stay in are located centrally or have the ease of access to public transport.
The more affordable way to see Europe, camping may scare certain people but the way Topdeck does it involves air mattresses and an on-road chef to cook you up delicious meals. It is a more sociable and fun trip which offers an array of outdoor experiences.
Short Breaks/Stop Overs
Topdeck offers the opportunity to dive head first into one particular city, allowing you to experience all it has to offer in a more in-depth nature. These three or four day tours are perfect to add on before or after a tour to soak up the sights. Ranging from London, Paris, an Amsterdam Easter, Easter spent in Bruges or partying it up in New York for New Years eve. These short breaks/stop overs are affordable and an incredibly easy way to see one city.
The great thing about Topdeck tours is they allow you a day in the particular city to explore by yourself. As explained above the city guide will help you as you adventure off by yourself. Whether you are sightseeing, taking in the sights, experiencing life as a local, indulging in delicious treats or shopping until you drop. This time is ideal for you to experience what the city has to offer and to experience those places that flood your Instagram feed. It is now your time to get that Insta worthy shot and make all your friends and family back home jealous! A free day is often accompanied by night adventures with the group, your tour leader will let you know what time to meet and where. For example a free day in Paris is followed up by a picnic near the Eiffel Tower and then you are off to a Burlesque show.
Topdeck is full of fun and going out with the group you are in for one hell of a time. Being part of a Topdeck tour will see you arrive at the club or bar and often be given shots on the house. Dancing, drinking and singing along with each other is a guarantee. A variety of drinks and buckets instead of glasses will leave you having the best time. You will experience a variety of different locations when you are out from a five story nightclub in Prague, drinking beer out of steins at the Hofbräuhaus in Munich, parties on site where you are camping that are themed (think traffic light party and masquerade), clubs in the old walls of Dubrovnik and bars in Amsterdam. Be ready to experience late nights and plenty of fun!
The combination of late nights, early mornings, not exactly being entirely healthy, stuck in a bus for numerous hours will lead to being sick. It is a guarantee that majority of people at the end of the tour will be sick or have been sick. So take pain medication, as well as cold and flu tablets. I suggest taking vitamins before you depart and to bring some with you as this will help!
If you have missed the past two guides go and take a look. Topdeck Travel Tips: Preparation Before Take Off and Topdeck Travel Tips: How To Select The Perfect Tour.
That is the end for Topdeck Travel Tips! I hope you enjoyed reading and it gave you an insight into how to pick your tour, preparation and what to expect! If you have any questions please leave a comment below!