Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Help name a Topdeck coach!

Monday, March 25th, 2013

It was back in 1973 when a young Aussie working in the UK bought a retired London double decker bus, kitted it out with bunk beds, and took a trip to Morocco with a bunch of mates. Topdeck was born!

Fast forward to 2013 and Topdeck is turning 40. How time flies! To celebrate this milestone, we’re excited to announce that we’ll once again be naming our coaches in Europe, just as our original ‘deckers’ were individually named all those years ago.

It’s been an incredible ride over the past four decades, and we’re happy to say that Topdeck in 2013 is doing better than ever before.

This amazing journey wouldn’t have been possible without the hundreds of thousands of Topdeck passengers and crew who’ve helped shape our past. We can’t thank you guys enough!

It’s in recognition of our incredible history that we’ve decided to bring back the coach names in 2013, and this is where we need YOU to help!

We’re looking to you Topdeckers to help choose the name of the very first coach in our modern European fleet to be christened.

We’ve selected a shortlist of names, all of which belonged to an old Topdeck ‘decker’, and we’d like you to vote for your favourite. Who knows, travel with Topdeck in Europe this year and you might just find yourself travelling on the coach you helped name!

Here are the nominees:

1) Casper

2) Hannibal

3) Moose

4) Phoenix

5) Roxanne

6) Tadpoles

To vote, simply check out our facebook page at, where you’ll be able to cast your ballot (closes March 31, 2013).

Here’s to the next 40 years!

American Firsts

Monday, March 25th, 2013

March 31st, 2013 – remember the date.

It’s the date of Topdeck’s first trip in North America!

We couldn’t be more excited about sharing North America with a host of lucky Topdeck passengers over the coming months, and we’re especially thrilled for the passengers on our inaugural trip.

We’re delighted to be taking the USA and Canada by storm in the year of our 40th birthday, and at Topdeck HQ we’ve been getting a little misty-eyed thinking about how Topdeck has grown from a mere youngster in 1973 to the industry-leading youth travel company it is today.

It also got us thinking about the USA, which is a relative teenager in global terms. Like with any growing child, it’s always good to keep track of the important milestones in life… so here we present some of the key ‘firsts’ in the formative years of America!

America’s first date…

America’s first proper date was July 4th 1776. No romantic meals and drive-in movies – simply the signing of the Declaration of Independence.  Smooth.

America’s first party…

Was the Federalist Party in the early 1790s. It was a party of strong fiscal policies, nationalistic ideals… and all-night raves with everyone drinking out of red plastic cups before jumping in the pool in their underwear.

America’s first driving lesson…

Took place in 1884, shortly after the opening of America’s first golf course in West Virginia. The first informal lesson in driving off the tee was given by the talented Archibald B. Dogleg to his companion, Hubert J. Bunker.

America’s first Kiss…

Came in 1973, when four friends from New York formed a band, painted their faces black and white and put on elaborate hard rock stage shows. It was as if someone had fired a Love Gun – together America and Kiss had some Crazy, Crazy Nights.

America’s first Topdeck trip…

Will take place on March 31st, 2013. Passengers on this 7 day California Calling trip will see the best of the USA’s West Coast; they’ll gaze over the Grand Canyon, walk across the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, enjoy an included Party Bus in Las Vegas, stay in Yosemite National Park and much more.

Now that’s what we call a first to remember!

If you want to join Topdeck and explore the wonders of North America, check out our superb range of trips here:

Australia v New Zealand: Topdeck launches ‘Battle of the Bloggers’ contest.

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

Australia and New Zealand are beautiful nations with a longstanding rivalry. But which is best to visit? We are seeking two talented travel bloggers to help answer once and for all who rules the roost in Australasia!

The two victors of the Battle of the Bloggers contest will each win a dream holiday with Topdeck - one will experience a 14 day Island Suntanner in Australia and the other a 14 day Kiwi Explorer in New Zealand and blog about their experiences!

Each lucky winner will blog about their travels whilst on location, and their thoughts will help influence a public voting panel to decide once and for all which is the best destination!

Application for the contest is very simple:

1. Write a blog of up to 500 words about one of your favourite travel experiences (which must be a Topdeck destination)

2. Post a video entry on YouTube (tagged with #battleofthebloggers and no more than 90 seconds long) about a travel experience (which must be a Topdeck destination)

3. Fill in your contact details and submit your entry at

Applicants must submit their entries by 30 November 2012 and we will notify the winners by 24 December 2012.

Topdeck Travel at the TNT Magazine Golden Backpack Awards 2012

Friday, October 26th, 2012

Just a quick note to say a big THANK YOU to everyone who voted for Topdeck Travel in the TNT Magazine Golden Backpack Awards!

We walked away with a total of three Golden Backpacks:

- Favourite Big Tour Operator

- Favourite Tour Operator in Western Europe

- Favourite Ski/Winter Operator

Check out the Golden Backpack Awards website for more information and to see other winners.

A big thank you again to you all again - we couldn’t have done it without you!!

Topdeck Team

New Kid on The Block

Monday, October 8th, 2012

Hello, Bonjour, Aloha, Kia Ora, Bula….this could go on for hours!

Hi everyone, I am Samantha Ferguson, Sam for short, and as the title states I am officially the ‘New Kid on the Block’ working as the Online Marketing Executive here at Topdeck Travel London.As I am now looking after the Topdeck blog, I wanted to say a quick hello to everyone out there and introduce you to the person behind the computer. So where do I begin? Ooh…

Born the youngest of 3 kids and raised in Auckland, New Zealand. I graduated high school in 2007 where I then went on to University where I studied a Bachelor of Business majoring in Marketing and Management which I graduated with in 2011, after University I got straight into it and began to experience the ‘full time working world’ where I found my love for all things Online Marketing and Social Media.

For as long as I can remember travel has always been a huge passion for me and I dreamt of the day I could leave little New Zealand to take on the world and 2012 was the year for me to turn that dream into a reality. I packed 20kg (ok, maybe 28kg) of my life into a suitcase, hugged my parent’s goodbye and jumped on a plane to my next adventure – taking on London town, not before enjoying a 26 Summer fun + Sailing 2012 Topdeck trip around Europe of course….

Hobbies include: Reading (give me a Marian Keyes book anyday), Computers/Technology, Exploring and Travelling (Duh!). In the weekends you can find me having a good boogie, which not going to lie…I can do a pretty awesome ‘Sprinkler’ move on the dance floor, hanging out with friends, or planning away my next trip. One fact about me, I can fill you in on any celebrity gossip at the drop of a hat – I like to think this as a pretty special gift :).

So as I sit here watching the cursor blink away and think about what amazingly witty and totally fascinating information I can divulge about myself, I find myself turning to good ol’ trusty Google and reading the wise words of the great Oprah and her ‘Getting to Know You Questions’. Cheers Oprah, you sly dog you…

1. Who was your favourite celebrity as a child?

I did fall in love with Leonardo DiCaprio after Titanic…but seriously, who didn’t!

2. What is your favourite colour


3. What has been your favourite country you have visited? Why?

Hmm..that is a tricky one. I think one place that really stands out to me is USA – Las Vegas to be exact. The city was just so alive – all the time! It was such a magical place and had so many activities to do – such as riding a roller coaster in the middle of The Strip, flew a helicopter into the Grand Canyon, rafting down the Hoover Dam, experiencing The Bellagio fountains and watching the Cirque Du Soleil show ‘The Beatles: Love’ at The Mirage. I also managed to win a cheeky $72.00USD at the Mandalay Bay Casino.

4. What word describes you best?


5. What drives you every day?

I like to live by the quote:

20 years from now you’ll be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than the ones you did do. Explore. Dream. Discover”. – Mark Twain.

I believe this quote sums up everything, there is still so much to see in this world and you only have one life to see as much as you can, so explore and discover as much as you can.

6. Where is one place in the world you want to cross off your bucket list?

So many places! But off the top of my head, I would love to visit Budapest, South Africa, Thailand and Egypt.

7. What has been your favourite holiday experience?

Disneyland, California was pretty amazing! It was definitely a highlight for me. It was a place that everyone talks of and a place that you grow up hearing about. So the day I actually witnessed it and passed through the gates of ‘the happiest place on earth’ was a pretty magical day.

8. What would you do with a million dollars?

Explore the world! Try and see as many countries I can, and experience as many different festivals as possible.

9. If you were on an island, who would you want to be with? Why?

Ryan Gosling. Enough said.

10. Who is your celebrity look alike?

I get told a lot that I look like a blonde ‘Robin’ off the television programme ‘How I Met Your Mother’ quite often

And there it is, lovely to meet you all! Keep checking back on our blog for information on trips, awesome articles and interesting stories.

Seven Ways to Spend Your Summer

Friday, July 15th, 2011

By Kara Segedin

Moping around the office on dismal grey London day (isn’t it supposed to be summer already?) I was wishing for some ruby slippers so I could click my heels together and say ‘I wish I was on the Med, I wish I was on the Med!”

A girl can dream, can’t she?

So I settled for the next best thing - picking the brains of Topdeck’s travel experts for some daydream inspiration!

So here goes - the London Topdeck Team’s ‘7 Suggestions for Summer’….

Sailing in Croatia

Eat, swim, tan, sleep, party and repeat.

Sign up for the ‘Pomalo’ way of life - the Dalmatian philosophy of relax, take your time and have fun. Why hurry, there’s no rush!

Where else in the world can you sit around drinking cup after cup of coffee for hours on end, simply watching the day stroll by.

Fantastic fresh food can be found all along the coast – pizza and seafood to Germanic meals and ice cream!

The best way to take in all the Adriatic has to offer is aboard a sail boat! Visit all the top island destinations including Korcula, Hvar and Mljet as well as the coastal cities of Split and Dubrovnik.

Eat, drink and sunbath until the heat gets the better of you. Finish by rolling into the clear blue waters then dry off and start all over again!

Eat Your Way Through Italy

From gelato in Venice, pizza in Rome, steak in Florence and al fresco dining and wine tasting in Tuscany, Italy is a foodie’s paradise. You’ll be pressed to find a better setting for your meals!

Originally from Naples, the world famous pizza is served throughout the country. Your mission is to find the best!

Pizza in Venice

Adrenalin in Austria

Try sky-diving, mountain biking or white-water rafting in one of the Europe’s most beautiful settings.

Austria’s famous Tyrol region has adventure activities abound.

For the slightly less adventurous hire a mountain bike and explore at your own pace.

Shot Vodka in Russia

Toast the Tsars and Commissars from St. Petersburg to Moscow. It’s your chance to get behind the Iron Curtain - checkout Red Square, St Basil’s Cathedral and the Kremlin. Oh, and make sure you sample the local vodka & caviar!

Star-spotting in the French Riviera

The Côte d’Azur is dripping with glitz and glamour. Yachts, casinos and super cars - live like the rich and famous on the Mediterranean.

The Jolie-Pitts, Johnny Depp, Bono & Elton John are just some of the A-List stars who have holiday homes in this coastal resort.

Get lazy on the beach and stroll the promenades by day then try your luck at the casinos of Monaco at night!

Don Your Lederhosen for Oktoberfest

Steins, pretzels and pork knuckles. Some 6 million litres of beer will be served during the celebrations in 16 beer tents over a 103 acre site. Get your fill at Europe’s biggest festival!

Dating back to 1810, Oktoberfest was first held to celebrate the wedding of Prince Ludwig to Princess Therese. All of Munich was invited to festivities held on fields in front of the city gates called the Theresienwiese – known locally as ‘Wies’n’.

Besides the beer and Bavarian treats, there is a fairground and state-of-the-art rides and roller coasters.

Party Day and Night in Mykonos

The most cosmopolitan of the Greek Islands, Mykonos is a 24 hour party-people paradise! Groove to beach beats with the beautiful people on this amazing island.

Also, there’s plenty of relaxing, eating and shopping to be done when you need to recharge your batteries.

Get in the mood with a romantic sunset of the windmills of ‘little Venice’ or head out to the nearby island of Delos – the birthplace of the sun god Apollo.

One company, one pub and a bunch of generous people.

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

Last Saturday (26/03/11) Topdeck Travel and Shepherds Bush Walkabout teamed up to raise funds for those sadly affected by the Earthquake in Christchurch.

Fantastic entertainment, an auction overflowing with travel prizes, the drinks flowing and a bar full of those ready to give generously. Various raffles were held and many got involved in the live auction, bidding for prizes from trips around Europe to 6kg of Pineapple Lumps! Many Aussie and Kiwi bands supplied the high spirited atmosphere and the crowds raised over a fantastic £11,000 that goes straight to the official Earthquake Appeal.

A huge thanks to everyone who kindly contributed to this total, your support is greatly appreciated. If you were unable to attend on the day and would like to offer your donations, you can use this link and follow the directions:

How many camel?

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

Topdeck’s Liana Szwajlyk describes the sights and delights of Egypt.

Being an employee of Topdeck does mean a deep passion for travel – but unfortunately the work doesn’t get done by itself. There comes a point when we have to put down our backpacks and chain ourselves to the desk, to get the job done. Though, that doesn’t mean we don’t dream of travel….every-single-day! So, as I sit here reminiscing about warmer weather and my summer travels, (READ: my new form of procrastination) I thought I’d share with you a particular highlight - my recent journey throughout Egypt.

With me, the fascination with Egypt started at a very early age. Well, what child isn’t intrigued with mummies, pyramids and the mysteries tied to this ancient civilization? So I was understandably thrilled when I had the chance to explore all that this captivating country has to offer, on Topdeck’s 21 Day Ultimate Egypt tour.

My adventure began in the country’s capital, Cairo, which proved to be quite an overwhelming experience and understandably so: Cairo is Africa’s largest city and home to more than 16 million people. It’s chaotic, exotic, smelly, dusty and also….beautiful! It won’t take long before you acclimatise and get drawn in by the charm of this pulsating metropolis.

Cairo… The Egyptian Museum in the centre of town is a must-see, with its countless ancient Egyptian artefacts, including treasures from Tutankhamun’s tomb. Similarly, I highly recommend shopping at the Khan al-Khalili Bazaar, where you can practice the age-old art of haggling for trinkets, spices and perfume in one of the world’s largest markets. Here you might find yourself highly entertained by the shopkeepers’ commentary, just as I was. These men yell just about anything to get your attention and then beckon you to look at their stalls. A few favourites of mine were: “How many camel for you to marry me?”, “Look! Shakira, Shakira” and strangely enough “Welcome to Alaska?!”.

Continuing on, no trip to Cairo would be complete without a visit to the pyramids - the only surviving Ancient Wonder of the World. In front of the pyramids lies the Sphinx, an enormous cat-like sculpture that continues to mesmerize millions of visitors.

Beyond Cairo… If a bustling metropolis isn’t your dream destination, there is certainly more to Egypt than just Cairo. The real allure lies somewhere between the desert landscapes and dry, rugged mountains, the peaceful towns full of exotic smells and sights and the tucked away treasures known to few.

Egypt has something for every traveller!

Aswan…Let your cares melt away while drifting down the Nile on a traditional felucca sailboat in Aswan. Spend time sipping mint tea or puffing leisurely on a shisha and watch the world whirl past as it has for eons.

Luxor… Step back in time at the magnificent pharaonic tombs, temples and palaces found in Luxor. Wander wide-eyed amid the hugely impressive Luxor temple and the equal grandeur of Karnak temple. Visit Tutankhamun’s final resting place in the hot, hidden Valley of the Kings and Queens.

Hurghada… Head to Hurghada for spectacular diving, stunning crystal waters and beautiful sandy beaches of the Red Sea. Test your skills with a myriad of watersports or simply bask in the glistening sun.

Dahab… Get back to nomadic life on a unique a desert experience in Dahab. Jump on a Jeep safari to the inner oases or trek up the stunning Mount Sinai. Follow this up with a well-deserved feast of freshly caught seafood, in one of the town’s tranquil ocean-side cafes.

These are just some of the exotic attractions that await you. Don’t just take my word for it, discover the essence of Egypt for yourself!

Explore the major sights and hidden treasures of Egypt on Topdeck’s Ultimate Egypt trip, currently on sale from: £549pp

Topdeck offers a wide range of trips to Egypt, Morocco and the Middle East from 3 to 21 days.

January Downunder Sale

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

The Topdeck January Sale has begun!

We’re kicking off the year with our huge Downunder Sale, so now is the time to bag that bargain trip to the beach & the bush.

Score generous discounts on AustraliaNew Zealand trip bookings made in January 2011, for travel between April 2011 and March 2012.

SAVE 20% - On all reverse direction trips of 10 days and over through Queensland, New South Wales and New Zealand, including Queensland/Northern Territory combo trips.

SAVE 10% - On all Tasmania, Northern Territory and Victoria trips (both directions).

To claim your discount, simply, ‘check availability’ on the trips selected above and the discount will automatically be calculated into the price shown for those departure dates.

Win a Topdeck trip Downunder

And while we’re at it, to help celebrate our January Downunder Sale, we’re giving away not one, but THREE trips to Australia or New Zealand! For you chance to win simply upload your favourite travel photo on Topdeck’s Facebook page, along with 50 words on why you think you should win this fabulous prize. Whoever gets the most facebook “like” for their entry will win! So, tell your friends (…or anyone who will listen for that matter) for your chance win a Topdeck adventure to Australia or New Zealand!

HINT: Use the comment section on our blog to promote your entry!

Can’t forget the Aussie tucker…

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

Topdeck’s Liana Szwajlyk shares her final revelations on the Land Down Under

I’ll try to wrap up my ramblings by finishing with my personal rationale for loving Australia – our food!

Our rich cultural diversity is reflected in our ‘tucker’, and while you generally won’t find Wichetty Grubs on the menu (unless you’re in the Outback) Australia does offer a vast variety of food and wine to suit every palate. A solid study of the bars and restaurants will particularly reveal our hopeless addiction to coffee, seafood and global cuisine.

Our most notable food tradition is the great Aussie barbeque, the centre of any social event – and the place where the Aussie male dominates. A lot of our entertaining is done outside, and what could be better than an ice cold beer, a succulent steak, a prawn thrown on the barbie.

Vegemite also deserves an honourable mention here, as another Aussie-food icon. It’s an acquired taste. It has to be force-fed to you from a very early age for you to acquire it. It’s a thick black sandwich spread, consisting of salt, yeast, wheat, salt, cereals, oh and more salt! Try it, by all means, but use it sparingly. Let us know if you like it!

Oh and who could forget Tim Tams?…Enough said!

If you’re not so much a food aficionado, then there’s always the great Australian fallback – the pub. Everywhere you go, you’ll find a pub or three. This Australian institution is where many Aussie blokes go when they want to spend some quality time together, away from the shielas. Not only can you get a cold beer here, spirited conversation and light-hearted banter are also guaranteed.

In all of this we mustn’t forget the Aussie people: always happy to help you out, Aussies, for the most part, are a very genuine and accepting mob, with a sense of humour which is almost certainly quite different to any you’ll have experienced anywhere else. We’d probably also have to be the most laid back people on the face of the planet and with all that sunshine and merriment, who can blame us?

Add to this the original native Australians, the Aboriginals, with their ancient culture and simple way of life and I’d say we have the most diverse population, in terms of cultural mix, of any country in the world.

So yes, it’s a big place and there’s a load to explore. You will discover that this sunburnt country is filled with excitement and immense beauty and although the length of time it takes to travel there is long, a trip to Oz is well worth the effort. It has to be one of the best places in the world to visit and I should know, I’ve been living there for the past 22 years and miss it so.

Find your Aussie adventure now! Visit