Archive for the ‘Travel Musings’ Category

Behind the Scenes: 2013 Topdeck Europe Pre-Release

Monday, September 10th, 2012

The Topdeck London office breathed a collective sigh of relief on Friday, August 31. After months of hard work, late nights and tired eyes we launched the 2013 Europe Pre-Release.

So what goes in to putting together all the information you find in these delightful digital pages? A lot more than you’d think I’d suspect.

First up, our operations team work with our Europe-based suppliers (hotel, hostels, campsites, restaurants etc) to find where and when we can fit you all in. The really tricky part is that they have to do all this right in the middle of Europe’s peak travel season. This means they have to juggle organising next year’s trips while dealing with the ones that are currently on the road.

While all this is happening, the creative brains in the Topdeck Design team are laying out the pages, finding photos, creating maps and editing itineraries to fit snugly into our brochure format.

Once the Operations guys have put all the dates together and calculated the pricing for the seven currencies we sell in everything is sent to the Design team and this is where the fun really begins.

It’s up to a few unlucky souls to check and re-check each and every date, price, itinerary and map in the brochure. At this stage the brochure goes to the big bosses in management for the final seal of approval.

Next, the brochures are sent off to print and all the dates and prices are loaded onto the Topdeck website.

But there’s no rest for the wicked. While the Pre-Release brochure might be done and dusted we still have the Europe 2013, Australia and New Zealand, Africa and Festivals brochures to look forward to.

So next time you’re flicking your way through the Topdeck brochure in your hand (or on the screen), take a little time to admire our hard work.


Book your 2013 Europe summer trip now & save up to 15% when you book and pay in full before 30 September 2012.

Travel Musings: Goodbye, My Dear Friends

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

A dear travel companion left me at the weekend.

After 5 years of being practically inseparable, a Friday night party in West London proved to be our undoing.

Together we’d seen the wonders of Europe, the great pyramids of Egypt, trekked across America and explored the cities and outback of Australia.

Not only that, but you supported me through my day to day life in New Zealand, at work or play, rain or shine, and continued to do so in London.

Flip-flops, thongs, sandals, Havaianas, whatever others call them to me you were simply ‘my jandals’ and you were the most true and loyal friend.

Our last outing: Italy 2012

Some travellers may prefer sneakers or Birkenstocks, but for me nothing can beat a good pair of rubber jandals. With the cool breeze and warm sun on your feet, no other footwear screams ‘holiday’ quite like them.

You can get them wet or dirty, they have fantastic grip, and there’s no need to worry about that rather uncomfortable sensation of getting sand or stones in your shoes.

I find them the perfect piece for all destinations from beach to the bar and everywhere in-between. The only time they might cause you trouble is when the temperatures drop and things get a little chilly (under no circumstances may socks be worn underneath).

Our last outing was in early August 2012, when we spent a steamy five days in Italy visiting Lucca and Cinque Terre.

You carried me along ancient cobbled streets, up seemingly endless steps and around stunning cliff-side trails through scorching 30-something°C temperatures and never once let me down.

Thanks to the endless sunshine I’ve been left with a special reminder of our time together in the form of a set of tan lines.

I’ll always remember the good times.

Goodbye baby blue friends, we had a great ride. For my next pair I’m thinking navy.

My Jandals & Me: Through the Years

Sydney 2007

Dubrovnik 2008

Athens, Greece 2008

Theatre at Epidaurus, Greece 2008

White Sands National Monument, New Mexico, USA 2010

Galveston, Texas, USA 2010

Cape Canaveral, Florida, USA 2010

MOMA, New York City, USA 2010

Canada 2010

Niagara Falls 2010

Stone Circle, Avebury, UK 2011

Burano, Venice, Italy 2011

Brighton, UK 2011

Kom Ombo, Egypt 2011

Temple of Horus, Egypt 2011

Step Pyramid, Saqqara, Egypt 2011

Old Trafford, Manchester, UK 2012