- What did you think of the pillows? Should I bring one, heard they can be bad is that true?
-->I didn't have a problem with the pillows but I'm not particularly sensitive. Frankly I wouldn't want to add the extra bulk to my luggage altho somehow, RS guide Sarah Murdoch does a light packing seminar and actually packs her own bed pillow, lol.
- Has anyone taken the bus from the airport in Amsterdam, heard it's a 40 minute ride into Haarlem? Is it worth it or just use cab?
-->I didn't use the bus because I was in Amsterdam, but I would just take the bus. It really is very easy.
- Is there soap and shampoo in all the hotel or at least the first ones, hoping to not bring bottles in bag?
-->Yes, soap in all the hotels. Probably shampoo but I am sensitive to shampoos so I bring my own. I have short hair and decanted shampoo into a 3oz travel container at home. You have plenty of time to do this now at home and see how many days 3oz gets you. I did learn to use less shampoo, lol! Many hotels did have shampoo because I used it to wash my clothes.
- Did you purchase euro's ahead of time and how much would you suggest? My bank Wellsfargo said I can order them here.
-->I like to start with 100-200€. Others are fine using an ATM at the airport but I always feel like I am too fuzzy with jet lag to manage this. Now I make sure I bring back about 200 whatevers as a starter for my next trip.
- Is there bathrooms on the bus and can you leave things on the bus?
-->Yes, there is a small bathroom but you are asked to use it only in emergencies. The bus driver is the one that has to clean it and he (or she) can't dump it until they get back to their home base in Belgium at the end of the trip. The bus stops every 1.5-2 hours so most manage to make it from stop to stop. Yes, I left things on the bus during the day. Generally, if you are going to leave something on the bus you'd put it in the over the seat rack where it wouldn't be seen. I take a bus bag on every tour. Usually a small backpack or tote with my rain jacket, iPad Mini, water, snacks, guide book, etc. I leave it on the bus during the day but take it in at night.
- Did the rest breaks take coins to get into the stalls? If so how much so I can get some.
-Generally you pay to enter the bathroom - not just the stall. The amount varies. Just start saving coins from small purchases and hoard them. I take a small ziplock bag to put them in and just carry that in my pocket. If you've got extra coins you can be generous with your tour mates and they will help you out if you are low!
- How many just used their iPhones verses my Nikon or similar brands? I have the new iPhone x and am wondering if I should bother with bringing that bag.
-->I'm not a photographer, just want to post stuff on FB so I just use my phone. It depends on what will make you happy.
What you didn't ask:
-->This is a great tour for solo travelers. Because it is 3 weeks, everyone bonds pretty well.
-->Do some research ahead of time on what you will want to do in your free time, particularly in Venice, Florence, Rome and Paris. There is a little free time in Amsterdam but for us it was the end of a long day and everyone just sat on the museum terrace and had something cool to drink!
-->You'll have free time in Switzerland but your guide may offer some optional experiences such as offering to take anyone that wants to go up the Schilthorn or hiking on one of the trails. DO IT!!! Don't even blink at extra transportation costs.
-->There has been a discussion elsewhere on taking a small bag in to Venice for the 2 nights. I repacked in Reutte and put clothes for the 2 nights in a packing cube along with minimal toiletries then put it in my bus bag. Hauling a suitcase - even a small roller over the bridges in Venice is hard. They are actually steps not ramps so you have to carry it up and over.