Europe & Britain | People & Stories

"Very well-balanced and fun" - Madeline and Jascha talk to us from the Balkans

The lucky winners of our Trafalgar Unlocked Awards have set off on their 12-day trip to the Balkans! One of the winners was Madeline and she took her husband Jascha on the trip. The couple are from Australia and have visited a whopping 22 countries together. We caught up with them to talk about some of their favorite travel memories and what they love about traveling with Trafalgar. 

EXPERIENCE IT: Balkan Delight

RELATED CONTENT: ‘Golden hour in Prague was stunning’ – Madeline’s romantic European adventure

Madeline and Jascha in Lake Bled Slovenia

What is your favorite country you’ve visited?

Madeline: That’s an impossible question!

Jascha: That’s like asking which one of your children you like the most.

Madeline: You like different countries for different reasons. You can’t pick one over the other, there are pros and cons for lots of them.

Jascha: We’ll say Croatia because that’s the one we’re in currently, so our favorite ones are generally the one we’re in at the moment so we’ll go with that.

RELATED CONTENT: The Trafalgar diaries: On tour in the Balkans with our winners, Pt. 1

How did you react when you found out you’d won the trip?

Madeline: We were very excited. I opened my emails at about 11 o’clock at night in the kitchen just before I was going to bed just to check if there was anything I needed to organize for work the next day, and saw it in my email. I sprinted to the other end of the house and knocked on the door where Jascha was and said “Jascha, we won a trip to Europe!”

Jascha: Yeah so I thought there was a snake in the house or a spider or werewolf or something because Maddie was yelling and it was 11 o’clock at night. Needless to say, Maddie didn’t sleep at all that night, I slept only a few hours that night, so we were very very excited. 

Madeline: You initially didn’t believe me as well.

Jascha: Yeah I said check if it’s a scam, you’ve got to be careful with this sort of stuff. So we were checking everything at the start. We probably spent half an hour just checking everything to make sure it was actually legitimate because we were a bit suspect about it. 

RELATED CONTENT: The Trafalgar diaries: On tour in the Balkans with our winners, Pt. 2

If you had to describe a Trafalgar tour in just three words, what would you say?

Jascha: Very very awesome.

Madeline: I can describe it in three sentences, not three words! I feel like it’s very well organized, they give you the right amount of time you need in each place. They give you that flexibility so if you want to relax you can but if you want to go hard and see absolutely everything you’ve got enough time to squeeze it in.

Jascha: It’s very well balanced that way.

Madeline: Very well-balanced and fun. You meet great people.

RELATED CONTENT: What makes a Trafalgar tour so special? It starts with these 6 core values

Where is next on your bucket list?

Madeline: We both want to do Turkey, Greece and Egypt.

Jascha: We’ve also talked about doing South America as well so… The world, everywhere!

What has been your favorite Trafalgar memory?

Jascha: The first memory that comes to mind was when we did the Plitvice Lakes and Rastoke [in Croatia]. We really wanted to squeeze it in so we did that with another Australian couple. We hired a car and the Travel Director was really good and said yeah go for it. So we did that and it was the start of a really good friendship with that couple and another couple on our trip that we still keep in touch with now and we’ve become lifetime friends through doing that. That was a really awesome memory.

Madeline: It was golden hour and everything was beautiful and we took so many amazing photos and it was just very exciting. 

RELATED CONTENT: Unexpected gems to find in Croatia and Slovenia

What would you say to someone thinking about taking their very first Trafalgar tour?

Jascha: I would say the biggest advantage is not to stress or worry about all the particulars and don’t try and have your schedule known 10 days in advance because Trafalgar will take care of all that for you. All you really need to listen to is what your Travel Director tells you each day. They’ll tell you what you need to know for the next 24 hours, or the next two days, and the beauty of traveling that way is all the stress is taken off you. 

The hotels are taken care of, the luggage is taken care of, and the only thing you need to worry about is listening to what they tell you to do for the next couple of days, or usually 24 hours in advance. So it really does remove the stress. Ultimately, just book it, just do it and it will be really really stress-free and easy. 

Thank you to Madeline and Jascha for sharing their story on the road in the Balkans! You can read more stories from our guests on the Balkans trip on The Real Word blog. 

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