- Travel company for 18-35 year olds
- Destinations in the USA, Canada, Europe, Latin America, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
- Over 300 different trips to chose from
- Trip lengths from 3 days to over a month
// Personally, I chose to travel with Contiki because, even though i’m an adult, I didn’t want to terrify my parents and travel solo my first time overseas. I saw a review of Contiki on a travel bloggers site and then did some more research from there.
// Lots of inclusions
All accommodations, transportation and breakfasts are taken care of. Each tour has a bunch of included activities as well as a few dinners. Contiki also gives travelers the option of adding days before or after the trip in the same accommodations so you don’t have to switch hotels/hostiles. I took advantage of this my first trip and it was fantastic.
// 8 ways to travel
Having 8 different ways to filter trips is an excellent way to help you find the trip that fits your style best. They have discoverer, high energy, in-depth explorer, easy pace, camping, sailing & cruise, winter & ski and finally, short trips & festivals. Phew! That was a lot. My first trip was Easy pace, and my second was Discoverer. There is something for everyone!
// Me time & optional activities
The two things that really sold me on Contiki were the ability to have a ton of free time but also, the option for activities with the group. The Me Time options are activities that you can pay extra for. Signing up for the optional activities through your tour manager is cheaper than doing the activities on your own generally so, if it’s something you’d be interested in, sign up. Some optional activities I did include: Moulin Rouge in Paris, a visit to Bath, England, a gondola ride in Venice, and a salt mine tour in Krakow.
// Knowledgeable staff
The trip manager is an endlessly amazing resource for you. Need to know where the best restaurants, cash exchanges or shops are? Your tour manager has the answer. If it weren’t for my last tour manager a lot of those kids wouldn’t have made it back to the hostile some nights.
Tips for Contiki:
// Book through the actual website but, book your own flights. They can do the flights for you but it’s generally cheaper if you book that yourself.
// Join the message board for your group. It’s important to talk to people before you go (especially for us introverts) so that you can make friends before meeting people in person.
// Contact customer service or use the live chat to ask about your tour before you book. Some tours join other ongoing tours in the middle and I highly suggest avoiding that at all costs. For me it was incredibly difficult to make friends with people who had already been together for a week.
// Be prepared for long days and nights. A lot of these tours are party central and you will be up late every night. If partying isn’t your thing, there’s not shame in going to bed early, my first trip I never partied and still had a great time.
// Do some research on the places you’re going ahead of time. Plan ahead and get the right currency and especially check the weather before you pack! Getting cash at cash exchanges aren’t always the best, and if you don’t speak the language you can get ripped off so be sure to get cash before you travel!
// Get there ahead of time if you can because it’ll reduce some travel anxiety. You won’t need to worry about meeting your tour on time or finding your hotel if you arrive a day early. If you get there early you’ll also be able to start to get used to the time difference. Double bonus.
I took it easy with my first trip and just went to 2 countries over 8 days. I arranged to arrive 2 days early so I could do some of my own exploring and had a blast. A few other girls arrived early so I had a travel buddy my first day out and about. There could not have been a more positive experience for me my first time doing Contiki. It’s why I booked a second time. There are still people from my first trip that I talk to and one who I’ve met up with a few times. You can read my London and Paris recaps for more details. Part 1. Part 2. Part 3.
Because I had such an amazing first go-around I wanted to go on a more intense trip so I searched around for trips based on how long I could go for. I found the Eastern Trail and it had a ton of places on my bucket list so I went ahead and booked. It wasn’t until I joined the message board that I discovered that the Eastern Trail was part of a much larger tour called the European tour (which I highly recommend if you can take that much time). I opted to take an extra 2 days in my last city and it might have been the best part of my trip.
// Comparison: I had such different experiences between my two trips. I made no long term friends this past trip. With my first trip, my only regret was only spending time with a small group of people so I tried to hang with everyone on my second trip. I spread myself too thin and ended up without any real friends. I highly suggest finding your person as soon as you can. Even if you talk to everyone you need that one person who you room with, who you sit on the bus with, and who keeps an eye out for you. Despite that experience I would still book through Contiki again and the overall experience was amazing. If you read any of my recent recaps you’ll see I had a fantastic time. Check them out here: Vienna, Krakow, Budapest, Slovenia, Venice, Rome.
Have you traveled with #noregrets with Contiki? Would you? Let me know in the comments!
**This is not a sponsored post**