So you’re a young Australian wanting to travel and experience the world, maybe do some island hopping. But the prospect of travel can be daunting: you have to book flights and accommodations, and then when you get to your destination there’s always the challenge of finding out where to go and what to do. The hassle associated with travelling can often dampen the experience.
So if you’d prefer a travel experience that’s strictly tailored to an exciting experience, then you should check out ‘Contiki Tours’.
What Is A Contiki Tour?
Contiki Tours is a travel company who cater exclusively to 18 to 35-year-olds looking to explore the world. They offer over three hundred trips in fifty-eight countries. Half of those three hundred go to Europe, but the rest of the world isn’t neglected; Australia and New Zealand take up another eighty tours between them, and the USA and Canada provide thirty-four.
They’ve been around since 1962, and have carved out their niche enough that a tour with Contiki is practically an Australian rite of passage.
Contiki offers such a wide variety of experiences, including tours with a specific focus on certain outdoor activities like; sailing, camping, and hiking, just to name a few.
What Can You Expect With Contiki?
As of March 2019, their most popular tour available is their ‘European Discovery’ tour, a twelve-day trip with stops in seven countries (and passing by two more). It covers the highlights of seven cities along the route and gives each traveller the option to participate in additional activities or go off on their own.
The experience can differ a lot depending on the type of trip that you book. For example; the forty-five-day ‘Ultimate European’ tour bounces around Europe and with a particular focus on the islands of Greece. Which is a wildly different experience to their Highlight trips in Vietnam or Thailand, which are only around nine or ten days. And both of those are incredibly different to a four-day New Years trip to Amsterdam.
Contiki’s tours Asian tours are mainly concentrated in Southeast Asia, but they do go to India and Sri Lanka, as well as Japan. The Asian tours tend to give a little more varied experiences than the European ones, mostly due to the vastly different cultures.
Does Contiki Include Flights?
However, this must be stressed: Contiki does not include flights in their tour package. You can book flights to and from where the tour starts and ends, and Contiki even lets you do this on their website for convenience, but the cost is not part of the tour; that is, if you book a flight through Contiki to get to a tour, you’re paying for the flight and the tour.
What Kind Of People Will You Meet?
Two-thirds of Contiki clientele are in the age range of 18 to 27. With half of them are travelling alone, the other half with friends. The gender ratio is about 50/50, with a minor skew towards female travellers.
This demographic does affect the vibe of the tour, especially since most trips see twenty people on the bus at a minimum. Contiki reviews show that for a lot of their clientele are first-time travellers, which definitely contributes to the energetic and dynamic vibe of Contiki tours.
Contiki tours provide a brilliant opportunity to make friends over the shared experience of visiting other countries. A large number of those who’ve gone on Contiki tours are still in contact with their tourmates even long after the trip.
How Does Contiki Compare To Others?
Of the other tour companies on the market, Contiki’s closest competitor is Topdeck. They have a similar age restriction (though Topdeck goes up to 39), with a similar outlook to travel and experiences. However, Topdeck tour groups tend to have a higher average age and are thus generally have a bit less of a party vibe.
Differences largely lie in destinations and pricing. Contiki has options for South America, which Topdeck doesn’t go to at all; on the other hand, Topdeck has more choices in Africa and the Middle East.
Topdeck generally runs cheaper than Contiki, but quality also matches price. Basically, Topdeck vs Contiki is more a question of vibe than anything.
Compared to other companies like Intrepid or Trafalgar, Contiki tends to be cheaper on the whole and captures a particular atmosphere thanks to the younger clientele. The other companies without the upper limit on age tend to be calmer more laid back experience than that of Contiki.
If you’re young and not quite sure you’re up to solo travel just yet, then Contiki is just the thing for you. You’ll have a sampler of where to go next time, and you’ll have made new friends along the way.
Contiki motto is ‘Travel with no regrets’. When you travel with Contiki you’re forgoing all the awkward, flimsy, frustrating parts of travelling, and you're boiling the experience down to only the very best parts.
It’s an exciting and unforgettable romp that should be high on the list of any beginner traveller!