————————————-Nobody from DINKInternational.com works at Contiki and we are not being paid or otherwise endorsed to promote their company. This is our genuine review of their company! ————————————————————————————————————————————————————
If you are in the age range of 18-35, you are eligible to sign up for tours with one of our favorite travel companies for young adults: Contiki. They are ideal for people who are traveling alone or individuals/groups of friends/couples traveling overseas for the first time. To be honest, they are great for experienced travelers as well!
Contiki only allows travelers in this age range, which means you KNOW you will be around a bunch of other energetic travelers! You can check out what tours they offer here: Contiki
Why travel with them? Because they actually are VERY FUN!!!! Contiki tours also are affordable when you consider a number of things: your hotel/hostel stays, some meals (usually at least one a day), and all travel between countries and long distances (other than your flight to arrive and depart for the tour) are included is in the cost. They can arrange your arriving and departing flights as well, but that is not included in the price listed online. Things can always change so please double check all of this yourself prior to booking!
Okay, so how fun are they? Well, they basically do not monitor what you do at all, except for a couple rules when you are on the bus 1) You are not supposed to drink on the bus, but depending on your tour guide they sometimes let this slide. 2) They have to stick to a schedule, so while you are free to explore on your own each day or with a group of new friends or book excursions through them, they do expect you to be back by a certain time or they will leave you behind! Keep in mind they have a bus full of people they have to get from point A to B, and often they are fighting driving hour restrictions for the bus driver and other schedules. These are really the only rules we remember! 🙂
As for fun, each tour is very different. Some tours arrange things such as bar hopping where you get included drink tickets, while other times guides will give you their own tips on where to go and you’re on your own with your new friends. Still, other times the guides will arrange for those who are interested to go out with them for the evening to their favorite place/places. They usually do this the fist night or so while people are getting to know each other. The guides, by the way, are usually young themselves. Also, they don’t care where you end up at the end of the night, so you are free to do whatever you please! We have had some of the most incredible times while on tour with Contiki, and we made new friends from around the world that we stay in touch with!!! We now have a room to stay in when we visit our friends in these countries, and they have the same when they visit us!
Each day you more or less decide on your own itinerary. You can stick with the group or not. A lot of times, people will disperse into a number of groups so that they can enjoy their specific interests. You do not have to go on arranged tours if there’s something else you’d rather do. Keep in mind some excursions are included in the price but others are not, and this can be viewed on their site. Often, you don’t have to book these excursions in advance, but there as exceptions such as sailing in the Whitsundays in Australia! Don’t worry if you do not want to spend the money on the excursions, you almost definitely will find other people on tour who are not going on the excursions and you can go explore together. That being said, the excursions usually are great and worth the money!
Are you shy or worried about not making friends on tour? Don’t be!! The tours are often quite large, and you will almost certainly find others with similar interests as yourself. Plus, most of the others on the tour are worried about the same thing, so they are usually very open to meeting all types of people and very friendly. They want to make friends too! If you’re really just too worried about this, bring a friend! While most trips consist of solo travelers, it is not at all uncommon to see groups of friends or couples traveling with Contiki.
If you’re scared to travel alone and don’t have someone to go with, Contiki is highly recommended!! While they give you lots of freedom, they do care about your safety. They make sure you have the appropriate contact numbers in case of an emergency. The guide is on tour and available at all times if needed.
Never traveled out of the country before? Contiki arranges almost the entire trip for you, so you do not have to worry about the logistics. Just relax and get on the plane – they will take care of the rest!
Think they won’t be adventurous enough for you, or too adventurous? Wrong! Their excursions cover a wide range of activities!!! It does depend on the tour of course. For example, in Australia you can go skydiving, in New Zealand you can bunjee or rapel into caves, etc. Not into adventure? There are plenty of history and museum related excursions as well. Not happy with the excursions they offer? Don’t pick one – make up your own itinerary!
Things that tend not to be included in contiki tours:
– some/most daily excursions
– taxi fares
– wining and dining (although usually one meal a day and occasionally bar hopping and such is included)
You know what else is great about them?!?!? There will be NO KIDS on tour! This is a great news for the childfree 🙂
Another company that we have heard excellent reviews about from our Contiki friends who have tried both, but do not personally have experience with, is TopDeck. Feel free to check out their site, or, if you have traveled with them let us know!
Are you outside this age range? Please let us know if you have a travel company you recommend; we would love to share this information with other users who may find it helpful!
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