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1. Posted by smriley22 (First Time Poster, 1 posts) 28 Feb '06 09:49

I am taking a Contiki tour around Europe this summer with a friend of mine. We were just wondering if anyone had used this company and what their experience was like. We will be going through about 8 countries in 16 days. Thanks!

2. Posted by leekuan (Budding Member, 12 posts) 28 Feb '06 10:44

I was considering to follow one of the trip offer by contiki, ie. 29 days europe contrast. End up din take up the trip because of over budget :p

I heard it is fun!! i think more days more fund and the average cost per day is also lower. hehe!! am i too calculative? Enjoy you trip!!

3. Posted by ag815 (Budding Member, 22 posts) 28 Feb '06 13:13

I was thinking about a Contiki trip for a while, but I decided to plan it myself instead. It's way more cost effective if you backpack and plan yourself. But if you don't want the added stress of planning the trip then it's a good idea. Hope you have fun! I'll be in Europe too!!

4. Posted by coldwarspy (Travel Guru, 1108 posts) 28 Feb '06 15:20

8 countries in 16 Days! STRESS! i usually spend 2 weeks in one country - ima lazZZzzy backpacker tho too ;)

Post 5 was removed by a moderator
6. Posted by natewhd (Full Member, 33 posts) 28 Jan '07 10:40

I have never personally used Contiki, but I have several friends who have good things to say. They used Contiki for two week tours, and only toured one country per tour (Greece, Spain, and Italy). The feedback was that they met a lot of people similar of age bracket, and really enjoyed the nightlife experiences with the guides. Sounds like a party trip, if that what your into. Also they complained about haveing to maintain a schedule of waking early and traveling on long coach rides. This is not a tour for getting to know or understand culture, not enough time for that anyway. Hope that helps
Nate

7. Posted by ikey (Full Member, 172 posts) 28 Jan '07 18:20

Quoting natewhd

I have never personally used Contiki, but I have several friends who have good things to say. They used Contiki for two week tours, and only toured one country per tour (Greece, Spain, and Italy). The feedback was that they met a lot of people similar of age bracket, and really enjoyed the nightlife experiences with the guides. Sounds like a party trip, if that what your into. Also they complained about haveing to maintain a schedule of waking early and traveling on long coach rides. This is not a tour for getting to know or understand culture, not enough time for that anyway. Hope that helps
Nate

Nate, that's exactly what I've heard from people I met that have done Contiki, basically just a huge party - great fun but not the tour to take if you want to see the sights and get to know a country.

From what I understand from friends, it goes like this:
spend a day on a bus travelling to a country - party at night when you get to the hostel/camping ground - sleep most of the next day/see a couple of sights if your not too hung over - party at night - get up and travel to next country and do it all again.

8. Posted by Degolasse (Travel Guru, 809 posts) 28 Jan '07 19:17

A few years back I took a 45 day contiki tour that went pretty much all over the continent. The tour I took was the Camping, ultra-budget tour. It was kind of out of character for me since I've travelled independenty in many parts of the world, and this was actually my 3rd trip to Europe. But it was the best option for me at the time, and I definelty don't regret it.

As far as contiki itself goes, I don't think there is much of a difference between them and the competition - Top Deck or whatever. I thought Contiki was a well run and organized company, gave me everything they promised, had a good crew and buses, and did everything on their part to make sure I had a great trip. But, there are good and bad things that apply not only to Contiki, but any "18-thirty something" tour that you take.

Pros:
You see a hell of alot, more than you would alone
You meet lots of folks your own age from all over (though mostly Oz and NZ)
It's alot of fun and you can party every night if you want
But if you don't want to party you don't have to (I didn't at all)
It's stress free - you just go and enjoy
It can be cheaper - with the camping tour, there was no way I could have done it cheaper on my own.

Cons:
There is no challenge
You see alot, but you don't experience much culture
You have little freedom. You can do what you want durng the days in cities, but the next day, you have to be back on the bus whether you like it or not.
There is always a chance you'll get a bad group

So basically, if those pros outweigh the cons, then you'll have a great time. For me, even though I usally need the challenge and the freedom while travelling, I had a great time. I seen a whole lot, and most importantly, I made some great friends who I later visited in Oz and NZ, and 6 years later, many of us keep in regular contact.

It sounds like you've already booked you trip so all I can say is go and enjoy. Contiki will do their job, and who you get stuck with will be luck of the draw and nothing that you can worry about now.

If you got any more specific questions, feel free to PM me

9. Posted by Degolasse (Travel Guru, 809 posts) 28 Jan '07 19:32

Quoting ikey

Quoting natewhd

I have never personally used Contiki, but I have several friends who have good things to say. They used Contiki for two week tours, and only toured one country per tour (Greece, Spain, and Italy). The feedback was that they met a lot of people similar of age bracket, and really enjoyed the nightlife experiences with the guides. Sounds like a party trip, if that what your into. Also they complained about haveing to maintain a schedule of waking early and traveling on long coach rides. This is not a tour for getting to know or understand culture, not enough time for that anyway. Hope that helps
Nate

Nate, that's exactly what I've heard from people I met that have done Contiki, basically just a huge party - great fun but not the tour to take if you want to see the sights and get to know a country.

From what I understand from friends, it goes like this:
spend a day on a bus travelling to a country - party at night when you get to the hostel/camping ground - sleep most of the next day/see a couple of sights if your not too hung over - party at night - get up and travel to next country and do it all again.

While this is true, nobody is forcing people to party. Just about every night on my tour everyone would go out and party. They would do exactly what you said - sleep most of the day on the bus and only see of few of the sights. But I found it easy to avoid that. I would join my group for a few drinks in the evening (actually i didn't even drink), where I could socialize and get to know peoople, and then head to bed by 11 or so. I was up at 7 evey morning ready for a full day of sightseeing, and I definelty seen more than most people on my tour - and remember more. A tour is only what you make of it - if you want to party, you can, if you don't want to, you don't have to.

10. Posted by Bee7250 (Budding Member, 4 posts) 30 Jan '07 04:56

DON'T DO CONTIKI...
I got back from the 21 Day Vista Tour last week and it was such a dissapointment.
Imagine this...50 people (48 of our tour was Australian) being dragged around Europe with a Tour Guide who was rude, arrogant and didn't talk to you unless you were going out every night, drinking and picking up. Don't get me wrong, I am a pretty big partier back home but who wants to spend $10 on a glass of flat beer and who wants to drink there way around Europe, you come to Europe to see the sights. I am not usually one to complain but the tour suxed so much that I had to get on one of these forums and write about it. I loved school camps (which is what Contiki is like) but this was just a joke, the hotels were often so far out of the cities we were meant to be staying in (sometimes 45 minutes drive away) that you had no option but to go with the group and do Contiki's Optional excursions. Me and the girl I was travelling with along with 2 girls we became good friends with on the tour cancelled all the 'optionals' because we realised we could do it cheaper by ourselves and have more fun, our Tour Guide told us we were isolating ourselves from the group and that we would have a shit time (please keep in mind that the Tour Guide gets a cut of all the optionals you do) The food was crap...the hotels had NO lifts so imagine dragging your bags to the 5th floor, I am still coughing 1 week after getting back because don't expect to stay healthy on a bus with no ventilation full of 50 people. We ran into 3 other tours on the way and a lot of them said the same thing, anything good you hear about Contiki is most likely from an 18 or 19 year old who thinks getting drunk at the most prestigious Casino (the Monte Carlo) in Europe and making a total dick of themselves is 'cool' and singing PUT YOUR HANDS UP FOR CONTIKI everytime they got drunk is fun. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE consider other options then Contiki.