I am thinking about doing the budget Contiki tour through europe for 20 days. I'm new to traveling period. Any advice as to whether I should do the tour or do it alone? I'm a little scared frankly speaking to do it by myself and thought a tour might be nice. What do you think?
First off, Contiki is a great company to use for any trip to Europe. They really understand what it is the 18-35 age range is looking for in a tour and make sure that your time is balanced to see the sights and enjoy the nightlife. I didn't do a budget tour, but I did the European Discovery Tour which is a 12 day tour over winter break this year and went by myself and had an AMAZING time. You shouldn't be afraid about going on your own. There are usually quite a large amount of people on Contiki tours that are doing the tour themselves, so as long as you take the time to get to know your fellow travelers you will be fine! Also, I prefer doing these tours alone because then I really make sure that I get to do and see exactly what I want without having to worry about someone else. I had such a good time on my contiki tour that I am doing another one in October and already have my next two after that planned out!
Hope this helps!
[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]
I can't comment on Contiki other than that I do have friends that have used them and found them to be OK, but I would say that personally I've always found travelling independently to be more fulfilling than travelling as part of a group. The couple of times I've done it, the companies I've travelled with have been fine, but it's frustrating not being able to plan your own itinerary, and being lumped together with other people all the time. You can usually work out a similar trip more cost effectively too.
I don't think that travelling in Europe is particularly intimidating, and if you're staying at hostels you'll meet plenty of people anyway.
I'm not saying don't do the group thing - if you are really nervous, and you like being part of a large group, and you're not that fussed about planning your own itinerary, and it fits your budget. But it wouldn't be my choice.
I have never done a group tour, so I cannot comment on the quality of this option - but I can comment on travelling alone. I first started travelling alone when I ws 22. I started off in comfortable places - England and France. It isn't scary travelling alone, it is actually kind of liberating. The only thing that I found was that almost all of my pictures are of things! I am not in hardly any of them. It is very easy to meet people, they are generally pretty outgoing in bars and pubs. Once I became more comfortable in my travelling prowess - I did Russia. I was in Russia for over 2 months completely on my own. I met some of the most amazing people from all over the world and didn't have to worry about someone huffing and puffing because I stopped to take ANOTHER picture. If you feel more comfortable taking a tour for your first trip - do it. But know, it isn't hard to travel alone. If I can do it - anyone can.