TopDeck or Contiki 4 1st time traveller

Travel Forums Europe TopDeck or Contiki 4 1st time traveller

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1. Posted by AusEm (Budding Member 4 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Hi everyone,

Im planning on going to europe in may 2008. it will be my first time travelling overseas, and will most likely be doing most of europe alone (doing egypt and greece with a friend) so i was thinking of doing a contiki or topdeck tour, and just wanting to hear ppl's opinion's on the two.
I was looking at the 25 day European Escapade with contiki
Or for topdeck trying to decide btw the Spirit of Europe (24 days) or Grand European (28 day) trips

has anyone done any of these or no which one may be better than the other??
at the moment i think im leaning towards topdeck from what i hear and have read, they include more food and activities for the price, and their extra activities aren't as expensive.
I no this is what everyone thinks and no matter what 18-30 tour group it will be similar, but as much as i would go out ever now and again, i dont want to have hung over ppl on my bus in the morning, or keeping me from sleeping at night, or sleezy, lol!!
i still wanna go out and have a good time, mingle with my tour mates, and experience the night life but not to an extreme, so that was another reason to head towards topdeck, i think

What do ppl think??
any advice would be greatly appreciated!!
Thanks in advance:)

2. Posted by jaxstar84 (Respected Member 415 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

if you wanna spend the whole time travelling europe almost exclusively with other aussies getting pissed then go on contiki........

3. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3290 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

You won't find people encouraging you to take a tour here - almost everybody of the regulars is a staunch, sometimes fanatic supporter of "do-it-yourself" and "save-the-money-you-would-spent-on-a-guide".

[ Edit: Edited on Dec 1, 2007, at 7:54 PM by t_maia ]

4. Posted by AusEm (Budding Member 4 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

yeah i thought that, but i thought what the hell there may be someone out there whos did one or no's of someone etc....
im planning on doing DIY trip of france, spain, greece and turkey ut also just doing a tour at the start to see what some places are like that i may not no a lot about, and then i can go back and have a look, or my next trip be like ohhh iloved that country and i didn't think i would so ill go and do it myself next time!! why not i say!!

5. Posted by jaxstar84 (Respected Member 415 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

yeah i have loads of friends who went on contiki tour and i went on a group tour when i was an exchange student in germany... theyre fun but you spend so much time on a bus, everyone just gets pissed every night, you never really have enough time in one place and you dont chooseo where you go. you go to super touristy places where youre one in a million...

theyre fun and you dont have to do anything but i find that totally lazy, you dont have to deal with finding trains or buses, you dont get nearly as much contact with local ppl, half the time your meals are organised you dont have to do a thing... it takes so much away from the experience, just sitting in a bus going where youre told. if u wanna take a day trip somewhere from someone you meet, you cant...

6. Posted by Missynz (Budding Member 13 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

On my first trip overseas I did a contiki around Europe - and loved it! It gives you a great oversight of a country and you get to see some of the highlights. You don't have a worry about accomodation or transport and your guide provides you with maps of most citys and advice on where to go etc. Now I have a better idea of what I want to see/ when I want to go when I go back. It's also a great way to meet people (I went flatting with four others afterwards). It's not as boozey as what it's made out to be (at least on my trip). A couple of times you have the option of a night on the town, though not everyone goes and other times it was just quiet evening drinks in the rooms or at bar.

7. Posted by jaxstar84 (Respected Member 415 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

yeah im glad i went on mine... it was the only option to me at the time to see europe so of course i took it. as a first time traveller its a good way to ease into it, but now that im a bit more "seasoned" (dare i say it) i wouldnt pay that kinda money again for something like that... for one country, possibly, travelling alone is fine with me but you do have a great time meeting ppl n stuff if youre in a group. ive heard really good things about the haggis tours in scotland for example... but a contiki, i wouldnt do now, just for the expense.

but im glad that on my eurotour i got to see pisa (i wouldve been pissed if i had to pay with my own money to see that...), venice, florence, and other touristy places... it took me to budapest which i loved and def wanna go back to... there are good things n it deoends what youre into i guess.. i dont regret going on mine, but its kinda annoying to hear ppl say theyve "been" to europe when all they did was sit on a contiki bus... tho youre going DIY for a fair chunk of it, so i wouldnt be annoyed at you lol ":P

8. Posted by coldwarspy (Travel Guru 1108 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

do it alone. You dont need a tour! Youll be with drunk Aussies every day/night. travelling solo u meet locals and really get to see places. At your own pace.

9. Posted by jaxstar84 (Respected Member 415 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

theres nothing wrong with drunk aussies!
just the kinda drunk aussie you meet on the busses are obnoxious idiots most of the time...
im aussie and im great when im drunk!! :P

10. Posted by coldwarspy (Travel Guru 1108 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

true, sorry to offend, my flatmate is Aussie and he's well behaved and good mannered, only when his veggiemite runs out does he become abrasive and cantankerous (in that order).