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Is Contiki right for me (partying)? And safety questions.

16 Mar 2009 Explorer1128180 asked

Hi all,<BR>I am a 20 year old American female, and I'm dying to get to Greece this summer for the first time ever. Contiki's "Spotlight on Greece plus 3-day Greek Island Cruise" sounds like an absolute dream-- everything I want to see!-- but I'm a little worried about the social dynamic of Contiki tours. While I certainly enjoy a cocktail or two, I would be taking this trip in order to see Greece, NOT to party, and would probably stay in most nights or only go out for an hour or two or a drink or two. Will this make me a notable outlier in the group/will I be socially isolated as a result? I don't care about making lifelong friends, but I do want to be able to talk to people throughout the trip and share Greece with people. Will it be easy to get to the hotels/stay at the hotels at night, or will the tour lead us directly to a bar from where it would be hard for me to get back to the hotel alone?<BR><BR>oh, I'm also planning on traveling alone-- is this safe as a petite, clearly-American female?<BR><BR>I wanted to stay on Santorini for a day or two at the end of the trip, also alone-- is this, in particular, safe?<BR><BR>pleaseeeee help me figure out this dilemma! thank you so much!
  • Read the responses 6 responses so far
  • 17 Mar 2009 cdm115 said


    I would suggest meeting up with people at night even if you’re not a drinker, particularly at the beginning of the trip. Staying in will not necessarily isolate you, but if people don’t get a chance to know you then you may end up feeling a bit isolated. I’m not saying you need to go out every night and stay out late, but you’re not only going to get to know people while on the bus. You’ll find that many people will mix seeing the sights and going out and meeting people, it’s part of the travel experience.

    As for the comment of I don’t care about making lifelong friends. I’m not really a fan of that type of attitude from someone walking into a tour. On a tour those people tend to not be the best tourmates, then tend to be more isolated (a combination of them not making an effort to know people and then people reading that vibe and not making an effort back to them), and less considerate of other tourmates. Don’t knock it till you try it, a guy and a girl from one of my trips is married and just had a baby, they didn’t know each other before the trip. Or maybe you wont make any lifelong friends, which is ok too. But if you don’t go in with an open mind then you wont give yourself the opportunity to really meet people.

    Generally on tours at the end of the day you’ll have a meet up point and the bus will take you back to the hotel or to an optional, if it’s an optional then there should be the option to take the bus back to the hotel even if other people are going out. If you do end up out your TM should be able to tell you the best way to get back to the hotel.

    I don’t mean to be offensive with my post, but I can’t tell if you’re just concerned that your tour is going to be party crazy or if you’re just doing the tour as a form of transportation and hotels in which case Contiki might not be the best option for you.

  • 17 Mar 2009 Jeremy said


    If you want to do that tour, do it, and throw off the fears. The whole young, small, alone female bit wont make it unsafe in pretty much any tourist oriented country in the world. The most you might get is ogled or pit pocketed.

    As for your other comments…

    The Greek tours seem to be more party oriented than other tours from what I have read. I think it is part of the nature of island hopping in Greece. I am not a huge drinker, and would go on the tour, but I would still go out and hang out with people [even if not to drink] rather than staying in.

    When I was on my Europe trip I didn’t have to stay up to 3am completely trashed to still have a great time and make friends. I went to bed at like midnightish and no one cared.

    If the Greek tours are setup like the regular Europe tours, the TMs will take people to a bar for a while and then head back to the hotel and people can make their own way back if they want to stay. Typically there is always the option to go back.

    I recommend finding travelogues that include the Greek tours so you can get an idea of what you are in for before booking. My blog [below] kinda has a lot of the standard contiki dynamic but I think a specific one on Greece will help you out more.

  • 19 Mar 2009 Explorer1128180 said


    Thanks guys for your responses. I feel like I should clarify—I have NO problem with drinking or going out, and in fact I hope to do some of it on this trip, but at a much lower level than most people on these forums. Like, I’ll want to go out and dance a bit and have a cocktail or two, and then go to bed relatively early and NOT hammered…basically, I just want to be rested and not hungover for the next day’s activities. this particular tour isn’t an island-hopping tour exactly…i think the cruise ship departs each port during the night, so we’d have to be back by a certain time the night before. I’m a little confused about that, though. Anyway, thank you both for your help, I really want to do the tour even more now! I’ll see if I can make it work.

  • 20 Mar 2009 CharleyGirl said


    You can make it work, dont worry. Be assured that there will be people on your tour who gets hammered every night, its up to you what you do with it. I was a bit lonely on my tour, as I didn’t find somebody who shared my interests, but I learned a lot about myself and had a great time. By the 4th day of my trip I felt that I hadn’t made many friends because of not partying every night, but if I had to do it again, I wouldn’t change a thing, except for perhaps taking a buddy with. Don’t be pressured into doing something you dont want to do, stick with your choices and you will have a great time.

  • 21 Mar 2009 cdm115 said


    All my tours have had a mix of people who were interested in different levels of partying. You could get unlucky and end up on a tour that’s wild, or you could get lucky and have a tamer group. But mostly likely you’ll find a mix of people – including people who want to be rested for the next day. And you’ll find that the vast majority of people will go out to see stuff during the day, even if they stayed up too late and drank too much.

    The Greek Island hoping tours (that’s one that you mentioned) do tend to be bigger party tours – the partying takes place on the ship instead of on the island.

  • 25 Mar 2009 Browren said


    I wouldn’t be too worried about not drinking every night or staying out to all hours of the morning. There will be others like you, and you may be surprised at how many there are. I am one of them. I like to go out to have a few drinks and to go dancing, but I know how much sleep I need to enjoy and make the most of the next day. So, I typically head off to bed about midnight. I think you would be surprised at how many other people would like to head back to the hotel at that time, but don’t because they think they are the only ones. I would suggest that when you have had enough and are ready to leave, let everyone in your group know that you are heading back, and I’m sure that at least one person will go with you.

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