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Contiki Questions!

14 Dec 2008 Malaniya said

Malaniya
My friend and I are planning a trip to Europe in a year or two and we're really interested in the European Vista (Winter), European Impressions, European Inspiration, and European Encounter. I have a few questions for anyone has gone on these trips before or any other contiki trip really.

1) The price doesn't include plane tickets or travel right? So about how much did you have to pay to travel to Europe and back (flight) and then to take the train and such throughout Europe with the group?

2) Do you recommend going on the optional excursions?

Any other tips you have would be awesome, this will be my friends first time in Europe but this will be my second.

Thanks!
  • 14 Dec 2008 calabreseboy said

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    The price includes travel within the tour. Your flights to the starting destination are not included. You have to make your own way to the starting point. Sometimes you can get discounts if you fly with certain airlines and book the Contiki.

    So, if the Contiki starts in London, you will have to add the cost of airfare and accomodation to London to the cost of the tour. Whatever the price for the tour, that includes all accomodation and travel between locations on the tour.

    As for the optional excursions, some are great, some not so. The dinners are generally great as you get lots of alcohol and get to have great fun with your whole tour. Some of the optional excursions come down to personal taste. For example, I hate heights, so I didn’t go paragliding in Austria.

    Your flights to Europe depend on where you come from. If you’re from Australia, travel during Europe winter (Australian summer) is between 1800-2500 return to London, depending on when you book and pay the flight. Book early to get early bird prices.

  • 15 Dec 2008 Malaniya said

    Malaniya

    Thanks for the info, I’m in Edmonton, Canada and haven’t had the chance to look at flight costs yet, but I’m guessing it would probably be around the same as Australia to London.

    I’m pretty interested in doing some of the optional excursions, it’s good to know that the group dinners are awesome, meeting new people and lots of alcohol is always a good way to go lol

  • 15 Dec 2008 calabreseboy said

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    I believe return from the US to London is about $1200 US? Someone correct me if I’m wrong.

  • 15 Dec 2008 Jeremy said

    Jeremy

    I found round trip from the US to London return from Paris for $800. You could easily find it for around that price depending on when you go and your access to larger airports (I flew out of a medium sized one). I like kayak.com for plane tickets myself. Prices fluctuate so much that it pays to watch them for a while before you purchase. Tickets are normally cheapest about 6 months prior.

  • 15 Dec 2008 said

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    Sadly Statravel doesn’t work for us Canucks, Flying Edmonton to London means you will have to make a stop over in Toronto/Ottawa/Montreal, so you will have to factor in the stop over which will prolly be around 2-3 hours or more, doesn’t seem like much until you add that to the 3 hour flight to the east then the 7/8/9 hour flight to London.
    Airfare up here is inflated compaired to the states, so you are looking at spending over 1000 forsure, flights from Toronto to London run about 1200, so my guess would be coming from Edmonton itd be around 1400.
    Id say check Aircanada.com out, if you book early enough you can sometimes get in on their “tourist” fares that might drop the price down a hundred or two, which is nice!


    [Edit] Actually looking at that Kayak.com site Jeremy posted, you might be able to get a flight for as little as 900 with them, check that place out for sure. I’ve never bought through a 3rd party like that before, but from that price you are shaving a good 500 off the flight!

  • 15 Dec 2008 Jeremy said

    Jeremy

    Youre not really buying your ticket through kayak themselves. What they do is they search all the different agencies (orbitz, priceline, the individual airlines, cheaptickets, etc) to find out what sites have the cheapest offerings for the fare you want.

    When you pick a flight it will redirect you to whatever company it lists and you actually book through them. I have found tickets up to $400 or more off than what was quoted to me by other sites, contiki, etc. flying out of my city.

    I like to watch the airfare on kayak for a few months if I know what dates I am going to be gone pretty far in advance. Since ticket prices are normally cheapest about 6 months out you can watch and see how they fluctuate daily and get a good idea of what the lowest rate will be that way you dont buy the day before it magically drops $300.

    I am waiting for round trip Dayton Ohio to Cairo, return from Amman Jordan to drop to $1100.. its sitting around $1300 right now. I have seen it as little as $1090 for dates in March but it might not get that low for when I want to go in August. I love kayak.com haha.

  • 15 Dec 2008 Terry said

    Terry

    For a flight from North America, consider booking on Vayama.com (I believe this works in Canada). I got round trip from Phoenix to Berlin (and the return from Prague) for $710 including all fees, taxes, and a decent travel insurance. Fly on weekdays for the best fare (Mon-Thu). It’s okay (and probably better) to arrive a day or two early if it is considerably cheaper and it helps you get rid of jetlag. Typically, the earlier you book, the better price you’ll get.

  • 16 Dec 2008 karred28 said

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    Hi there, I am from Saskatchewan so the prices I have mapped out would be about the same for you in Edmonton. I am planning the European Discovery in a year and the flights return to London are $1000-1200.00 depending on the time. I have so much information, have been researching and planning already for six months so if there is anything you want to know, let me know.

  • 16 Dec 2008 Jeremy said

    Jeremy

    minniegirl – Thanks for pointing that out. I checked current prices and RT Cairo and the return from Amman are the same price. A direct flight from Amman to Cairo one way is about $200 and then I’d need an extra hostel night most likely so unless it drops $200 difference it doesn’t look feasible.

    I am going to wait until about March and buy then. I really think I could get it for about $1100 and I am in no rush. Smiler<!--graemlin::)--> I don’t leave til August 4th.

  • 17 Dec 2008 Malaniya said

    Malaniya
    quote:
    Originally posted by karred28:
    Hi there, I am from Saskatchewan so the prices I have mapped out would be about the same for you in Edmonton. I am planning the European Discovery in a year and the flights return to London are $1000-1200.00 depending on the time. I have so much information, have been researching and planning already for six months so if there is anything you want to know, let me know.



    Hey that’s really good to know! I’d actually be leaving from Saskatoon probably since I used to live there and the friend I’d be going with is there. I’m also thinking of the option to use airmiles but haven’t decided since it’s really early yet, lol.

  • 17 Dec 2008 karred28 said

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    Are you planning 2009 or 2010?? I think we are going to do the European Discovery in May of 2010.

  • 17 Dec 2008 Malaniya said

    Malaniya

    Probably 2010, not exactly sure which trip yet but we know the places that we want to see and we know that we want to go for 14-22 days, so we’ll gauge off of that.

    It would be nice to go in 2009, the sooner the better lol, but I think we could plan better for 2010, especially if we want to book really early to get a price deal.

  • 20 Jan 2009 JeffersonNYSE said

    JeffersonNYSE

    Malaniya,

    I’m from Red Deer and did the European Encounter solo in June of ‘08. It was honestly the best time of my life and am now looking at doing the Inspirations with a buddy in May. I think my airfare was around $1100cdn direct to London out of Calgary.

    As far as optionals go, honestly some are just kinda dumb, but I still would do most of them. I know the Swiss fondue made everyone who did it sick, and seems $$$$ for what it is. I skipped that one. All the dinners are all pretty good and worth it, as is the white water rafting. Amsterdam canal cruise is awesome too. You can’t go to Venice without a gondola ride either, and the swiss boat cruise is good too. Rome tour was ok, but after 5 mins I know a lot of people wished they had skipped it. I skipped the show in Paris just because it’s not really my kind of thing, but I heard it was pretty good.

  • 1 Feb 2009 MountGirl25 said

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    I’d like to know why Pisa is not included in the Whirl tour .. it goes to Florence, right next door, and appears to be the only tour that bypasses it when it’s so close?

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