Attention all Forum Users.
We’re working on a brand new shiny tool to make your experience as simple as possible.
Which means the community forums is now read only whilst we work on a new & improved ‘My Contiki’ space.


I have a question about the Grand Southern tour

21 Jul 2011 Viazon asked


Im thinking about taking a Grand Southern tour sometime next year, with the idea of staying and extra in NY and LA and the beginning and end of the trip. My question is, how much money do you think you would need for this month long trip? I dont wanna be there and run out of money. Based on experience from anyone who has been on a tour like this, how much would you recommend.

  • Read the responses 16 responses so far
  • 24 Jul 2011 LeonNZ88 said


    Hey from my experience as a rough guide I would say u will spend the amount of your tour price again.
    I did Australia 16days and did all optionals plus no holding back on spending money for food/drinks on nights out. E.g tour price 3000 ,spending money 3000 plus flights on top of that.
    I am looking at doing grand northern + Canada and the Rockies this time next year and will be basing my costs using that theory.

  • 24 Jul 2011 Viazon said


    well i was thinking about bringing $3000. That seems like a suitable amount for a month. Thats about £1,800 which I will easily be able to save up by then. And who knows, when I stop of in Vegas, I could turn it into even more!

    Thanks for your help.

  • 25 Jul 2011 Explorer1240453 said


    Hey guys.
    So i just completed this trip.
    I took $2700 with me but needed to contact my family for an extra $800. So overall i spent $3500, which i would say still isnt enough. I didnt do half the extra options and didnt go out every night either. So if you want to do all the extras and go out everynight i would say you need about $5000.
    But I did do 3 extra nights either side.

    Hope that helps.

  • 25 Jul 2011 Viazon said


    That does help. I guess I will just bring as much as possible. I will get paid from work while I am out there, so if all else fails I guess I can always get more money out. And Im not planning on staying 3 extra nights on either side. Maybe just one extra night, so maybe I wont need as much as you.

    This may be an obvious question but Im guessing when you stay at hotels and such they have a laundry service to wash you clothes? I mean, you only have only suitcase full of clothes that have to last you a whole month.

  • 26 Jul 2011 Explorer1240453 said


    Yes they do. Not all of them but majority. Will usually cost about 3-5 dollars, and you can buy the powder there too. Just make sure as soon as you get to the hotel your the first one at the machines, otherwise you could be up til midnight waiting for it. :)

  • 18 Aug 2011 Kaznagan said


    yea laundry on grand southern can be an adventurein itself – memphis we were told we had to sneak into the hotel across the street to find out nope you dont the two hotels have a deal with each other….. i laughed about that for days after playing sneak in. they give you a heads up on when there are laundrys but i found i did a fair bit of hand washing in the hotel rooms (i took a fair bit of quick dry stuff – board shorts etc) and that got me through a fair bit.
    Now on the spending…. i went for about 5 days before and after the trip as well, i spent a fair bit i think i budgeted $150 a day…. not inc optional tours, and i still ran out of money but that was my plan – mind you how often can you say your cards been declined in a m&m store??? …. now saying that i like to shop and i spent a fair bit on drinks but i wouldnt change it for the world! loved it!

  • 28 Sep 2011 Laura89 said


    I’ve planned and booked a trip next february. I’m doing the 13 day Southern Adventure but will be there for 1 month. I’m doing an extra 5 days in LA before the trip, 2 days in New Orleans after the tour, 7 days in New York and 5 days in San Francisco then flying home. I’m planning for $5000 USD spending money with the back-up of my credit card (and also my parents!)

  • 8 May 2012 Meelya said


    Hi Laura89 – I’ve booked the Southern Adventure for later this year – how much spending money did you end up using for the 13 days you were on the tour?

  • 8 May 2012 Laura89 said


    Hi Meelya, It’s a great trip – you won’t regret it! It’s hard to say but I think for the 13 days on tour I probably only spent about $1000ish…? But you also have to pay for the optional extras at the end and tip the tour manager and the bus driver so I would knock it up to about $1800ish. I didn’t buy that many souvenirs as I was trying not to go overboard with luggage weight! I spent about $5000 for the whole month I was there which included New York, San Fran and LA. Anyway, good luck! Happy travels!

  • 2 Jul 2012 Tyson said


    Kaznagan: The Story about the Memphis laundry still makes me laugh.

  • 13 Jul 2012 Meelya said


    Thanks Laura! That sounds good, I figured it would probably be around that much. Good to know I’m not too far off the mark :) Glad to hear you enjoyed it as well… I’ve still got 5 months til I go but I am starting to get excited… wish December was here already!! hahaha

  • 30 Jul 2012 lozen89 said


    A question for those who have been on contiki in the states, did you find the extras expensive? I leave at the end of August and I’m doing eastern discovery then best of USA. I’m not worried about spending money I’m just worried about the cost of extras. If anyone could help me out that would be great!!

  • 30 Jul 2012 jarks said


    Most of the extras are listed on the website for each tour, including prices. I added all of them up for my tour to budget for them.

    You can always search online for some of these extras to see whether Contiki is overcharging (apparently tour guides get commission if they get you onto an optional). A good one to check for your tour would be Universal Studios. Their website will tell you how much a single day in one park will be. I’m sure it’s less than what is listed on the Contiki tour website.

  • 8 Aug 2012 nicole.burgan said


    this is a little off topic but on this tour do you get the option to go to Disneyland, Universal studio or Disney world?

  • 8 Aug 2012 jarks said


    *Disneyland is in Anaheim (Los Angeles), California.
    *Disney World is in Orlando, Florida.
    *And there is a Universal Studios in both Orlando, Florida and Universal City (Los Angeles), California.

    The Grand Southern Tour either starts or ends in Los Angeles, but doesn’t include any nights there. This means that if you wanted to do Disneyland or Universal Studios in LA, then you would have to organise accomodation for these before or after the tour. Anaheim (and Universal City is too) is VERY far from Downtown Los Angeles (where Contiki arrange accomodation).

    If you choose to do theme parks in Los Angeles, I would advise staying in Anaheim, being across the road or a 10min walk away from the Disneyland parks. There are two parks – Disneyland and Californian Adventure – you would want at least a day in each, or if you only have a short amount of time, pick the main park for a day. From Anaheim, the majority of hotels offer day trips to Universal Studios. (There are also other theme parks near to Anaheim such as Knotts Berry Farm.)

    If you want to do one of the parks in Orlando – the Grand Southern Tour will give you ONE day to see a park. Disney World has about four parks, and Universal Studios has two. (There are also many other theme parks in Orlando like SeaWorld and LegoLand). You can always try and get to more than one park of the same company (both Universal Studios parks) in one day, but you’ll be pushing it. Also, I’ve heard that people have had the arvo/evening of their first night in Orlando to spend time in the parks as well, but this appears to be uncommon and just a lucky break.

    From my understanding, Contiki can organise the Orlando Universal Studios tickets for you as an “extra”, but you are free to see whichever park you want. The tour page says the tour includes one way transfers to the amusement parks, so you get a free drop off or pick up to which park you choose.

We are no longer accepting new responses to this discussion thread.



Visas? Money? Where to go? Chat to us about travel.