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Ultimate European plus Greek Islands 2013

1 Oct 2012 Ange asked

Ange

Hi,

I'm wanting to do this tour around June/July, but have a few questions before i book, as I'm travelling solo for the first time. if anyones thinking of going let me know cos I'd love to get to know a few ppl before I go!!

1- if anyone has been- what type of crowd do the longer tours such as this attract? I've heard its an older crowd as people need to save up for long tours like this...do the longer tours also attract solo travellers? As I'm a solo 22 yo female traveller who likes to party, so am really looking to meet a few people like me!

2- Do long tours such as this separate along the way? as in more people join the tour mid away, and some leave?

3- Approx how many people are on each tour?

My main concern is that ill be stuck on a long tour with people that I won't get alone with.

Would love any feedback! thanks :)

  • 1 Oct 2012 Rhett said

    Rhett

    Hi Ang :)

    I have not been on a Contiki before but I am booked for the Ultimate European plus Greek Islands leaving on 26 May.

    I had some similar concerns to you mainly that it is a long time to be stuck on tour especially if there aren’t many you click with in your group. I have done a lot of research and talked to people on this forum who have recently done it and it seems to be quite the opposite. Everyone has said that by the end of it you are as close to your tour mates as your best friends from back at home.

    As far as our tour in May in the meet up sections we have four people signed up. I am the oldest at 29. And there are two that are 24 and one that is 23. I think that because it is a longer tour it may attract more student types than people working in careers because it is almost impossible to get 8 weeks off. I am actually quitting my job to go travelling for 6 months so no such difficulty for me! :) I think that on average over half the people on tour will be travelling solo.

    As far as partying at that I would suggest that you get a similar mix as you would on every tour. Personally I reckon I will be one of the last ones out every evening (and that knowing me I am going to miss the bus to the next city at least once :p) but there will be other people will not be into that scene as much. Like on any tour I suppose.

    As I say I wrestled with the decision of going on this one (which was always my first preference) or doing a couple of shorter tours but after speaking to past Ultimate Europeans this was an easy decision.

    I suggest you might like to read this travelogue. Give yourself some time because it is quite lengthy but brilliant! Thanks Dave! http://www.davechallenger.com/uededication.html

    From what I have read there is approximately 50 people on each Contiki.

    Good luck in deciding what you want to do! If you have any questions hit me up. If you want to message some people who have done the tour before I can probably point you in the right direction.

    Maybe even see you on our tour! I am so bloody excited! :)

    Rhett

  • 1 Oct 2012 Ange said

    Ange

    Hey! thanks so much for all this. So helpful. Ill definitely check out that travelogue.

    Yeah late May would also be a good time to go, because I’m thinking of travelling around more of europe after the tour (no idea where though!!). That means I’ll still have a few months to travel while its still their summer.

    Ah so excited!

    Thanks again- I may drill you with a few more questions down the track :)

  • 2 Oct 2012 Rhett said

    Rhett

    haha I am in a similar boat to you. I am traveling around after this tour but no idea where to yet. I just know that I will be finishing up in Europe after Oktoberfest so that gives me about 3 months of the summer to enjoy and basically just wander about. I thought that this tour basically goes everywhere and may give me the best idea of where I want to explore more in depth afterwards!

    Also part of the reason for doing a tour like this one is to hopefully meet some people who are in a similar boat to me so maybe can join up. From what I have read this tour meets up with other tours staying in the same hostels etc so that should be good also.

    More than happy to try and help out any way I can. It is the only thing I can think about at the moment so I could talk about it for hours and hours! :)

  • 2 Oct 2012 Rebecca said

    Rebecca

    Hey Ang!

    I am booked to do the Ultimate European plus greek islands on June 23rd. You should do that one!!! :)

    I have done another contiki this summer, so It may be different for this tour, but I can tell you what I know!

    I did a 21 day tour, the oldest in our group was 32 but she was from South Africa and didnt really go out with the group. The average age of people who went out were like 20-26. So it was amazing!

    Um, A few people joined our tour a few days late, but no one left early. Actually we became so bonded, we all stayed in London together for another week to keep the party going! :) Even our tour manager was with us every night till she left on her next tour.

    The coach can hold 52 people. Our tour had 51 people. So its going to be around there. Our group really bonded together, and only about 6 didnt make an effort and did their own thing. Ive heard that the people on the hotel/superior tour, are less likely to go out and party. Like an older crowd. Where the budget tours are more for younger crowd. :)

    My friend who is a tour manager, says she LOVES this tour, because you get to see the best of everything!

    After this tour, Im going to croatia. :)

    Contiki is by far the best experience ever! So much fun!! Contiki becomes one huge family! They say a week in contiki time is like a year in real life, Its so true! Some of the friends I made, I feel closer to them than my friends back home. Best 21 days ever! I cant wait for next summer! :)

  • 3 Oct 2012 Ange said

    Ange

    Hey!! thanks! ahh actually can’t wait. Its all I can think about but its still sooo far way.

    I’m going to talk to a travel agent tomorrow to talk flights/visas ect.

    Just want to do it already! :)

  • 3 Oct 2012 Rhett said

    Rhett

    Haha I know what you mean. Next year in Europe is literally the only thing I can think about! If only I could memorise other things as easily as I have the different tours and itineraries. One of the reasons I am loving these forums. I think all my mates are sick to death (mainly jealous) of hearing me talk about it!

    Good luck with the travel agent! Half the fun is planning it out and all that!

    Let us know how you get on! :) Good luck! :)

  • 5 Oct 2012 paris said

    paris

    Hi there :)

    I am thinking of doing the same tour around the same time as you and travelling solo from there for a few months. Am hoping to meet a few people before booking who are similar age etc.

  • 5 Oct 2012 Rhett said

    Rhett

    Hey paris :)

    Where you planning on travelling afterwards?

  • 6 Oct 2012 paris said

    paris

    Hi Rhett

    Not too sure yet – everythings still pretty up in the air – just quitting work and planning to head over there until my money runs out (hopefully 5 months or so). Planning on spending a fair bit of time in spain, nice and greece and croatia.

    How about you?

  • 6 Oct 2012 Rebecca said

    Rebecca

    Paris,
    Im going to do croatia island sailing after this tour. You should join! :)

  • 6 Oct 2012 paris said

    paris

    Hi Rebecca,

    Yep I’m thinking about it! Im just choosing between topdeck and contiki which is tricky as my friend said there are more people my age (23) on topdeck whereas contiki is a much younger crowd. any thoughts?

  • 6 Oct 2012 paris said

    paris

    Also does anyone think that 45 days is too long for a tour / get sick of the people you’re with / want to do your own thing? advice welcome!!!! thanks :)

  • 6 Oct 2012 Rebecca said

    Rebecca

    I’m 23 also. On my last contiki that was the average age. There was a few 18-19. But most people were like 23-26. Also on the tours no one really cared about ages. The ones who were only 18, we just kept an extra eye on but no one cared how old everyone was. So I don’t think you should worry about age. :) yes 45 days is a super long time together, but I can say after my last tour which was 20 days, we all became so close we wish it was a longer tour so we could still be together! Your contiki group becomes your family. I liked the tours because you are together with the group when you wanna to be. You do not have to stay with the group. On my last tour, some of the guys loved Amsterdam so much they decided to stay an extra night and catch a train to meet us in the next city. Your TM treats you as adults and is amazing! There are lots of opportunities for group time but lots of solo time as well! :)

  • 6 Oct 2012 Rebecca said

    Rebecca

    I’m 23 also. On my last contiki that was the average age. There was a few 18-19. But most people were like 23-26. Also on the tours no one really cared about ages. The ones who were only 18, we just kept an extra eye on but no one cared how old everyone was. So I don’t think you should worry about age. :) yes 45 days is a super long time together, but I can say after my last tour which was 20 days, we all became so close we wish it was a longer tour so we could still be together! Your contiki group becomes your family. I liked the tours because you are together with the group when you wanna to be. You do not have to stay with the group. On my last tour, some of the guys loved Amsterdam so much they decided to stay an extra night and catch a train to meet us in the next city. Your TM treats you as adults and is amazing! There are lots of opportunities for group time but lots of solo time as well! :)

  • 6 Oct 2012 tazzybear said

    Default_avatar

    Hey guys! I did the Ultimate European + Egypt 4 years ago and boy you’re in for a ride. Had the time of my life – good and bad – but will do it all again in a heartbeat!!!! Fortunately the 50+ peeps I travelled with pretty much all got along from day dot. I was 25 at the time and I would’ve averaged the age range out to about 24/25. But as mentioned age does not make a difference. 45 days together is a long time together. You’re gonna have the ups and downs but at the end of my tour we were all bawling our eyes out (boys and girls) cos we were family and now separating!

    Every tour group has their own dynamic, hopefully you will all have great groups. I travelled solo and make friends pretty easily so although I was definitely nervous as it was my first time travelling alone, it ended being the best decision I ever made!

    I’m off on my next contiki next year to South America and the nerves are definitely back again but I know its going to be unreal! If you’re got any questions, fire away, I’ll be more than happy to try help you out :)

  • 7 Oct 2012 Rhett said

    Rhett

    haha SNAP Paris. I am doing the EXACT same thing. Quitting my job in May and travelling until my money runs out which I have calculated should be approximately the rest of the year. But probably sooner! :(

    I am not 100% sure on all my plans yet. I have booked the Ultimate European + Greek Islands and Croatia Sailing. I also plan on spending a fair bit of time in Spain and going to La Tomatina and Oktoberfest in Munich. The rest is up in the air.

    I have never done a Contiki or a group travel thing like this before and I had some of the same hesitations as you especially the length of the UE. I have done a lot of reading on it and it seems like you get a lot of time to do your own thing if you fancy so I have decided to go with it.

    One thing I have found really informative is some travelogues from people who have done the tour before the best being by a bloke called Dave. This is the link if you want to have a look.

    http://www.davechallenger.com/uededication.html

    As an indication of the ages so far on my tour four people are joined up to the meet up site. I am the old fella at 29. Two are 24 and the other is 23.

  • 7 Oct 2012 Ange said

    Ange

    Officially booked for June 9th! anyone else?

  • 7 Oct 2012 Tony said

    Tony

    Hey, im most likely going to book this tour for June 9th as well, just waiting on the Expo in Melbourne to book because apparently there’s cheap deals on flights and stuff, also anyone know if it is true that Aussies don’t need visas if there staying anywhere in Europe for less than 3 months?

  • 7 Oct 2012 Ange said

    Ange

    Hey Tony!

    You should definitely book it :)
    hmm not sure about the visas though

  • 7 Oct 2012 Rhett said

    Rhett

    Nice one Ang :) Super exciting feeling hey! :)

    Now just 8 months to wait! haha

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