Contiki is all about seeing the best sights, making epic memories & no hassle. Independent travel can bring up unexpected hurdles that you just don’t want on your travels. Hauling luggage, trying to find your way on your own & paying for unexpected extras really adds up fast.
It’s pretty simple; you can’t do what we do for less & with less hassle.
|Your Day...||With Contiki||Going it alone|
|Breakfast||07:15 Shower, tick! And still got time for breakfast too... Croissant? Fruit? Eggs? All? Yes please... (Included)||07:30 Uh-oh missed the alarm... and breakfast... Damn it I’m late... better grab a cab to the Florence train station.|
|Tickets||07:50 Better get my bags to the coach, it’s right outside waiting - super convenient! Bag is being loaded on. Let’s grab a seat next to Tom, and we’re good to go. This is too easy. (Included)||08:00 20EURO?! For a 3km taxi? Not cool. (€20)
08:05 Where’s the ticket machine? Hmmm... it’s all in Italian...
08:10 What a line! Finally got my ticket though... it’s time to head to Rome! Super excited! (€34.40)
|Transport||08:00 We’re on the move! iPod going, iPad charging on-board... what movie are we gonna watch? Or should I listen to music? Catch up on last nights goss? Oh the decisions! (Included).||08:15 Sweet, got a seat & I’m ready to go. That guy over there is cute, wish I could go talk to him but there’s no one to watch my bag. Hmmm I really need the bathroom too!|
|Coffee Stop||10:00 Coffee stop in Tuscany (€1) - yum the Italians really know their coffee. Thank goodness I can leave my stuff on-board & we have a bathroom too. Easy.||9:30 There’s no café on here. Oh well... I guess that means more pizza when I get there then...|
|Acccommodation Find out more||14:30 Hello hotel! (Included) Thankfully our Driver unloads the coach, can totally fit in more shoes in my bag.||11:55 I’m finally here! I hope the reception can give me directions to the Colosseum or maybe a map (€72.20). Quick rest, then I’ll head out exploring... Metro (€6).|
|ME Time / Free Time Find out more||
15:00 I’m loving time exploring the city sights, now I’m definitely keen for a tour of the Colosseum. AND I can skip the queue with Contiki? Amazing! (€25.50)
15:10 WOW this place is amazing & this Local Guide really knows every, single, thing. Awesome.
16:00 That was incredible. Do I want a gelato? Yes. (Included)
13:30 Arghhh... I’ve missed the stop. And where’s the bathroom? Damn, I’m out of change again (€0.50 cents)
14:30 Where’s the Colosseum entrance? (€12). Shame this price doesn’t let me skip the queue... hope it’s not a long wait.
14:55 Uh-oh... look at that queue...! 1.5 hour wait... what?!
16:30 I’m in... WOW this place is actually amazing!
16:15 Would I love to see the monuments by foot ... umm yes please! Hello Victor Emanuel, hello Trevi Fountain, wow there’s the Pantheon... where’s my camera?! (Included)
17:00 Definitely going to do some shopping before dinner...
17:30 I really want to go shopping…Where do I go?
17:45 Argh, my Google maps STILL WONT LOAD! And I’m out of data, damn! I need a café to find WiFi, and I’m hungry…again. More pizza please! And a drink & gelato too thanks! (€11)
19:00 Check out this menu, seriously. I can’t decide what to have... caprese... pasta... or pizza... (Included)
20:30 Let’s go find that cocktail bar, the night is young!
|19:00 Where should I go for dinner? I’m pretty tired & over wandering...I guess this place will do (€25). Would be cool to have some people to hang out with, I feel like doing some exploring!|
|THE TOTAL||Feel like I’ve seen most of Rome. Contiki’s European Vista hotel trip, from €130 p/d (plus Colosseum) Locally Guided tour with skipped queue, €26.50) Contiki’s exclusive access: PRICELESS||Fun day for sure, but it cost me! And I missed breakfast. €206.10|
|Experience||With Contiki||Going It Alone|
|Accommodation Find out more||Sorted. Hotels in great locations with facilities like pools & WiFi & air-con, combined with local Special Stays. Rest up in comfort after the day’s adventure.||Not sorted. Scratchy sheets, random locations, who knows what you’re going to get! And let’s not get started on the endless hours you’ve spent on Trip Advisor researching…|
|Transport||Sorted. Private air-con mini coaches, just for Contiki, or a flight anyone? And you get your bags unloaded too, easy!||Not sorted. Going local is cool, but in 40o degree heat, waiting for a public bus that you have no idea how long you’ll be on? Not so cool.|
|Team||Sorted. Trip Manager & Local Guide in every single destination get you in the know on the stuff you came to see. And on top of that, you’ll always be in the know on the essentials, like where’s the ATM & the bathrooms?||Not sorted. When you don’t know your way, finding tickets, getting directions & looking for the essentials like the ATM can be painful. And we all know how niggly those headsets at monuments can be!|
|Included Experiences||Sorted. We know the highlights you came to see – so we include the entry fees, sort the tickets & get you in quick. Skip the lines VIP-style. It means more exploring time for you….||Not sorted. Getting to the location, finding the ticket stall, then waiting in line in the heat for hours is time consuming & stressful… doesn’t really sound that appealing… does it?|
|Breakfast Every Day||Sorted. Fresh fruit, omelettes cooked right before your eyes, coffee, pastries & cereal, we include yummy breakfasts daily.||Not sorted. Cos who wants to head out to find breakfast first thing when they wake up? And who knows what you’ll get!|
|Experience||With Contiki||Going It Alone|
|Your accommodation||Central accommodation & comfy hotels packed with facilities like pools, en-suites, WiFi & aircon is how we do it. Combine this with our 5 locally owned Special Stay experiences. No tents, ever!||Scratchy sheets, non-central locations, shared bathrooms…who knows what else you might get & how much you might pay for hidden extras. And the hours you’ve spent scouring websites for recommendations…who needs the hassle!|
|The way we travel||We know that going local is fun, but we’d rather be exploring. With us it’s all about private aircon mini coaches, just for Contiki or included flights to get there even faster on some trips. Or maybe a train or a boat? We keep it fun, fast & easy.||Going local is cool, but we’re not cool with this: Waiting for a public bus, being squashed in with other people, and no idea of when you’ll get to the next destination. Yeah, we didn’t think it was quite so cool either!|
|Team||A Trip Manager & network of Local Guides gets you in the know on the stuff you came to see & gets rid of the hassles you don’t need or want when you travel, like where’s the ATM, the bathrooms? They take the hassle out of travel.||When you don’t know your way, finding tickets, getting directions & looking for the essentials like an ATM can be painful. And trying to track down the nearest info centre without a local can be painful. We know you’d rather be exploring.|
|Included Experiences||We know the sights you came to see – so we include the entry fees, sort the tickets & get you in quick. Travel with us & don’t waste precious exploring time lining up. Skip the lines VIP style & get straight into the experiences.||Picture this…Making your way to the sights, finding your way to buy tickets, finding the right change, waiting in line in the heat for hours is time consuming & stressful when you want to get straight into the action.|
|Eats||Breakfast is included daily. Feast on scrambled eggs or omelettes along with coffee, pastries, yoghurt & cereal. We also include lots of special meal experiences as part of your foodie journey.||Not much worse than waking up & needing to find food in a hurry…and who knows what you’ll find! And having to scout out the best experiences…who needs the hassle.|
|Experience||With Contiki||Going It Alone|
|Accommodation||Loving this hotel & the great, comfy sleeps. And it’s central too – another bonus! This shower pressure rocks too. San Fran…I am READY. (Included)||This hotel is nice, but it’s a little further out than I expected & the towels are a bit scratchy. Guess that’s what taxis are for late at night, right? ($145) per night|
|Breakfast||Breakfast daily (Included) is definitely how I like to roll…hmmm…what to have? Juice, cereal, all American fry up? Coffee, definitely.||Super hungry & desperate for a coffee. Didn’t book in for breakfast. BUT where to go & what to have? Hmmm teeny bit pricey, but yum. ($18.50)|
|Transport||Loving going local with my included MUNI pass! Our Trip Manager is going to take us around, can’t wait to explore ! (Included)||Now where WAS that bus stop? Or was it the cable car? My maps aren’t loading & I’m not keen for roaming…there better be a Starbucks nearby. ($23 MUNI pass for 3 days)|
|Sightseeing||Hello Golden Gate, you’re even more photogenic than I expected! My Trip Manager knows everything – definitely getting the inside track on Bay city! Tonight we’re heading out on a catamaran cruise under the Golden Gate Bridge, cruising past Alcatraz, with food & some drinks included. Dream day! (Included)||Now where’s the booking confirmation of that city sightseeing company? Better allow an extra half hour to get there, just in-case. This city is even more amazing as I thought it would be. ($53) That cruise looks great…wonder where I can go to book.($50)|
|ME Time / Free time||I’m down with getting into some serious shopping & making the use of this MUNI pass. My Trip Manager got me in the know on where’s hot & what’s not. So glad I’ve upped my credit card limit…||I know I did some research online for the coolest places to shop… but what were those areas called again? Damn – where IS Starbucks.Need. WIFI. NOW.|
|Fun stuff||Got the name of the bike hire place – fully ready to get up on two wheels ($8 per hour). Apparently there are a load of cute seals around Pier 39 too– got the camera ready to go check them out. Awesome days are ahead.||Carrying my shopping around is painful though, wish there was someone to watch my stuff when I need to go to the restroom… that lady looks like she might be able to watch my stuff. Risky? Hmmm.|
|Dinner||Took a Locally Guided tour of Chinatown – the largest Chinatown outside Asia – fact! Dinner too! (Included) Yep, I’m staying out late. Thank god for my MUNI pass…the night is young! (Included)||Where should I go for dinner? Mega hungry, mega tired. Got to try some of that seafood chowder in a bread bowl before I leave ($10). YUM. Damn it’s late…now where can I grab a taxi? ($13)|
|THE TOTAL I’ve done San Fran like a boss! Saw way more than I thought I would, and in so many different ways. Contiki’s USA & Canada from 157USD per day* plus $16 for a 2 hour bike hire).||THE TOTAL Great times in San Fran & I’ve ticked my boxes for sure. Shame it cost me, and wish I had some buddies to hang with. San Fran, I’ll be back! From $200 per day.|
|Experience||With Contiki||Going It Alone|
|Accommodation||Loving the hotel, so super central in King’s Cross. Totally right where I need to be. Comfy bed, check! Fluffy towels, check! Ultra lush! (Included)||Ouch, Sydney is expensive! But Trip Advisor said the hotel was good, so got to roll with the punches I guess. ($140AUD per night)|
|Breakfast||Waking up to breakfast just downstairs is so easy. (Included) Good continental mix, delicious.||Now…where do I go for breakfast…This food looks unreal! Pricey, but got to fuel up for the day of exploring. ($17AUD)|
|Transport||Coach right outside – yes please. No hassle for this traveller! Loving being shown around the city with our Trip Manager leading the charge. No fussing around with maps or GPS– too easy. (Included)||Now where did the concierge say the train station was again? Urgh I’m lost. And where do I get tickets? ($23AUD per day). So much to do, I hope I have enough time to see it all…damn. Wow – this city is incredible!|
|Meal Experiences||Aussie cook your own BBQ – got to love it & this steak is de-lish. (Included) Looking forward to trying a heap of other yummy Aussie eats too!||The food here is amazing – got to get amongst it. Expensive, but I’m hungry & this restaurant looks good. I guess I’ve just got to suck it up & get into it. ($50AUD)|
|Your Team||Loving my Trip Manager (Included) they know the A to Z of Sydney & it makes things so easy. No hassle at all & having someone to ask questions to, point out where the bathrooms & the ATMs are is totally priceless.||Concierge didn’t really get what I was asking, but they told me where the bus & train stations were, so I guess that’s a start. Now where did I see that ATM?|
|ME Time||I’ve been researching the BridgeClimb – it’s a MUST! And having it all pre-booked for a great price was key – no waiting around on Contiki. ($198AUD)||Been saving up to do the Harbour Bridge Climb – woo hoo the view up here is amazing! Definitely a moment I’ll never forget. Thank you Sydney! (AUD$248)|
|Sightseeing||Whoa, never thought I could see this much in this amount of time…and my Trip Manager gives us all the inside info & history. I’m totally in the know: Opera House, Darling Harbour, Mrs Macquaries Chair & Chinatown, the Blue Mountains – including a hike at Wentworth Falls…incredible. Took a ferry to Manly, had a swim & checked out the surfers. This city has no bad angles. (All included)||There’s this place called Manly that apparently is THE place to people watch local surfers…but how do I get there? Boat ride sounds good too. ($14.80AUD return ferry ticket) What else… Blue Mountains! I hope I’m not going to need to hire a car…way too much stress. Took up most of my day, but these mountains are definitely worth it. ($140AUD)|
|THE TOTAL||TICK! Did Sydney like a pro & loved it. Trips from $195AUD* per day plus ($198AUD) for BridgeClimb. And the 24/7 knowledge of my own Trip Manager, totally priceless!
*Price based on the Big Walkabout trip, departing 7 August 2014
|Sydney, you are amazing. But you cost me A$237 per day (average cost per day for 2 days)’ plus A$248 for Bridge Climb.|
|Experience||With Contiki||Going It Alone|
|Accommodation||Good morning Queenstown! Check out that VIEW! A comfy bed at night, ensuites & WiFi at lots of places – my Instagram likes are going off the chart! (Included)||Right…let’s see if TripAdvisor was right! It’s so hard to know where the best places to stay are. Can’t forget my creature comforts & there’s only so many scratchy sheets I can handle! (150NZD per night)|
|Breakfast||Starting the day with breakfast is definitely key! (Included) Nothing like starting the day full & ready for adventure.||Love treating myself to different breakfasts but my god does it all add up! Loving these ‘flat white’ coffees too… (20NZD) /td>|
|Transport||Travelling on this coach is easy & hassle free. Walking to the coach with my bag, having it loaded on for me, then finding a seat & enjoying the ride is so easy & relaxing. Not having to find the accommodation, or the sights just adds to one awesome hassle free experience. (Included)||Hauling my luggage to the different coach stops & having to go back & buy tickets is getting a bit painful…and lets not start on when the coach is full & I need to wait another day. NZ is so beautiful though…so it’s worth it! (45NZD)|
|Meal Experiences||Got to get into the Kiwi tastes. I’ve had a ‘Ferg’ (11NZD) & tried Queenstown’s best pizza…I’m full & happy about it. (Included)||Gotta try it all while I’m here, right?! Now what am I going to tick off my list …Ferg Burger – a must-try apparently! (From 11NZD) & need to find somewhere for dinner…who can I ask? (25NZD)|
|Your Team||A Trip Manager & Driver team to take us around is so good. And they’re local too & love being from NZ. Their passion is seriously infectious! And it’s so easy…any questions, instantly answered! (Included)||I’ve met some great people – the travellers here are so fun. Shame when they go to their next destination without me! Finding someone to watch your bags, get directions off can be painful. The locals are super friendly though!|
|Experiences||Locally Guided tours or an orientation of every single place we visit makes things so easy! Here’s just a taste of things I’ve done: visited a Kiwi bird house & a Maori Village, been up the Top of the Sky Tower, rode the Shotover Jet and…Beer tasting at the Speights brewery! (All included plus more)||How far will my budget stretch? I can afford about half of what I want to do, so need to decide which ones I’m going to miss out on this time. I guess you can’t do everything, right?|
|ME Time||LOVING New Zealand – there is so much to do. Could I pick a top thing? Probably not! This country really does have so much going on for such a tiny place! Gonna do a bungy, take a canyon swing, and best of all, through Contiki it’s all about great prices, and skipping the queue right to the action. Who knew travel could be this easy.||There is literally endless things to do here, and have ticked a tonne off my bucket list! Bungy jump (195NZD), canyon swing (199NZD), jetboat ride (129NZD)…fun times ahead!|
|Local experiences & culture||Learning all about the local culture from our team & at all our inclusions makes for an all-round epic experience. (Included)||Loving these locally guided tours & learning about the country’s unique history – so different from back home! (35NZD)|
|THE TOTAL||NZ was everything I imagined & even more. Did & saw it all & have the photos to prove it. Trips from 163 NZD per day with some killer included experiences, I know I've done NZ right.||Totally in love with NZ, but it cost me. Today cost almost 300 NZD for the basics, plus hundreds more on the iconic the iconic adventure activities. I'll definitely come back... but with more cash.|