Contiki - Just a party bus?

Last Updated: 28th Feb 2014

More Tour and Travel Advice for: Australia, USA & Canada, Australia and New Zealand

There’s no question about it – Contiki’s reputation as the world’s number one travel company was forged over 30 years ago in the 1970’s in a time when not only our tours, but the attitude of the whole world was a lot more liberal and bohemian.

Ask anyone from the era and they will tell you stories of wild nights of partying, drinking and well…maybe some hazy recollections of seeing the Eiffel Tower.

Google the travelogs of our recent customers or YouTube ‘Contiki’ and you’re more likely to see things about the sights, history, culture, food and friendships that people experience on a tour than drinking and partying.

That’s certainly not to say that if you want to party your way around you won’t find what you’re looking for but you’re more likely to find a mix of people on any give tour – including some who don’t want to party at all.

The world is a smaller place and with so many travel options literally at their fingertips, today’s young travellers are far more discerning and demanding than that those of their parent’s generation and Contiki has continued to respond and change with our travellers’ needs.

Contiki would not have continued to enjoy it’s reputation as the industry leader had it not evolved and changed with the times and while we still enjoy a great party and it is Contiki’s goal is is to give it’s travellers the experience of a lifetime, no matter what their taste in travel.

Tour Manager Opinions

“I think many years ago Contiki was just a drunken party bus, but today’s young travellers are wiser and more savvy than those of 20 years ago. We do have great parties on Contiki, but you definitely do not miss out on all the historical stuff as well – it is a perfect mix.”

- Michael Thomas, Tour Manager, Europe

“As a TM that does not drink, people often comment about how happy and excited i am in my role. Europe is an experience people enjoy, not something they want to miss eg sleep and stagger through. Most clients like to go out and have a good time and they balance this nighttime experience with active and enthusiatic experience during the day… this allows everyone to return home with memories to replay over and over again.”

by – Vicki, Tour Manager, Europe

“There is always going to be a social aspect as part of a tour with young people. This does not necessarily mean it is alcohol related, this could mean optionals or dinners and sometimes some bars. It is always your choice and you never should feel influenced to do anything that you do not want to do as you personally need to get out of the tour what you want to get out of it.”

- Lucky Phrachanh, Tour Manager, Europe

Past Travellers Opinions

“Contiki also has the image as nothing more than a few weeks of drinking. This is a bit harsh. Whilst there were many big nights on the tour, most people were usually on the bus first thing in the morning to go into the city to see the sights. After paying the amount of money to fly to Europe and then the tour price, spending each day hung over in bed is not exactly value for money. No one was pressured to go out either. You can make the tour what you want it to be, so it is flexible from that point of view. The average age on tour would have been around 25, with people 18 and some 35 year olds too. So the idea that it is just 18 year olds drinking their way around Europe was not the case!”

- Gomes, Posted 20 Apr 2007

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