Last Updated: 6th Mar 2014
There are a lot of things to think about when planning a tour & some people like to plan more than others. You can always use our ‘search’ function to find information on what you’re looking for otherwise here are a few ideas.
What’s Contiki like?
Contiki is the world’s number one travel company for 18 to 35’s – check out Contiki Experience for more information about what to expect on our tours.
You’ll be amazed at how much free time you’ll have with Contiki. We’ve found the perfect mix of sightseeing and free time allowing you the flexibility to create your trip of a lifetime.
It is important to understand that while Contiki Drivers and Tour Managers will do their utmost to ensure that you get the most out of every day, they are bound by driving laws, regulations and the responsibility to make decisions that benefit the whole group rather than each individual. Road closures, poor weather and traffic jams are but a few of the myriad of factors that effect travel time on the bus between destinations. It is also not possible to move the cities any closer together, if it is 500 kilometers (310 miles) to a destination there is nothing that we can do to change that. Travel times between the cities will vary, some days are short and some days are significantly longer depending on the factors mentioned above.
On long coach days, your Tour Manager will keep you entertained. There is always music, DVDs, interesting commentary and the occasional game. This will definitely help an 8 hour travel day pass quicker than if you were traveling by yourself.
What’s included in the price of Contiki tours? What’s not?
Contiki takes the hassle out of travel by including your transport and accommodation as well as loads of included meals and sightseeing. Coach, train, most air transfers and ferry transport as specified are included. Accommodation and meals as per each individual tour itinerary are included. Sightseeing and admission fees are included as shown under “All this included” on each tour itinerary. Check each itinerary for what’s included.
What’s not included? Personal expense money, visas, personal insurance, medical fees, sightseeing and entrance fees other than those that are specified in your trip itineraries, optional excursions, lunches and some dinners and all meals on ferry crossings, and airport transfers unless specified.
What’s the best time of year to travel?
Choosing a time of year to travel depends greatly on many other factors including your work or study schedule, the travel plans of others, flight and tour availability and costs, your onward travel plans, events, festivals and activities you may want to take part in as well as personal preferences for weather.
Most tours have a broad mix of people form different backgrounds and age ranges. Everyone though is aged between 18 and 35.
Everyone has different attitudes and opinions and philosophies when it comes to travelling alone. Even amongst those who choose to go it alone there is a mix of feelings with some being a little frightened and nervous while others cannot wait to get out on their own. Contiki tours are very social though and you will definitely meet lots of people.
It is very normal for there to be couples on almost every tour; in fact it would be very unusual if there were no couples on any given tour.
Couples often have just as much (if not more) fun than the singles on the tour. Although it can also be said that some singles sometimes have more than enough fun for a whole busload of couples. Every tour group is unique!
How many people are on a tour?
As with all tours, every tour group has a unique make up. It is not unusual for there to be anywhere from around 20 up to around 50 people on any given tour.
The make up of every tour is different but generally speaking, the ratio of females to males is roughly 60/40. As is to be expected though, this varies from tour to tour and there is no way to predict what ratio of people will book on your specific tour.
Likewise, although it is common for couples to book Contiki tours, there is no way to predict how many couples will be on your specific tour. It would be unusual for a tour to operate without couples booked.
Nationalities of people on tour
Contiki sells its travel packages in more than 35 countries around the world. It is therefore quite typical to expect between 6-15 different nationalities on any one trip (i.e. Australians, Americans, Canadians, Germans, English, Swiss, New Zealanders, Japanese, Dutch, South Africans, Italians, Danes, Brazilians, Mexicans, Austrians, Singaporeans, Swedes, Koreans, etc). There are not limits or restrictions on where you or your travel companions come from.
Travelling with others
It is common for people to travel with their siblings or relatives – be it brothers and sisters, sisters and sisters, or cousins and other relatives. Groups of friends are also very common with friends from all sorts of networks and backgrounds (like school, work and university) travelling together on tour.
There are discounts available for people traveling in groups of 4 or more to help you save even more!
What are the groups like?
Contiki offers tours exclusively to 18 – 35 year olds so no matter what, at the very least, you can be assured that everyone is around your age and are there for a great time. More…
Accommodation in the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand ranges from resorts to hotels to unique farm stays, outback stations wilderness lodges and overnight cruises. Your accommodation in Europe will depend on on your style of tour. More information about tour accommodation and who you share with.
Understanding Your Itinerary
Click here for more information about the terminology used in our itineraries.
Contiki has designated a large number of trips as Definite Departures. Look for dates in the departure calendar with a green corner as they indicate definite departures. These Definite Departures are guaranteed to operate except under circumstances beyond our control. We are continually updating tours with Definite Departure status through the year to ensure that the vast majority of our departures operate as scheduled.
How do I change or cancel my reservation?
If you booked tour with a travel agency, contact the travel agent who made your Contiki reservation. Otherwise, contact Contiki directly.
What are the cancellation fees?
|PERIOD OF NOTICE||CANCELLATION FEES|
|Over 45 days||Deposit is forfeited|
|45-22 days||27.5% of tour cost forfeited|
|21-8 days||33% of tour cost forfeited|
|7-1 days||55% of tour cost forfeited|
|Day of Departure||100% of tour cost forfeited|
Do you offer group tours or discounts?
Yes we do! We offer discounts for groups of 4 (four), 7 (seven), and 10 (ten) or more on a standard Contiki itinerary. Please see the discounts offered to each group as listed in the discounts section of this site. Contiki also offers charters and custom itineraries for for groups of 20 or more – contact us for more information.
What’s the Earlybird Payment discount?
Contiki offers an Early Payment discount for all tours when the full tour cost is paid at least 6 months in advance. The discount amount is individual to each tour.
There is also a second Early Payment Discount option which is offered on some of our tours when the full tour cost is paid at least 12 months in advance, which offers a larger discount.
Please refer to the deals page or individual tours for more details.
Does it cost me anything to change my air itinerary?
It depends on the terms of the air reservation. If you purchased your air through Contiki you should ask your travel agent to contact Contiki for specific charges relating to your airfare.
Can I use my credit card to pay for my tour?
Yes, we accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover.
When do I have to pay in full?
You must pay the entire amount of your trip 45 days before it departs. It is okay if you want to book a tour within 45 days of it departing, you just have to pay the full amount at the time of booking.
Can I have an extension on my payment?
Unfortunately our system is pre-configured to auto-cancel any booking with an outstanding balance 45 days prior to departure.
How much is an extra night? Can I extend my stay?
You can definitely extend your stay at most Contiki hotels that are used before or after your tour. Prices and availability do vary for each hotel.
If I have a medical condition, do I need to advise before I book the trip or go on tour?
Yes. It is imperative that you advise your Travel Agent or Contiki Reservation Agent if you have a medical condition at time of booking. A waiver must be completed and signed by the passenger and received by Contiki. Your waiver must be assessed and approved before payment can be made on any reservation.
If I meet up with the tour later, will it be cheaper?
Contiki gives you flexibility to join and leave a tour as you wish. However, Contiki does not discount for late arrivals or early departures on tours.
What are the difference between the tour types – camping, budget/concept and superior/timeout tours?
Are couples recommended to join a Concept tour?
The room share for Concept tours is based on not more than 4 persons per room. If you are travelling as a couple and wish to go on a Concept tour, we can certainly accept your booking. During the tour, whenever possible, our Tour Manager can try and allocate 2-person rooms/cabins for just the two of you. This is subject to cabin/room availability during your tour and the gender mix for your group.
What are optional excursions?
We have included a great deal of excursions in all our trips, but we cannot and would not want to include everything. Personal choice is important and our clients like the option of being included/or not on certain “Optionals” (i.e. Paris nightclub show, gondola ride in Venice, rafting in Austria). From experience, we know which optionals have proven most popular with our clients and only these will be offered to you. These optionals do cost extra and a full list relating to your trip can be found with your final documents (or under the optionals heading of your tour online) to assist with trip budgeting. These optionals can be purchased through your tour manager when you’re on the trip. Payment for these is cash only; no credit cards will be accepted for payment on optionals (Note: Credit cards are accepted on Australia and New Zealand tours). More…
Where can we find details on optionals?
Optionals are listed on our web site within each tour’s information.
What is the cruise ship like on the Louis Hellenic Cruises?
The ships used are smaller than your average US cruise line but offer a relaxed and casual cruising experience. You still have the same great amenities such as casinos, clothing and novelty stores, pools, and nightly entertainment. Contiki offers standard inside cabins with the opportunity to upgrade while on board with cruise personnel. Please note: Your cruise ship will not be exclusive to Contiki and therefore you will have the opportunity to mix with a wide range of people. There are optional formal nights on board as well.
Are the tour departures guaranteed?
We guarantee that we will not reschedule any European tours within 50 days of departure through peak season (May 1st to October 15th) unless circumstances occur that are beyond our control. (Note: the Preferred Departures do not apply to America, Australia or New Zealand tours which are normally guaranteed with minimum of 6 weeks).
In Europe we have designated a large number of tours which we guarantee will operate on the scheduled date (known as Preferred Departures or PDs), unless circumstances occur beyond our control. Look for the Preferred Departure gold star next to individual departure dates on the itinerary of your choice.
What happens to my deposits or money when my tour is advised non-operative?
In most instances, if not all, Contiki will provide a minimum of 6 weeks notice to give you ample time to consider our alternative offer in tour departure date, or tours that are fairly similar in duration or itinerary. In the event you do find our alternative offers acceptable, Contiki will refund all the deposits/money paid in advance for your tour.
How do I make a change in my reservation?
If you booked your tour with a travel agency, contact the travel agent you made your Contiki reservation through. If you made your reservation on the web or through a Contiki agent, contact Contiki directly.
What are Contiki’s booking terms and conditions?
Check out Contiki’s booking terms and conditions.