The Expedition » Review by WildRide
All contiki wants is to get your money, for e.g. I couldn't meet the group in London and met them in paris instead the second day, so I basically saved contiki a ferry ride ticket and a hotel night in london, and how was I rewarded for this, I was not given a sleeping bag (because they only have the free ones in london), if you want one in Paris you have to buy it for 35 euros, although it is the same damn sleeping bag!!!! Also, I had a $100 voucher with my package to be used towards excursions. The excahnge rate during my trip was about 73 euro for $100, however contiki insisted that I only get 60 euros for that and had me pay extra 12 euros for a 72 euro excursion that I decided to take with $100 voucher. During the course of the trip as well, all what contiki cares about is that you go party in the campsites bars which are run by contiki and buy drinks there so that they make even more money off of you
The trip is a huge waste of time since the bus drives are always in the morning and they are usually about 8 hrs each, so you waste 8 hours every two days basically going from one country to the other. The campsites are also very far away from downtown and the tour bus does not do night drop offs/pickups so if you want to hit the city later at night to enjoy the nightlife, you will have to take a cab out of your own pocket averaging 30-50 euros each way. The food at the campsite was often not enough to make you full as well so I had to purchase snacks all the time.
The tour managers are very rude, they treat you like a school kid, never listen to any suggestions from the group and have no license to guide in most countries so you are basically on your own
MY RECOMMENDATION: TAKE THE EURO TRAIN AND STAY AT YOUTH HOSTELS
you will end up spending less money, staying at accomodation that is much better and way closer to the city center of each country, and not having to deal with contiki trying to rip you off on every occasion
Review written Oct 2010event 0.3