20 Nov 2014 - 02 Dec 2014
I had been wanting to do this tour for a few years now and I am so glad that I finally booked it!
This trip definitely exceeded my expectations. Braden was a fantastic tour giude, who had a thorough knowdledge of everywhere we went and always had suggestions of local places to check out day or night. Ray did a fantastic job driving the bus and was very much appreciated by the group. It was also great to have a team who socialised with us once their job was done for that day and they were definitely part of the family :) Both truly went above and beyond, making sure we were safe, having fun, organising sport events and goon at the Grand Canyon (and for some, making sure your washing was done haha)
Also, a sepcial thank you to the team for organising Thansgiving dinner for the group. Being able to experience such a huge American traditional definitely enhanced the culutral aspect of our trip.
Unfortuantely due to the time of year a few of the optionals such as white water rafting and horseback riding were not available, but those that were still on offer were amazing. If you are considering the helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon, definitely spend the extra money and do the 45 minute ride- its so worth it. Also, for those up in the air about hot air ballooning due to fear.. there is NOTHING to be afraid of. It was the smoothest and most serene experience. Another optional you should definitely do is the Swamp Air boats in New Orleans.. you even get to hold a baby alligator!
All the hotels had wi-fi (except in Las Vegas), were in an ideal location and the beds were so comfortable!! Some had laundry facilities, but you had to fight other people OR maybe share a load with others.
For those looking at this tour, check out the full 26 day Grand Southern. I'd travelled the East Coast solo before, so didn't continue on from New Orleans, but from the looks of it, my Contiki Family continued to have an absolute ball!!
I definitely cannot wait to book my next (and fourth) Contiki :)
And if you see this Contiki, please pass on the praise to Braden and Ray!! The deserve it!!
Review written Dec 2014event 0.3
14 Aug 2014 - 26 Aug 2014
This trip is ideal for those seeking a great mix of history, adventure, exciting back country authenticity and seeing the beautiful South. Loved the pace, friends and great food along the way!!!
Review written Aug 2014event 0.3
06 May 2014 - 18 May 2014
As the title says, this trip was absolutely amazing. Before I continue writing about the trip, I highly recommend you do the Grand Southern which continues on after the Southern Adventure. You begin to make these close friendships and you really don't want to leave once those 13 days are up, while majority of the others continue travelling.
Firstly the tours were a lot of fun. I ended up spending around $500 on my optional extras but it was so worth it. From rafting in the hail in Durango, to touring around one of the biggest NFL stadiums in Dallas, to seeing the Grand Canyon via a helicopter, to watching an amazing Circus De Soleil show in Vegas and if only we got to go Hot Air ballooning in Albuquerque but unfortunately it was too windy. There are loads of extras that everyone will enjoy. Even the included activities are fun like going down the Vegas strip in a Hummer or seeing Elvis place in Gracelands.
Our Tour guide Lee was awesome. Even though he was Australian he had a very good knowledge of every single place that we went. Kevin our bus driver was also full of energy and was a joy to travel with. As you have probably read from other peoples reviews, there are long bus rides. You are normally driving from 8am and not arriving at your next destination until 4, 5 sometimes 6pm. There are constant stops and sometimes we would stop in towns to check them out for an hour or two e.g. Santa Fe. The bus rides are known for sleeping as you are most likely going to be partying every night. My recommendation is to buy a pillow when you stop at Walmart! They also give you sheets of information for every single stop with ideas on where to go and what to see which was perfect. I would have loved for there to be more games played on the bus.. but hey majority of the time everyone was asleep from the big nights.
The accommodation on this tour was actually really good. Nearly all of the hotels had wifi and laundry facilities and if not, there was always wifi at a Starbucks or McDonalds close by. I don't think I heard any complaints about the accommodation actually. 90% of the restaurants that were included were great. If anyone from Contiki is reading this, get rid of the italian restaurant in Vegas. The food was horrible and we found some not nice things in our food.
If not all, you will definitely find some of your fellow Contiki travellers to be friends for life. Even though majority of the people on my tour were Australians, I still met a lot of people from around the world. Everyone was lovely.
I highly recommend this tour BUT I would even more recommend doing the full Grand Southern Adventure!!
Review written Jun 2014event 0.3
05 Sep 2013 - 17 Sep 2013
I loved every minute of this tour, great locations and the places you stay are quite central and close to everything. my only regret is not doing the grand southern tour and getting to continue on for the full 26 days with all my awesome new friends. would recommend this tour to anyone
Review written Oct 2013event 0.3
02 Aug 2012 - 14 Aug 2012
Best trip I've ever taken. I met tons of cool people from other countries and had a great time at all the stops. This was my first Contiki trip and I was travelling alone, but I had the greatest time. I wish I had more vacation time so I could've continued on and done the Grand Southern tour (the Southern Adventure is the first half of the Grand Southern tour). A great experience all around...I'm dying to book another Contiki trip for next year!
Review written Aug 2012event 0.3
21 Jun 2012 - 03 Jul 2012
Great tour for my first US trip as a solo traveller. Started towards end of June in the heat wave. Also on a full bus of mostly Aussies. Long bus rides but good for talking, chilling out or sleeping. The tour starts off with a bang heading to Vegas for a couple of the most memorable nights of your life. Grand Canyon experience was also great and a good contrast immediately after Vegas (I did the heli flight, bike ride and managed to squeeze in a short hike). Durango (adjacent to rockies) was probably the best extended lunch stop on tour (picturesque and plenty of action with optionals). Santa Fe was another beautiful town for an extended lunch stop. Great nightlife throughout thanks to our tour guide. Only downside was leaving the tour in New Orleans (only 4 out of 54 ended here) - as I'm writing this review, my tour group will be in Washington on the tail end of the Grand Southern and I have been missing them heaps. If you can, do the Grand Southern, especially if you're a solo traveller because you will simply not want to end your experience halfway through!
Review written Jul 2012event 0.3