Southern Adventure (Start Los Angeles) » Review by Kate
I had never done a Contiki tour before so it was all new to me.
I cant speak for all tours but this tour involved a LOT of driving. Obviously the country is huge and there are a lot of miles to cover. However knowing how many hours there are to each destination would be worth looking into and might change your decision on which tour you take.
Average driving time was 7 hours for most destinations.
This meant you were on a bus for almost an entire day from 8AM with 2 stops usually pulling into the destination around 5PM. You then race to your room, get ready and head straight back out to go to dinner with your crew. If you wanted to experience most places, it meant staying up all night to drink with everyone and try and explore (if it was the kind of destination that was a night life destination and was actually open at night). Otherwise you would be in bed and back on the bus for another 7 hours the next day.
So if you are not a night owl and would rather do activities during the day then dont do this tour.
If you were in a place for more than one day then you had an opportunity to explore and do the town during day light hours, provided you're not hung over from the night before. I am not a big drinker, but everyone else will be, so be ready to be sociable and drink every night, or a hermit and not be involved in the goings on of the crew if you dont hang out.
As for the destinations on this tour I did love most of it. Albuquerque was a waste of time. It was probably a stop because it would be too far to drive straight through and the optional extra was a hot air ballon ride over what was described as a beautiful mountain scene in the desert. It was instead over a dirk clearing then over peoples homes in suburbia. The ride itself was nice, but the location for it was poo.
Other than that it was a good tour to get a good overall taste and look of America, with quite huge differences in landscape, culture and food. So I would recommend it, just be aware of the amount of driving involved and that it all happens during the day. And there is a lot of drinking so kiss your liver goodbye!
Review written Jul 2013event 0.3