Reviews

Read reviews from past Contiki travelers.

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  • Torrie Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 4 Countries

The Western Quest was amazing. I went alone, but made so many new friends right away. The ability to explore cities on your own but still have a tour manager to give you tips and a short tour on arrival was great, it really let me make this trip my own.

I was surprised that I got to know 50 people so quickly and we truly did feel like a family. We'd go off in smaller groups to explore, but when we ran into anyone, everyone was really friendly and welcoming. At bars and clubs everyone made sure to look out for one another so you never felt alone. No matter what, you could always find someone else who wanted to do the same as you whether it be staying at a Paris bar until 5am close, or finding Nutella stuffed churros in Barcelona.

The Me Time Optionals were wonderful, but don't be fooled, the name makes them sounds like solo adventures, but really they're a great way to get to spend more time with your tour group and they're fun and the food is really good. I did all of the optionals during my short tour and had a great time during each.

The only disappointment was the included food. Unfortunately, it was very lackluster and made me wish it hadn't been included at all (I'd rather the overall price be a bit cheaper and have to find my own dinners more often).

I always felt safe and comfortable, even when I went off on my own to explore. The hostels surprised me and were actually nicer than one of the hotels we stayed at. Rooming seemed to be random, it could have been better organized by who became friends, but it forced me to meet even more people.

The nightlife was amazing, and you can usually recover on the bus the next day, meaning you don't miss anything. Our tour manager had "ins" in every city and not only knew what bars were fun, but also got us discounts on drinks, into clubs for free, and we were always able to skip the line.

All in all, this was a trip of a lifetime. Western Quest is the start of the the European Quest and when it came time for me to leave in Barcelona I wanted to continue on. I would definitely do this again, and just be prepared to not eat the included meals when possible. I hope to do the rest of the European Quest soon!

My Contiki was: Western Quest, Europe, Contiki Family

  • Torrie Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 4 Countries

The Western Quest was amazing. I went alone, but made so many new friends right away. The ability to explore cities on your own but still have a tour manager to give you tips and a short tour on arrival was great, it really let me make this trip my own.

I was surprised that I got to know 50 people so quickly and we truly did feel like a family. We'd go off in smaller groups to explore, but when we ran into anyone, everyone was really friendly and welcoming. At bars and clubs everyone made sure to look out for one another so you never felt alone. No matter what, you could always find someone else who wanted to do the same as you whether it be staying at a Paris bar until 5am close, or finding Nutella stuffed churros in Barcelona.

The Me Time Optionals were wonderful, but don't be fooled, the name makes them sounds like solo adventures, but really they're a great way to get to spend more time with your tour group and they're fun and the food is really good. I did all of the optionals during my short tour and had a great time during each.

The only disappointment was the included food. Unfortunately, it was very lackluster and made me wish it hadn't been included at all (I'd rather the overall price be a bit cheaper and have to find my own dinners more often).

I always felt safe and comfortable, even when I went off on my own to explore. The hostels surprised me and were actually nicer than one of the hotels we stayed at. Rooming seemed to be random, it could have been better organized by who became friends, but it forced me to meet even more people.

The nightlife was amazing, and you can usually recover on the bus the next day, meaning you don't miss anything. Our tour manager had "ins" in every city and not only knew what bars were fun, but also got us discounts on drinks, into clubs for free, and we were always able to skip the line.

All in all, this was a trip of a lifetime. Western Quest is the start of the the European Quest and when it came time for me to leave in Barcelona I wanted to continue on. I would definitely do this again, and just be prepared to not eat the included meals when possible. I hope to do the rest of the European Quest soon!

My Contiki was: Western Quest, Europe, Contiki Family

Great way to see most of the European countries in just over 2 weeks. The duration of the trip (18 days) was perfect, just enough time in each location (could have had more time in Munich as we only spent one night there) but otherwise was great. The only down side was some of the "included meals" were average. And when they say "included" they mean, money you have paid in the compulsory food fund. Also I traveled with my boyfriend and we were not told that the rooms would be almost all quad share (there was only 2 places that we had a private room), luckily our contiki had 4 couples so we were able to share with them, but even still...in Germany they forced us to stay in boy only, and girl only rooms meaning that we were separated 5 nights in a row. Its not a huge issue in the long run but would have been nice to know before we left! Some of the accommodation in Italy was kind of low quality, whilst our tour manage mentioned this at the start of the trip, nothing can really prepare you for paying ridiculous amounts for wifi that can't event be used in your room, and looking at the dirty rooms...but as our tour manager mentioned, we were on the "hostel" tour not the "hotel" tour. I honestly didnt even look at the accommodation type when picking my tour, but if having a relaxing clean room that has wifi then i would suggest going with the hotel version. In all, we had a great group, tour manage and driver!

Great way to see most of the European countries in just over 2 weeks. The duration of the trip (18 days) was perfect, just enough time in each location (could have had more time in Munich as we only spent one night there) but otherwise was great. The only down side was some of the "included meals" were average. And when they say "included" they mean, money you have paid in the compulsory food fund. Also I traveled with my boyfriend and we were not told that the rooms would be almost all quad share (there was only 2 places that we had a private room), luckily our contiki had 4 couples so we were able to share with them, but even still...in Germany they forced us to stay in boy only, and girl only rooms meaning that we were separated 5 nights in a row. Its not a huge issue in the long run but would have been nice to know before we left! Some of the accommodation in Italy was kind of low quality, whilst our tour manage mentioned this at the start of the trip, nothing can really prepare you for paying ridiculous amounts for wifi that can't event be used in your room, and looking at the dirty rooms...but as our tour manager mentioned, we were on the "hostel" tour not the "hotel" tour. I honestly didnt even look at the accommodation type when picking my tour, but if having a relaxing clean room that has wifi then i would suggest going with the hotel version. In all, we had a great group, tour manage and driver!

  • Cam Level 3 Traveler
  • 3 Contikis
  • 11 Countries

COCKFOSTERS.
Even though there was only 29 of us it was the greatest small group of people to meet and spend the 14 days with experiening everything new together. Our driver Aiden was funny and Amazing. Our team Manger Hannah was the most incredible organized and fun person to lead us.
I did this with my partner and was such amazing experience. Past all my expectations.

My Contiki was: #cockfosters, #noregrets, Great way to see europe

  • Cam Level 3 Traveler
  • 3 Contikis
  • 11 Countries

COCKFOSTERS.
Even though there was only 29 of us it was the greatest small group of people to meet and spend the 14 days with experiening everything new together. Our driver Aiden was funny and Amazing. Our team Manger Hannah was the most incredible organized and fun person to lead us.
I did this with my partner and was such amazing experience. Past all my expectations.

My Contiki was: #cockfosters, #noregrets, Great way to see europe

  • Amera Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 1 Country

I was so excited to come on this trip, especially after some of the great reviews. However, upon arriving I quickly realized this wasn't what I expected. Most of my group was younger then me. I turned 28 while on the trip. There as 4 people older then me and they all traveled with someone. Leaving the group to be between the age of 18-21. There were hardly any solo travelers in our group which made this trip very cliquey as most just stuck with their kind. This was much more of a party trip then I expected. Maybe because I am a little older I didn't expect to be out until 4-5 every morning. I wanted to actually enjoy the experience and see the sites. Everyone was mostly hungover and very tired from the night before.

Our tour guide was friendly, however his girlfriend joined the trip for 2 days which I thought was a bit unprofessional considering this is his job- however, i understand it must be tough to maintain a relationship while you travel every 2 weeks. She worked for contiki also. She was very nice, just as a professional aspect- it wasn't. Our guide also got upset one night because half the group left the bar crawl and went home after midnight. we had been traveling most the day and had an excursion the next day. Some of the younger girls decided to post something in our Facebook chat stating that our travel guide said we are the worst group in 6 years. The fact that he didn't address it and gave most everyone attitude the next day was surprisingly shocking. I told him directly how that wasn't cool as we all spent money to enjoy our trip and don't need drama because some people are tired and want to go back to the room. sidetone: the introduction night, he didn't even have a kick off introduction for everyone to introduce themselves. I think this also set the trip on the wrong tone because everyone had a guard up initially.

The accommodations were decent. I thought the hotel in Mykonos sucked, and its up a giant hill- so bringing a backpack instead of a suitcase i think is a better idea. You could tell that a lot of places we were taken to there are arrangements set. For example the tour guide will recommend certain places like this is the best to go for this but once we are there they are like best friends and its clear he gets a kick back. its basically a travelers trap. My advice is venture off.

I think the best excursion of the entire trip was the day we got to see the volcano, and ride donkeys and play in mud. this was in Santorini. which was personally my favorite island we visited. Mykonos is total beach club vibe which is fun but theres drama between contiki and the actual fun beach bar tropicana so we had to go there 'undercover' and not say we were w contiki. In Ios expect to be up until 6 am . nothing gets started until 10/11 pm.

Also- don't think that the sand is amazing at any of these islands. Bring rock shoes.. seriously. It hurts to walk on. I would also recommend bringing your own sunscreen because its expensive and half the time expired. Don't expect to get good wifi either. it comes in waves. But then again some people dont want to be on their phones when traveling.

I think If this trip included more singles, and it wasn't mostly catty younger cliquey girls then this would have been a great trip. The guy to girl ratio isn't wonderful. there was one couple on the trip. I really wish the age range was better monitored. Its difficult to have anything in common with a group that is 10 years younger then you. I think contiki should change their age range so its not so broad. I can't even imagine being 35 and coming on this trip lol.

If you've never traveled alone before or abroad this is a good way to do it. it was nice not having to worry about figuring out how to get from point a to point b. but if you're going with the intention of being friends w everyone and meeting a bunch of other single travelers I would say look at another agency, or you may have a better experience going through hostel world and doing the research yourself. Overpriced for the experience. 4 days into it, I wished I didn't book it. ha.. Luckily I had other travel plans after this tour so It made up for the entire trip! Do your research and set realistic expectations! Enjoy!

My Contiki was: cliquey, not singles, beautiful sites

  • Amera Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 1 Country

I was so excited to come on this trip, especially after some of the great reviews. However, upon arriving I quickly realized this wasn't what I expected. Most of my group was younger then me. I turned 28 while on the trip. There as 4 people older then me and they all traveled with someone. Leaving the group to be between the age of 18-21. There were hardly any solo travelers in our group which made this trip very cliquey as most just stuck with their kind. This was much more of a party trip then I expected. Maybe because I am a little older I didn't expect to be out until 4-5 every morning. I wanted to actually enjoy the experience and see the sites. Everyone was mostly hungover and very tired from the night before.

Our tour guide was friendly, however his girlfriend joined the trip for 2 days which I thought was a bit unprofessional considering this is his job- however, i understand it must be tough to maintain a relationship while you travel every 2 weeks. She worked for contiki also. She was very nice, just as a professional aspect- it wasn't. Our guide also got upset one night because half the group left the bar crawl and went home after midnight. we had been traveling most the day and had an excursion the next day. Some of the younger girls decided to post something in our Facebook chat stating that our travel guide said we are the worst group in 6 years. The fact that he didn't address it and gave most everyone attitude the next day was surprisingly shocking. I told him directly how that wasn't cool as we all spent money to enjoy our trip and don't need drama because some people are tired and want to go back to the room. sidetone: the introduction night, he didn't even have a kick off introduction for everyone to introduce themselves. I think this also set the trip on the wrong tone because everyone had a guard up initially.

The accommodations were decent. I thought the hotel in Mykonos sucked, and its up a giant hill- so bringing a backpack instead of a suitcase i think is a better idea. You could tell that a lot of places we were taken to there are arrangements set. For example the tour guide will recommend certain places like this is the best to go for this but once we are there they are like best friends and its clear he gets a kick back. its basically a travelers trap. My advice is venture off.

I think the best excursion of the entire trip was the day we got to see the volcano, and ride donkeys and play in mud. this was in Santorini. which was personally my favorite island we visited. Mykonos is total beach club vibe which is fun but theres drama between contiki and the actual fun beach bar tropicana so we had to go there 'undercover' and not say we were w contiki. In Ios expect to be up until 6 am . nothing gets started until 10/11 pm.

Also- don't think that the sand is amazing at any of these islands. Bring rock shoes.. seriously. It hurts to walk on. I would also recommend bringing your own sunscreen because its expensive and half the time expired. Don't expect to get good wifi either. it comes in waves. But then again some people dont want to be on their phones when traveling.

I think If this trip included more singles, and it wasn't mostly catty younger cliquey girls then this would have been a great trip. The guy to girl ratio isn't wonderful. there was one couple on the trip. I really wish the age range was better monitored. Its difficult to have anything in common with a group that is 10 years younger then you. I think contiki should change their age range so its not so broad. I can't even imagine being 35 and coming on this trip lol.

If you've never traveled alone before or abroad this is a good way to do it. it was nice not having to worry about figuring out how to get from point a to point b. but if you're going with the intention of being friends w everyone and meeting a bunch of other single travelers I would say look at another agency, or you may have a better experience going through hostel world and doing the research yourself. Overpriced for the experience. 4 days into it, I wished I didn't book it. ha.. Luckily I had other travel plans after this tour so It made up for the entire trip! Do your research and set realistic expectations! Enjoy!

My Contiki was: cliquey, not singles, beautiful sites

  • Daniela Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 1 Country

I have been on 3 different Contiki’s (2 European ones and LA to the Bay) and this last one was by far the best Contiki I have been on.

The locations were amazing, the hotels great, the additional activities amazing and the people world class.

Another reason why it was really awesome was thanks to having Matt as our awesome tour guide. I really appreciated the small gestures like having Cards Against Humanity for us to play, playing awesome location related movies on the bus before we got to the location e.g. The Hangover before Vegas, for making being late a fun thing rather than a serious thing with bus karaoke and dancing.

It was a super fun trip and I had a world class time!

My Contiki was: Epic, Fun, Laugh

  • Kellie Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 4 Countries

I was apprehensive about booking Contiki - I've travelled with Intrepid and Topdeck and as I'm in my early 30's I was worried that I would be stuck with immature 20 year olds for 2 weeks. Luckily, I had a GREAT group of people and thoroughly enjoyed spending time with the group. Some of my favourite times were going out with the group for dinner and drinks/clubs.

Our tour manager Jesse was awesome - super friendly and knowledgeable. She is also multilingual, which was useful in Spain to have a Spanish speaker. Jess also came out with us and seemed to genuinely enjoy socialising with the group. Our driver Luis was quiet but friendly, and I was impressed with his driving skills. I normally get a little motion sickness but did not experience it at all this trip.

Spain was awesome. We had a great local guide in Seville, who was funny and engaging. Portugal was also great, Sintra and Cascais were beautiful, although I'd have loved more time here, as well as other places in Spain. As with any Contiki i'm sure, time is limited and you'll always want to spend more time in some places, but that's what you get when you want to experience several countries in 2 weeks.

Morocco was a good experience, however it was not a place we were advised to explore on our own, except for Marrakech. Tangier was particularly dangerous, but we only stayed one night prior to returning to Spain. My stand out experience in Morocco was the traditional hammam - not for the overly shy - but a really interesting experience that I am glad i did. Our tour manager also joined in, which made the experience a little less daunting!!

Overall, I wasnt overly impressed with the food, particularly with some of the optional dinners, however not all were bad. Breakfasts are basic, as with most places in Europe, so dont expect anything too fancy. Pastries and fruit are the norm. A fair few meals are also eaten at service stations, in Morocco, this wasnt great, but in Spain there was generally a variety of options so it wasnt too unpleasant!

I was pleasantly surprised by the standard of the hotels we stayed in. The majority were quite comfortable and nicer than i had expected. Most were 20-30 mins outside of the city, however for the cost of the tour you cant expect anything much closer. For group dinners/city activities, we were taken in by the coach, however taxi fares werent overly expensive when shared among a few people.

Overall i had a great time on this trip. As i had expected, Contiki is more geared towards partying than other companies I've travelled with...however I really enjoyed this aspect, which surprised me! I'd definitely recommend this tour, some great sights and experiences :)

  • Kellie Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 4 Countries

I was apprehensive about booking Contiki - I've travelled with Intrepid and Topdeck and as I'm in my early 30's I was worried that I would be stuck with immature 20 year olds for 2 weeks. Luckily, I had a GREAT group of people and thoroughly enjoyed spending time with the group. Some of my favourite times were going out with the group for dinner and drinks/clubs.

Our tour manager Jesse was awesome - super friendly and knowledgeable. She is also multilingual, which was useful in Spain to have a Spanish speaker. Jess also came out with us and seemed to genuinely enjoy socialising with the group. Our driver Luis was quiet but friendly, and I was impressed with his driving skills. I normally get a little motion sickness but did not experience it at all this trip.

Spain was awesome. We had a great local guide in Seville, who was funny and engaging. Portugal was also great, Sintra and Cascais were beautiful, although I'd have loved more time here, as well as other places in Spain. As with any Contiki i'm sure, time is limited and you'll always want to spend more time in some places, but that's what you get when you want to experience several countries in 2 weeks.

Morocco was a good experience, however it was not a place we were advised to explore on our own, except for Marrakech. Tangier was particularly dangerous, but we only stayed one night prior to returning to Spain. My stand out experience in Morocco was the traditional hammam - not for the overly shy - but a really interesting experience that I am glad i did. Our tour manager also joined in, which made the experience a little less daunting!!

Overall, I wasnt overly impressed with the food, particularly with some of the optional dinners, however not all were bad. Breakfasts are basic, as with most places in Europe, so dont expect anything too fancy. Pastries and fruit are the norm. A fair few meals are also eaten at service stations, in Morocco, this wasnt great, but in Spain there was generally a variety of options so it wasnt too unpleasant!

I was pleasantly surprised by the standard of the hotels we stayed in. The majority were quite comfortable and nicer than i had expected. Most were 20-30 mins outside of the city, however for the cost of the tour you cant expect anything much closer. For group dinners/city activities, we were taken in by the coach, however taxi fares werent overly expensive when shared among a few people.

Overall i had a great time on this trip. As i had expected, Contiki is more geared towards partying than other companies I've travelled with...however I really enjoyed this aspect, which surprised me! I'd definitely recommend this tour, some great sights and experiences :)

Eastern Trail

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ 9 epic days!

What I loved about the trip:

- Very friendly and knowledgeable tour guide (Sarah). The presentations about each new country were interesting, and the maps of the cities we visited and ‘survival phrases’ were very useful. She also gave us good advice on restaurants and things to see/do during our free time.

- The optional extras. I signed up for most of them, and they were worth every penny! The guide on both of the Budapest tours was very funny, and the guide on the “Traditional Tastes of Venice” tour chatted to us all as we tried some very tasty Italian antipasti. All of the guides were very knowledgeable and enthusiastic. The pierogi evening was fun, and the gondola ride was a bucket list item!

- The inclusions. Key landmarks were pointed out to us, and the included meals were traditional. Sarah took us on short walking tours of the cities, and we also had plenty of time to look around Auschwitz-Birkenau and Banska Bystrica.

- The free time. I felt that there was enough time to explore in all of the cities (except Rome – see below).

What could have been better:

- Very little time spent in Rome. The trip description says “See the Colosseum” and “See St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican City”, but neither place was included in the walking tour, and we did not get off the coach to have a closer look. I therefore only managed to get a quick glimpse, which was disappointing.

- The hostel in Ljubljana. The hostel was on the top few floors (floors 12 and upwards) of a VERY tall hotel building. The lifts were slow, and stopped on every single level. There was only one electrical socket in the room (for 4 people), the bathroom door did not close properly, and there was graffiti on the walls next to some of the bunk beds. The lights in the room were not working when we arrived, and one of the hinges on the window was broken. The Contiki website says that the hostels visited are “some of Europe’s top hostels”, but this one was poor, and one of my roommates said that she felt nervous staying there.

- The rooming situation. When my friend and I booked this trip, we requested a twin room in each of the hostels/hotels. A rooming list was passed round when we were on the coach on the way to the next destination, and the non-quad rooms were usually reserved for couples. We managed to get twin rooms in Krakow and Venice, and although we understood that twin rooms were not guaranteed, we felt that our request had been ignored for the most part.

Overall:

A fantastic trip, and I’ve already started thinking about my next adventure! I would definitely recommend the Eastern Trail.

My Contiki was: Epic, Exciting, Unforgettable

Eastern Trail

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ 9 epic days!

What I loved about the trip:

- Very friendly and knowledgeable tour guide (Sarah). The presentations about each new country were interesting, and the maps of the cities we visited and ‘survival phrases’ were very useful. She also gave us good advice on restaurants and things to see/do during our free time.

- The optional extras. I signed up for most of them, and they were worth every penny! The guide on both of the Budapest tours was very funny, and the guide on the “Traditional Tastes of Venice” tour chatted to us all as we tried some very tasty Italian antipasti. All of the guides were very knowledgeable and enthusiastic. The pierogi evening was fun, and the gondola ride was a bucket list item!

- The inclusions. Key landmarks were pointed out to us, and the included meals were traditional. Sarah took us on short walking tours of the cities, and we also had plenty of time to look around Auschwitz-Birkenau and Banska Bystrica.

- The free time. I felt that there was enough time to explore in all of the cities (except Rome – see below).

What could have been better:

- Very little time spent in Rome. The trip description says “See the Colosseum” and “See St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican City”, but neither place was included in the walking tour, and we did not get off the coach to have a closer look. I therefore only managed to get a quick glimpse, which was disappointing.

- The hostel in Ljubljana. The hostel was on the top few floors (floors 12 and upwards) of a VERY tall hotel building. The lifts were slow, and stopped on every single level. There was only one electrical socket in the room (for 4 people), the bathroom door did not close properly, and there was graffiti on the walls next to some of the bunk beds. The lights in the room were not working when we arrived, and one of the hinges on the window was broken. The Contiki website says that the hostels visited are “some of Europe’s top hostels”, but this one was poor, and one of my roommates said that she felt nervous staying there.

- The rooming situation. When my friend and I booked this trip, we requested a twin room in each of the hostels/hotels. A rooming list was passed round when we were on the coach on the way to the next destination, and the non-quad rooms were usually reserved for couples. We managed to get twin rooms in Krakow and Venice, and although we understood that twin rooms were not guaranteed, we felt that our request had been ignored for the most part.

Overall:

A fantastic trip, and I’ve already started thinking about my next adventure! I would definitely recommend the Eastern Trail.

My Contiki was: Epic, Exciting, Unforgettable

European Panorama

★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ Not worth it

The contiki hotels felt more like hostels - the staff in those locations were rude because they only have contiki guests so they aren't worried of repercussions. We actually got worse service at other hotels because of the reputation of contiki - and I don't blame them. You're on holiday with people who don't know how to respect other people in the hotel and will be loud all hours of the morning. The included breakfasts are most often bad, and even when there is food to choose from you're up so early and have only 30 minutes to eat so it's an unpleasant experience. You eat most lunches at a servo/gas station. The included dinners are actually worse because as the TM would say "it's hard to feed 35+ people great food" - which it's not. The money you think you save going to Contiki you end up paying in food and taxi cabs to the hotel because they are always so far out of city center; and at least when you're on your own you don't have to deal with high school like drama from other tour members. The transport ends up being much longer than you would expect when mapping it out yourself because we have to stop every 2.5 hours for 45 minutes for the drivers hours. Basically every other day you are on the coach for 8-9 hours, so you're too exhausted after dinner to try to explore the city that's a 30 minute drive away. Everyone on the bus got sick, and a week later I'm still recovering even though I tried to sleep as much as I could because your body is not meant to eat such awful food and travel so much in 30 days.

My Contiki was: Tiring, Annoyed, Scam

European Panorama

★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ Not worth it

The contiki hotels felt more like hostels - the staff in those locations were rude because they only have contiki guests so they aren't worried of repercussions. We actually got worse service at other hotels because of the reputation of contiki - and I don't blame them. You're on holiday with people who don't know how to respect other people in the hotel and will be loud all hours of the morning. The included breakfasts are most often bad, and even when there is food to choose from you're up so early and have only 30 minutes to eat so it's an unpleasant experience. You eat most lunches at a servo/gas station. The included dinners are actually worse because as the TM would say "it's hard to feed 35+ people great food" - which it's not. The money you think you save going to Contiki you end up paying in food and taxi cabs to the hotel because they are always so far out of city center; and at least when you're on your own you don't have to deal with high school like drama from other tour members. The transport ends up being much longer than you would expect when mapping it out yourself because we have to stop every 2.5 hours for 45 minutes for the drivers hours. Basically every other day you are on the coach for 8-9 hours, so you're too exhausted after dinner to try to explore the city that's a 30 minute drive away. Everyone on the bus got sick, and a week later I'm still recovering even though I tried to sleep as much as I could because your body is not meant to eat such awful food and travel so much in 30 days.

My Contiki was: Tiring, Annoyed, Scam

  • emmarose Level 3 Traveler
  • 3 Contikis
  • 18 Countries

If you only have a short amount of time and want to see 4 of the biggest and best cities in America you have to do this tour. There are so many tickets and activities included in the price, and heaps of amazing optionals to make your experience even better. We had plenty of free time to explore in each place and I've made some friends for life. Check out my blog for a full write up here: http://logoffsignout.blogspot.com.au/p/best-of-usa.html

My Contiki was: Energetic, Bucket list, Inclusive

The Powder Rush

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ Let it snow!
  • emmarose Level 3 Traveler
  • 3 Contikis
  • 18 Countries

This is an amazing jam-packed mini-trip. Canada is so, so cold but incredibly beautiful and Whistler had some of the best Ski Slopes and powder snow I've ever experienced. I've wrote a blog about it here: http://logoffsignout.blogspot.com.au/p/canada.html

My Contiki was: Stunning, Scenic, Snow

  • zanyjenn Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 9 Countries

My first trip to Europe (6/3-6/15/16) was disappointing. They kept a distance from us. For example, eating at a separate table and not hanging out with us outside their required tours. I felt the chill more from the tour leader. The people who rated this trip must have low expectations or think they got a great deal. Contiki trips are a bit like a scam. Go with Intrepid or Peregrine if you care about quality. They are a bit more expensive but you will have an awesome time. They care about eco-tourism. Funny how Contiki brands themselves with #noregrets but I have all these regrets.

Sightseeing felt like window shopping since there wasn't enough time to go to museums or to take in the sight. There was very little free time so shopping for anything besides magnets and keychains was difficult. The Me optional activities weren't really optional since the tour leader got everyone to go. Otherwise, you would be alone and with not much to do as the tour leader didn't mention other options whether it be for sightseeing or meals. The base price seems low but with the optional activities, you are paying 581 euros more. It was not enjoyable to have to pay that much on the third day of the trip. It was clever of them to ask for payment after you made friends and want to go together. The optional activities were not worth it. The food did not taste good and the shows were not interesting. Food in the US taste better but that is because they brought us to bad places. They also brought us to leather and perfume store. Save yourself money by making your own adventure and not supporting contracts with these inadequate businesses. Better yet, don't go with Contiki. I also felt manipulated when the tour leader asked us to fill out a survey. He gave a 10 minute spiel on how great this tour was and then gave us 10 minutes to fill out a survey that had long answer questions. We barely had enough time to reflect. They played the song, Young Folks, every morning so that when we hear it, we would think of Contiki. I did not like this manipulation. It was nice to hear playlists from different people.

The accommodations were below average because they were far from the cities (we had to take 15 minute taxis if we hung out late) and provided inadequate breakfasts (unappetizing stale white bread and cold cuts). I always looked forward to breakfast as being energizing, not a meal that I wanted to get over with. I’ve never went to hotels as bad as these and I usually go to three star ones. The rooms were not comfortable. They had small showers. Some people also got bed bugs. We should not be staying at such places. We were so excited when we got fruits at service stop. Half the day was spent on a bus and lunch was at service stops. This took away from eating local meals.

I was in a group of 36 travelers who were in their 20s. There was a party group who liked to go out and drink. They should consider the personalities and lifestyles of people when pairing them up to be roommates as I don't go out that late but my roommate was the biggest party animal so she came back late and I would wake up to open the door for her as the hotels were too cheap to provide another key. I also had to get her up in the morning. I didn't expect these responsibilities. The second to last accommodation was at a jail-converted hotel. We felt like we were staying at a jail. The mattresses were thin, the room felt eerie, and the bathroom did not fit in. People started getting sick after 6 days and it was hard to avoid them as we were on the bus for hours (5-8 hours a day). It was hard not to go crazy and to fall asleep. My body felt sore and my posture was bad. You lose so much sightseeing time on a bus.

The tour leader was very knowledgeable of the places we were in and the driver was very skilled with driving. However, the tour leader was a bit condescending and pretended not to understand when I asked, "where is the best place to eat?" which I found weird. the driver did not talk much but he always smiled and helped with our luggage.

My Contiki was: cheap, superficial, bad

  • zanyjenn Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 9 Countries

My first trip to Europe (6/3-6/15/16) was disappointing. They kept a distance from us. For example, eating at a separate table and not hanging out with us outside their required tours. I felt the chill more from the tour leader. The people who rated this trip must have low expectations or think they got a great deal. Contiki trips are a bit like a scam. Go with Intrepid or Peregrine if you care about quality. They are a bit more expensive but you will have an awesome time. They care about eco-tourism. Funny how Contiki brands themselves with #noregrets but I have all these regrets.

Sightseeing felt like window shopping since there wasn't enough time to go to museums or to take in the sight. There was very little free time so shopping for anything besides magnets and keychains was difficult. The Me optional activities weren't really optional since the tour leader got everyone to go. Otherwise, you would be alone and with not much to do as the tour leader didn't mention other options whether it be for sightseeing or meals. The base price seems low but with the optional activities, you are paying 581 euros more. It was not enjoyable to have to pay that much on the third day of the trip. It was clever of them to ask for payment after you made friends and want to go together. The optional activities were not worth it. The food did not taste good and the shows were not interesting. Food in the US taste better but that is because they brought us to bad places. They also brought us to leather and perfume store. Save yourself money by making your own adventure and not supporting contracts with these inadequate businesses. Better yet, don't go with Contiki. I also felt manipulated when the tour leader asked us to fill out a survey. He gave a 10 minute spiel on how great this tour was and then gave us 10 minutes to fill out a survey that had long answer questions. We barely had enough time to reflect. They played the song, Young Folks, every morning so that when we hear it, we would think of Contiki. I did not like this manipulation. It was nice to hear playlists from different people.

The accommodations were below average because they were far from the cities (we had to take 15 minute taxis if we hung out late) and provided inadequate breakfasts (unappetizing stale white bread and cold cuts). I always looked forward to breakfast as being energizing, not a meal that I wanted to get over with. I’ve never went to hotels as bad as these and I usually go to three star ones. The rooms were not comfortable. They had small showers. Some people also got bed bugs. We should not be staying at such places. We were so excited when we got fruits at service stop. Half the day was spent on a bus and lunch was at service stops. This took away from eating local meals.

I was in a group of 36 travelers who were in their 20s. There was a party group who liked to go out and drink. They should consider the personalities and lifestyles of people when pairing them up to be roommates as I don't go out that late but my roommate was the biggest party animal so she came back late and I would wake up to open the door for her as the hotels were too cheap to provide another key. I also had to get her up in the morning. I didn't expect these responsibilities. The second to last accommodation was at a jail-converted hotel. We felt like we were staying at a jail. The mattresses were thin, the room felt eerie, and the bathroom did not fit in. People started getting sick after 6 days and it was hard to avoid them as we were on the bus for hours (5-8 hours a day). It was hard not to go crazy and to fall asleep. My body felt sore and my posture was bad. You lose so much sightseeing time on a bus.

The tour leader was very knowledgeable of the places we were in and the driver was very skilled with driving. However, the tour leader was a bit condescending and pretended not to understand when I asked, "where is the best place to eat?" which I found weird. the driver did not talk much but he always smiled and helped with our luggage.

My Contiki was: cheap, superficial, bad

  • Hannah Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 3 Countries

This trip was more than I imagined! It's a perfect mix of learning important things, seeing amazing sights, and having a great time! I was worried at first being that I can be shy but everyone is so nice you meet friends instantly. It's a great mix of people who want to head back early and others who want to stay out. So which ever you prefer doing you can! In other reviews people talked about the motion sickness and while people did get sick it was not as bad as what I was expecting! I would recommend doing all the me time options. They were great and definitely worth it. If there is something you want to do that isn't on the me time list ask your tour manager where they reccomend doing it and they will tell you. My tour manager, James, was amazing! He kept everything so organized and gave us a lot of great reccomendations in each town. When it comes to packing I would recommend lighter workout shorts for the days and a couple nicer shorts for going out at night. We had a couple big going out nights so something a little nicer, but you're in south east Asia where you will start sweating when you walk outside so nothing too nice. You do need temple wear on a couple occasions. I made the mistake of packing linen pants thinking they would be light and airy. They were hot and took up space in my luggage. Buy elephant pants there. They are cheap and do rip easily so you might need a couple. There are night markets in about every other town you go to so feel free to save shopping towards the end. Overall it's an amazing trip. Do everything you can and you will love it! My only regret was just doing the two weeks and not doing the big indochina and continuing to Vietnam.

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