Reviews

Read reviews from past Contiki travelers.

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  • Hannah Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 9 Countries

This is the best way to see some places of Europe!! This trip takes you to some amazing places and on many different activities. Make sure you do all the Optionals, they are well and truly worth the money. Our trip Manager (Aaron) was also the best person, he gave us so much extra information & showed us some great places to go.

You meet so many amazingly different people from all over the world & will have lifelong friends and memories!!!

Euro Highlights 2015 #noregrets

My Contiki was: AMAZING, ACTION-PACKED, FUN

  • Carla Level 4 Traveler
  • 4 Contikis
  • 6 Countries

Kia Ora!

Before I start this review, I want to let you know that you should definitely extend your trip and do The Big Tiki. I booked the Northern Choice and Sweet as South (reverse) trips that make up the Big Tiki and wouldn't look back.

Living in Australia, I was worried that this trip would be too similar to home and I was completely wrong. New Zealand's landscape is absolutely breathtaking. Not only do you travel to the major cities, you get to stop in some of the smallest towns along the way, which was a highlight for me.

I would recommend doing as many optional extras that you can. It's an adrenaline based country and the best way to get over any fears that you may have. You also learn a lot about the Maori culture and their way of life. Everyone is lovely.

The hotels and food provided were fine and a few of them had spectacular views.

Soap our guide and Pat our bus driver were the perfect team. There were no issues along the way and they helped us make the most of the journey. The trip was full of #goodtimes and a lot of firsts, #justsayin

I could go on about how amazing this trip was, but if you're interested, check out a video I made. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7oQkjaheWc

My advice would be to definitely travel to New Zealand. It might end up being an expensive trip due to all the extra activities, but you may not ever get the chance to do this again, so make the most of it.

My Contiki was: trip of firsts, #goodtimes, no regrets

  • Carla Level 4 Traveler
  • 4 Contikis
  • 6 Countries

Kia Ora!

Before I start this review, I want to let you know that you should definitely extend your trip and do The Big Tiki. I booked the Northern Choice and Sweet as South (reverse) trips that make up the Big Tiki and wouldn't look back.

Living in Australia, I was worried that this trip would be too similar to home and I was completely wrong. New Zealand's landscape is absolutely breathtaking. Not only do you travel to the major cities, you get to stop in some of the smallest towns along the way, which was a highlight for me.

I would recommend doing as many optional extras that you can. It's an adrenaline based country and the best way to get over any fears that you may have. You also learn a lot about the Maori culture and their way of life. Everyone is lovely.

The hotels and food provided were fine and a few of them had spectacular views.

Soap our guide and Pat our bus driver were the perfect team. There were no issues along the way and they helped us make the most of the journey. The trip was full of #goodtimes and a lot of firsts, #justsayin

I could go on about how amazing this trip was, but if you're interested, check out a video I made. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7oQkjaheWc

My advice would be to definitely travel to New Zealand. It might end up being an expensive trip due to all the extra activities, but you may not ever get the chance to do this again, so make the most of it.

My Contiki was: trip of firsts, no regrets, #goodtimes

European Magic

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ best holiday ever :D
  • Alex Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 10 Countries

I was a little nervous booking this up as i went solo. However upon arriving and meeting some of the awesome people i soon chilled out, especially after our weird icebreaker at a sex show in Amsterdam. its a quick tour of Europe but it was surprising how quickly everyone gets close and everyone became my extended family :D i could go and talk to anyone about anything. I've made friends from all over the world and I hope to go see them all sometime in the future :D I was 21 when i went on the tour and I wasn't the youngest and I certainly wasn't the eldest!

I went out every night, it was great! showing off my incredible (terrible) dance moves, i was tired but didnt sleep on the bus even though most do, i wanted to talk to and learn as much as I could as you're only with these incredible people for 9 days! yeah it's true you're on the bus quite a lot but that's where I learnt the most about people, move seats, speak to new people. everyone was lovely and i appreciated every conversation i had :)

my favourite place was Paris, it's a gorgeous city the national monuments, the Eiffel tower, the arc de triomphe, the louvre (which we skipped the queue by bribing a security guard), Les Invalides during the day and then the Latin sector by night, we tried frogs legs and snails and I got a drink called the TGV (tequila, gin, vodka and a drop of blue curacao) it's meant to get you drunk quick as it's named after the high speed train in France.

do all the extras if you can, for example Mt. Stanserhorn in Switzerland was amazing and beautiful, we were above the clouds and felt on top of the world. or the moulin rouge in Paris. it may be expensive but it was so worth it, by far the greatest show i've ever been to, at one point there were live 10 foot anacondas on the stage!

overall an absolutely fantastic experience and worth every penny! I enjoyed every minute and have made some unforgettable memories and friends. I would absolutely recommend it to anyone even considering visiting Europe, it changed my perspectives afterwards and now look at my life differently and what is really important to me. Goodbye to my savings for a new car and hello to my next Contiki tour :D

My Contiki was: #NOREGRETS, incredible, eye opening

European Magic

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ best holiday ever :D
  • Alex Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 10 Countries

I was a little nervous booking this up as i went solo. However upon arriving and meeting some of the awesome people i soon chilled out, especially after our weird icebreaker at a sex show in Amsterdam. its a quick tour of Europe but it was surprising how quickly everyone gets close and everyone became my extended family :D i could go and talk to anyone about anything. I've made friends from all over the world and I hope to go see them all sometime in the future :D I was 21 when i went on the tour and I wasn't the youngest and I certainly wasn't the eldest!

I went out every night, it was great! showing off my incredible (terrible) dance moves, i was tired but didnt sleep on the bus even though most do, i wanted to talk to and learn as much as I could as you're only with these incredible people for 9 days! yeah it's true you're on the bus quite a lot but that's where I learnt the most about people, move seats, speak to new people. everyone was lovely and i appreciated every conversation i had :)

my favourite place was Paris, it's a gorgeous city the national monuments, the Eiffel tower, the arc de triomphe, the louvre (which we skipped the queue by bribing a security guard), Les Invalides during the day and then the Latin sector by night, we tried frogs legs and snails and I got a drink called the TGV (tequila, gin, vodka and a drop of blue curacao) it's meant to get you drunk quick as it's named after the high speed train in France.

do all the extras if you can, for example Mt. Stanserhorn in Switzerland was amazing and beautiful, we were above the clouds and felt on top of the world. or the moulin rouge in Paris. it may be expensive but it was so worth it, by far the greatest show i've ever been to, at one point there were live 10 foot anacondas on the stage!

overall an absolutely fantastic experience and worth every penny! I enjoyed every minute and have made some unforgettable memories and friends. I would absolutely recommend it to anyone even considering visiting Europe, it changed my perspectives afterwards and now look at my life differently and what is really important to me. Goodbye to my savings for a new car and hello to my next Contiki tour :D

My Contiki was: #NOREGRETS, incredible, eye opening

  • Romy Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 1 Country

Everywhere you go is beautiful and you see a lot of it on the bus rides to the next destination. You quickly become family with the group of people you are travelling with, and the Contiki Team are so helpful and do everything they can to make your trip as memorable as possible.

New Zealand is packed with options for adrenaline junkies; Rafting down the Kaituna River with a 7m waterfall drop, Skydiving from 15000ft, Jet Boat rides, Zorbing and Quad Biking are all fantastic and heaps of fun. Other than the action packed optional activities, some must do's while in New Zealand is Hobbiton and the Waitomo Caves.

Nights with your Contiki family is full of laughs; whether you stay in at the hotels, or go out; try out karaoke at Winnies in Queenstown for a good time.

Chur.

My Contiki was: Stunning , Amusing, Exhilarating

  • Ben Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 17 Countries

This tour was such an amazing experience that I'm quadrupling the excitement by doing a 45 day Ultimate European!

My Contiki was: fun, amazing, epic

After doing some Contikis I can say that Japan Unrivalled is gold. Asian contikis are completely different from the USA and European tours. It is more easy pace and hotels and special stays are usually class A. I highly recommend this tour for people that want to do a in-depth tour to Japan.
Start saving money now for shopping!!! Souvenirs and different things to bring back home are simply the best in Japan. People are kind and nice. The country is clean and safe. Although not all speak English, communication is easy, they are always trying to help. Go and book your tour, I am sure you will have a wonderful time!!!!!
It is a very organised tour, I am sure you will enjoy it! And prepare! There is a lot of worth walking in this tour to see the best of Japan's sights! Good luck for you that will have the opportunity to do this amazing tour, it is worth it!

  • Melita Level 3 Traveler
  • 3 Contikis
  • 4 Countries

I went with my 2 best childhood friends and we jumped on the contiki tour towards the end of the trip because they had already started 10 days before us in Sydney. It was a bit tough at first having to meet everyone in only a short amount of time but everyone was so lovely and they were already a family and so welcoming. Other than that issue, the actual trip itself was amazing!

7 days, each day was jam packed. I went up in October and the weather was perfect, 28 everyday hot and always warm. If it ever dribbled rain, it was never a bother! Bring lots of spare swim wear! Because we didn't have any time to wash any so luckily I took up 3.

The accommodation is great, especially the daydream island, its so beautiful and you have the unique experience of a open aquarium around your hotel. I recommend doing the jet skis and the fish feed talk with contiki and use the free spas and saunas!
The hotel in Cairns is also a bonus! Its only a 5-10 minute walk into the main town and has awesome breakfast!

I recommend doing the one day sailing! I got to see a sea turtle! Definitely swim in the white haven beach, its that clear and you can open your eyes under the water and it hardly stung!

I did most of the contiki activities such as one day sailing, white water rafting, minjin swing, bungee & kayaking in cape tribulation and when ever I had spare time I even would just call up activities nearby by to fill up spare space in my day. Like example in Cairns, I did the bumper boats and parasailing when I had mee time and that was so much fun!

Lastly bring lots of sunscreen, you will peel if you don't slip slop slap, and bring lots of insect repellant for cape tribulation and sunglasses!

I also recommend starting in Sydney the 16 day tour if your going solo so you can start at the actual beginning

  • Rhea Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 3 Countries

This was my first time to Vegas and the West coast. Being from East Coast US I had no idea what to expect. Contiki outdid itself once again and I had the best time. My favorite part was hands down San Francisco. Shout out to Kiran for being an amazing tour guide! The hotels were very comfortable as was the cabins we stayed in at Bass Lake. Yosemite was my other favorite part because I got to see the beautiful mountains in an awesome part of the country. This tour has a mix of urban and well as nature and I would recommend this trip!!!

My Contiki was: amazing, exciting, beautiful

'Sweet as' South

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Best Trip!
  • Beth Evans Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 12 Countries

This Trip was amazing! So much to see and the people were incredible! Highly recommend this to everyone. Tour Manager and Driver where great, happy to help and were there for anything we needed. They recommended the best places to eat, drink and the me time extras :)
Made some amazing friends from all over the place.

My Contiki was: Amazing, Thrilling, Beautiful

  • Maddy Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 10 Countries

Contiki is very dangerous. It makes me spend too much money. First Scandinavia and Russia made me book this one because it was awesome and this one somehow topped it! From eating deep dish pizza in Chicago, Ice Hockey in Montreal, Niagara Falls, helicopter ride over the grand Canyon, having many inside jokes on day one of the tour with my awesome tour mates. 5/5 would highly recommend this trip.

My Contiki was: awesome, epic, #noregrets

  • Rory Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 3 Countries

This trip is an amazing way to see some of the best parts of South East Asia! Had such an awesome time on this tour, never a dull moment! We saw some amazing sights and ate amazing food and partied hard too! Came out the other end wishing it wasn't over and with a big family of friends from all over the world!

My Contiki was: Incredible , Humbling , Friends

Japan Unrivalled

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ Amazing Japan!!

This was my first big overseas tour, my first Contiki and my first time in Japan and the greatest experience of my life so far.

I went from 12th September to 24th September. I knew August is the hottest month in Japan but i found September very hot too! definitely t-shirt and shorts weather.

Tokyo was amazing, such a beautiful, vibrant city and so clean! I've never seen streets so clean in my life! Our Hotel was lovely, rooms were big and spotless and our view was pretty neat from the 16th floor. Breakfast every morning was a delight, so many pastries!
Did alot of walking, and many trips on the subway. Sushi making was very fun, unfortunately eating it did not agree with me so much! Meiji shrine was cool, set in a lovely park. I even got to see a traditional wedding, which was very special. Harajuku was packed with people but was still fun to look at.The Tsukiji fish markets were cool, but we weren't there for the tuna auctions, something I didn't realise, but was still fun regardless.

Hakone was very lush and a lot cooler than being in the city. Our hotel was nice and clean, if a little worn. Unfortunately I didn't find my futon very comfortable but this didn't seem to worry others. Slight downside was that we could only access wifi in the lounge, but for one night this wasn't a worry. Dinner was several courses of traditional Japanese food some of which was tasty, and othhers not so tasty. But they can canter to anyone with special dietary requirements.

Matsumoto castle was beautiful and rather compact, and many steep stairs to climb on the inside. Hida was nice, but it was rather damp with the rain.

Our hotel in Takayama was a highlight of my trip. Again a lovely fairly, spacious room and nice view over the gardens below. The real gem of this hotel is the patisserie that is on the first floor. Amazing food. there are a few restaurants in the hotel and the buffet one was impressive. Ate there for two nights. Great choice of food.

The bullet train to Hiroshima was lots of fun and Hiroshima itself was a beautiful city. Lots of trams!. Our hotel was a few mins walk from the station and was a nice hotel, but with rather small rooms. The A-Dome and the Peace Park and Museum were beautiful and interesting to see.

Kyoto was definitely a highlight. Such a beautiful place. Kinkakuji was just as beautiful in person as it is in photos as was Fushimi Inari shrine. Our tour guide Matt, had given us the option of getting dressed up in Kimono one evening while in Kyoto. It was a great experience and we got alot of attention from people in the street taking photos etc.
Nara was good, I was less interested in the deer and more in Todai-ji temple which did not disappoint.

Wakayama is a beautiful place, and the monks were so welcoming. We had a traditional Japanese dinner, which was nice as the Monks don't eat any meat or fish, along with a traditional breakfast. Our room was clean and looked very new. Futon again. You have a toilet in your room but public baths are the only of washing, so many of us simply had a shower when we got to Osaka.

Osaka was great, we all got dressed up and wandered down Dotonbori for some Karaoke that was great fun. we had okonimiyaki for dinner as well as other dishes like chicken, and some octopus tentacles (!!) which was pretty good. Our hotel was really nice and modern and possibly the best sleep i had in all of Japan. The hotel is right above the train station, and right next door buses leave to both Itami and Kansai airports so easy to leave from.

Overall, our tour guide Matt was amazing, such enthusiasm and always willing to help and Naito-san was a brilliant guide, so knowledgeable about everything and had a great sense of humour.

However we did have to pay for the ME time optional extras in cash, if you wanted to do them, which I was not aware of.
We also had alot of late starts, which was great if you wanted to sleep in, but also meant there there were tourists everywhere by the tie we got to attractions. But this was ok.

Overall it was a brilliant trip with a great group of people. Would go back in a heartbeat.

My Contiki was: Amazing, Once in a lifetime, Unrivalled for sure

  • Rebekah Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 2 Countries

As two American Honeymooners, we were very excited to see as much of Italy as we could. Our travel agent recommended Contiki because of our age and the sites that we could see. Now that we've done it, we have a few positive and negative things to say, both of which we hope will help future Italian Espresso goers.

Day One:
Being that we had spent two days in Rome prior to starting the tour, we were disappointed in the location of the first hotel, The Grand Hotel Fleming. Especially since our first hotel was so close to everything and not as expensive. It was very far from the main sights, about 20 Euros by taxi, to get back to the hotel from downtown. If you're planning on doing the tour, go a few days early, so you have TIME to go see the places you get to see (briefly) on your free time. All of the main attractions are short walking distances from each other, so you'll not be disappointed going to Rome early and seeing these sites in greater detail. Being that the ME times were either in the middle of the day, or at the end of the day while in Rome, your ventures could be shortened if you like spending time at each location. BOTH of the ME times for Rome are worth it. The things you'll learn and see about the Roman Forum and the Colosseum are short, but very informative. And the pasta cooking class was SO MUCH FUN!! Do BOTH!

Day Two:
Vatican City was amazing! But again, you're only in the Sistine Chapel for maybe 10 minutes and in St. Peter's Basilica (which is HUGE) for 20 minutes, so its very quick and a little disappointing-more so in feeling that you got robbed of your time in such beautiful places. The place you stop for lunch is a restaurant in a toll stop- super expensive if you get the buffet! Order a sandwich- much cheaper and tastes good.

Day Three/Four:
Florence is beautiful. MAKE SURE YOU BUY TICKETS to see the Uffizi Gallery and Michelangelo's David. We had misinterpreted the vague description of the brochure and thought that we'd be seeing these things as a group. Yes, as a group you'll see the fake David (which is where the real one used to stand) and the location of the Uffizi Gallery, but you will not go in. Some people on the tour knew about buying tickets, not sure how, but it would have been nice if there was a heads-up on not seeing the real David, or going into the Uffizi Gallery. And expect Florence to be super busy on Tuesday when you have the whole day to explore the town. The museums are closed on Monday, so everything has huge lines to get in. If Contiki could change San Gimignano to Tuesday and explore Florence to Wednesday, I think that would be beneficial. My husband and I did go into the Vecchio Museum and climbed the Vecchio tower- worth it. There was no line. We did get to see a lot of art work thorough the Medici house and got beautiful views of Florence and the Duomo from the Vecchio tower. The optional dinner was good, worth the money, because there is so much food and the service and entertainment were excellent. Karaoke night on our first night in Florence was fun too. And the restaurant that is included as a group meal on the first night was good too. The hotel was nice, the Wifi- not so much. The connection kept dropping- so don't expect to upload all of your pictures.

Day Five:
This was probably mine and my husband's favorite day on the tour. It was relaxed, yet you got to see things, and we were really able to soak up the Tuscan countryside and culture. San Gimignano was great. Not super busy, yet there were plenty of shops to stop in. We climbed the tower and got excellent views of Tuscany. The winery tour was great too. The wine was excellent, and the tasting was more of drinking rather than a tasting! Maybe the Italians do tastings a little differently. But it was great! You could easily have had 3-9 glasses of wine rather than one at the end of the tastings. Loved day five!

Day Six:
Most of day six is traveling. Pisa was cool, but really- the tower is the only interesting thing. You're only there for 90 minutes, so a quick visit, which was fine. The outlet mall was a waste of time! We weren't sure if because Italy has restrictions on how long the bus driver can drive (2 hours), if that was why we stopped. But it was a waste of time. The outlet is the same as those in the States, and really not much cheaper. If there was something else to see, Contiki, please consider that. Verona was beautiful. When you picture an Italian City- Verona is what you picture. There's no graffiti (like every other city in Italy) its small and quaint. We could have easily spent more time in Verona. The included dinner is DISGUSTING!!! Even though you've already paid for it, either order something else or go somewhere else. It was like bad, cheap Chinese food that tried to pass as country Italian food. It was gross. Contiki- please break your contract with this restaurant and GO SOMEWHERE ELSE!

Day Seven:
Venice is cool. The glass blowing demonstration was very cool, but if you plan on buying Venetian blown glass, expect to drop at least 100 Euros. The city is beautiful and the optional city tour was worth it. My husband and I didn't go on the gondola ride- which, money wise, is worth it as a group, but as something romantic to do, is 80-100 euros for just two people. And after finding out on the city tour that the sewer systems drain into the canals, we were glad we didn't do it. The optional dinner was worth it, more because its your last meal together and you're able to spend time together before saying goodbye that night. The hotel was fine, wifi was not. Don't expect to upload anything.

Overall, we liked Contiki as a tour because of everything you get to see, but have decided to not go on a tour again. Many of the places we could have seen and spent more time at if we planned ahead of time and gone by ourselves. There was so much free time that it almost felt like you were on your own anyway. It was nice and convenient that we didn't have to worry about transportation for the week. Because you're on a tour, if there are people who annoy you, you're stuck with them until the tour is over. If you're single, in or fresh out of college, go for it. If you're older (26+) or established in your life, single or not, do a different tour. Yeah, you'll have people your age/situation to hang out with, but the loud, younger crowd will just annoy you with their need to cling to each other and their constant desire to get drunk rather than enjoying the time and company. There were three other couples there on their honeymoon, so its pretty common to go as a couple.

My Contiki was: Jam Packed, Quick, Memorable

  • Rebekah Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 2 Countries

As two American Honeymooners, we were very excited to see as much of Italy as we could. Our travel agent recommended Contiki because of our age and the sites that we could see. Now that we've done it, we have a few positive and negative things to say, both of which we hope will help future Italian Espresso goers.

Day One:
Being that we had spent two days in Rome prior to starting the tour, we were disappointed in the location of the first hotel, The Grand Hotel Fleming. Especially since our first hotel was so close to everything and not as expensive. It was very far from the main sights, about 20 Euros by taxi, to get back to the hotel from downtown. If you're planning on doing the tour, go a few days early, so you have TIME to go see the places you get to see (briefly) on your free time. All of the main attractions are short walking distances from each other, so you'll not be disappointed going to Rome early and seeing these sites in greater detail. Being that the ME times were either in the middle of the day, or at the end of the day while in Rome, your ventures could be shortened if you like spending time at each location. BOTH of the ME times for Rome are worth it. The things you'll learn and see about the Roman Forum and the Colosseum are short, but very informative. And the pasta cooking class was SO MUCH FUN!! Do BOTH!

Day Two:
Vatican City was amazing! But again, you're only in the Sistine Chapel for maybe 10 minutes and in St. Peter's Basilica (which is HUGE) for 20 minutes, so its very quick and a little disappointing-more so in feeling that you got robbed of your time in such beautiful places. The place you stop for lunch is a restaurant in a toll stop- super expensive if you get the buffet! Order a sandwich- much cheaper and tastes good.

Day Three/Four:
Florence is beautiful. MAKE SURE YOU BUY TICKETS to see the Uffizi Gallery and Michelangelo's David. We had misinterpreted the vague description of the brochure and thought that we'd be seeing these things as a group. Yes, as a group you'll see the fake David (which is where the real one used to stand) and the location of the Uffizi Gallery, but you will not go in. Some people on the tour knew about buying tickets, not sure how, but it would have been nice if there was a heads-up on not seeing the real David, or going into the Uffizi Gallery. And expect Florence to be super busy on Tuesday when you have the whole day to explore the town. The museums are closed on Monday, so everything has huge lines to get in. If Contiki could change San Gimignano to Tuesday and explore Florence to Wednesday, I think that would be beneficial. My husband and I did go into the Vecchio Museum and climbed the Vecchio tower- worth it. There was no line. We did get to see a lot of art work thorough the Medici house and got beautiful views of Florence and the Duomo from the Vecchio tower. The optional dinner was good, worth the money, because there is so much food and the service and entertainment were excellent. Karaoke night on our first night in Florence was fun too. And the restaurant that is included as a group meal on the first night was good too. The hotel was nice, the Wifi- not so much. The connection kept dropping- so don't expect to upload all of your pictures.

Day Five:
This was probably mine and my husband's favorite day on the tour. It was relaxed, yet you got to see things, and we were really able to soak up the Tuscan countryside and culture. San Gimignano was great. Not super busy, yet there were plenty of shops to stop in. We climbed the tower and got excellent views of Tuscany. The winery tour was great too. The wine was excellent, and the tasting was more of drinking rather than a tasting! Maybe the Italians do tastings a little differently. But it was great! You could easily have had 3-9 glasses of wine rather than one at the end of the tastings. Loved day five!

Day Six:
Most of day six is traveling. Pisa was cool, but really- the tower is the only interesting thing. You're only there for 90 minutes, so a quick visit, which was fine. The outlet mall was a waste of time! We weren't sure if because Italy has restrictions on how long the bus driver can drive (2 hours), if that was why we stopped. But it was a waste of time. The outlet is the same as those in the States, and really not much cheaper. If there was something else to see, Contiki, please consider that. Verona was beautiful. When you picture an Italian City- Verona is what you picture. There's no graffiti (like every other city in Italy) its small and quaint. We could have easily spent more time in Verona. The included dinner is DISGUSTING!!! Even though you've already paid for it, either order something else or go somewhere else. It was like bad, cheap Chinese food that tried to pass as country Italian food. It was gross. Contiki- please break your contract with this restaurant and GO SOMEWHERE ELSE!

Day Seven:
Venice is cool. The glass blowing demonstration was very cool, but if you plan on buying Venetian blown glass, expect to drop at least 100 Euros. The city is beautiful and the optional city tour was worth it. My husband and I didn't go on the gondola ride- which, money wise, is worth it as a group, but as something romantic to do, is 80-100 euros for just two people. And after finding out on the city tour that the sewer systems drain into the canals, we were glad we didn't do it. The optional dinner was worth it, more because its your last meal together and you're able to spend time together before saying goodbye that night. The hotel was fine, wifi was not. Don't expect to upload anything.

Overall, we liked Contiki as a tour because of everything you get to see, but have decided to not go on a tour again. Many of the places we could have seen and spent more time at if we planned ahead of time and gone by ourselves. There was so much free time that it almost felt like you were on your own anyway. It was nice and convenient that we didn't have to worry about transportation for the week. Because you're on a tour, if there are people who annoy you, you're stuck with them until the tour is over. If you're single, in or fresh out of college, go for it. If you're older (26+) or established in your life, single or not, do a different tour. Yeah, you'll have people your age/situation to hang out with, but the loud, younger crowd will just annoy you with their need to cling to each other and their constant desire to get drunk rather than enjoying the time and company. There were three other couples there on their honeymoon, so its pretty common to go as a couple.

My Contiki was: Jam Packed, Quick, Memorable

  • Laura Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 3 Countries

This was the first Contiki trip I have ever done and I was a bit apprehensive about it. It is pretty far outside my comfort zone and I wasn't sure if I would enjoy it.

How wrong I was! This trip is absolutely amazing! I have genuinely had the time of my life and would go back in a heart beat. Not only did I meet some brilliant people but I also had so many once in a lifetime experiences.

This trip is very full on and your days will be jam packed but you will be astounded by the number of different things you will see and do. We had Courtney as our group leader and she was absolutely amazing. There was not one question she could not answer and she made everything so easy.
The days are all fully planned out and you really don't have to do any thinking for yourself which makes things so easy.

A few helpful tips if you are planning to do this trip...

1) It is a very full on trip and you will be up early every morning - even after a few late night party nights! There are also two mornings when you have to be up before 5am but believe me, both are totally worth it!

2) It is HOT! Very hot and very humid so be prepared to sweat! Bring clothes which are light and breathable.

3) You need temple dress for all temple visits (there are quite a few of them) which means you need to have your shoulders and knees covered. So bring long trousers/skirts and t-shirts. You can buy elephant pants everywhere when you are there but beware as they are not great quality and rip easily! I went through 3 pairs in just a few days!

4) Don't bring fancy clothes! We had 4 nights out on our trip, all of which were very casual - shorts and t-shirts.

5) Bring a good travel pillow - you will spend a fair amount of time on coaches. I got one called a "Travel Rest" which is amazing and meant I could catch up on some sleep during long journeys. Also, if you are prone to travel sickness then bring some medication as there are a couple of journeys along bumpy roads.

6) Bring an umbrella or rain jacket. We were there during rainy season and it rained a lot and I was so thankful to have remembered to bring my umbrella!

8) Money wise - everything is very cheap so you won't spend much money at all!
I'd suggest taking about £200 in Thai Baht to get you started. You can then change that into Laos Kip when you get to the border. You can then easily take money out at ATMs in Laos.
For Cambodia, everyone uses US dollars which again you can get from any ATM.

9) Bring insect repellant and bite relief cream. I had super strong insect repellant and I still got quite a few bites.

10) Beware of the Contiki cough! If one person catches a cough or a cold it tends to spread pretty fast so bring some cough mixture and cold and flu meds with you. Also bring some vitamin C and rehydration stuff to make sure you keep healthy.

11) If you can, bring a waterproof camera. There are many moments I missed as my camera wasn't waterproof.

12) Try to pack light and bring plenty of underwear! Also, i'd suggest bringing some travel laundry detergent so that you can wash stuff in the hotels yourself. There is laundry service available but only at a few of the hotels.

13) Say YES to everything! There are quite a few optional extras you can do on this trip. Do them all! They are not expensive and trust me you will love every single one!

14) Be prepared to make friends for life! I went on this trip with a friend from home but many people came on their own. Do not hesitate to do this trip on your own as I guarantee you will make so many new best friends. We were a big family and there were many, MANY tears when we all had to say our goodbyes.

Hopefully I have covered everything and made you change your mind if you were having second thoughts about doing this trip. Enjoy!

My Contiki was: Outstanding, Once in a lifetime, The most fun you will ever have!

Oh My Buddha! what can I say about this trip. it was the best time ever and I wished it never ended. Shannon was the best tour manger and new all the right spots to go and made sure we we're all having a 10/10 trip! I went on this trip solo but the people I meet became family and now I have friends for life.

My favourite places probably would have to be Vang Vieng and Luang Prabang in Laos. They were both so laid back and had the best atmosphere.
Another Favourite was Hoi An. This little French inspired town on the river was absolutely stunning during the day and just lit up at night with lanterns everywhere. Its also a great place to get clothes made, I just wish I got more! Another highlight would have been our Cruise through Halong Bay. It takes your breath away and is great way to end the perfect trip

This trip is definitely something I'd recommend to everyone and the perfect way to experience part Asia!

My Contiki was: omb, treatyoself, temples

Vietnam Experience

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ #noregrets
  • Simran Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 3 Countries

I am so glad I went with this trip vs. the highlights one. Visiting Mekong Delta was so worth it and I highly recommend you choose this tour over that one!

Be prepared to be shocked…in a good way!

I fell in love with Vietnam! The country is so beautiful in its own way. Not all cities are pretty and polished. You get to actually see Vietnam and that is what I loved about it!

Ho Chi – not much to do in this city. The night life is pretty good; we went to this bar where you can get pitchers drink – 2 for 1 and that was a lot of fun! A must try is Pho. I can’t say which place our tour guide, Shannon, took us, but the one she did take us – by far best PHO I ever had!

Mekong Delta – this was a lot of fun! The tea house and lunch was nice; loved the tea! Staying at the guesthouse was an experience! Had a lot of fun going on the bikes and then of course the night time festivities was great!

Nha Trang – this city I found to be very tailored for tourists. Mud bath excursion is something to try for an experience if you haven’t done it before; I was a bit disappointed as I was expecting something else BUT I did enjoy it regardless. Like me, if you are not doing the cruise/snorkel, do not worry – HIT THE BEACH! It’s GORGEOUS! The water was beautiful! This was the only day I basically did nothing but stay at the beach all day long! Loved the tan I got!

Hoi An - by far, my favourite city was Hoi An. It’s a small city but it’s beautiful, especially at night. I HIGHLY recommend you do your entire souvenir shopping here! No other city beats it – this was my mistake; saved it all for Hanoi and I regret it. A must – the cooking class! This was A LOT OF FUN and the food we made and ate after…omg…I can’t replicate it! The city light up at night and it’s just breathtaking. Ask your tour guide about Banh Mi; apparently this one shop makes the best Banh Mi ever and it’s true – they do! Also, I can’t say much but apparently everyone else was happy when we stopped by this shop where they can tailor basically anything. Check it out and see if it’s for you. But again – definitely do all your other shopping!

Now it’s not part of the Contiki tour but if you love to EAT and love Vietnamese food, I HIGHLY recommend you sign up for Taste of Hoi An Food tour. You will love it – I promise! Read about it on Trip Advisor!

Hue – this was okay; short, which was good a good thing. The cyclo ride was a lot of fun (included in tour price) so enjoy that! Not much to say here as I didn’t really spend a lot of time doing much of anything really. It was 1 day and the day was long. Ended up coming back to the hotel and watching some movies and resting 

Hanoi – this city was pretty and oh so busy! You can easily get lost – like I did! But it’s a nice city. Got some shopping done but again, try to get it done in Hoi An. Got some pretty neat stuff from this Poster store – close to the hotel; hard to miss. Go on Trip Advisor to find this little shop that sells Bank Mi. They too had an amazing Banh Mi; went there quite a few times while in Hanoi.

Halong Bay – OMG. This was beautiful! I can’t describe what I saw but be prepared to see something very beautiful. FYI the dinner on the cruise…if you are not FULLY a fan of sea food like myself, then go with the veggie option.

Overall – I love Vietnam! No regrets; wish I could go back! If you like Vietnamese food, then perfect! If you LOVE smoothies and juices – then you’re in luck. They are EVERYWHERE and really good!

FYI – It’s bloody hot here! I went end of August – first week of September and wow. The humidity will kill you; stay hydrated!

For days where you go on your own for lunch/dinner, use Trip Advisor. It REALLY saved me and I was not disappointed.

Hotels were surprisingly REALLY nice and proper! And yes, they have AC, free wifi and couple of tv shows that play English movies 

I was able to pull cash from the ATM’s – mainly got it all done in Hoi Chi. Many places take VISA. And the exchange rate done on my VISA/bank account was pretty good (CDN – Dong).

My Contiki was: #noregrets, #treatyourself

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