Reviews

Read reviews from past Contiki travelers.

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  • Brodie Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 1 Country

This trip was my first ever group tour trip and I really loved it. I had such a great time and I would definitely recommend it for anyone who is a solo traveller and/or has never been to the snow or skiing/snow boarding before. Just make sure to pack lots of warm clothes - or if you want to pack lightly - pack good quality thermals!

I had never been to the snow before and I made the mistake of just getting cheaper thermals and they were not warm enough. (for example I had to wear 3 pairs of pants thermals (underworks brand level 1 warmth) and 3 thermal singlets plus 3 t-shirts under my ski pants and ski jacket to keep warm).

So easy - everything is organised for you!

My Contiki was: Totally worth it

  • Jurine :) Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 7 Countries

I would highly recommend this tour. It was the best 3 weeks of my life! We had amazing food and got to see much more than I expected so a big thank you to Kayla and Mark for all they did for us on this tour.

Being in a campsite environment forces interaction, which I'm very grateful for. You get to know everyone on a much more personal level and get to make friends for life!

I didn't participate in much of the "me time" options as I like doing my own thing and had more time to explore. If you'd like to see more of one city and not pay so much for the me time options, then there really is loads more to see. Our tour guide, Eilidh, was more than happy to point out the best spots to hang around or look for certain things (when I wanted to go see Jim Morrison's grave, she gave exact location and the best way to get there).

Just please take note of the contiki tip recommendations. Contiki recommends that you tip 2 euro per person per day (for the tour guide, cook and driver - which adds up to 6 euro per day). If I had know to budget for it earlier, it would've been nice but they didn't mention it to us at all in the beginning of the tour.

But as a whole, it was really amazing. The long roads tend to get to you but there were always games that kept us busy so it doesn't get to us too much. Oh, and stay hydrated! Beer is cheaper than water so brace yourself for that!

My Contiki was: No regrets!

  • Jurine :) Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 7 Countries

I would highly recommend this tour. It was the best 3 weeks of my life! We had amazing food and got to see much more than I expected so a big thank you to Kayla and Mark for all they did for us on this tour.

Being in a campsite environment forces interaction, which I'm very grateful for. You get to know everyone on a much more personal level and get to make friends for life!

I didn't participate in much of the "me time" options as I like doing my own thing and had more time to explore. If you'd like to see more of one city and not pay so much for the me time options, then there really is loads more to see. Our tour guide, Eilidh, was more than happy to point out the best spots to hang around or look for certain things (when I wanted to go see Jim Morrison's grave, she gave exact location and the best way to get there).

Just please take note of the contiki tip recommendations. Contiki recommends that you tip 2 euro per person per day (for the tour guide, cook and driver - which adds up to 6 euro per day). If I had know to budget for it earlier, it would've been nice but they didn't mention it to us at all in the beginning of the tour.

But as a whole, it was really amazing. The long roads tend to get to you but there were always games that kept us busy so it doesn't get to us too much. Oh, and stay hydrated! Beer is cheaper than water so brace yourself for that!

My Contiki was: No regrets!

  • Sherrie Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 5 Countries

If you are wondering whether or not you should take this trip, don't think--just do! You'll never regret it. This is by far the most incredible trip I've ever taken. From the culture, art, food, water sports, people and of course, your amazing tourmates, this is the trip to end all trips (and be the envy of your friends). Two weeks pass by in a flash, but you get a great mix of big city, landmark highlights, nature, history and laughter, not to mention the once-in-a-lifetime experiences and interactions.

My highlights: riding an elephant in the jungle, waterfalls in Laos, giving food to the monks, seeing the sunrise over Angkor Wat, tubing in caves and playing with monkeys... here are some of my photo highlights from Laos:

http://shaireproductions.com/travel-photos-laos/

If you get a chance, go around the Songkran New Yr Water Festival (April 13th or so), which is super humid/hot, but there's a great water fight in the streets of Thailand, complete with supersoakers, partying in the streets and crazy adventures. Our tour guide, Jeenah, was awesome, really fun and knowledgeable about the local culture and hot spots. If you really wanted to, you could just relax and do your own thing, but I recommend doing the optionals, as they were all pretty amazing. There were a few times that you'll have to wake up super early (like 4am) for alms giving to the monks and checking out Angkor Wat, but we were able to beat the crowds (and heat), and the scenery was incredible. This is the second Contiki trip I've taken (1st was Europe), but this trip was really unique as you get to check out the countries by train, tuk tuk (motorcart), bus and boat--so you get a whole different experience than just by bus. To put it simply, be prepared to have your mind blown by everything you see and experience, from the gorgeous art of the temples to the sad genocide museum of Cambodia, to the simple beauty of the Laotian landscape, and even the crazy partying in Thailand.

Food: Thailand--amazing snacks and street food! I was really wary of the drinks, as I was trying to avoid ice (to be safe), but found out later that the ice in Thailand is made with filtered water, so enjoy those fruit smoothies--they're incredible! Laos, try the street crepes--yum! In Cambodia, avoid street food, as the quality isn't so great and you may get sick. Though, in the restaurants, you could get an amazing slab of steak for under $8. Cambodia has a unique "Kampot pepper", which is pretty pricey if you get overseas, but is cheaper there, and has amazing flavor. Also, if you have a weak stomach, stay away from salads and dairy, as it's so hot there, you never know...

If you love shopping, you'll definitely enjoy this trip--everything is super cheap. Luang Prabang is where you could get more handmade, unique items (silk scarves!) and Cambodia/Siem Reap, you'll find great prices for silver jewelry, clothes and other souvenirs. Haggling for the prices is super fun.

Mobile connection in Laos is really spotty at best. Also, English is not really spoken much, so I'm glad I created this Visual Guidebook beforehand. This may be helpful for you too--just point to the pic and smile :)

http://shaireproductions.com/freebies-traveling-by-icons-visual-travel-guide-when-english-and-tech-are-scarce/

Tips:
-Sunscreen/hat/sunglasses
-Mosquito wipes/spray and lotion (if you get bit)
-Temple Wear: Depending where you go, you'll need a couple tees and pants/capris that cover your knees. You could always buy something there too
-Trainers/tennis shoes: You'll have to walk up hills and some rocky areas; some of my tourmates hurt themselves while wearing flip flops
-Small packet of vitamins/medicine: With the constant go-go-go, lots of folks get sick...
-Earplugs: on the overnight train, this comes in handy
-Tissue paper and wipes/purell: some bathrooms don't have the essentials or soap/running water
-Currency: Cambodia is the only spot that widely accepts American dollars as well as Riel, so be sure to get local Thai and Laos currency as they don't really take the other ones. Small bills are best as most places won't have much change.

Good luck and happy travels!

My Contiki was: Inspiring, Cultural, Eventful

  • Danielle Level 3 Traveler
  • 3 Contikis
  • 11 Countries

My Contiki trip was one of the best things that I have chosen to do. The people on the tour were all amazing and I now consider them great friends who I want to keep in touch with. Our tour manager and bus driver weren't only amazing at their jobs, but they were crazy great people to tour around with too. I would recommend this tour to anyone looking for a stress free holiday to some of the most beautiful countries in the world with some awesome people!

My Contiki was: unforgettable , exciting , fun

  • Danielle Level 3 Traveler
  • 3 Contikis
  • 11 Countries

My Contiki trip was one of the best things that I have chosen to do. The people on the tour were all amazing and I now consider them great friends who I want to keep in touch with. Our tour manager and bus driver weren't only amazing at their jobs, but they were crazy great people to tour around with too. I would recommend this tour to anyone looking for a stress free holiday to some of the most beautiful countries in the world with some awesome people!

My Contiki was: unforgettable , exciting , fun

  • Craig Level 3 Traveler
  • 3 Contikis
  • 16 Countries

Had an amazing time exploring so much of the United States and a small part of Canada! Would highly recommend the trip to anyone. Our tour guide was great, I met some fantastic new friends and made memories for life.

My Contiki was: Awesome

European Horizon

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ #NOREGRETS!
  • Kelly Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 9 Countries

Best way to sample a lot of countries in a short space of time! Late nights and early mornings featuring awesome people who became my family, the best tour team (Scotty and Gaz!) and all round amazing experiences. You have to go into it with the mind set of NO REGRETS! I did every optional activity and everytime I said that I would have regretted not doing it.. I think that pretty much says it all! So go for it :D

European Horizon

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ #NOREGRETS!
  • Kelly Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 9 Countries

Best way to sample a lot of countries in a short space of time! Late nights and early mornings featuring awesome people who became my family, the best tour team (Scotty and Gaz!) and all round amazing experiences. You have to go into it with the mind set of NO REGRETS! I did every optional activity and everytime I said that I would have regretted not doing it.. I think that pretty much says it all! So go for it :D

This was the best trip ever!
It was so much better doing less countries but having more time in each, you really need the extra time especially in Spain! You get to pretty much follow other contikis around as well so you'll always be meeting knew people.

If you're a guy and looking for females you would love this trip because it was 90% females. but still so much fun. highly recommend it!

My Contiki was: fun, amazing

This was the best trip ever!
It was so much better doing less countries but having more time in each, you really need the extra time especially in Spain! You get to pretty much follow other contikis around as well so you'll always be meeting knew people.

If you're a guy and looking for females you would love this trip because it was 90% females. but still so much fun. highly recommend it!

My Contiki was: fun, amazing

  • AJ Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 2 Countries

This adventure was amazing. You make SO many friends and so many more memories that will last a lifetime. The staff are lovely and the included and optional activities are great too. Nearly all of the accommodation was to a high standard. So much FOOD! Would recommend!

My Contiki was: EPIC

  • khabir Level 1 Traveler
  • 1 Contiki
  • 1 Country

The landscape of the south island of New Zealand is unbelievably breathtaking. The accommodation is pretty good and the people on the trip were very good and I would recommend this trip!! I higly recommend this tour for anyone!!

My Contiki was: Adventure , incredible , Excellent

  • Isra Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 13 Countries

All in all the trip was amazing, this was my first contiki and I was travelling solo, but the people were great and it was a really good experience. It's really fast paced, you really just get a taste of each city, but you still get to see a lot. You get a lot of free time to do what you want do and see what you want and really get a chance to experience every city.

The accommodations are just okay, they weren't the greatest, but you really only end up sleeping for about 4-5 hours if even, so you don't really spend too much time in the cabins. Bed bugs were an issue, which was really frustrating and upsetting, but it happens. Bug repellent and cough/cold/flu medicine is a necessity, because the contiki cough is unavoidable.

  • Isra Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 13 Countries

All in all the trip was amazing, this was my first contiki and I was travelling solo, but the people were great and it was a really good experience. It's really fast paced, you really just get a taste of each city, but you still get to see a lot. You get a lot of free time to do what you want do and see what you want and really get a chance to experience every city.

The accommodations are just okay, they weren't the greatest, but you really only end up sleeping for about 4-5 hours if even, so you don't really spend too much time in the cabins. Bed bugs were an issue, which was really frustrating and upsetting, but it happens. Bug repellent and cough/cold/flu medicine is a necessity, because the contiki cough is unavoidable.

  • Deano Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 13 Countries

I had a really great time and everything lived up to expectations.
It's a smart idea to take a sleeping bag, a few people didn't and they froze some nights. I also recommend taking cold and flu tablets and antibiotics with you just incase you catch the wretched cough/flu that goes around the bus. It's bound to happen!
The Volendam dinner was so so, the rest of the dinners and canal cruises were good choices. As was paragliding, that is a must!
The driver was amazing and as was the tour manager.
The only problem I had was trying to get in touch with the tour manager to find out what time to meet and where, as I was joining on the second day in Amsterdam. I was disappointed when Contiki told me I wasn't needed at the hotel until 6pm that night. If I hadn't turned up early I would of missed the canal cruise. That was the only problem I had the whole tour.
Time flies on this tour. Make it count!

My Contiki was: Fun, Draining, Adventurous

  • Deano Level 2 Traveler
  • 2 Contikis
  • 13 Countries

I had a really great time and everything lived up to expectations.
It's a smart idea to take a sleeping bag, a few people didn't and they froze some nights. I also recommend taking cold and flu tablets and antibiotics with you just incase you catch the wretched cough/flu that goes around the bus. It's bound to happen!
The Volendam dinner was so so, the rest of the dinners and canal cruises were good choices. As was paragliding, that is a must!
The driver was amazing and as was the tour manager.
The only problem I had was trying to get in touch with the tour manager to find out what time to meet and where, as I was joining on the second day in Amsterdam. I was disappointed when Contiki told me I wasn't needed at the hotel until 6pm that night. If I hadn't turned up early I would of missed the canal cruise. That was the only problem I had the whole tour.
Time flies on this tour. Make it count!

My Contiki was: Fun, Draining, Adventurous

  • Mitchell Level 3 Traveler
  • 3 Contikis
  • 1 Country

Easy way to see the city that never sleeps!
So many inclusions & the optionals are worth it as well.
The tour manager (Stephanie) went out her way to organise baseball tickets for us which was awesome!!

  • Mitchell Level 3 Traveler
  • 3 Contikis
  • 1 Country

I can see why this trip is so popular!!
Seen so much in such a small amount of time, such a well organised trip with the best road crew (Dylan & Ricky) who made it the best trip!!
Being underage did limit the nightlife experience for me - but planning to do it again when i am 21.
Only negative - i wish i was still there :(

The Grand Canadian is a fantastic mix of cities, nightlife and outdoor adventure. We saw the east coast of Canada plus New York and Boston then over to the Rockies and Vancouver. Our trip managers Phil and Alex were fantastic and went above and beyond expectations, they included great insights and knowledge of all places visited. Me time options were excellent my favourites, Jet boating, ziplining and the Banff horse back ride and steak fry!

Highlights were seeing a Boston Red Sox game had the best atmosphere, so happy we had this experience, also beautiful Quebec city, Whistler, Jasper and Banff, could have spent so long in these places. No photos can do the backdrops in the Rockies justice!

The very sad part was saying goodbyes to our Contiki family!

My Contiki was: Amazing, Adventure, Friends

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