On a Contiki trip, you’ll have loads of opportunities to meet people and make friends. Of course there are the social dinners and nights out. There’s a slight chance we’ll battle our travel knowledge with a hotly-contested coach quiz …
Not to mention the off-chance of a song or two, and a big cheer when our coach pulls up at yet another dreamy destination! But if you’re not naturally extroverted, that’s okay too. In fact, it’s super common to feel a little pre-trip nerves.
If it’s your first Contiki, just remember you’re all there for the same reason… to travel the world and make amazing memories together. So, put yourself out there and follow our 5 steps to making friends for life on a Contiki.
1. Join the Contiki Travel Lounge
The Contiki Travel Lounge is where you’ll hear about our mystery trips, exclusive deals, and trip updates all in one place. But it’s also where tons of soon-to-be travellers send that first message, reaching out to a stranger they’ve noticed will be taking the same trip. For many, it’s a fond memory. That was where their first friendship on a Contiki began.
Of course, all the members in this club will be 18-35 and love to travel (or want to). So what you’ll find is a community of young people that share similar passions and have a lot in common. Some might not use social media, or even want to save up the socialising for their trip!
But for the majority, this is a chance to ask questions and suss out what everyone is excited for. In any case, the Contiki Travel Lounge helps you put faces to names, which really helps calm any nervous butterflies on your first day!
2. Have your first (and last) awkward dinner together
Usually on the first night of a Contiki trip, there’s an unofficial ‘let’s all hang out and pretend we know each other’ dinner. But, who do you sit next to? Yet once everyone is settled into their seats (pro tip: sit down first so people come to you), the talk starts and suddenly the ‘awkward’ dinner isn’t so awkward at all.
Some might be tired from their flight and want to get an early night, but don’t be surprised if you get talking late in the evening with pals you just met. ‘Not too late, mind,’ you’ll probably tell yourself, with busy days of exploring and excursions ahead. But it’s such a vibe when a friendship group is just blooming and no one wants to go to bed!
Just remember: if there’s an included breakfast in the morning, you’ll feel total fomo if you slept through it…
3. Get your groove on
At one point or another of many Contiki city trips, there’ll be an opportunity to get your groove on and sample the local nightlife, like on our Amsterdam Pride trip. Whether you’re a born dancer or prefer to sit and chat, that first night out as a group is the perfect way to let your hair down and get to know each other better.
It’s a good idea to set out a meeting point if you’re at a festival or busy nightclub strip. You could swap numbers with your travel mates so you can stay together as a group easier. Of course, you’ll have your Trip Manager’s contact number if you need any support or advice on your trip. But for now, the only question is: karaoke time?
4. Have a chat
Less Gossip Girl, more Queer Eye. We live for the real talk, the deep chats about family and culture, hopes and dreams. The moments you show a bit of your soul to someone else and they love you for it. Friendship is born out of shared experiences and no two friendships look the same. Why did you decide to take a Contiki at this point in your life? It sure makes a good talking point.
You might find some travellers are on gap years in their studies, some may have recently taken a sabbatical or even quit their jobs… (a few likely just fancied a holiday!) But it’s the laughter and conversations between people from all around the globe that make a Contiki trip so much more than that. These are the moments that grow our perspective on the world and turn ideas into positive change. And a big reason we believe social travel is the best way to see the world.
5. Keep the friendship going
The best thing about Contiki is that even when your trip has come to an end, the friendships and memories stay with us. Keep in touch with your travel pals and see what they’re up to next time. It’s not uncommon for travellers to book another Contiki trip for the future with the friends they met on the way!
The only thing left to do really is join My Contiki before your trip and warn everyone that they’re about to find a new BFF 4 Life!