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Contiki fashion sure has come a long way over the years…

A group of people with skis and a van.

Let’s throw it back to where is all began – 1962 – to one man with a real big dream, a mini bus, a sh*tload of ambition, and a few dodgy old tents. This, my friends, was the birth of Contiki. 

60 (!) years on and the social travel ethos remains the same, but to say we’ve come a long way in past 6 decades is something of an understatement. From starting out on the open roads of Europe, we’ve now spread our wings to 6 continents, and we don’t plan on slowing down any time soon (Antarctica, say what?).

And it’s not just our scope that’s evolved over the years; our travellers have also been on a sartorial journey of their own – one that involves A LOT of hair spray and some serious short shorts action.

So if you’re curious about how Contiki fashion has evolved over the years, prepare for general hilarity…

What was it like to travel with Contiki in the 80s?

What was it like to travel with Contiki in the 80s?

Dominic Oliver
by Dominic Oliver May 16, 2022

Europe city vibes

Check out this old-school Contiki crew enjoying a little down time in the plaza of Venice, Italy. Back in the 60’s it was all about those matching 2 pieces…which to be fair isn’t out of place in 2022.

Hats off to the crew who managed to coordinate their packing so efficiently. Today just managing to put together a crease free outfit is an achievement enough.

Venice in the 1970s and 1980s.

Who likes short shorts?

It’s not only Contiki travellers’ Pisa poses that seemed to have upped their game. Long gone are the offensively short shorts that took centre stage throughout the 70’s. (Today, simple tees and less…revealing shorts do the trick).

Contiki fashion 2

Contiki beach babes

Never mind the girls, check out these 4 beach babes. Once again repping those short shorts and some even shorter speedos, these guys were clearly working on their tan game. Today, it seems greased up bodies have been replaced with boardies, leaving the speedos firmly in the past (and long may they stay there).

Contiki fashion 3

Contiki ski babes

If Spring-Summer in the 70’s wasn’t quite doing it for you, just check out the 70’s Autumn-Winter style. The iconic flared trouser hit the slopes in full force, complemented by an array of cropped hairstyles. (At least they look like they’ve having a good time.) Nowadays, we’re looking to fur trims, bright colours and bobble hats for more of a snow bunny style.

sea to sky

The singlets

And then there’s one travel trend that seems truly timeless: the singlet. It seems like airing the pits and putting a little chest hair on show is a fashion rule that will never change. And Fanny’s? Well, if you know, you know…


Contiki fashion 5

The fancy dress!

Lest we forget the legendary Contiki fancy dress outfits. No matter what era, decade or generation, the Contiki travellers’ fancy dress game has always been on point. Congrats guys on looking ridiculous since 1962 – THIS is why we love you.


Contiki fashion 6

A passion for (sustainable) fashion

Back in the 60’s clothing tended to be sourced more locally and ethically compared to the ‘fast fashion’ websites we’re more familiar with today. But we also know Contiki travellers are seeking more sustainable ways to fill their wardrobes. Rather than buying disposable boardies from ASOS for just one trip, they’re increasingly looking for high quality items with long shelf lives. That’s why Contiki partners with, Teemill, who only use certified organic cotton and print with tech powered by renewable energy, in a completely zero-waste cycle.

contiki teemill tshirt

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