A Contiki coach is a thing of beauty – it becomes your home away from home, your place to recharge, bond with your new friends, explore new places and get from one amazing city to another. But this bus tour needs strategy...
Between your first time on the coach and your last day on your 10th Contiki trip, you learn so much valuable knowledge about the ways of the coach, and one thing especially – where to sit, and when.
Whether you’re prepping for your first Contiki, or just haven’t cracked the seating code yet, here’s the lowdown on Contiki Coach Seating 101:
Don’t overthink your first ride
Getting onboard the coach on your first day can feel a lot like walking into your first day of school, but don’t stress it too much. Just because you pick a particular seat or seatmate on day one, does NOT mean you are bound to that seat or seatmate for the rest of the trip.
The driver’s seat and TM seat are off limits
It should be common sense, but you never know… The Trip Manager will sometimes need the very front seats to store things, or to sit in themselves if a local guide is joining you, so be mindful of that as well.
And most importantly, there are different seats for different times
Every seat may physically be the same, but where it’s located can provide a different experience.
Where to sit:
If you’re a coach ride photographer…
The window seats are the place to be for photography; that way, you’re not reaching over your seatmate to snap a shot. As far as which side of the bus to choose, there’s scenery on both sides so you can’t really go wrong. If you’re on a driving tour, the coach will often do a drive-by of major sites for both sides. If you want great shots of the view ahead, seats in the front are clearly the best choice. The front is also the best place to get group selfies of the entire coach.
If you’re not feeling 100% today…
Sometimes (but hopefully never) you’ll have to secure a seat at the front of the coach at one time or another, and it’s often after a really late night. The front of the coach experiences less movement and thus less motion sickness, so it’s the place to be if you’re not feeling great. The right side of the coach is often the best choice as well since the movement of opposing traffic on the left can make you feel queasier.
If you’re REALLY in a bad way, being as close to the bathroom is advisable.
If you want to socialize…
The middle of the bus is typically the place to be.
If you need to catch up on some sleep…
The window seats are typically the ideal places to go. It’s often quieter near the very front or the very back, and the window gives you a nice place to lean your head. Just ensure that you place something between your head and the window; your Trip Driver will thank you for keeping them smudge-free.
If you like your space…
There’s a special area, right behind (and beside) the back staircase that gives you a little bit more open space without as many neighbours. If you’re lucky enough to score the very back seat and your coach isn’t full, you get a bit of extra of seat room as well.
If you have a lot of Questions…
The first row is for you. The first row is the ideal place to ask your TM and driver your burning questions without having to block the aisle.
If you want to be in the middle of the action…
The seats behind the driver are the place to be for you then! You’ll be up-close and personal with everyone as they make their way to the front of the coach to do their intros on the mic, so it’s a good place to be if you wanna scope everyone out early on.
Every day is going be different – some days you’re gonna need some extra sleep, and other days you’ll want to take a million photos. It’s best to move around and experience different spots with different people, but if you find your “sweet spot” and want some consistency that’s ok too. Just obey the coach rules, and above all, enjoy the ride.