There are an infinite number of ways to travel the world so why did I choose Contiki? I am someone who likes everything to be planned out ahead of time while still giving me time to explore on my own. I think traveling shouldn’t be stressful, but fun and full of adventures. Contiki arranged everything for the trip so I could just enjoy the experience and take it all in. Here are the pros of Contiki that I found.
Pros of Contiki Trips
- The accommodations were booked– I loved that we didn’t have to find hotels in the areas that we wanted to stay in. Not to mention how nice the majority of the hotels we stayed in were. We were pleasantly surprised with the accommodations and they were all in safe areas of town so we never felt nervous entering or leaving our hotel.
- The Me Time activities was an awesome feature that other trips didn’t necessarily offer. In addition to all of the included activities, you could choose to do really neat things along the way. Some of the ones my boyfriend and I did were: bungee jumping out of a cable car in the Swiss Alps, white water rafting in Austrian Tyrol, wine tasting, learning how Schnapps was made in Austria, delicious authentic meals, and so much more!
- The trip was only for 18-35 year olds. This was really nice because it made it easier to relate to other people on the trip. It also made everyone go at the same pace instead of having some super charged teens who wanted to see and do as much as possible and some older travelers who needed to take their time and carefully choose what to see. We were all at about the same place in our lives and it made it easy to make amazing friends.
- It was the perfect mix of fun and culture. I’m not saying you can’t have fun while learning about culture but it can be hard to do so. I really enjoyed that we got to learn about the city and the history of it, but still got to go out at night and have time for things such as climbing a mountain to stand at the top of a light house or going to a Fish Spa. If you ever get the chance to go to a Fish Spa in Greece… DO IT! It’s such a weird but cool experience and I loved it!
- I can’t begin to explain how important it was that transportation between cities and countries was included. It was awesome that we had transportation and even better that this transportation was our own Contiki bus. That meant you could sleep, listen to music, and leave your stuff without fear that someone else would take it. This is not true if you are on a train or any other public transportation. In addition, the bus was very comfortable with reclining seats and music or a movie playing so you weren’t completely bored on some of the longer drives. The only thing that wasn’t included was taxi rides back to the hotel if you wanted to stay out late, which wasn’t bad.
- The ability to make awesome friends (mostly Australians)! We made some of the best friends on this trip. I can honestly say those people become your family. You cry when they cry, you protect them like your own, and you miss them like crazy when you come back home. Everyone is so open and honest with each other and you get to see how amazing everyone is in their own way. Shout out to my EU Panorama crew! I love you guys <3
- Everything was already pretty much planned! I am someone who likes to have a schedule (a flexible one) so this trip was perfect for me. With a plan to go off of, that meant we got to see as much as possible in a short amount of time. We also got free time but they made sure to give you a map with all of the main places you would want to see in that city. In addition, they would also tell you which places to go to first, how to see everything you wanted to see, and what places were overrated. This was so useful in order to get the most out of your experience. There were set pickup and drop off times but you could catch a cab in later or earlier if you had other stuff to do. The amount of flexibility while still having a plan to explore was something I really enjoyed with Contiki.
- A large portion of your meals were included. Breakfast was included every morning and sometimes lunch or dinner also was. This meant you had the freedom to try authentic food from the country on your own but were also guided towards some of the ones Contiki thought were great for the country.
- You never felt lost. We had a walking tour in almost every city to give you a feel of where everything was so you felt comfortable being left there. We had maps to help us if we were unsure but for the most part we never felt lost or even had to ask for directions. Our tour guides were fantastic and made sure we were comfortable with the map of the city before we left to explore.
- I always felt safe even though some of the cities we visited weren’t low crime places. You were always in a group or in pairs to ensure safety in the city. In addition, we were warned ahead of time every city that we needed to be more careful in to ensure that nothing was stolen, and that we would stay out of trouble.
- Their motto was perfect: No Regrets. This pushed you to take that leap and do as much as you could during your trip even if you were scared. I braved my fears quite a few times on our trip and I can honestly say at the end of the day I had #NoRegrets.
It was an amazing way to see everything we wanted to see in a short time frame and limited budget. We got to see all of the main attractions and enjoy our time in the cities instead of being lost, confused, and taken advantage of by the locals.
I would highly recommend Contiki to solo travelers, pairs, and groups. It is an awesome way to make great friends, see tons of attractions, and do it all stress free.
If you have any other questions about Contiki and my experiences, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or send me a message on my Facebook Page Thrifty Traveler Tips.
Thanks for reading and make sure to check out my Packing List for a Contiki Trip Across Europe!