So this summer, I did something I wouldn’t normally do. I went on my very first Contiki tour! Now, now; I know what you’re thinking. What’s wrong with that? The answer- ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! Prior to this trip, I would just say; “it’s not really my style”. Reality: It is a 18-30 something group trip with about 50 likeminded people, in that age category, that pack as many sights, as many experiences and as many bars as possible into your selected period of time (or you can do as little of that as you want- but then what’s the point). So again, What’s wrong with that? NOTHING!
It was an absolutely fantastic time! A perfect way to get away, and just… have fun.
Was it the most immersive travel experience I’ve had? No. Did it expose us to as much nitty gritty culture and local tourism as possible? Also no. But that’s ok. That’s not what it is about. Contiki is not an adventure brand- but where they lack in certain aspects, they make up for in experience, fun and laughs. If I’m going to call Contiki an expert in anything, it will be just that- Fun!
I think, if you’re young, haven’t really travelled on your own before but want to meet people and explore all in the same, there really is no better way of doing it. When you book a Contiki, you’re not just getting a trip, you are basically pre-arranging some awesome memories, and some great friendships from all over the world you previously didn’t have. Oh, not to mention a day song that will forever be associated to your time away.
I don’t think it matters what trip you do, the essence of the experience will be the same. I would suggest Europe, as it sort of has become their bread and butter- but with itineraries there, Australia/New Zealand, North/South America and Asia- you just have to take your pick. Regardless, your itinerary will be seamless, a great time is almost a guarantee, all you have to do is show up.
I know what cons people will throw at me- I’m a travel agent, I hear them all the time. Lets get a couple of those out of the way though.
I don’t want to be on a bus all day! Response: You’re not, its your transportation, and you have to get to next destination one way or another. Not to mention, bus days are your best friend, they are your hangover cure. Better to be on a bus with a hangover than a wicked destination and not be able to enjoy it. Embrace the bus, Love the bus. Respect the bus.
There are too many people! Response: Yes, there are a lot of people- they are your new besties- be thankful you just made a bus full of friends and stop being so anti-social.
I don’t want to be tied to an itinerary! Response: Listen, if you have all the time and money in the world… do it on your own. But if you just have a couple weeks to take off, you will never see as much in a single time frame than by having it organized. Not to mention you can do as much or as little that is involved in that itinerary- just be on time for the bus.
I did their trip entitled Eastern Road. This trip visited Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Krakow and Warsaw- with a couple short stops through Slovakia. Perfect trip for me, as it ticked off four countries I have yet to previously visit, and it ended in Poland, where I have family, which I was able to visit after the trip, had ended.
Again, like any Contiki it had a good mix of sights, a little bit more history than an average (not a bad thing) and an awesome nightlife.
So question of the day? Would I go on another one?
Well- yes and no. I won’t go on a Contiki trip if I really want to immerse myself in a destination and really get a good amount of culture shock. However, If I want to take a few weeks away, and check out a new place and just have a couple weeks of fun, then absolutely! And lets face it, I had a great time- and a clear cut sign that you had a great time? You will come home with the Classic Contiki cough. I just got rid of mine, so I really must have had a good time!
So now lets take it destination by destination, with two words to describe it- otherwise this post would never end.
VIENNA- Schnitzels and Schnapps
BUDAPEST- Dinner Cruise And Sparties
KRAKOW- Pierogi and Vodka
WARSAW- Clubs and Goodbyes
last thing I have to say #NOREGRETS