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Go Back   REVscene Automotive Forum > Vancouver LifeStyles (VLS) > Vacations and World Travel

Vacations and World Travel Visiting our beautiful city? Come stay at the Arbutus Vista - Vancouver's Bed & Breakfast.
How was your trip? Which tour packages would you recommend/avoid? Must do's and must eats? Share tips, photos and experiences with other senior RS members who just want to get away..

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Old 07-04-2016, 10:00 PM   #1
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Contiki Vacations

has anyone been by themselves on a contiki vacation? Is it fun? is it safe?
would love to hear experiences.
Also i'm presuming the amounts on the site are meals + accom only? Flight is extra?

thinking of doing germany or budapest /viennea (europe in general)
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Old 07-04-2016, 10:20 PM   #2
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I did a 3 week Contiki tour from England to Italy (7 countries in total) like 8 years ago. The tour itself was prety good IMO, they stick with the itineraries so no surprises. The bus was clean and the accommodations were decent. The crowd was 95% australians, and apparently I just found out that it's an aussie company from my co-worker. Whether is fun or not, depends on the tour guide/crowd you are with.
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Old 07-04-2016, 10:23 PM   #3
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they are all the same. I've done it before.

i was pissed at 1 thing when I took these tours, the guide was cheap as I knew he got free meals at the places he went. I wanted real food but he kept saying "these places are 'safe' and clean". Again, normally it's the americas and mexico, in Europe, it was much better.

If you have something you want to do before hand, do let them know before. A great group makes a difference; i do know a girl was epic cheap (student) and all she had was peanut butter + bread all day.
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Old 07-04-2016, 10:33 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by 6793026 View Post
they are all the same. I've done it before.

i was pissed at 1 thing when I took these tours, the guide was cheap as I knew he got free meals at the places he went. I wanted real food but he kept saying "these places are 'safe' and clean". Again, normally it's the americas and mexico, in Europe, it was much better.

If you have something you want to do before hand, do let them know before. A great group makes a difference; i do know a girl was epic cheap (student) and all she had was peanut butter + bread all day.
Is food not included?

Also, can you (or anyone) kind of give the outline of what happens..

Say you fly YVR to LON get off the plain, through customs, then what? Is there someone dude with a sign with your name on it?
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Old 07-05-2016, 09:59 AM   #5
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Food was definitely not included on my tour but that's specifically for some trips.
out of 10 days, only 2-3 meals were included.

They will organize travel and help you check in your hotel, provide suggestions etc. All in all, they make sure you don't get ripped off to be really honest.

Each location, you check in, the leader will tell you what there is to do, what good food to eat and that's it. It's free for all for 3 days. USUALLY the gang goes to 1 unique tourist hot spot and that's how your group bonds and eats together.

Cozumel: we all did our own thing eating, we did club together. Some went to Playa de Carmen to see turtle farm together, but I went diving.

Guatemala: We all did our own thing, we all did go hiking 1 day.

Belize: we just met up with dinner, pre-drank 1 night together, as I did diving so I didn't join other activities
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Old 07-05-2016, 08:05 PM   #6
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did any of you go by yourself or was it with folk that you knew?
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Old 07-17-2016, 01:56 AM   #7
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There are 3 "levels" of Contiki tour -- or at least there was when I did my two Contikis (2007, 2009): Budget, Standard, and Premium.

Budget = you'll be taking busses, staying in questionable dorm-style places, and often doing your own dishes and chores and shit. Other peeps on your tour will generally be younger and more likely to get blackout drunk every night. Larger tour groups likely.

Standard = you'll be taking mainly busses but maybe also trains/planes, staying in hostel-type places, and eating adequate food. Other peeps on your tour will be all ages (but primarily 19-25) and have a wide range of party-prone tendencies (nightly blackout to non-drinkers). Medium to large size tour groups likely.

Premium = you'll be taking mainly planes/trains and sometimes busses, staying in decent 2.5-3.5 star hotels (shared rooms possible), and eating decent food. Other peeps on your tour will be all ages and have a wide range of party-prone tendencies (nightly blackout to non-drinkers). Small to medium size tour groups likely.

Different tours and destinations will have different inclusions (ie. some may only offer breakfast while many tours include 3 meals almost every day). Almost all Contiki tours, from what I have heard/experienced, do not include paid activities/excursions... so expect to pay a bit out of pocket to do shit (ie. I paid ~$90 for a tour of Istanbul, paid ~$30 for a walking tour in Hvar, paid ~$60 for an organized dinner out at a restaurant in Athens, etc).

Both my Contiki tours were in Europe, and both were "Premium"...

I thoroughly enjoyed the first one and have nothing but great memories from that trip (10 day Athens / Greek Islands / Turkey cruise)... small group of only ~13 of us. Tour mates were all ages (from 18 to 33) and a nice mix of Aussies, Kiwis, Canadians, Brits, and a few Americans. I enjoyed the mix of sobriety/chill nights and occasional drunken debauchery. Food was generally good.

The second tour had its high points, but wasn't nearly as fun as the first (9-day Croatia / Dalmatian Coast sailing tour). Bigger group of ~20 or so. Tour mates were mainly aged 18-23, mostly Aussie with a few Kiwis/Brits/Canadians and one random Venezuelan chick. Every night was a complete gongshow. Food was OK.

My wife did a 36-day Budget Contiki in 2009 (all around Europe) and described it as "fun but ridiculous" -- she met great people and had some crazy fun times, but they stayed in absolutely garbage places in a few spots, and spent many hours on the bus (often leaving at 7am hung over as fuck). Overall though, for her easygoing and fun-loving personality, it seemed like a good choice and an easy way to see Europe without any planning/worries.

If you're 18-25 years old, lacking travel companions, but seeking some fun and a hassle-free way to see the world, I think Contiki is a great way to go. For a first-timer, you might want to try a shorter Standard or Premium tour to begin your trip, then continue onwards after the tour ends (you'll almost always meet a few cool people on the tour that will want to travel with you afterwards).

To answer one of your first questions, Contiki tours are definitely safe, and in some sketchier places I'd say that's a big plus as they're a big-name tour company with a reputation on the line so they actually give a shit whether you get home safely.

^^ Plz keep in mind that all the above info is 5-7 years out of date, so some things may have changed since then.

Last edited by Amaru; 07-17-2016 at 02:02 AM.
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