Birth of Contiki Tours
New Zealander John Anderson started Contiki in 1962. He was alone and came out with a plan that he will not travel alone and could explore Europe for free. He bought a minibus and gathered a group of people to spend 12 weeks exploring Europe. At the end of the trip, he was unable to sell the minibus. As a result, he promoted his Europe trip again and managed two trips during the summer season. The first tours were booked by 19- to 29-year-old, starting the tradition of Contiki being trips for youth travelers.
Contiki is all about building connection and traveling with like-minded people. This is one of the reasons why the trips a catered exclusively for 18 – 35 years. Even the Trip Manager and Driver are within the same age group. Besides the similar age, here are more reasons why you need to go for trip.
Contiki Tours Experiences
When it comes to experiences, Contiki includes all the travel icons, the things you can do only with Contiki and a few unexpected surprises along the way. You can do as much or as little as you like. That’s because Contiki trips are designed around you. They give you free time, and you can choose whether to join in on their optional add-on experiences.
During my first Contiki trip was in 2018, I got the chance to cover many travel icons in Europe. Even though it was my first time in Europe, I never expect to experience as much as I had with Contiki. Check out the video of my European Highlights trip below!
Unique Accommodations With Contiki Tours
The thing I like most about Contiki is the accommodations. You will experience diverse types of accommodation based on the travel styles that you pick. They own properties in Europe and partnered with some of the coolest hostel brands on the continent. If you are a ski lover, Contiki owns a traditional Austrian Gasthof in Hofgarten that is just steps away from ski slopes.
Lucky for me, both of my trips with Contiki includes a night stay in a unique accommodation. During my European Highlights tour, I had the chance to stay a night in a 16th century French Château, known as Château de Cruix. On my second trip, the Northern Thai Highlights, I had the chance to spend a night on a floating raft hut on the serene River Kwai, in Kanchanaburi.
Contiki Tours Local Guide & Food
Other than real experiences & accommodations, Contiki is also best when it comes to arranging local guide and food. Contiki has the best team bursting with equal amounts of local insight and infectious enthusiasm, these guys are at the top of their game and they know how to deliver the goods.
On my trip to Thailand, Contiki arranged a local guide to bring us around in Bangkok all the way to Ayutthaya. Besides just guiding us around Thailand, towards the end of the trip he invited our whole group to dine in with his family where his wife prepared a wonderful authentic home cooked Thai cuisine. We were all so delighted with the amount of food prepared for us.
Meeting New Friends
Besides experiencing new culture and seeing travel icons, the other thing youths seek for is making new friends. When it comes to Contiki, making new friends is not difficult. The main reason is more 60% of Contiki travelers are solo and most of them are looking for new friends too.
When it comes to a group of people in the similar age group, you will notice it is so much easier to communicate and to make friends with each other. During Contiki trips, you will either get 1 or 3 roommates depending on the sharing basis of your hotels. Usually on the start of the trip, your roommates are arranged randomly according to the same gender by your trip manager. You will have the flexibility to swap roommates throughout the trip if everyone in both rooms agree to it.
There is a part of Contiki that will excite you and make you crave for more trips! It is all about embracing it and bringing yourself out of your comfort zone.
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