Contiki London Reviews
Mar 16, 2007
When I was doing research for my trip to Europe I was inititally planning a month long backpacking tour. A friend of mine was going to accompany and we were wanting to see it all. We had our route mapped out, knew what we wanted to see in each destination and then something happened and I was suddenly without a travel companion. Unfortunately my friends aren't the get-up-and-go type of people and most of them really arean't into travel. It's shocking, I know!
I then decided the safest way for a 23 year old female to travel Europe on her own would be to join a tour group. From here, I found Contiki tours. Contiki Tours is a travel company based out of Australia. It brings together a group 18 to 35 yeards from around the world together for a tour of some of Europe and Australia's hottest location. There were so many tours to choose it was hard picking the right one for me. I wanted to do a tour where I got to spend more than just one day in a city but most of the tours didn't offer that.
I, again, found another friend who wanted to go to Europe but could only go for a week over her Spring Break. We looked at the packages together and decided on the Independent Getaway Tour visiting London and Paris. It was perfect for us. 3 days in each city, loads of free time, what could be better? When it came time to book the trip, she backed out. I on the other hand didn't. See the cool thing with Contiki is that most of the people go by themselves. In retrospect, I'm glad she back out on me because I created long lasting friendships that I may not have had she been there. I feel like I was more myself with those people because they didn't have any proconceived perceptions of me. The few people that did have a travel companion didn't get the same experience as us solo travelers did.
The trip itself was fantastic. I couldn't have asked for a better time. Contiki arraged for all of our hotels, a few dinners, underground/metro passes and we had an excellent guide and driver who led us around both Paris and London. Our guide also was full of advice and suggestions on where to go to eat, drink, party, shop, sightsee, etc. He was very knowledgable and helpful.
The company had additional excursions that you could book through them. With our tour we could take a side trip to Bath and Stonehenge and attend a performance at the Moulin Rouge. I, like 99% of the other tourmates did both.
After we returned to our respected homes I know of 3 of my tourmates who have since gone on another Contiki tour. Their tours were more structured than our Independent Getaway Tours. I heard complaint from them that there was too much time on the bus and not enough time in each place. On our trip the only time we were on the bus was when we traveled from London ->Stonehenge->Bath->London, London->Paris->Versailles->Paris and when we were on our driving tour of the cities.
As far as me going on another Contiki, I think it was a fantastic experience. I met some amazing people, saw some great things and revisited my (former) favorite city Paris. That being said, I'm not so sure I would do another Contiki unless it was another Independent Getaway. These tours are generally shorter but you get to spend more time in each city which I feel is important.
If you're wanting to see it all and have loads of time on your hand, I say go for it and enjoy! Happy travels!
Part of the Europe 2007 travel blog
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