WHO IS CONTIKI?
Contiki is the world leader in travel for 18-35 year olds. Operating since 1962, we’ve been showing young travelers the world for over 55 years and we like to think we know what we’re talking about. Oh, and did we mention our travel philosophy? We call it No Regrets – we believe that life’s greatest lessons are learned through travel. That real life doesn’t happen when you color inside the lines. It’s only when you break free, trust your impulse, and intentionally live with your eyes wide open, that you become the person you’re meant to be. This is what it means to live life with No Regrets.
WHY ONLY 18-35?
Being young, living with hope, and seeing the world for the very first time, is at the essence of why we exist. Some travel experiences you can only have when you’re young, and those are the experiences you have with Contiki. As a company we ourselves are young; we challenge convention, push boundaries, and sometimes turn a blind eye to our parents advice, so why wouldn’t we want the same from our travelers?
WHAT IS SOCIAL TRAVEL?
Social travel is what you get when you connect like-minded travellers and open their eyes to the world. With Contiki, sure you get cool accommodation, tasty and authentic meals and awesome experiences, but we also create something very special that money can’t buy – friendship – something you often miss out on if you travel independently. Call it a cliché, but it’s the truth, and the equation really isn’t complicated. You + a coach load of other young travellers + shared experiences + a new part of the world = social travel.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
HOW MANY OTHER TRAVELLERS ARE ON EACH TRIP?
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED?
WHAT DOCUMENTS DO I NEED TO TRAVEL?
HOW DO I GET A PASSPORT?
DO I NEED A VISA?
DO I NEED TO GET ANY VACCINATIONS BEFORE I TRAVEL?
WHAT IF I HAVE MEDICAL CONDITIONS OR PHYSICAL DISABILITIES?
If you suffer from any form of medical condition, be sure to have an adequate supply of relevant medications prior to departing on your trip and advise us of any important medical conditions you may have at time of booking.
You’ll also need to flag any physical disabilities to us before you book your trip, otherwise we may be unable to proceed with your booking at a later stage. A lot of our trips require physical activities which may not be best suited to your needs. If your disability does require certain assistance, we need to ensure any special needs, services or accompanied-bodies are discussed at the time of booking. Contiki do not provide devices such as wheelchairs and will not be responsible on the failure of the person or able bodied companion/s to provide these services.
WHAT SHOULD I BRING WITH ME?
WHAT IF I GET SICK WHILE TRAVELLING?
HOW CAN I KEEP HEALTHY ON THE ROAD?
HOW MUCH LUGGAGE CAN I BRING?
This one depends on the destination and trip you’re travelling on.
For our European, North American, Australian and New Zealand trips, luggage is restricted to one decent sized, non-expanding suitcase, approximately 29” × 20” × 10” (73cm x 50cm x 25cm) with a maximum weight of 20 kilos (44lbs.) plus one small hand/day bag that can go on the coach with you. Metal frame backpacks are not advised as their bulky shape makes packing the coach tricky, plus they are more likely to damage other luggage.
On Camping tours, the maximum dimensions are 28” × 18” x 9” (70cm x 45cm x 23cm) with a maximum weight of 20 kilos (44lbs).
For Latin America, Asia & other regions which have internal flights included in the itinerary, luggage weight restrictions must be within the restriction of the given airlines you’re travelling on. It’s up to you to ensure you keep within these measurements and weight restrictions, so check this out before you travel as excess baggage fees will be at your own cost.
WHY IS THE AMOUNT YOU CAN BRING RESTRICTED?
SHOULD I TAKE A SUITCASE OR BACKPACK?
Again, this is all dependent on where you’re travelling to. For trips to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, a backpack will be your best bet. Oversized suitcases or metal framed backpacks are a no-go due to luggage limitations, but you can bring a smaller bag to pack for the Galapagos, leaving your main suitcase at the hotel in Guayaquil to collect on return.
On our Australia trips which include sailing and/or 4-wheel drive trips, there is a super small luggage space so again, make sure you bring along a small bag to transfer your essentials into. Your regular luggage will be stored back at base.
On European ski trips and New Zealand trips with a ski option you have the option to bring one pair of skis and ski boots, to show off your pro skiing skills.
Other than what's mentioned above, travelling with a backpack or suitcase is totally up to you.
IS THERE ANY KIND OF DRESS CODE?
WHAT SHOULD I PACK FOR MY TRIP?
Dependent on where you are going and the time of the year you may need to pack swimwear, scarfs, sweaters, appropriate footwear, or eveningwear. Warm clothing is always a good call, even in the summertime as temperatures can get chilly. Below is a checklist covering all the key travel items, take a look at this to see what might be relevant for the locations you’ll be travelling to:
3. All relevant trip docs and info
4. Rainproof jacket
6. Thick sweater
9. Casual shirts
10. Casual skirts/dresses
11. Smart trousers/jackets/dresses (for evening wear)
13. Beach towel
15. Evening shoes
16. Comfortable walking shoes
22. Camera / travel tech
24. Insect repellent
25. Tissues/antiseptic wipes
26. Flashlight (if camping)
28. Adapter (these may vary in locations)
For more packing and tips, head to six-two.
DO I NEED TRAVEL INSURANCE?
DO YOU SELL TRAVEL INSURANCE?
We sure do. Contiki travel insurance can cover you for the duration of your trip as well as any days you are travelling pre or post your Contiki trip. You can find out more about Contiki travel protection here or download our PDF brochure. For a full quote on what Contiki can offer, send us an email or give us a call on the relevant home country numbers you can find here.
WHERE ELSE CAN I GET TRAVEL INSURANCE?
ARE FLIGHTS INCLUDED IN THE COST OF THE TRIP?
International flights to/from the destination your trip starts and ends in are not included in the cost of the trip, and must be purchased separately. If you are booking direct with Contiki, you can add on flights during the booking process. Alternatively, you can book these independently if you want to shop around for the best quote, or through your travel agent.
Any flights you take during your Contiki, are included in the cost of your trip. Particularly in regions like Asia or South America, we use planes to get you from A to B as quickly as possible, and all of this is included. Check out our full booking conditions for more information on what’s included and what’s not.
HOW MUCH DO FLIGHTS COST?
DO YOU SELL FLIGHTS?
HOW ELSE DO I BOOK FLIGHTS?
WHERE DOES MY CONTIKI START?
WHAT IS A KICK-START MEETING?
I’M ARRIVING LATE, DOES IT MATTER IF I MISS THE KICK-START?
WHAT’S THE CONTIKI BASEMENT?
The Contiki Basement is our super cool, home from home London launchpad, located in the basement of the Royal National Hotel, Bedford Way, London. This is also the London base for Contiki trips in Europe, and the meeting point for Contiki trips starting in London.
ARE AIRPORT TRANSFERS INCLUDED?
HOW DO I GET TO THE STARTING POINT OF MY TRIP?
WHAT TYPE OF ACCOMMODATION DO YOU STAY IN ON CONTIKI?
CAN I SEE A LIST OF THE ACCOMMODATION FOR EACH TRIP?
WILL I HAVE TO SHARE A ROOM ON MY TRIP?
WHO WILL I BE ROOMED WITH?
CAN I HAVE A ROOM TO MYSELF?
IS THERE WIFI AT THE ACCOMMODATION WE’LL STAY AT?
DO CONTIKI COACHES HAVE WIFI?
HOW CAN I STAY ONLINE DURING MY TRIP?
IS THERE ANY FREE TIME ON CONTIKI TRIPS?
HOW DO I KNOW HOW MUCH FREE TIME I’LL HAVE?
WHAT DO I DO IN MY FREE TIME?
WHAT ARE FREE TIME ADD-ONS?
Free Time Add-Ons are basically the travel experiences we’ve picked that we think will take your trip to a whole new level. The experiences are built around activities or topics we know you love, so think food, adventure, exploration, history, culture, fashion, music - you name it. A few examples of Free Time Add-Ons include:
- A canal cruise down Amsterdam’s iconic canals
- White water rafting in Innsbruck, Austria
- An Italian feast in the Tuscan hills
- A half day snorkeling cruise in Koh Tao
- Visit a local hill tribe in Chiang Mai
- A polo day experience, Buenos Aires
- Kayaking down the Amazon river, Peruvian Jungle
- A sunrise hot air balloon ride, Alice Springs
- A skydive over the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns
ARE FREE TIME ADD-ON ACTIVITIES INCLUDED IN THE COST OF MY TRIP?
DO I HAVE TO DO A FREE TIME ADD-ON?
HOW DO I KNOW WHAT FREE TIME ADD-ONS ARE ON MY TRIP?
HOW DO I PAY FOR FREE TIME ADD-ONS?
WHAT WILL I NEED MONEY FOR ON THE TRIP?
In terms of spending money, you’ll need to budget for the following:
- Any meals (normally lunches and dinners) that are not included. If you check your trip itinerary page, you’ll be able to see the total number of meals included in the cost of your trip.
- Any Free Time Add-Ons you would like to do on your trip.
- Any additional sightseeing you plan on doing in your Free Time, that is not covered either by our No Regrets Inclusions or Free Time Add-Ons.
- Any additional personal expenses. This includes alcohol, shopping, and any evening entertainment not included.
HOW MUCH SPENDING MONEY SHOULD I BRING?
How much spending money you’ll need will depend on the duration of the trip, the region you are travelling to (for instance Europe and Australia will be significantly more expensive than Asia, or Latin America), and how much you anticipate spending on personal expenses like alcohol or shopping. Before you travel, it’s also a good idea to read up on and get an idea of the Free Time Add-Ons you think you’ll want to do on trip, as these will form part of your overall budget. We’d advise doing some research on your chosen destinations beforehand, looking at things like:
- Cost of a local lunch
- Cost of a local dinner
- Cost of a bottle of water
- Cost of a beer
- Cost of an ice cream
- Cost of entry to a sightseeing spot
We also advise you bring some cash in the local currency of the destination you’ll be travelling to first, and then use your debit or credit card to withdraw money along the way (don’t forget to let you bank known you’ll be travelling, as otherwise they may freeze your account due to foreign currency expenditure). Cash cards like Travelex are also a good option if you want to reduce conversion fees.
WILL I BE ABLE TO DO LAUNDRY WHILE TRAVELLING?
IS TIPPING COMPULSORY?
Tipping very much depends on whereabouts in the world you are travelling. If you’re heading to America, tipping is a big part of the culture and is expected when paying your dinner bill, buying drinks at a bar, and even getting a taxi. However, if you were heading to Japan, tipping would be seen as impolite. In most parts of Europe, leaving a tip of around 5 - 10% of the total bill is the standard, although make sure you check the bill first, as a tip may have already been included in the total cost of the bill. It’s generally worth reading up on the tipping culture of the region you are travelling to prior to your trip, or just ask your Trip Manager what the general etiquette is once on trip.
In terms of tipping Contiki staff and Local Guides, this is entirely up to you and is not compulsory. If you think a Trip Manager, Driver or Local Guide has done an awesome job, you may wish to tip them for this, but this is at your discretion and no one else’s. Tip what you think is right only.
WHAT SHOULD I TIP SERVICE STAFF?
WHAT SHOULD I TIP CONTIKI TRIP MANAGERS AND DRIVERS?
WILL I BE ABLE TO PROVIDE FEEDBACK ON MY TRIP?
You sure can! At the end of your trip you will have the chance to fill out a feedback questionnaire which will cover off all the elements of your trip, from what your Trip Manager was like, to the food, accommodation, experiences, etc. Filling in this form as honestly and accurately as possible is a huge help for us as it means we can improve on any areas you perhaps weren’t so happy with (as well as give kudos to our staff for all the things they did well).
As well as this form, you will also receive an email from Feefo, who are an independent third party review site, soon after your trip has finished. This email will contain a link which you can follow to leave a review of your trip.
Finally, you can also review your trip, or Contiki, on our Facebook page here.
HOW DO I LEAVE A REVIEW?
Soon after your trip has finished, you will receive an email from Feefo, who are an independent third party review site. In this email, you will be prompted to follow a link which will take you to Feefo’s site, and it’s here you can leave your review of your Contiki trip.
You can also review your trip, or Contiki, on our Facebook page here.
HOW CAN I FILE A COMPLAINT?
HOW CAN I CONTACT MY GROUP ONCE I’M HOME?
HOW CAN I SHARE MY TRAVEL MEMORIES?