It almost seems to be a rite of passage in Australia heading off on either a Contiki or Topdeck trip. There are a staggering number of young people who have been on them or are heading off on one. There is a lot of debate on which one is better if you look on online forums. At this stage I have never been on a Contiki (so I can’t compare them) however I am heading off on one next year. Last year (2015) I headed off overseas for the very first time at 26 with two of my close friends. We went on the Summer Fun and Sailing Trip at the very end of June which was 27 days in length. Here are some of my thoughts about the experience.
It was all planned out and I didn’t have to worry about anything but getting to the bus on time. This was a major plus for me because I was working in a stressful job and had very little time or experience to plan my holiday. I never would have been able to see as much of Europe if I had planned this on my own. Yes there were a couple of times I wished we had more time in a certain place Florence, Italy was one example. However I also saw and discovered many places that I would have never gone on my own. The feeling of pulling into a new place and being awestruck was pretty exciting.
Yes most trips will be fast paced. This didn’t bother me on the trip. The sheer amount of places I visited was astounding and there was also a fair bit of time on the bus spent travelling between places. The sailing in Greece was an excellent remedy for this fast paced trip. It gave everyone time to relax, swim, sunbathe and eat delicious Greek food! I would highly recommend sailing to everyone it was a definite highlight of the trip!
The included meals are actually good! I was pretty dubious about food included on the trip however thankfully I was proven wrong. It was all really well set up and all of the food was a really high quality. It was often something that was local to the country we were in and very delicious.
I found it really fun to travel with a group of young people. I am a really quiet person and not the most outgoing so I was a bit worried how I would find it. I actually made some great friends and had some amazing times which were made better by the people on my tour.
Did everyone want to party all the time? Yes and no. Yes there definitely was a lot of partying involved in the trip but there was no pressure to be involved. There were plenty of nights when it was just a few people going out and plenty of nights where we all did. I found it really easy to have a mix of party nights and quieter nights.
Would I recommend it to others? Yes I definitely would! I had a great time overall and I felt safe the whole time. I would have really struggled in the non-English speaking countries if I had been by myself. I am planning a trip which will include a Contiki trip in the middle of next year so stay tuned. If you have any other questions about my trip feel free to contact me or leave a message!