#1 – Your personal tour guide travels with you
Forget heading to those dodgy information booths and battling the language barrier between you and the person serving you. Your most valuable source of information sits at the front of the bus! Your Trip Manager knows anything and everything there is to know about all the places you’re visiting. They literally train for months so they can have all the answers you need. Ask them any question and we promise you they will have an answer, and it’ll more than likely come with a funny story. At the start of every day, they give out a day sheet that details the exact places you’re going to explore, and the times you have to rally together to head out. They also include some handy hints, like if you’re going to a restaurant that only takes cash, or if you need to take spare change for the toilets (*cough* everywhere in Europe *cough*). Not only that, but if you’re lucky, your trip manager will check in with you every day to make sure you’re having the time of your life. They’ll get you through hangovers, homesickness, jet lag – all of the above!
#2 – Affordability and Organisation
Travelling to Europe or Asia on your own for a few weeks is not cheap. To organise your own activities, food, and accommodation, you’re looking at spending tens of thousands of dollars that you probably don’t have. Contiki is so affordable you won’t believe it, and they take care of almost everything – travel, accommodation, some meals, and activities. All you need to do is pay for your flights, and bring plenty of money for snow globes and shot glasses from every place you visit, and for all the other meals that aren’t covered by Contiki. Most trips cover all your breakfasts, and about half the dinners, the rest is up to you. It sure beats eating a dodgy croissant or some microwave Ramen from the convenience store down the road!
#3 – Interaction with cultures both on and off the bus
Contiki is an Australian company, yes. But it operates internationally, and includes trips to almost everywhere in the world. This means that you get to travel to some incredible places, and meet people from even more incredible places! Sure, the majority of the bus will be packed full of Australians, and the occasional Kiwi. But be prepared to meet people from all over Asia, Europe, Africa, the US and Canada. And all that is on the bus alone! You get off the bus, and in the span of a few hours you’ve arrived in a new country ready to explore and make your mark. You’ll be cultured up to your ears by the end of the trip. You’ll have made some long distance best friends who will give you an excuse to travel to their own home countries.
#4 – Once-in-a-lifetime experiences
We know it’s a cliche to say that travel experiences are “once in a lifetime”. Everyone will say that about any overseas adventure they take. But it’s the experiences that pop up unexpectedly that are the most valuable. How many of your friends can say that they’ve heard the Pope speak at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, or gotten wine drunk next to the Eiffel Tower in Paris, or been serenaded by an Opera singer in a restaurant in Florence? Contiki will grant you experiences that you will literally only have once in your lifetime. So just go!
#5 – Mental health benefits
Overseas travel does some unbelievable things for your mental health. It relieves stress, and allows you to separate yourself from the sources of anxiety. It gives you something positive and exciting to look forward to, particularly if you’re having a rough time at work or uni. Even the anticipation and excitement you feel before leaving is enough to make your mind happy. We recommend going alone if you’re thinking of going at all. It’ll boost your independence and will give you a chance to meet some amazing new people. And if it’s the people at home that are stressing you out, it’s a great chance to spend some alone time and really learn to love yourself on your own.
Here are some of our favourite trips:
European Encounter – starting at $2590
Best of USA – starting at $4546
The Latin Quest – starting at $10,441
Kenyan Highlights – starting at $2171
Japan Unrivalled – starting at $5325
So start saving! Adventure awaits.
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