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Contiki Tours?

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Napa Valley, CA
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Contiki Tours?

I previously posted a question about my 22 year old daughter traveling alone next summer in London. She wants to spend 3-4 days seeing the major sights. Unfortunately her dates are within the Olympics time frame. I had asked about any tour companies that might do short term tours. I have found that Contiki has a 4 night, 5 day London "Explorer" tour that includes lodging, a trip to Stonehenge, tube tickets, a musical play and time off on your own. Seems like a great way for her to see the sights but not be completely on her own as they specialize in tours for young people. Does anyone have experience with Contiki Tours? Any advice or suggestions? Thanks!

Edinburgh, United...
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1. Re: Contiki Tours?

I have never used them but they are well know highly respected company,i think they cater more to the young adventurers rather than middle aged guys like me.

London, England
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2. Re: Contiki Tours?

How large is the tour? At 22, she may be a a bit mature for Contiki, but it depends on how much she wants to party and how much she wants to see London.

Napa Valley, CA
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3. Re: Contiki Tours?

The tour we are looking at is actually a London "Explorer" tour which means much of the time you are on your own. They provide 4 nights in the hotel with breakfast. You would have a roommate that is also doing a Contiki tour. You join a larger tour (Evan Evans I believe) for a day trip to Stonehenge but the rest of the time you are on your own with the guidance of Contiki. So she wouldn't necessarily be with a specific tour group for the 5 days. If she makes friends she could do activities with them otherwise she could pick and choose when she wants to be with people or be on her own. But at least she would have the opportunity to meet others for going out at night, etc. She really wants to see the major tourist sights of London so would probably be ok on her own for sight seeing during most days.

Southampton
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4. Re: Contiki Tours?

Contiki are aimed at party people (and in my experience most people who go on them are from Australia and NZ. I think it is an NZ company). It is all about partying and drinking. If that's not your scene, avoid.

Dallas, Texas
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5. Re: Contiki Tours?

I assumed you Googled them? There are lots of reviews on the internet.

Other than providing a hotel and a stranger as a roomate, plus a tour to Stonehenge, it sounds like you are pretty much on your own. So are you basically paying for the opportunity to meet other people?

Dallas, Texas
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6. Re: Contiki Tours?

Also, given that the trip is during the Olympics, I would be very interested in what hotel they reserved. The accommodations may be very poor in quality.

Napa Valley, CA
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7. Re: Contiki Tours?

I talked for quite a while with the rep on the phone. They have long term contracts with the Royal National Hotel and the Imperial Hotel. I checked them both out and read reviews. Both are very basic (the Royal more so than the Imperial) and cater to student groups, etc. This is for my 22 year old daughter, who actually does like to drink and party. She has stayed in Hostels in many European cities and camped out during Oktoberfest last year so she would probably enjoy the accommodations and the experience. If we can secure her lodging in central London during the Olympics with Contiki it just may be worth it! And since she would be alone she would enjoy meeting others her age. It would be great to hear from some who have actually done a Contiki tour. I will google for further research. Thanks!

perth
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8. Re: Contiki Tours?

Your 22 year old daughter will have a blast on a 5 days contiki tour if she likes to party and meet new people. I travelled with Contiki as a 22 year old and loved it (am now 30, however and would not do it again!). I think it would be a good way to see all the essential sights and guarrantee accommodation during the olympics. I didn't stay at the Royal national hotel but friends did and they said it was basic but fine. The location is very handy for exploring London, the tube is about a 2 minute walk from that hotel.

Melbourne
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9. Re: Contiki Tours?

I did a Contiki tour of Italy when I was 30. I had a great time and found all of the accommodation to be of a good standard. Yes I am Australian and a lot of the other travellers were from Australia too, but also a lot of Americans, South Africans and other smaller nations. The ages spanned from 18 to 35 with most people being in their late 20s. I found the older ones of us tended to drink more as we had the disposable income to do so. But we did so in a civilised manner and i would not say we partied hard. There were a few students on limited budgets who never ordered wine with dinner and also were below the legal drinking age of 21. I think some of the 12 countries in 12 days Contiki tours might be real party tours but the ones to a specific destination are more reserved. I have a friend who has done 11 Contiki tours and she swears by them as a safe and cheap way to travel when you are a young solo traveller who doesn't want the back packing option.

I think your daughter will be fine and enjoy it.

Houston, Texas
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10. Re: Contiki Tours?

I also travelled with Contiki when I was 30--now 10 years ago. I went on the Simply Italy Tour and loved it. There were mostly Americans on my tour with the rest being Canadians. Most of us were young professionals, and only a handful of just 20 year olds with a party mindset. It was a fabulous trip. I think as the previous poster said, the multiple country tours tend to be the ones that are more of the party atmosphere. The single country ones tend to have a slightly more mature crowd, with some drinking and good times, but with a more mature attitude. All the hotels we stayed at were all basic but nice. I think your daughter will have a great time. And you can feel comfortable knowing that it will all be arranged with a reputable company!