Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Traveling with Contiki

You might remember my post, where I was talking about booking with contiki. Well, my two weeks with them were a great experience ad it's time to share my thoughts with you. 
Here is the post: Booking With Contiki

It washy first time booking with contiki and to be honest, I didn't book with them because I heard great things about them or some recommended them.I just kew I wanted to go to California, preferably with people my age, preferably not many Swiss and Germans and just stay in hotels. I'd heard of trekAmerica before that, but their dates didn't work with mine, so I just googled and found contiki. The route was just what I wanted, but I didn't know what to expect. I heard about the partying, but I was fine with that.

Anyway. I arrived in LA and knew about the meeting at 7pm. I was very nervous. There were a few people there, when I got to the lobby and we all started talking ad got to meet our trip manager. We had to go through our information with him and have gave us a little overview. The main thing being that we were going to be 50 people in total. Not all of us booked the same trip, but we were all together. That was  a bit of a surprise for me actually. We then went for dinner together and this group was always kid of together afterwards with a few leaving and new people adding to it. It was the next day we met everyone. So many people...

Most of them were Australians, some Kiwis, two Germans and a few from some other countries. I was totally fine with that, because I love speaking English and this international atmosphere. 

The places we visited and the things we saw were incredible. Contiki has a great itinerary for each day and our trip manager added a lot to it with his knowledge. Our driver was fab as well and so funny. I think that really helps to feel comfortable.

With fifty people it's obvious you won't get along with everyone and some people were really just drinking the whole time. Some even to a point, where they didn't join us for a trip. I mean partying, having fun and drinking is totally fine, but in my opinion there is a boundary. I booked the trip to meet new people and to see all these fab places, not to get drunk. Some got really wasted at times and let me tell you one thing, Australians drink a LOT... I was able to do my own thing though and new when to stop and leave a place, I'm really happy I did that. I don't need to wake up i a random room, throw up and lose my passport. 

I would say the best age to go on an (American) contiki is between 21 and 25. Most people were that age, some younger, some older. I was one of the older ones and at times I also felt like it. 

In San Francisco we had a bit of a weird ending. We had dinner together the second last evening and the day after was free, which is great, because you can do whatever you want. There was no official thing for that evening though, which I find is a bit strange. They also claimed the tour to end in the morning at 11 am (check-out time as it turns out), which is technically not true. 

Most of the hotels were good, they were all budget hotels, so it was totally ok. I mean we had pools, views etc. I booked to share a room, alone would have been 1000$ more. It's nice to have a roommate, because you ca talk to each other, get ready together etc. Of course it always depends on who you get. That's random, the hotels just put two people together randomly, except for Bass Lake where we were able to choose roommates, if we wanted to. 

The bus rides were always quite long, but actually so much fun. We watched movies, played games and Jon always shared information about places we passed. We had a day song (Rise This Feeling by The New Electric) and different wake up songs (Budweiser Presents...). 
We had included meals and I really liked all the places. Some breakfasts were included as well, where we didn't really understand, why only some of them were actually. The nights out were organized as well and we just followed our trip manager to the different places. That was fab, because we didn't know our way around.All the places were fun. 

I mentioned it in my highlights, I really liked the city tours, because you got a great overview of a city immediately. 

The optional activities as well as the included activities were fantastic. A great way to see and experience everything. 

I'm very grateful for the whole experience, the people I met and the places I was able to see. If you want to know specific things about the places, you can ride the travel diary posts. 

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