I had known for years that I was going to do a Contiki tour after I finished my degree. In fact, I started saving as soon as I returned from a trip to Ireland, England and France with my family in July 2011. I originally planned to work for the Summer following convocation and travel in the Fall of 2014. It was all loosely planned.
Well, one day in March of this year, my roommate Jacinda was visiting her home and called me to ask if I would be a reference for her passport. She’d found an awesome deal for a Contiki tour departing in April and wanted to go. After about an hour of calling my Mom, calling Jacinda back, calling my Mom back and calling Jacinda back, we decided that we were going to do the tour together, and less than 24 hours later we’d booked our trip at our school’s travel agency. It was one of the most impulsive things I’ve ever done. In just under six weeks we’d be going on a trip of a lifetime together!
I knew Jacinda and I would be great travel companions–we’re in our fourth year of living together and we’ve travelled to Montreal together twice. I originally wanted/planned to do the trip alone, but I’m so glad we went together. Jacinda is one of my best friends and it was great to make such amazing memories together. And, I have someone who gets just as sad/depressed/nostalgic as I do when reminiscing about the trip. It doesn’t hurt that she has an awesome camera too 😉
The weeks that followed consisted of renewing my passport, buying some new pinterest inspired European traveling clothes, (long live my navy and white striped shirt–you’ll be seeing lots of it) packing, obsessing and reading dozens of contiki blogs.
Which brings me to my next point: I’m writing this so that some lucky person who is as excited as I was has just another contiki experience to read about. The helpful blogs I read prepared me so much, so I hope that I can pass on some wisdom to you, fellow traveler. I’ve also had lots of friends ask me about my trip, and Contiki in general, so you can read about my experience here. I kept a pretty awesome travel journal, if I do say so myself, so let’s get in to it!
(Jacinda and I chose the Road to Athens Tour, the superior (hotels only) version. We saved about $900 by booking it last minute (6 weeks out) and traveled for three weeks. The cities included: London, Paris, Lucerne, Vaduz, Liechtenstein (in transit), Munich, Austrian Tyrol, Venice, Florence, Rome, Pompeii, Corfu and Athens.
Our tour included all transportation other than flights and transfers, all accommodations in hotels, all breakfasts, several dinners and many included tours/activities. We also paid extra for all of the extra optional activities except for mountain biking in Austria. Check out the tour here: http://www.contiki.com/destinations/europe/tours/145-road-to-athens
Love, Kate Bray