Contiki offers travel tours geared towards young (18-35 year old) travelers in over 46 countries and 6 continents across Europe, Australia, New Zealand, North America, Latin America and South East Asia. Short excursions of 2 days, all the way up to epic 6-week journeys.
Our Editor’s Review:
We think it is awesome that Contiki offers active military personnel and veterans free travel insurance on their booking, because if anyone deserves a vacation it is them! Also, we think it is great that Contiki offers a “Cancel for Any Reason” waiver (for an additional cost), but we found the small print a bit confusing. If you buy this waiver, Contiki will provide you with 100% of the cancellation charges in the form of a future travel credit certificate, should you cancel your tour more than 48 hours prior to your scheduled departure for any reason. That is completely awesome, because most travel agencies do not offer this insurance. The confusing part is that it ”does not include airfare cancellation charges for air arrangements unless those arrangements were provided by Contiki“. Perhaps we just found that obvious that they will not cover airfare cancellation fees if you book your airfare on another website. Many of the tours offered on Contiki do not include airfare and be advised that international airfare cancellation fees can be costly ($400-ish), so if you buy the “Cancel for Any Reason Waiver”, make sure that Contiki made your flight arrangements for you. We also recommend you book your airfare through Contiki, because there is a chance that they will cancel your tour (see “policies” below) and you will be stuck with airfare charges. In either case, we highly recommend you purchase travel insurance through SquareMouth.
The tours on Contiki are multi-faceted with tons of activities and include an English-speaking tour manager who knows how to get around the countries you will be visiting, and all tour managers and tour drivers speak English. The tours are also in small groups, often in groups of 25-50 and sometimes less. All travelers will be in the 17-37 year-old age range, and this policy is strictly enforced by Contiki…. we see this as a downside because we are old (if you consider 38 old) and would like to go on some of these tours! Hey, Contiki, perhaps you should have an elderly tour just for us 40-somethings!
After clicking through the Contiki website for nearly an hour, we see that they have a ton of destination information and photographs, reminiscent of a Pinterest page. There are some wonderfully affordable tours, especially if you don’t mind camping out or staying in a hostel-like situation. While the Contiki website is cool and trendy, we found the online booking process to be super confusing. The website is geared towards phone bookings, which is cumbersome and we would rather just book a tour online and be done with it! We think Contiki would benefit by having a clear online booking button and process, and we suspect they are losing sales because they don’t. Come on Contiki…. booking over the phone is old-fashioned and you are dealing with young trendy people that want to book online (our sarcasm is deliberate).
Overall, to get the best deals and save time, we really like the “LAST MINUTE DEALS” page on Contiki. Also, make sure you “Refer a Friend” to Contiki where you can each get up to $100 in excursion vouchers (bungee jumping, gondola cruises and wine tasting) for each friend (up to 5 friends). Now that is something to get excited about!
Contiki Fees & Policies*:
- Contiki may change or cancel any tour departure, and if a cancellation before the tour departure, they will refund you only the amount they collected from you (i.e. not airfare if you booked elsewhere)
- $200 deposit per person/per tour is due if reservation is made more than 45 days of departure, and payment in full for airfare is required at time of booking
- If you do not pay the balance within 3 days of the due date, they will cancel your booking and charge cancellation fees
- If you cancel more than 45 days before departure, Contiki will keep your deposit + Airfare cancellation fees
- If you cancel less than 45 days before departure, Contiki will keep 25% to 100% of the tour price, depending on how soon the trip is+ Airfare cancellation fees.
- If you cancel up to 1 day before departure, Contiki will keep up to 50% of the tour price+ Airfare cancellation fees
- If you cancel the day of departure, Contiki will keep the entire tour price (i.e. no refund) + Airfare cancellation fees
- $30 change fee
*Based solely on research done by TravelSiteCritic.com, these figures may be inaccurate and are subject to change.Verify policies with the Contiki website before you book. Please be aware of airfare taxes & fees, applicable to any booking that includes airfare.
Contiki Contact Information:
Contiki US Holdings, 801 East Katella Avenue, Anaheim, CA 92805
Contiki User Reviews:
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Contiki Coupon Codes & Deals:
Grab a last minute deal on Contiki!- Heavily discounted tours up to 25% OFF!
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Please be aware of airfare taxes & fees.