Contiki tours FAQ - if you have further questions please contact our office.

: How much free time will I have?
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How many people will be on tour with me?
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What other nationalities will be on tour with me?
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What are the Tour Managers and Drivers like?
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What's the difference between a Budget/Concept and Superior/Time Out tour in Europe?
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Are there optional excursions?
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What kind of nightlife can I expect on tour?
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Must I know the native languages of the countries I am visiting?
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Do you allow smoking on tour?
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Does a tour cost more if I am traveling alone?
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Do I need travel insurance, and if so, what should it cover?
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Do I need a passport and travel visas?
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Do I need any vaccinations?
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What should I expect to receive from Contiki after booking my tour?
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How much money should I bring?
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What is the safest way to take my money?
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What size does my luggage have to be?
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What should I bring?
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How much should I pack to go on tour?
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How much film should I bring?
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What happens if I have to cancel my tour?
Note: Before you leave for your tour, be sure to read your Backpacker Tours Traveler's Checks booklet for other great travel advice. This will arrive with your other documents. Happy travels!!

How much free time will I have?

We design our tours so that you'll have lots of free time to do your own thing. Not only do we schedule free time, but you can venture off on your own at any point during the tour.

How many people will be on tour with me?

That depends on where you are going. For most of the tours, we operate luxury motor coaches and therefore carry between 25-50 people per tour. On some tours such as Hawaii, Alaska, Botswana, Outback of Australia, and Namibia we use smaller vehicles, mini coaches, or 4 wheel drive all terrain vehicles, which carry 8-20 people.

What other nationalities will be on tour with me?

Contiki sells its travel packages in more than 35 countries around the world. It is therefore quite typical to expect between 6-15 different nationalities on any one tour, i.e., Australians, Americans, Canadians, Germans, English, Swiss, New Zealanders, Japanese, Dutch, South Africans, Italians, Danes, Brazilians, Mexicans, Austrians, Singaporeans, Swedes, etc.

What are the Tour Managers and Drivers like?

We have former policemen, actors, Peace Corps volunteers, sales managers, bankers, management consultants, bartenders, psychologists, surfers, chefs, and even nuclear physicists - you name it and we've got 'em. The road crew are around the same age as you and they're really fun! These guys are with you on the entire trip and give you all the info you need on tour: city tours, histories of countries, provinces and states, fun nightlife and daytime activities, and they keep you entertained on coach rides. On the tours to Europe, many of the crew are from Great Britain, Europe, New Zealand, Australia and Canada. On the tours in the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Africa the crew are natives of that country. Contiki has both male and female Tour Managers and Drivers who have very different experiences prior to working for Contiki.

What's the difference between a Budget/Concept and Superior/Time Out tour in Europe?

On Superior/Time Out tours, we ensure that the places you stay meet the highest standards. At the heart of all tours we offer our superior tourist class hotels (many in the center of major cities) and to really spoil you, most tours include some exceptional properties like our City Club in Vienna - a 5 star resort with outstanding sporting and leisure activities at Europe's highest hotel on Mount Pilatus, Lucerne. Choose to explore the Nile for 3 days on our cruise boat or revel in the magic of the Greek Islands.

Budget/Concept tours offer three styles of accommodation in some of Europe's best locations. Contiki has exclusive properties. Not expensive and not flashy, the emphasis is always on value and fun, but we do make you feel special at our exclusive properties. Where do we not have an exclusive property, we stay in specially designed Contiki Villages with our own resident Contiki staff at Europe's best campsites. Accommodations are comfy cabins. Accommodations are mostly twin share and never more than 4 persons sharing a room.

Please note: In some markets Superior Tours are called Timeout and Budget Tours are called Concept.

Are there optional excursions?

Yes. We have included a great deal of excursions in all our tours, but we cannot and would not want to include everything. Personal choice is important and our clients like the option of being included/or not on certain "Optionals," i.e., Paris Nightclub show, Gondola ride in Venice, Rafting in Austria. From experience, we know which Optionals have proven most popular with our clients and only these will be offered to you. These Optionals do cost extra and a full list relating to your trip will be sent to you with your final documents to assist with trip budgeting. These Optionals can be purchased through your tour manager when on tour.

What kind of nightlife can I expect on tour?

There's something for everyone! The tour manager will always give the group a variety of options. For those of you looking for a little adventure, there are nightclubs and bars. If you want a quiet evening, some of the hotels have swimming pools, jacuzzis, and in-room movies. Contiki tries to offer alternative evenings where events are organized (e.g. pub nights, cabaret shows in Paris and Las Vegas, beer halls in Munich, candlelit canal cruise, Tuscan dinner, Texas rodeo, paddle wheel river cruise). Remember, the legal drinking age in the U.S. is 21 and everyone must possess a photo I.D. (passport or driver's license) to enter any establishment serving alcohol. In Canada, the legal drinking age is 19 years old. Drinking age in Europe is 18.

Must I know the native languages of the countries I am visiting?

No worries. That is one of the benefits of traveling with Contiki, you’ll be traveling with a tour manager who knows how to get around the countries you will be visiting. However, if you have some time, it never hurts to know a few courteous, friendly words (e.g. hello, please, thank you, etc.) of the native languages of the countries you will be visiting. It does make traveling more fun and you will find most people from these countries will appreciate the effort and will be more receptive to your visit.

Do you allow smoking on tour?

On all Contiki motor coaches, mini coaches, and 4 wheel drive vehicles we are pleased to provide a smoke-free environment. For those dedicated puffers, we stop every couple of hours so you can light up during our stops.

Does a tour cost more if I am traveling alone?

No, if you're planning on coming alone, (and nearly half of our clients do) and don't want to pay for a single room, no worries -- we'll set you up with a roommate -- same sex, of course!

Do I need travel insurance, and if so, what should it cover?

All clients should have an insurance policy which covers cancellation curtailment, loss of or damage to baggage, loss of money (cash), traveler's cheques, or personal belongings and medical insurance.

Do I need a passport and travel visas?

Depending on your nationality, you may need visas to enter certain countries included in your tour. You are responsible for obtaining all necessary visas prior to the departure of your tour. Consult your travel agent well in advance to determine which visas you will require and how to obtain them. Important: visas can take up to six weeks to obtain and a fee is normally charged. Failure to obtain all necessary visas could cause you to miss part of your tour and will result in considerable expense and inconvenience. It is better to apply for ALL visas through your travel agent before you leave home. (For U.S. passport holders, a good resource is Zierer’s Visa website at http://www.zvs.com/)

Do I need any vaccinations?

Please consult your travel agent or doctor to find out which vaccinations are required. If you suffer from any form of illness, be sure to have an adequate supply of medicines before departing on tour. You must advise us through your travel agent of any important medical condition you may have, before departure.

What should I expect to receive from Contiki after booking my tour?

After final payment is received, Contiki will send you the following items: Tour and hotel vouchers, Airline tickets - if you purchased air travel through Contiki, day-to-day itinerary, Optional Excursion list, Traveler's information booklet, Backpack, Travel insurance invoice - if you choose to buy travel insurance from Contiki.

How much money should I bring?

That will depend on what tour you take. A good guesstimate would be between US$50-$100 dollars for each day you are on tour.

What is the safest way to take my money?

Traveler's Cheques. It is far safer to purchase traveler's cheques before your trip, rather than carrying large amounts of cash. Keep a record of all the numbers and denominations of your traveler's cheques (which should be kept separately) in case of loss or theft. Depending on where you are traveling, we would recommend specific currency Traveler's Cheques. You should purchase traveler's cheques in small denominations (i.e. US $20, $50 and $100). You should carry internationally recognized traveler's cheques such as Thomas Cook or American Express. ATM machines (available in most major cities) are also a great way to go if you need some extra cash while on tour. Be sure to memorize your pin# by number as some foreign ATM machines do not have alphanumeric keys.

What size does my luggage have to be?

Luggage size restrictions are strictly enforced on all tours. Maximum size on most tours is 29" x 20" x 10" (73cm x 50cm x 23 cm) and maximum weight is 20 kgs (non expanding). Maximum size for Scandinavian and Camping tours is 28" x 18" x 9" (70cm x 45cm x 23cm) and maximum weight of 20 kgs. Metal framed backpacks will not be allowed. It is best to ensure that your suitcase/backpack is the correct size before departure. If not, you could incur the extra cost of buying a new suitcase and storing your excess luggage.

What should I bring?

Luggage is restricted to one reasonably sized suitcase (maximum 29"x20" or 73cm x 50cm.) (No metal frame backpacks.) We do reserve the right to refuse to accept larger suitcases on tour. A checklist is a very useful tool to use as a last check before you are on your way. Some items that you should have on your list: necessary medication, airline tickets, passport, traveler's cheques, insurance policy, credit cards, visas, cash, Contiki's 'Ticket to Ride', driver's license, vaccination certificate, camera, and film.

How much should I pack to go on tour?

Decide how many clothes you want to take--cut that amount in half, and that's how much you'll need. Remember that depending on the seasons in the country to which you are traveling, you may need warmer clothes at least for evenings.

How much film should I bring?

It is very difficult to offer advice on the amount of film to take as you may shoot three rolls of film in Paris in two days and take three days to shoot the next one. However, we have found that on the average a person will shoot one roll of film every 2-3 days.

What happens if I have to cancel my tour?

If you cancel

  1. Notice of cancellation must be made in writing to Contiki
  2. If you cancel, your deposit is non-refundable upon cancellation by you
  3. Upon cancellation you will be liable to pay a fee to cover the estimate of cost and expenses incurred by us in terms of the schedule set out hereunder. This is expressed as a percentage of the vacation price and is calculated as follows.

Period of Notice: Cancellation Fee

More than 45 days notice: Deposit is forfeited.
45-22 days: 20% (22% in Australia) of tour fare
21-8 days: 30% (33% in Australia) of tour fare
7-1 days: 50% (55% in Australia) of tour fare
Day of departure: 100% of tour fare.

If you fail to join a tour or join it after its departure or leave it prior to its completion, no vacation price refund can be made. Please note that if the reason for cancellation falls within the terms of any vacation insurance policy which you hold, then any such charges may, subject to the terms of your insurance policy, be refunded to you by the insurance company.

Note: Hotel tour cancellation fees may also apply.

Europe by Coach - Departing frm London

 

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