Patrol 4x4 - Nissan Patrol Forum banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
nissan
Joined
·
928 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm thinking about doing a contiki tour of europe. Just wondering what people who have done them before think/recommend? Plan on going in summer visit and few countries to see the world a little and party i guess. Was thinking about maybe 3 to 4 weeks.
 

·
BORDERTREK 4X4 & FABRICATION
Joined
·
8,549 Posts
My nephew in his early 20's recently did one through Europe and had a ball. Great itinerary with lots of flexibility according to him. Met lots of others his age and partied with them etc. Made a few new friends too especially of the opposite sex ;).
He said he'd do it again and was even offered a full time job with Contiki during the tour. But one of his new "friends" he met from his home city has held him back I think.
 

·
Registered
nissan
Joined
·
125 Posts
I did one back in 1994. I did a 45 day Camping Tour of Europe. Can honestly say it was one of the best things I did. They are good for doing alot of the 'touristy' things if you are there for a short time.
 

·
Enemy of Reality
nissan 09 gu patrol
Joined
·
11,848 Posts
IMO if you're only there for a short time and are too lazy to sort yourself out your own itinerary, then go for it. All it is is a booze bus. You'll be too hung over to appreciate the scenery and stops.

If you're travelling with mates, find out which places interest you and travel there yourself by rail and bus (eurail tickets re a LOT cheaper than contiki!). Stay in backpackers, that way the people you meet will be from different countries, not just a bunch of aussie / kiwi party animals!

I've done both, and whilst i don't regret contiki, i had a lot more fun being on my own clock, seeig what I wanted to see when i wanted to see it. Not going to the balcony where romeo and juliet was filmed etc.

Flights in Europe are also INCREDIBLY cheap - we flew bristol to dublin for GBP10 return. Barcelona was about 60quid return.

Places i recommend are barcelona
Oslo,
Bodo (right up in the arctic circle of norway...) - you literally have to go through Hell to get there! LOL. Hell is just outside of Trjondheim (spelling).
Krakow, Auschwitz/Birkenow
Dublin,
Berlin
Bath

oh, in Berlin and Dublin - look out for the 'free tour of (said city)'. They are really good - and free. You get a TRUE account of the history, not an amateur bs story as we got on contiki. You can tip the tour guide if you want. We tipped ours 30 euro. We were that impressed.

Sorry about teh long message, but seriosly - if you have a month or so (or more) see les places and experience them more - don't bother with contiki!
 

·
Enemy of Reality
nissan 09 gu patrol
Joined
·
11,848 Posts
My son just did a 12 day tour through NZ had an absolut ball.
I'd do another contiki if it was for such a short time!

PS was it Absolut (vodka) or absolute? ;) LOL
 

·
Registered
nissan
Joined
·
928 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks guys all good food for thought. You make a few good points there Mic but as it would be my first time to europe im kinda leaning towards it just cause its less organising and that. Get a feel for it then prob go back again on my own.
 

·
Enemy of Reality
nissan 09 gu patrol
Joined
·
11,848 Posts
Thanks guys all good food for thought. You make a few good points there Mic but as it would be my first time to europe im kinda leaning towards it just cause its less organising and that. Get a feel for it then prob go back again on my own.

Fair enough. THat's what the missus and I did. You'll have a blast either way. Contiki will cost alot more. save plenty of money. Don't drink too much too often. And DO NOT be pressured into the exta activities that don't interst you.

Keep off the main tracks on you free days. Get stuck into the small backstreets where the locals hang out. I got heaps of free stuff this way. We were struggling to order coffee and cake in Paris (bad french)... gave up on the cake and just ordered coffee. Turned out the barrista understood english and realised we were aussies. When he brought out the coffee he gave us the cakes free!

Also learn a few simple phrases of all the countries you're going to. A little goes a LOONG way.

Bear in mind the further north you go - the prettier the girls get! You have NO idea how much i wished i was single up north of the arctic circle!
 

·
Registered
nissan
Joined
·
448 Posts
Also learn a few simple phrases of all the countries you're going to. A little goes a LOONG way.
If you go to Germany you will need to know this phrase

"Ich liebe dich und will mit dir schlafen"

Best of luck.;)
 

·
Enemy of Reality
nissan 09 gu patrol
Joined
·
11,848 Posts
I reckon say it to a german chick in a backpacker hostel... That'll work better!

in france, try this one;

Embrasse moi, mets ton doigt dan mon cul.
 

·
Registered
nissan
Joined
·
928 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
If i decide to go but not with contiki what would you recomend for booking hotels transport ect. Should do it before i go or just fly to london or frakfurt or something and go from there. Dont really know where to start.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
518 Posts
If i decide to go but not with contiki what would you recomend for booking hotels transport ect. Should do it before i go or just fly to london or frakfurt or something and go from there. Dont really know where to start.
Lonely planet is your friend. list everything you will ever need to know and can get then to cover basics for most Europe in one book.

Contiki will rush you when you don't want to be rushed and leave you hanging when you want to move on. If you like somewhere and your with Contiki, too bad.

Backpacking is easy, just do it and other than maybe your first night or two in London if thats where you first land, dont book anything before you leave. Generally easy to find a hostel and book a bus/train etc

Alt is do very short Contiki as intro and then go from there.
 

·
Registered
nissan
Joined
·
448 Posts
I reckon say it to a german chick in a backpacker hostel... That'll work better!

in france, try this one;

Embrasse moi, mets ton doigt dan mon cul.
What ever does it for you Mic
 

·
Autos are Superior
Joined
·
11,701 Posts
I reckon say it to a german chick in a backpacker hostel... That'll work better!

in france, try this one;

Embrasse moi, mets ton doigt dan mon cul.
or go to renault factory and mention ZD30... see if you get shot... :D
 

·
Enemy of Reality
nissan 09 gu patrol
Joined
·
11,848 Posts
If i decide to go but not with contiki what would you recomend for booking hotels transport ect. Should do it before i go or just fly to london or frakfurt or something and go from there. Dont really know where to start.
What i would recommend is work out which places you want to go to... Fly to the cheapest to get to and work it out from there. You want adventure - look into Eurail tickets. They are a fixed price ticket for a timeframe. I.e.3 weeks unlimited travel. That way if, at the last second, you decide to stay somewhere you don't have to pay transfer or cancellation fees. The european rail network is amazing. Berlin to krakow in 4 hours!

What kind of accommodation you going for? Hostel? you'll always fnd SOMEWHERE to stay -some god, sme er... not so good. Steer clear of east london! Hotels require a bit more prior planning - you can't just rock up.

If you go in summer - camping is an awesome budget way of travelling. We camped all through norway, sweden, finland, germany, poland, switzerland, italy and brussels. All the campgrounds have showers etc and most have cabins should you feel the need - as we did in a couple of places (i.e. one place in sweden where we were shaking ice off the tent despite it being summer!). We did this train on a rail pass (which covered some busses too).

If railing it is not your thing - as i've said earlier, airfares are really cheap in europe - particularly if you get inat the right time online... easyjet.com for UK/Europe and Ryanair.com for UK/Ireland.

Also there are thousands of Bed and Breakfasts throughout the UK and Ireland where they're just little old ladies renting out their spare rooms or publicans in villages just outside (or even in) the city limits. This is my favourite kind of accommodation. Quite often you'll find yourslef drinking into the wee hours of the morning with the owners of the establisment.
 

·
Registered
nissan patrol
Joined
·
620 Posts
Organised Bus Tours

The Good...
You get to see lots of stuff and get lots of info.
Your hotels and luggage and a lot of your meals are organised for you.
You have a feeling of been secure and safe.
You get to queue jump (big plus in the busy season)

The Bad....
You are stuck on a bus with a heap of other people you can't really get away from. ( Cop a couple of loud mouthed Seppo's on your tour and you will know it)
You will never feel more like a tourist.
You get shunted along at a fair old rate. eg "ok people, this is the Colosseum. Everybody back on the bus in half an hour"
You get taken places you don't really want to go, normally to sell you something (read captive audience and kickbacks for the tour company)
You only get to see things from a tourist perspective.

Europe is a great place to freelance. Bus, ferry and train systems will get you almost anywhere. Web sites like bookings.com are very user friendly for finding the next nights bed. And you get to choose your own agenda and time frame. If you have a flexible travel plan the likes of Ryan Air can be a lot of fun. ( we did Dublin- Madrid return for 2 euro plus taxes. Shannon (Ireland) to Oslo for 1 euro +. etc etc
 

·
Registered
nissan
Joined
·
928 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for all the replys. I've been talking to alot of people who have been and i must admit in leaning towards doing my own thing. More freedom and my $ will go alot further.
 

·
Enemy of Reality
nissan 09 gu patrol
Joined
·
11,848 Posts
The Good...
You get to see lots of stuff and get lots of info.
Your hotels and luggage and a lot of your meals are organised for you.
You have a feeling of been secure and safe.
You get to queue jump (big plus in the busy season)

The Bad....
You are stuck on a bus with a heap of other people you can't really get away from. ( Cop a couple of loud mouthed Seppo's on your tour and you will know it)
You will never feel more like a tourist.
You get shunted along at a fair old rate. eg "ok people, this is the Colosseum. Everybody back on the bus in half an hour"
You get taken places you don't really want to go, normally to sell you something (read captive audience and kickbacks for the tour company)
You only get to see things from a tourist perspective.

Europe is a great place to freelance. Bus, ferry and train systems will get you almost anywhere. Web sites like bookings.com are very user friendly for finding the next nights bed. And you get to choose your own agenda and time frame. If you have a flexible travel plan the likes of Ryan Air can be a lot of fun. ( we did Dublin- Madrid return for 2 euro plus taxes. Shannon (Ireland) to Oslo for 1 euro +. etc etc
All true, except the queue jumping! We never got ahead in anythin. Where we did get straight in - nobody else was going there anyway...

But you're right about the selling **** thing! "hey all - switzerland in known for it's cuckoo clocks - today we get a tour of a cuckoo clock making shop thingamajigga.... okay now here we are - there's heaps to buy. have a look around. Be back at the bus in 15 minutes... see ya!"
 
1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top