Attention Millennials: Get ready to have the time of your life! Contiki is having a sale and travelers between the ages of 18 and 35 can save 10 percent on 15 of Contiki's top tours to Europe, Asia, South America, Morocco, Australia, and New Zealand when they book by Dec. 15th and use promo code ELFTASTIC. They've also got some sweet last minute deals to Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Latin America that are worth checking out if you're looking to book something sooner.
Options include brand new tours like Best of the Balkans, a 15-day trip through Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Serbia, Romania, Hungary, and Slovenia; and favorites like Asian Adventure (a 14-day trip through Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia) and Vietnam Experience (a 12-day trip through the Mekong Delta, Ho Chi Minh City, Nha Trang, Hoi An, Hue, Hanoi, and Ha Long Bay); as well as popular best-selling tours like Simply Italy (a 12-day trip to Rome, Sorrento, Capri, Florence, Venice, Milan, La Spezia, Pisa, and Vatican City) and Greek Island Hopping, a 13-day trip to Mykonos, Santorini and Ios. Please note that package prices do not include international airfare, but do cover all ground transportation, a large amount of guided tours and activities, and most meals once you get there.
I've traveled with Contiki twice so far—the first time on their London & Paris Plus Paris Extension tour in 2013, pictured above, the second time last May on their Amsterdam to Barcelona tour—and I'm constantly looking through their site trying to narrow down my next adventure, probably in Australia next year if I can swing it. My favorite part of the trips is meeting a whole bunch of friendly young people from all over the world who love to travel as much as I do. I've gone on both trips by myself and as a solo traveler, I was thrilled to learn that Contiki never charges extra solo supplements if you're traveling alone. There's an option to have your own room that costs a bit extra, but otherwise you're paired up with a single traveling roommate of the same sex. Translation: instant new friend. You're basically sightseeing by day and have the option to go out and explore the nightlife of a new city within the safety of a group, something that was really important to me and works out great because people are able to do as much dancing til dawn as they want to, no pressure.
If you're worried about being hauled around on a bus all over the continent, think of it as a mobile-UN unit where you will inevitably get into fascinating conversations with your fellow travelers and end up talking about how things are done where you come from vs. how things are done where they come from. It always hits me how little we (Americans) know about what goes on in Canada, Australia, and the rest of the world during these chats, so I treasure these spontaneous educational moments. Plus, there's plenty of beautiful scenery to look at along the way and if you need it, time to rest up so you're ready to hit the ground running by the time you get to the next city. The rest stops are fun, too. I remember nodding off and waking up somewhere between Amsterdam and Paris, asking our Trip Manager, "Which country are we in? What language are they speaking in that building?"
It's amazing how quickly a big group will bond on trips like these. I still keep in touch with lots of people I've met on each trip a year or even two years later on a regular basis thanks to the power of social media. A few of my new friends from Australia have even come to visit me here in New York and I know of several others who re-connected once they got home and have gone on more trips together.
We want to hear from you: Where in the world do you want to go next? Sound off below!