TOP DECK vs CONTIKI


#1

Hi everyone,

My boyfriend & I are a young couple (26 & 23) looking to travel Europe & Greek Islands from August 2011.

What we really want to know is what would be best for our situation. We are still young enough to party(!) and have a great time, but understand that there is a certain ‘opinion’ of some tours.

What we know about Contiki is that it is cheap, provides good accommodation and gets you to lots of places in a short amount of time. What we also have heard is that it has a bit of a ‘reputation’ for the single scene. But nevertheless, a lot of fun!

We don’t know alot about Top Deck but understand there is a wider age range. Are the tours arranged as specifically as Contiki?

Please, any thoughts on accommodation, costs, free time, food etc would be great!

We want to make the most of our adventure so want to ensure we make the right choice!

Thanks :slight_smile:


#2

I did the topdeck tour “discover europe” last july and it was great. There was a wide age range of people but we all got along well.
The tour I did was a hotel tour so we had some group meals all together (sometimes at the hotel resturant or at a local place) and a lot of the time broke off into smaller groups to go out for dinner.
There were designated days we could go off on our own, usually a full day in whatever place we had stopped for two nights.
I would definately recommend topdeck


#3

I did a camping trip last year and had the time of my life. I wouldn’t travel with anyone but Topdeck now. Contiki has a similar trip to the one that I did with Topdeck and from what I read on the Contiki site the trip was shorter, more expensive, and went to a couple less countries than the one I did with Topdeck.

There was a big age range on my tour from 19 to about 36, but everyone got on really well. I would say the majority were early-mid 20s

The accommodation for Topdeck and Contiki is pretty much the same, we shared many campsites with contiki tours, not sure about hostels and hotels though. Food provided by the wonderful topdeck chefs was great - no complaints!

The one thing that put me off Contiki was their reputation for partying every night and spending every day hungover and the trip leaders hitting on everyone. I wanted to spend my money on seeing the sights and enjoying the cities and not it being a drunken/hungover haze.

Anyway, I am sure you two will decide which tour company would be best suited to you and will enjoy it no matter which one you pick. I am biased though because I think topdeck is the best!


#4

I did two tours with Contiki last year and they were great! It was through USA though so the age group was a little higher since the drinking age is 21, but our group ranged from early 20s to 30ish and everyone got on great! And there was a range of people who liked to party and others who preferred to have a quiet night in. In saying that I am booked on a Topdeck tour this year through Europe, I found that Topdeck had a tour that went to all the places I wanted to go to and was a little cheaper than Contiki. So I really guess in the end it depends on who goes where you want to go and how much you want to spend, you’ll have a great time with either!


#5

hey Justagirl!

I had this same dilemma when I was trying to decide on a tour to Europe. I have friends who’d been on both Contiki and Topdeck and everyone came back with massive smiles on their faces no matter what tour company they were with :smiley: So I knew it wasn’t going to be easy!

So I ended up doing the age old system of picking key criteria and then weighting their importance etc etc. I looked at cost, number of nights, number of countries visited, which key places I wanted, average ages and inherent reputations…

I wanted the cost as low as possible but definitely under $4000. I wanted over 24 nights but under 30 and I wanted to fit in as many countries as possible. One of the biggest things that tipped me towards Topdeck was the number of countries they fit in (26 days Topdeck fits 13 countries whilst only 11 were on contiki for their 25 day). I also loved the fact that (on my tour anyways) they go to Eastern Europe eg. Croatia, Albania and all the " less tourist saturated" locations. :-/

I’m also 26 and when I spoke to both the Contiki and topdeck representatives at a travel expo, the Contiki guy told me that the majority of travellors are under 23 AND single…I think he picked me for younger than I was…well needless to say that gave them at least 1 minus right there. PLUS my friend had told me that quite a few people were regularly hungover on the Contiki tour (she went on the contiki tour)… well I like to party just as much as the next person but I certainly didn’t want to party until I was drunk - esp since I wanted to spend my money on more important things :slight_smile: like shopping lol. But I guess you can get those kinds of people on any tour…

In the end, the deal was sealed when Topdeck offered a massive saving at this travel expo! It was too good to be true, I just couldn’t pass it up :slight_smile: and I am CERTAIN that I made the best decision ever :smiley:

Good luck with your decisions! B-)


#6

You have all been so very helpful - thank you very much for your thought & opinions! It’s great to hear from people who have been in the same situation and has given me some food for thought. :slight_smile:


#7

Hey I did Topdeck in Europe in 2009 and Contiki in Vietnam last year and I had a great time on both. I’m also doing Topdeck in Europe again this year and Contiki in the USA.
I’ve also heard reviews for both and they’ve all been really good so at the end of the day I base it on where I really want to travel and what’s included in the price of the tour :slight_smile:


#8

My partner and I did a contiki tour around central europe last year (we are both 23)… we had an awesome time… the group ranged in age and the tour guide was freaking awesome (and not sleazy)…we went out and partied, but also took it easy most nights (im not really much of a party animal)

This year we are doing europe again (just different parts) and we are doing it through top deck, because contiki didnt offer the exact places we wanted and the UK tour started and finished in seperate locations instead of starting and finishing in london (this makes it cheaper when you travel onto your next destination - depending where your going of course)…

So really its about personal preferences, keep in mind you get out of it as much as you put into it… so enjoy where ever you go!!!


#9

i did a contiki when i was 22 and single and had the best three weeks of my life. that said i drank enough to sink a ship and there was way too much bed hopping going on. there was definitely a back of the bus and front of the bus thing going on so i’m sure the quieter couply people had a good time too but i would definitely recommend contiki for those that want to party. that’s why i’m doing topdeck this year. way too old for all those shenigans…


#10

I am kind of thankful in just over a years time December 20 2012 to be exact The Day I turn 35 is when I no longer qualify for any Contiki Tours.I first did a Contiki at the age of 21 around New Zealand and again at the age of 32 to Vietnam and had a great time on both.I am doing my final one to New Zealand again in July 2012 then switch over to Top Deck.I did Insight around the UK in June and that was magnificent in it’s own way but at the present time I would much prefer to be in a younger under 40’s group


#11

Hi guys,

I’m 23 and looking to a tour of Europe next year… So I’ll be 24 by the time June/July comes in 2018. Jus wondering for my age group and as a first timer! which company would be the best??

Thanks for the help!