Contiki or Gap???

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Contiki or Gap???

Postby toosh_88 » Sun Nov 14, 2010 1:00 am

Trying to decide between contiki tours and Gap? im 22 female and will be travelling alone!
has anyone done a contiki tour? or a gap tour? roughley same age as me?
pro's and con's would be helpful, as it's a lot of money to get it wrong! thanks
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Re: Contiki or Gap???

Postby supercords » Sun Nov 14, 2010 2:59 am

My first international trip (Australia) was with Contiki when I was in my 20's. I had an absolute blast. There was a wide range of ages, from 18 to upper 30's, but with 30+ people on the tour, it was easy to make friends. This was over 10 years ago, but I imagine it's still as much fun as it was back then.

I'm 36 now and taking my first ever GAP tour this December to Mexico and Guatemala. My impression, and I could be wrong, is that Contiki is a bit more of a party atmosphere than GAP. One's not necessarily better than the other, it just depends on what kind of experience you are looking for.

I took a 15 day bus tour with Green Tortoise to Baja Mexico a couple years ago and that had a very wide range of ages: 20's to 60's. I had fun, but it was very different than Contiki. Don't look at it as making an expensive mistake. You are going to have fun no matter what. It's hard to go wrong when vacationing internationally. Good luck!

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Re: Contiki or Gap???

Postby sinecure » Sun Nov 14, 2010 2:37 pm

Gap will use locals for almost every part of your trip, keeping the money in the country and in the hands of small operators. You'll get more "hands on" in a GAP tour as it's easier to get a small group into some places. I've also heard that Contiki is just a party bus and not much is put on actually experiencing the country you are visiting.

But I agree you'll have a blast no matter what one you pick. The Contiki tours just didn't appeal to me.
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Re: Contiki or Gap???

Postby IncaTrail50 » Sun Nov 14, 2010 3:20 pm

I agree with Sinecure about the group size. I did a bus tour years ago with 48 people on the bus. Urk! It was awful trying to get in and out of places, restaurants and bathrooms for example! Also trying to hear the guide at various sites was an issue with a group that size. I love the smaller groups with GAP. We certainly get to experience some great little local restaurants and artisans that would be out of the question with a large group. I think the GAP tours might be a bit more vigorous than ConTiki, depending on the style you choose, and that can tone down the drinking and late nights if that's something you want included. It isn't as easy to party into the wee hours if you are exhausted from hiking! :shock: It can be done, just maybe without all the dancing, more of the sitting and drinking instead! :wink:

My vote is for GAP. :D
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Re: Contiki or Gap???

Postby ExplorerWannaBe » Thu Nov 25, 2010 4:44 pm

If you want to truly experience the world and the places you're visiting, go with Gap. I haven't been on a Contiki tour but have talked with people who have and got the impression "party bus" is an understatement. I have been on 4 Gap tours now, had 7 different Gap guides and have been impressed by all of them. I have also been impressed with the Gap clientele -- generally speaking, Gappers seem much more interested in actually experiencing and learning about the places they visit than most, no matter what age.

On the other hand, if your goal is just to drink all night and sleep all day around the world, you may prefer Contiki ... ;)
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Re: Contiki or Gap???

Postby jimshu » Thu Nov 25, 2010 9:32 pm

On the other hand, if your goal is just to drink all night and sleep all day around the world,

Stay home and do that , way cheaper, and you see just as much.

I've travelled with Contiki years ago, and Gap recently. My son travelled with Contiki recently, and described it as a party tour where the drinking is so bad,.. er good, that most had to sleep all day on the bus and missed much of the castles, sites etc.
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Re: Contiki or Gap???

Postby onyx007 » Wed Jan 19, 2011 1:15 pm

I just can agree with all the others, if you are into party all night and ... than you choose Contiki.

But if you like to see and experience some of the visiting countries than go with GAP or a similiar company.

If I have to choose on any of my trips between the two I would go anytime for GAP.

1. Size of the group
2. there are still some people (sometimes even the tour leader) to go out and party
3. much more interaction with locals and culture than just Pub Crawl
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Re: Contiki or Gap???

Postby laurenmay » Sun Feb 27, 2011 2:48 pm

I have just booked my first GAP Adventure so can't comment on that too much...

But I can warn you of Contiki... I was 19 and had saved some money and wanted an adventure, Contiki came up and was quite cheap so I went for it. Don't get me wrong - I saw lots of nice places, but it wasn't the right atmosphere for me. I tried to go with the flow and be casual - going alone on this trip I thought it best to stick with the pack; I spent an absolute fortune on alcohol and walked around the days in beautiful places with a headache and 49 hungover fellow passengers. For some people, that is a holiday, but looking back (and at the time!) I knew I was with the wrong crowd and wasting my money. It is such a shame, but I was young, and I definitely learnt from my mistake!!! And would turn back time and have booked with somewhere else if I'd have known the type of trip it would turn out to be.

So it just boils down to the type of person you are, whether paryting and getting drunk every night is for you, because if not, you'll either spend far too much money (like me!) or be alone in the campsite every night!

Either way, I hope you have a great trip!
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