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Are Contiki Tours Worth the Money?

contiki-toursIf you are planning to take a large trip and see more than one place or country, you may be looking into some tour companies. Group tours can be fun as you are never alone, you can meet some great people, and tours cover a lot of your expenses in their price, like admissions to certain attractions. But when comparing different tour companies, you may ask yourself: Are Contiki Tours worth the Money? Below we will try to help answer that question.

When looking at the Contiki group tour information, it can seem like the prices for their tours are steep. You will also notice that depending on what time of the year you plan to travel (winter vs. summer) prices will climb accordingly. However, if you look deeper into what your money buys you, Contiki may be worth the money.

Your Contiki trip will not include your flights, so you must budget for this large extra expense. It is possible to get some great deals on flights, especially if you are not flying direct. The price that is listed for your trip includes, your lodging from the night before your tour starts until the last night of your tour, breakfasts every morning and many dinners, admissions to the main sites on the tour, and your transportation during the tour.

Contiki tours have optional sites to see which cost extra, so if you want to see some of them, bring extra money. You also will be in charge of paying for your lunches and about half of your dinners. The main parts of the trip are covered, however, and they can add up quickly when trying to plan a trip yourself.

When traveling with Contiki, you also have the option of traveling budget or traveling superior. Budget traveling is of course cheaper and you arguably get a better backpacker experience. The places you stay at are still nice, but are a lot cheaper. Overall, if you would rather travel “solo” but with a group, Contiki is a great choice.

Create the Ultimate Surf Exploration Vehicle with Van Conversions

There is a northwest swell running fifteen feet at fourteen seconds. The entire west coast will be absolutely going off, and there is a little spot down in Baja that will be going off with overhead screaming barrels, and no one is out.  All that’s necessary is a vehicle, a campsite, and the right board.  Don’t get left behind, van conversions make it possible to build the ultimate surf-mobile.

The serious surf explorer knows that the proper surf exploration vehicle needs to offer much more than transportation and a place to hold boards. The thing needs to be home base, it needs to be the campground, and it needs to be the fortress. Modern conversion vans can accomplish this.

To get to some spots, the better spots, the more secret and less crowded spots, the intrepid surfer needs an off-road vehicle. Typical off road vehicles are trucks or SUV’s, which are great for getting there, but less than perfect mobile homes. A four wheel drive off road ready conversion van is the ultimate surf vehicle because it can get to any wave, and allow the driver to stay there as long as possible.

These vans can be fitted with a bathroom, a kitchen, and a place to sleep, which is really more than any road-warrior surfer really needs. Simply put, the proper van conversions can turn a weekend escape into a life-long quest.

An added benefit is the fact that conversion vans are roomy, which is really the main selling point. They offer room for your boards, your buds and your fishing poles. They also beat a tent because, depending on the geographical direction of the quest, will be more comfortably warm or cool than sleeping outside. Also, sleeping in a van makes a person much less vulnerable to the wildlife that can be found roaming around at night.


Eco tourism encompasses responsible travel to fragile, pristine, and usually protected areas that strives to be low impact and small scale. Eco tours help to educate the traveler, provide funds for conservation, directly benefit the economic development and political empowerment of the local communities, and foster respect for different cultures. If you are looking to take an eco tour that focuses on sustainable travel, there are many tours whose focus is just that.

Some companies focus on ecotourism, and design tours with sustainability in mind. A growing number of travel companies are beginning to realize the importance of ecotourism and what negative effects regular tourism can have on the local communities. Eco tours focus on respect for the places and people visited, leaving the smallest footprint possible behind.

By supporting local businesses in the places you visit, you are helping to support the local economy. Also stay in locally owned hotels, eat at local restaurants, and shop from local artisans. Traveling this way will also give you a more authentic and rewarding experience.

When traveling to natural sites or attractions, make sure to take out only what you take in and to not leave anything behind. Be careful to not support any attractions or sites that take advantage of, or promote cruelty to endangered species.

To travel in a sustainable way, it is easiest to travel individually. That way you can control where you stay, what you do, and the size of the footprint you leave behind. However, there are many eco tours available that promote sustainability and respect of the places that they visit.

Make sure to research the companies before you travel with them to see if they have eco tours available. One complaint found in certain tour reviews, like Contiki tour reviews for example, is the lack of sustainable tours available. However, Contiki does have some eco lodging and certain tours are eco friendly, especially when traveling through endangered areas.

Tips for Improving Your Travel Writing

There are many struggling travel writers in existence these days. Mostly because being able to write about something as fun as traveling, has made it an extremely popular career choice. In order to successfully secure writing jobs, you will need to be on top of your game.

Here is some travel writing tips to help you succeed:

Stay away from facts. Anybody can write facts, or find facts. Stating facts is extremely boring. You want to tell a story, not be an encyclopedia.

Be Succinct. No one wants to hear every little detail of your trip. Omit the boring parts and stick to your theme. Get to your point quickly and explain it clearly.

Be descriptive and use all five of your senses. Your reader wants to feel like they are right alongside you on your trip. Describe your experiences with all your senses. Describe smells, sights, and sounds.

Keep a detailed travel log. Your notes will be your best friend later on when you go to actually write your article. You don’t want to get back home and have no memory of specific things you did or experienced. Keep specific logs that detail every sight and smell.

Research your destination. Your article will be richer if you are well informed about the region and culture before you get there. Once there, be sure to find all the interesting information you can from local newspapers and people.

Research your market. Before you write your article, make sure you are familiar with the publication’s guidelines. You don’t want to approach an editor with a story that they’ve done not too long ago. You also don’t want to give them a story that is inappropriate for their publication.

Find an angle. No one will read your article if it just re-iterates the same old things. Your article should have an interesting point of view. Remember not to write about the destination itself but an aspect of it. You need to find an interesting way to present your subject matter.

To stay on top of your game, make sure to keep traveling, keep reading about travel, write as much as you can, and hone up on your skills by taking some writing courses.

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