Contiki Alternatives

Contiki Alternatives

Travel is one of the most rewarding things you can do, and going with a group on a set itinerary can be a great way to start if you’ve never travelled solo before.¬†Contiki is a company which runs group bus trips all over the world – the format is simple: Get on a bus, see a landmark, party hard, sleep on the bus to the next destination.

But Contiki isn’t right for everyone:

  • You¬†want more time than half a day in the places you visit, or would prefer to travel with people who don’t want to hit the bars every night
  • You want to travel with kids or family, so Contiki might not be quite right for you. But you still want to see a lot of places in a stress-free way
  • You’ve heard of the infamous ‘Contiki Cough’, and want to try for something a little higher-end
  • You want to try to spend a little less money (at an ¬£100/day, you can certainly travel cheaper around most of Europe)
  • Contiki tends to skip over some¬†less-touristy, but extremely cool things – they need to appeal to a wide audience, and visiting something like¬†a town called Fucking doesn’t seem worth it until you’re close

We’ve done all of our research to find the best group tour companies worldwide. To give you an idea of pricing, I’ve added a representative European tour for each.

Party Tours

If you’re more excited by the prospect of trying the local brews than you are of seeing every single landmark, then a party tour might be for you. These are the closest to Contiki that you’ll get, and you’ll find that you’re with mostly 18 to 30-something year olds.


The original party tour company, and the one that you’ve probably seen already.

Runs tours Worldwide: Europe, Americas, Asia, Australia & NZ

Sample itinerary: European Whirl –¬†Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Munich, Venice, Rome, Florence, Venice

Cost:  18 days for £1,187

Expat Explore

A London-based tour company who does great tours with a slightly less focus on the “Piss it and Miss it” aspect of party tours.

Runs tours in Europe & Middle East: Anywhere between Ireland and Turkey, as well as Egypt (Egypt tours are run by a local company)

Sample itinerary:¬†Europe Explorer –¬†Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Czech Republic, Austria, Italy, Vatican City, Switzerland, France

Cost:  18 days for £1,149

Intrepid Travel

Intrepid travel sends smaller groups out on trips meaning that there’s less waiting around and getting to know people a little better. They also tend to be more expensive and cover less ground – meaning more time getting to know the area you’re visiting.

Runs tours Worldwide: Africa, Europe, Middle East, the Americas, even the Arctic!

Sample itinerary:¬†Highlights of Central Europe –¬†Austria,¬†Czech Republic,¬†Germany,¬†Hungary

Cost:  9 days for £1,260

Vodka Train

Vodka Train specialises in taking small groups on the famous Trans Siberian Railway and the Silk Road.

Sample itinerary: Budgeting Bolshevik РThe quintessential trans-mongolian adventure РMoscow to Beijing

Cost: 12 days for £995 excluding flights

Top Deck

A very similar offering to Contiki – same routes, same experience!

Runs tours from Eastern Europe to Middle East and  South East Asia: Anywhere from Poland to Vietnam, including Russia, Iran, India, China, and Japan

Sample itinerary:¬†Europe Uncovered –¬†France, Switzerland, Monaco, Italy, Vatican City, Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium

Cost: 22 days for £1,926

Adventure Holidays


Exodus has a great range of trips where you’ll be doing much more than visiting a load of bars in different cities – they specialise in treking, cycling, and adventure trips across the world.

Runs tours Worldwide: Africa, Asia, the Americas, Europe, Australia & NZ, the Arctic and Antarctica

Sample itinerary: Vietnam Adventure РThe top and bottom of Vietnam, skipping the middle

Cost: 17 days for £1,769 including flights to Vietnam from London


Explore have a wide range of trips with different themes – Choose from a focus on landscapes, cities, exploring the local cuisine, or soaking up the sun on the beach.

Runs tours Worldwide: Africa, Asia, the Americas, the Middle East, Europe

Sample itinerary:¬†Russia, Belarus and the Baltics –¬†Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Russia

Cost: 15 days for £1,779 including flights from London

Family Trips

Neilson Active Travel

Neilson’s slogan ‘Relax as hard as you like’ sums it up – Neilson offers bespoke trips for groups. They specialise in Ski, Beach, and sailing trips across Europe – much more than your average beach break.

G Adventures

G Adventures have specialist section for family adventure and discovery travel – they cater for a wide variety of travel styles and have adventures for all ages. Their tours are all over the world.

Who are we missing?

Have you done¬†a group tour? Who was it with? Have you got any tips you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments!

This post is by Alec Bertram (18 Posts)

Alec is a London-based kiwi, dedicated broke traveller, digital marketer, and all-round nice guy. You can get hold of him by emailing him, tweeting him @KiwiAlec, or by walking around London and calling out his name.