Contiki is undoubtedly one of the most well-known and biggest travel brands for under 35s.
But bigger isn’t always better, and there are a few fantastic alternatives to Contiki which you may not have heard of.
The two main reasons people will look for other travel companies like Contiki are price & the style of tours.
At the time of writing, the average cost per day for a Contiki tour is $180 (£116) per day.
This may be too high for you, and if so, then you’ll be happy to know that there are a few Contiki alternatives which come in cheaper – but there’s two which are definitely won’t.
Style of tours
Contiki is just one of the 42 brands under the control of The Travel Corporation.
And while big travel companies have its perks, some people think being too big can negatively affect their travel experience.
Which is why people – like yourself, look for alternatives to Contiki as they seek a more honest experience with a smaller, more hands-on and intimate travel company.
But don’t think that Contiki isn’t all that – because it sure as hell is 🤛 According to TourRadar, Contiki is rated 4.7/5 from over 5,100 passengers with an impressive 86% claiming their Contiki tour was excellent.
So the figures speak for themselves.
But do they offer these intimate tours? No, they don’t.
The truth is that unless you pay a lot more and go with a company like G Adventures or Intrepid Travel, then you’re really not going to get the close group tour experience you’re after.
If you are looking to mix things up a bit, then check out our list of the five best alternatives to Contiki.
Busabout describes themselves as “the alternative way to travel”, and that’s thanks to their unique travel styles.
With Busabout you can pick from pre-planned, guided tours or you can build your itinerary and travel on your own terms with the award-winning Hop-on Hop-off Travel Passes.
Topdeck is wildly popular and probably the most similar tour operator to Contiki – hence why so many people compare Topdeck vs Contiki.
With a massive 274 tours to choose from and almost the same trip types and destinations, Topdeck Travel is one of the best alternatives to Contiki.
In January 2020, Topdeck launched a new “Feel Real” branding that promises to offer more immersive, raw and off-the-grid destinations and experiences.
Intrepid Travel offers a more authentic travel experience then Contiki with a big focus on authentic real-life experiences, and local secrets you won’t find on Google.
They do this by using tour guides who are born and raised in the country you’re visiting.
A significant difference between Contiki and Intrepid Travel is the group sizes. The average Intrepid tour group size is about ten compared to Contiki’s which can be upwards of 22-30 in a group.
So if you’re looking for small groups and big adventures, then Intrepid Travel is definitely a great alternative to Contiki.
Another small-group tour company on our list of alternatives to Contiki has to be G Adventures.
G Adventures is the ultimate sustainable small-group tour company building meaningful relationships with local communities and helping the people and places they visit.
Unlike Contiki, there is no upper age limit for G Adventure tours (except their 18-to-Thirty-somethings trips), so you’ll be sure to get more of a mixed bag of travellers if you wish, or you can opt for tours with people your age – it’s entirely up to you.
Travel Talk has to be on the list of alternatives to Contiki tours because they have pretty much the same demographics as Contiki.
Travel Talk Tours is a UK based operator and has a large following of expats living in the UK & Europe – so exactly the same type of people who travel with Contiki. For this reason, you’ll find many similarities between these two brands and their tours – lots of Croatia sailing, Greek Island hopping and a few festival trips to choose from also.
Travel Talk also focuses on the same 18-39s age group that Topdeck Travel, so slightly older than Contiki, but not as high as Busabout, Intrepid Travel or G Adventures.
Whatever your reason for seeking an alternative to Contiki is, take comfort in knowing that these alternative travel operators also offer the high-quality and highly rated tours that you’d expect from a global brand as Contiki.
Let us know your thoughts or any questions you may have in the comments below.