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Are you thinking about travel? But unsure as to where to start? Group travel is expensive but are they worth it? Contiki is one of the biggest companies which offer group travel, which can take you all over the world. But is it worth the price tag that comes with? This blog post explores my first experience with Contiki as I had decided to venture to Canada with Contiki. After spending hours looking at all the tours which Contiki offer, as they have tours going everywhere from Europe to South America, I kept finding myself being drawn to Canada, in particular, Canada and the Rockies tour which started and ended in Vancouver via Whistler, Kamloops, Jasper, Banff and Vernon. Allowing us to see some of the highlights of Canada, but also included all our transport and accommodation and Canada is expensive for accommodation so taking this all into account I was happy to pay the price of the tour which was approximately £1900 when I booked in May 2019, but please remember that prices will change with time and I was NOT gifted this tour although if you ever want to gift me Contiki, I wouldn't say no. Included in the price was not only our transport and accommodation but also a tour leader, bus driver, 5 breakfasts, 1 lunch and dinners and on top of this, 25 included activities. 25 activities, which is a lot and this varies from visiting Athabasca Glacier which includes going on the Ice Explorer, seeing Mount Robson the highest point in Canada and staying in the heart of the picturesque Rockies. These are all massive bucket-list activities and the fact that this was all included in price. But let's get into the details.
Accommodation: All of the accommodation which we stayed at was brilliant especially in Whistler and Banff, as in Banff we stayed in Chalets and Whistler in our room there was a hot tub next to my bed, where else in the world can you experience this. Only in Vernon, we stayed at a hotel which felt more like a motel than a hotel but this was because we only stayed in Vernon to break up the long drive between Banff and Vancouver. Tour Guide and Driver: Our tour guide Charlotte was a dream, as she went above and beyond to help us with literally with anything. She was so passionate not only about her job but also about Canada and it enhanced the experience as her day sheets were so enthusiastic and creative, seeing them when you're half asleep being told where you'll be driving to that day helped to visualise what you were going to that day. As well as having a wonderful tour guide our driver was also outstanding as in Jasper we couldn't do the White water rafting due to the weather so he took us to the hot springs, out of the goodness of his heart.
Included activities: The included activities on this tour were amazing, from entry into all the national parks which included visiting bucket list activities such as seeing Lake Louise and Morriane Lake. We also got to have a picnic in front of the picturesque Mount Robson, which was breathtaking. But the highlight was exploring Athabasca Glacier which includes going on the Ice Explorer which was amazing!! Standing on top of a Glacier is the most amazing feeling and nothing like I have ever experienced.
Add on activities: The list of add on activities that we could do from Ziplining through the Rockies to cruising through the Magline Lake to Spirit Island to Horseback riding through the Rockies. Some of my favourite activities which I would recommend everyone doing. The first is the Helicopter from Canmore which is a half an hour helicopter ride which was the most expensive activity which you could do at 303 Canadian Dollars but was worth it as the views over the Rockies were breathtaking and this was my first time in a helicopter and what a place to do it. The Magline Lake cruise to Spirit Island tour, this was such a peaceful experience and being out on the lake and being surrounded by nature was the most amazing experience. And the last activity which I'm going to mention in this post is the Harbour Dinner Cruise in Vancouver as this was the last proper activity together and it was wonderful and slightly emotional final evening together, filled with good food, good music and a few too many drinks.
Will I use Contiki again? Yes, I've already booked onto another and this time I will be visiting New Zealand!! And I cannot wait, as I had such an amazing experience in Canada and hope New Zealand will be just as good, if not better!! Ashleigh xx Want up to £100 off next Contiki trip? Use the link below https://refer.contiki.com/ashleighchogan Want up to £25 off your first trip over £55? Use the link below www.airbnb.co.uk/c/ashleighh1808