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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I make a reservation?

Contact your nearest travel agent or Contiki Holidays on +27 11 280 8400

How do I make a change in my reservation

Contact your nearest travel agent or Contiki Holidays on +27 11 280 8400 or contact the agent you booked with.
Please note a R200 amendment fee per person will apply.

What if I need to cancel my booking?

Contact your nearest travel agent or Contiki Holidays on +27 11 280 8400 or contact the agent you booked with.
Please check cancellation fees.

What are the cancellation fees?

What are the cancellation fees?

PERIOD OF NOTICE
Over 45 days
45 – 22 days
21 – 8 days

7 – 1 days

Day of Departure
CANCELLATION FEES
Deposit is forfeited
25% of tour cost forfeited
30% of tour cost forfeited (50% for Latin America)
50% of tour cost forfeited (75% for Latin America)
100% of tour cost forfeited
PERIOD OF NOTICE - ASIA PRODUCT CANCELLATION FEES
Over 45 days Deposit is forfeited
45 – 31 days 25% of tour cost forfeited
30 – 8 days 50% of tour cost forfeited
7 – 1 days 75% of tour cost forfeited
Day of Departure 100% of tour cost forfeited
   

Please note fees differ for Latin America departures including the Inca Trail Trek. Please speak to your Reservations agent for further details

Are flights included in the trip price?

Flights as specified on individual trip itineraries are included as part of the price. Flights to and from the Start/End destinations are not included, however if you contact your Reservations team they will be more than happy to get you a quote

Does it cost me anything to change my air itinerary?

It depends on the terms of the air reservation. If you purchased your air through Contiki, you or your travel agent should call your local office and speak to a reservations agent for more information

Are prices based on twin share?

Most prices are based on twin share, unless otherwise specified. For example, New Zealand trip prices are based on same gender quad share with twin room bookings on a request basis incurring a surcharge. Some trips offer single occupancy for an additional cost, or triple/quad-share for a reduced price.

Do you offer group travel or discounts?

Yes we do! For groups of 4 (four), 7 (seven) or 10 (ten) & more on a standard Contiki itinerary please see the discounts offered to each group as listed in the “Specials” section of this site. For groups of 20 or more, please see the Groups FAQs for more information.

What's the Early Payment Discount?

Contiki offer Early Payment discounts for trips when the full cost is paid by a specific date. Discounts can be up to 10% depending on trips and departures. See trip departures and dates or our Pay Early page for further details.

Can I have an extension on my payment?

Full payment is due no later than 45 days prior to departure. If the payment isn’t made by the due date, Contiki may cancel and charge cancellation fees in accordance with our booking terms and conditions.

What's included in the price of a Contiki trip?

Everything listed on the trips itinerary in the Backstage Pass Includes section (apart from Me Time Optionals). Including but not limited to: Coach, train, air transfers and ferry transport as specified. Accommodation and meals as per each individual trip itinerary. Sightseeing & admission fees plus much more.

The Contiki Glossary

  1. Visit - Your coach will stop and you'll get the opportunity to visit a specific site.
  2. See/View - Your coach will drive by the site so that you can see it.
  3. Sightseeing tour - A guided tour of a city or site.
  4. Orientation tour - Places of interest are pointed out, allowing you to go and explore them in your own time.

Inca Trail Booking Requirements

When you book your trip (as early in advance as possible) it’s essential that you let us know the following details:

  1. Your full name (as appears on passport), your nationality, date of birth & gender
  2. Your passport number, nationality, place of issue, date of issue and date of expiry

What Else?

It’s very important that the passport information that you submit with your application is exactly the same as the passport you will use to travel to Latin America. You will need your passport to enter onto the trail. It’s best to play it safe – if your information changes it can result in a penalty & cancellation of admission to the trail. No refunds will be given.

  1. Book early! To help preserve Machu Picchu for future generations, the Peruvian Government closely controls the number of travellers on the trail, with only 500 permits available each day to all companies.
  2. Inca Trail permits are non-refundable & non-changeable so it’s essential that you let us know your correct passport details at the time of booking so we can process your application quickly. Contiki will process your application on your behalf.
  3. Your passport must have 6 months validity at the time of travel. To ensure you get your chance to hike the trail, book your spot early. It’s advisable to book at least 3 months before travelling in the low season (between Oct & we cannot guarantee permit availability.

Please note that the trail is closed in February for maintenance
All our Peru trips visit Machu Picchu, but it’s your choice to take the Inca Trail Trek option in addition to your trips normal itinerary. Travellers that choose to hike the trail will return to Machu Picchu by coach from Aguas Calientes with the group the following morning for a guided visit.

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How can I find people on my departure?

Once you've booked your trip you can register with Contiki here. Once registered, you can add your trip to your account using your booking number (similar to A123456), and join your private MeetUp, which is just for you and others on your trip. Chat before you go and get to know who you're going with, share travel tips and advice and countdown to your adventures.

How can I Manage my Booking?

You’re booked & it’s nearly go time, however just like when you’re taking a flight, it’s important you provide us with your all your details before you can travel. You can also amend most details at any point prior to your departure. Check out our dedicated page here to log into your booking.

Do I need any vaccinations?

Please consult a GP or Travel Specialist Doctor to find out which if any vaccinations are required. If you suffer from any form of illness, be sure to have an adequate supply of any medications prior to departing on your trip. You must advise us of any important medical condition you may have at time of booking.

Do I need a passport and travel visas?

Depending on your nationality, you may need visas to enter certain countries included in your trip. You are responsible for obtaining all necessary visas prior to the departure of your trip. Consult your travel agent (if applicable) or a visa service well in advance to determine which visas you will require and how to obtain them. Important: visas can take up to six weeks to obtain and a fee is normally charged. Failure to obtain all necessary visas could cause you to miss part of your trip and will result in considerable expense and inconvenience. It is better to apply for ALL visas through your travel agent or visa service before you leave home.


For Latin American trips we require full passport details including name, place of issue, nationality, passport number, date of issue and date of expirey (which needs 6 months validity at time of travel) to confirm the reservation

When will I receive my travel documents from Contiki?

Provided final payment is received no less than 45 days prior to departure you will receive your travelers documents: vouchers, airline tickets (if purchased through Contiki), a day to day itinerary including Me Time Optionals information, a travellers information booklet (subject to region travelling) and document wallet delivered to you (via post or email) approximately three weeks prior to departure.

How much luggage can I bring?

For our Europe Budget/Concept and Superior/Timeout trips, North America trips and South Pacific trips, luggage is restricted to one reasonable sized, non-expanding suitcase size approximately 29” × 20” × 10” (73cm x 50cm x 25cm) with the maximum weight of 20 kilos (44lbs.) plus one small hand/day bag that can go on the coach with you. No metal frame backpacks please, their bulky shape makes coach packing difficult and they are likely to damage other luggage.

Contiki reserves the right to refuse to accept larger suitcases on tour. However on Camping tours, the maximum dimensions are 28” × 18” x 9” (70cm x 45cm x 23cm) with a maximum weight of 20 kilos (44lbs).
On South Pacific trips which include the Flotilla Sailing and/or 4-wheel drive trips, a small bag suitable for the extremely limited luggage space is required. Your regular luggage will be stored at this time.
On European ski packages and New Zealand trips with a ski option you may bring one pair of skis and ski boots.
For trips to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands - we highly recommend a backpack or average sized duffle bag. Due to luggage limitations we will not take any oversized suitcases or metal framed backpacks, however we strongly recommend an internal frame pack. Alternatively you can bring a smaller bag to pack for Galapagos, leaving your main suitcase at the hotel in Guayaquil to collect on return.

For Latin America, Asia & other regions which have internal flights included in the itinerary, luggage weight restrictions must be strictly adhered and Contiki is not responsible for any airline imposed excess baggage fees you may need to pay.

Note: Baggage is carried at the owner’s own risk and baggage insurance is strongly recommended.

How much money should I bring?

It is advisable to start your trip with some cash in the local currency of the destinations you will be travelling. You should be able to use debit & credit cards to withdraw money along the way. Remember that you’ll need to allow enough to cover lunches, some dinners, shopping, entrance fees to some attractions, Me Time Optionals and activities, souvenirs, drinks and evening entertainment/nightclubs. A full list of Me Time optional activities and approximate costs will be sent to you with your travel documents.

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Are the trip departures guaranteed? What is a Definite Departure?

Contiki has designated a large number of trips as Definite Departures. Check the departure calendar of the itinerary of your choice and look for dates with a grey corner as they indicate definite departures. These Definite Departures are guaranteed to operate except under circumstances beyond our control. We are continually updating trips with Definite Departure status through the year to ensure that the vast majority of our departures operate as scheduled.

What happens to my deposits or money if my trip departure is withdrawn/not operating?

In most instances, if not all, Contiki will provide a minimum of 6 weeks notice to give you ample time to consider our alternative offers in trip departure date, or trips that are fairly similar in duration or itinerary. In the event, alternative offers are not acceptable, Contiki will refund the deposit and any monies paid by you in advance for your trip.

What are Contiki’s booking terms and conditions?

Please visit our Booking Conditions page.

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Is smoking allowed on the trip?

All Contiki motorcoaches, mini coaches, and 4 wheel drive vehicles are smoke-free. The coach will stop every couple of hours so you can light up during these breaks.

Must I know the native languages of the countries I am visiting?

No worries. That is one of the benefits of traveling with Contiki. You’ll be traveling with a tour manager who knows how to get around the countries you will be visiting. However, if you have some time, it never hurts to know a few courteous, friendly words (e.g., hello, please, thank you, etc.) of the native languages of the countries you will be visiting. It does make traveling more fun and you will find that most people from these countries will appreciate the effort and will be more receptive to your visit. Please note, all tour managers and tour drivers speak English.

What happens if I’m traveling alone? Is there an extra charge?

More than half our passengers go it alone, which means you are guaranteed to link up with other young adventurous and like-minded people. We do not charge a single supplement for solo travellers. We will match you up with a same sex roomate. If you want your own room, and one is available, it will be offered for an additional surcharge, depending on which trip you are booking.

How can my family contact me while I am traveling?

You will receive all hotel contact details with your travel documentation sent three weeks prior to departure. WIFI will be available at most hotels as well as most of our coaches in Europe and our Concept sites, so keeping them up to date with your adventures is easier than ever.

Does Contiki offer transfers?

We offer transfers in certain cities for an additional fee.

How many people will be on the trip with me?

That depends on where you are going. For most of the trips, we operate luxury motorcoaches and therefore carry between 25-50 people per trip. For our Asia trips the maximum group size is 30 and for Latin America trip the average size is 25.

How strictly enforced is the age restriction of 18 to 35?

Contiki operates trips for explorers within the ages of 18-35 exclusively, meaning you must be either 18 or 35 (or any age in-between) on day 1 of your trip to be able to travel with us. For those travellers looking for a trip that are over the age of 35, there are plenty of experiences around the world with Contiki's TTC sister brands that can take you on an incredible travel experience in your chosen destination. Visit here for more details.

What other nationalities will be on the trip with me?

Contiki sells its travel packages globally. It is therefore quite typical to expect between 6-15 different nationalities on any one trip, i.e., Australians, Americans, Canadians, Germans, English, Swiss, New Zealanders, Japanese, Dutch, South Africans, Italians, Danes, Brazilians, Mexicans, Austrians, Singaporeans, Swedes, Koreans, etc

What are the tour managers and drivers like?

We have former policemen, actors, Peace Corps volunteers, sales managers, bankers, management consultants, bartenders, psychologists, surfers, chefs, and even nuclear physicists — you name it and we’ve got ‘em. The road crew are around the same age as our travelers and they’re really fun! Your crew are with you on the entire trip and give you all the info you need on the trip: city tours, histories of countries, provinces and states, fun nightlife and daytime activities, and they keep you entertained on coach rides.
In Asia, as well as your Tour Manager we also use expert Local Guides who'll give you a unique insider's perspective into the places you visit. It's the special angle only a local can give


On the trips to Europe, many of the crew are from Great Britain, Europe, New Zealand, Australia and Canada. On the trips in the United States, Australia and New Zealand the crew are natives of that country. Contiki has both male and female tour managers and drivers who have very different experiences prior to working for Contiki.

Will the tour manager speak English?

Yes, all of our Tour Managers and Tour Drivers speak English, some speak additional languages as well, but your tour will be conducted in English.In Latin America Tour Drivers may speak limited English

Do you have frequent traveler discounts?

Yes! We love our past travellers coming back for another awesome adventure, so if you book another one of our trips (anywhere we travel!) we’ll hook you up with a discount. Plus, we’ll hook you up when you travel with our sister companies too. So if you have booked & travelled with us or one of our sister companies within the past 5 years let our team know at time of booking.

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What’s the difference between the Ways to Travel?

Contiki caters for all types of traveller and to help you out, we’ve narrowed things down so you can find the trip that’s right for you. Pick from any one of our 8 ways to travel:

  1. Discovery Plus - See it all and do it all
  2. High Energy - Explore by day and live it up at night
  3. In-Depth Explorer - Live like a local
  4. Easy Pace - Take life down a gear
  5. Freestyle Camping - Sleep under the stars
  6. Sailing & Cruising - Set sail on the open sea
  7. Festivals & Short Stays - Grab a slice of adventure
  8. Winter & Ski – Discover the world in Autumn, Winter and Spring or hit the slopes

Can I re-charge my mobile and digital camera whilst on my trip?

Different countries have different plug types/voltage requirements. We suggest buying a Universal Travel Adapter which has built in every connection you require for all countries we visit. On the majority of our coaches in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, the USA and Canada we also have power plugs so you can charge enroute.

How much free time will I have?

We design our trips so that you will have lots of free time to do your own thing. Not only do we schedule free time, but you can venture off on your own at any point during the trip.

What are Me Time Optionals?

We have included a great deal of activities in all our trips, but we cannot and would not want to include everything. Personal choice is important and our clients like the option of being included/or not on certain “Optionals,” i.e., Paris Nightclub show, Gondola ride in Venice, Rafting in Austria. From experience, we know which optionals have proven most popular with our clients and only these will be offered to you. These optionals do cost extra and a full list relating to your trip can be found with your final documents (or under the optionals heading of your tour online) to assist with trip budgeting. Payment for optionals is cash only for our Asia and Latin America trips. Most other optionals can paid for using Credit/debit Cards, however there are exceptions such as high adventure optionals, most short breaks and the following regions/tours which still require cash only payment (you will be advised in advance by your Tour Manager which form of payment is accepted) :
The United Kingdom
Scandinavia and Russia
Turkish Sailing
The Turkey & Greek Island Odyssey
Croatian Island Sailing trips
The Egypt and the Nile trip.

Where can we find details on Me Time optionals?

Optionals are listed on our web site within each tour’s information. Further details will be sent with your tour documents

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What size Groups do you accommodate?

We offer discounts and services to two kinds of Groups. We use the term Book with friends to refer to groups of four, seven and ten, and Custom Groups to refer to groups of 20 or more. In both instances all ‘group’ members must be traveling together on a specific itinerary and booking at the same time.

What kind of discount can my Small Group get?

We do discounts for groups of 4, 7 or 10 plus For more information on small group discounts check out our Deals page

What is a Custom Group?

A Custom Group is a minimum of 20 people who are all traveling together on a specific itinerary and booking at the same time. All Custom Groups have exclusive use of a Contiki Tour Manager, Coach and Driver. All of our Custom Group prices are quoted on a NET, non-commissionable, per person price.

Where can my group go?

Contiki suggests you review and select one of our many itineraries offered. We can then modify these itineraries to fit your group’s specific needs. Remember Contiki only operates group tours in regions of our expertise. Contiki has touring expertise in the following regions: : Europe, North America, Central America, Latin America, Asia, Australia and New Zealand

Do the passengers in a Custom Group all have to be between 18 – 35 years old?

We have operated many educational itineraries for groups containing both students and young people under the age of 18, as well as chaperones and professors over the age of 35. As a custom departure your group will have exclusive use of coach, Driver and Tour Manager.
Contiki’s Custom Group policy for student groups requires at least 1 adult chaperone for every 10 passengers under the age of 18. These chaperones are required to stay with the group at all times. Please remember that the Tour Manager and Driver are in charge of the group’s operations and travel, not the group’s participants.

Who are some of your past/present Custom Group clients?

Universities, high schools, religious youth groups, band and performance groups and clubs

Does the group leader travel for free?

You decide on how many free places you would like. We will cost the free places into the tour price-spreading the cost amongst the group.

When is the best time to travel?

Contiki operates tours year-round, however some months are better for group travel than others. The chart below indicates “peak” months when travel can be more expensive and hotel availability may be more difficult to accommodate large groups. “Best time” to travel refers to when we suggest organizing your group travel for better availability, prices and less crowds.


Country

America & Canada
Europe
Australia
New Zealand

Peak

May-Sept
June, July, August
Jan & Feb
Jan & Feb

Best Time

March – April; Sept – Oct
April – May; Sept – Nov
Year round
Nov – Dec; March – April (July-Oct for Skiing)


What about air?

Contiki will be happy to include flights for your group. Or, we can quote on a “land only” package and let you organize your group’s flights.

How long will it take to get a Custom Group quote?

Once you contact our Res team by phone or by our contact page, depending on the time of year and extent of your travel plans it may take as little as 1 day to get a complete proposal back to you. However, Contiki always strives to take no longer than 7 business days to complete your request for a group proposal.

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Travellers Guides

Contiki has put together a handy travel guide exclusively for our travellers. They're full of lots of useful & important info. about your tour & all the places you'll visit. Here's some of the stuff we cover in the guide:

  1. • What to Pack
  2. • Departure Points
  3. • Vaccinations & visas
  4. • Budgeting tips on your trip
  5. • Explore more Me Time optionals

Europe Summer

Download PDF (16.7 MB)

Europe Winter

Download PDF (5.9 MB)

Australia

Download PDF (8.1 MB)

New Zealand

Downoad PDF (4.6 MB)

USA & Canada

Download PDF (49.6 MB)

Latin America

Download PDF (29.8 MB)

Asia

Download PDF (5.3 MB)

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