contiki vs topdeck


Contiki Vs Topdeck: 5 reasons why group travel should be on your bucket list in 2020

Published February 27th, 2020

Have you ever come back from a holiday and felt like you needed a holiday from the holiday?

There’s no denying that travelling can be a daunting experience which is why booking a tour pre-designed by experts that is stress-free, safe, and packs in more than you could ever have imagined, will make your holiday loads more fun! The hardest part will be deciding which souvenirs to buy and what gelato to indulge in.

So, which one to choose? If you’ve been tossing up between Contiki and Topdeck, the reality is both companies offer very similar packages. Both aimed at 18-30 somethings, Topdeck is often seen as the slightly more civilised and conversational of the two, whereas Contiki has long been known for its “party bus” style. Who doesn’t want to have fun though, right?

Though, times are ch-ch-changing and Contiki now offers much more than just a party bus vibe—check out their exclusive vegan trips, and culturally immersive trips led by locals.

As for Topdeck, they’ve just had a revamp with new ‘real’ vibes—encouraging travellers to shrug off the mundane and ‘catapult into the incredible’.

Your best bet? Find the route or destinations that suit you best and get in touch with us to compare prices!

Whatever you choose, just please put away all the confusing road maps and exhausting travel plans and jump aboard one of the most magical and unforgettable experiences of your lifetime.

In the meantime, keep scrollin' for inspo!



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A logistical dream:

Yes that’s right, travelling should never have to be a nightmare of infinite research, hours of web browsing and agonising planning. One of my most treasured times abroad was a tour which took me all the way through Thailand, from hiking in the northern mountains, staying with local communities, and later island hopping and snorkelling through the country’s southern blue waters.

We travelled on local buses, a rice barge, cycled through a monastery, caught overnight trains, stayed in lush hotels, beach front bungalows, and even travelled via elephant through exquisite rainforest – all this planned with absolute precision. Something I could never have pulled off if I had tried to replicate my own experience.

Did you know? Contiki offers over 350 tours in over 75 countries including; Europe, Asia Latin America, USA, Canada and Australia. Topdeck similarly covers 330 tours in 65 countries. Let’s just say these guys have you covered when it comes to criss-crossing mother earth.



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Packing it all in:

If you’re time poor—perhaps you have just two weeks off work but want to see as much as you can—touring is your best bet. I travelled through Europe with Contiki and it would have to be by far one of my most favourite holidays to date.

Traversing this divine patchwork of cultures was incredible, and mind blowing how much you can sight-see in such little time. One day you’re tasting your way through the streets of Paris (gourmet snails and frog’s legs anyone?), the next your swigging on a fresh German brew while gliding down the Rhine River. There’s certainly never a dull moment.

And remember you can sleep while you travel which saves time in itself. Just sit back on the luxury air-conditioned coach and let your guides do all of the work. This is meant to be a holiday after all!

Did you know? Topdeck took home three first place awards at the TNT 2012 Golden Backpack Awards, including Favourite Big Tour Operator. Meanwhile, Contiki has its own sustainable travel pledge making environmentally-conscious travel a major part of their ethos.



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Value for money:

Without a doubt you will not find a cheaper option than travelling in numbers. Group bookings will always allow for better priced packages, meaning you and your fellow travel buds can see so much more for less—win!

And travel tour companies such as Contiki and Topdeck base their entire philosophy around this.

Did you know? Contiki began its operations back in 1962 when a group of young, wide-eyed antipodeans arrived in London to explore as much of Europe as possible with little more than a backpack, whatever money they’d scraped together and a 12-seater minivan.

Much like Contiki’s backstory, Topdeck was born in 1973, when a bunch of friends decided to take a double decker bus from London to Morocco. Everyone pitched in, saved a tonne of money and it was such a success they did the trip again and again. That same concept remains today.




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Safety in numbers:

If you’ve ever picked up a Lonely Planet you will know that safety is paramount when it comes to travel, with warnings coming at you from every angle.

Think: pick pockets, losing luggage, sicknesses, domestic and international conflicts, transport disruptions, you name it. There’s certainly a lot to be across when it comes to knowing the ins and outs of each country, and a little local knowledge can go a very long way.

When I got sick in Las Vegas my Topdeck tour manager was able to tell me how to get to the nearest emergency centre and help me organise my prescription medication. Having an on-board tourist information hub was invaluable in that moment of need when I was so far from the familiarities and luxuries of home.

Did you know? Contiki is committed to personal security and has a safety policy which takes a no zero tolerance on bullying or harassment. While, Topdeck is passionate about stopping modern slavery and human trafficking and makes every effort to avoid this in its business and supply chains.



A post shared by Contiki (@contiki) on


Lifetime friendships:

Sure, you might not be signing up for friendships, but group travel brings the insta-friend out in all of us. If you’re single and new to navigating the globe, travelling alone can be unnerving at the best of times. Take all the anxiety away and enjoy your adventures with new life-long friendships guaranteed.

Those weeks spent with people from across the world, all sharing the same experience, brings a special kind of irreplaceable bonding. Let’s just say you might want to pack some Kleenex for when it’s time to say goodbye. Reunions, anyone?

Did you know? Topdeck offers a range of travel options from budget to five-star, with the Hotel, Explorer and Hostel options. Contiki classifies their trips as; Iconic Essentials, which gives more freedom to explore; Discoverer, where you see it all and do it all; or the In-Depth where you completely “go local”.

Chat to us today to book in the right tour for you!


Penny Brand

Life is an adventure and travel is the antidote to its chaos. When I’m needing a light pick me up, you’ll find me atop the nearest mountain, swimming through natural waters or booking that ticket to an exotic location, map in hand!