Travel Expert Sarah Billy of Flight Centre Vancouver knows a thing or two when it comes to travelling on a tour. Whether you are travelling solo, or with a friend/partner, she shares why Contiki is a great option for young travellers, and what to know before you go.
1. How many times have you been on an organized tour?
2. How many countries have you visited (total) while on an organized tour?
I’ve had the chance to visit 9 countries while travelling on organized tours including Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Zimbabwe, Botswana, South Africa, Peru, and most recently Myanmar.
3. What makes travelling on a tour better than doing it on your own?
It’s completely stress free! I didn’t have to worry about organizing anything, and I still got free time to relax and do the things that I wanted to do with the option of having an expert to ask questions and help me do the things I wanted to do.
4. What is the most common misconception about organized tours?
That you have to be with the group the whole time and have little free time for yourself.
5. What surprised you the most about touring?
How cost effective it was, and how much time I had to do whatever I wanted.
6. What’s your favourite tour company and why?
I have travelled with lots of different tour companies and like them all for different reasons, but Contiki Holidays in particular was what hooked me to touring. I was travelling with a friend and we wanted to do a tour since neither of us had been to Asia before.
I didn’t really know what to expect, but our tour leader was amazing and we met so many friends that I’ve kept in touch with years later. It was great being with a group of like-minded travellers around the same age because it was a lot easier to get along!
7. What is your tip for someone about to experience their first guided tour?
When travelling on a tour, definitely book at least one pre-night before your tour starts. You’ll have time to recover from any jet lag and get to experience more of the city you start in. You can stay in the same hotel that the tour starts in so you don’t need to worry about getting there.
8. What’s your favourite travel memory from a tour you’ve taken?
I could go on and on about some of my favourite experiences like hiking up to Machu Picchu, and hot air ballooning in Myanmar, but seeing the sunrise at Angkor Wat with Contiki is something I will remember forever.
9. What made you fall in love with touring?
Travelling with no stress, having a local expert available, and all the amazing friends I’ve met.