We all know Contiki is the code word for young people, fun, booze and sex with a bit of disregard of the country you’re in. Their rival Topdeck is marketed as a slightly more mature alternative, young fun but still more engaged with the countries being visited (and also priced higher than Contiki).
So, what’s it like to go along with a 3-week Topdeck across Europe as a 28-year-old who is bordering on “not-so-young”?
Luckily for me, I wasn’t the oldest (near enough though to be conscious of the fact #oldfeels) but this is a luck of the draw as you don’t know who you’ll get until you join.
So, it went like…
- Meeting new friends, you wouldn’t of otherwise. The extended time being spent together with the same people helps establish this.
- A good time-saving option if you don’t have enough time to plan out a long trip yourself.
- Being a youth-oriented travel option, it is gentle on the budget. Good for backpacker adventure travel types with basic accommodation being provided and a lot of the meals taken care of.
- Travel arrangements are taken care of
- Always people to party and eat with
- Game of Thrones seems to be a universal conversational topic
The not so good:
- Since it’s a lucky dip you may not gel with everyone (whilst I didn’t have any issues I became closer to some than others)
- Its nonstop go go go with minimal rest so it can become very taxing physically. Better to do this the younger you are.
- It’s still an organised tour at the end of the day so you may not get to see and do everything you want to before its time to move off to a new place.
- If you are the type that was luxury travel this is definitely not for you, it’s more or less a back-packing tour nearly (flash-packing is more accurate as it’s not totally devoid of creature comforts). There is also A LOT of bus time.
- Lack of choice outside of the set itinerary with limited free time.
- Depending on the average age of the group you can really feel your age.
As someone who normally goes it alone or just with friends, to join a tour of all randoms for such an extended period of time was a new experience and would definitely recommend to try at least once when you a bit younger before you are locked down with boring adult stuff (debt, bills, mortgages and hard shit like that) and full of energy.