Contiki - London & Paris
I won a fully sponsored 7 days London and Paris trip from Flight Centre Singapore.
Never have I thought to myself that I would have won something on a Facebook shout-out contest; even less so for winning a trip to London and Paris.
Surprisingly, I did and this would be my first ever Contiki trip of my life and Malaysia Airlines has kindly sponsored my flights to London via Kuala Lumpur.
Many of us have heard about Contiki Holidays, but few of us know how it truly operates. Before I embarked on this trip, I had my reservations about Contiki. Typically, I thought it would be just another mediocre travel group with rigid itineraries. But oh boy was I too quick to judge.
Prior to my trip, I received a travel wallet from Contiki consisting of all the travel information that I needed throughout this trip- very comprehensive and handy. There were a travel guidebook of Europe and a brief outline of my trip. Also, in the wallet was some information about the meeting point with the rest of my trip mates. Before my trip, I have e-met my trip mates on Shout, Contiki mobile app, where you can chat with your trip mates. The social platform was a great tool as I got to know some of the people on my trip before we even met- it was always fun to get excited about something with some friends!
When I arrived in London, I had some time to myself to explore the buzzing city streets before meeting my trip mates. It was very surreal to witness some of London’s iconic landmarks which I had only seen in magazines or from the television. My group consisted of 35 people and they were from all around the world. On top of it, my trip mates were mostly of my age which was fantastic as we shared the same energy and adrenaline. The group instantly cliqued- the beauty of meeting travelers of the same age group. They were mainly from Australia, America, Brazil, Canada, South Africa and Korea. We also got a fantastic trip leader onboard who made the trip a very memorable one!
On our first night, we were given a walking tour by our local tour guide just to get the feel of the city. Then, we scooted off to some clubs and I was amazed at how quickly we bonded as a group. On this trip, apart from visiting the places of interests in the comfort of our coach, we had ample time to roam around and get lost in the city on our own. In my opinion, the itinerary balanced out pretty well. This would be one of the points of difference for Contiki trips. They truly understand importance of the free-and-easy time to young travelers.
Thinking back, I was glad that I gathered enough courage to open myself up and stepped out of my comfort zone to mix with people of other nationalities. Personally, I feel that Contiki is doing a great job at bringing young travelers from all around the world together and make new memories in one of the most beautiful continents in the world.
A special thanks to my trip leader who did a marvelous job at bringing each and all of us together on this trip. He certainly has made the trip an unforgettable one for me.
I would highly recommend Contiki Holidays to those who want a balance of guided tours and self-adventures. You would definitely make some great friends after your trip and, that is probably the best part of it all. Trust me, I went for an exchange in the USA and I was surprised that I made more American friends on this trip than I had back then! Contiki tour is really an awesome social platform for me.
Needless to say, I am planning for my next Contiki trip to Thailand with my “clique”. And for this experience, I will have to thank Flight Centre Singapore for choosing me as the winner of the Facebook contest. If not for Flight Centre Singapore, I will still be the boy who is looking out for more friends from other countries.
Check out a video of Lim Boon Kiat's Contiki tour
Lim Boon Kiat