I have very exciting news – I’ve just put a deposit down on my next trip and this time (for the first time), I’m heading to Europe! At this stage, it looks as if I’ll be going alone so I’m a little nervous but I’m also very very excited!
I’ve only been back from America for 3 weeks, but within days of being back, I was already seriously planning the next trip. Then I got an email from STA Travel to let me know they were having an ‘Earlybird Europe Roadshow’ with special deals on Contiki Europe tours. So, being the excited little tripaholic I am, of course I went along. The deals on offer were quite good – 15% off Contiki and they only needed a deposit to secure a booking. I went home and straight away started looking at the tours on offer – initially I was dead-set on a hotel tour, but I couldn’t find one that stayed in hotels that went everywhere I wanted to go. Even though I was slightly put off by the hostel tours, the only one that went everywhere I wanted to go in a relatively short period of time was a mixed hostel/hotel tour. So I thought, screw it, let’s just go for it!
So, European Quest here I come! It’s a 25 day tour, staying half the nights in quad-share hostels and half in twin-share hotel rooms. I’m nervous about staying in hostels, especially with three other girls but I’m just going to think positive and hope it all works out okay!
As this tour doesn’t actually spend any time in London, I then started to look at options to spend some time in London. Travelling alone in a new place does make me nervous, so again I turned to Contiki. Next year, they are offering a new tour for London – a four night stay in London and including a trip to Stonehenge and Windsor. The tour is called London Uncovered and I’ll be doing this right before my European Quest trip.
I’ve also added on a night at the Royal National hotel for the night before both of these tours. This is Contiki’s go-to hotel – it’s where the Contiki Basement is located and is also where all the tours depart from. The hotel isn’t the greatest (reviews are pretty bad) and when you book with Contiki, the give you a room with another person who’s going on Contiki but I figure it will just be good practice for when I’m actually on the tour!
The next thing I will be booking will be flights – Air New Zealand currently have an earlybird sale on for flights to Europe so I’m hoping to take advantage of this. It’s too far out right now to book but the dates should be available in the next few weeks (before the sale ends). The European Quest tour ends in Amsterdam – according to the itinerary they’ll drop you at Amsterdam airport or you can ride back to London on the coach. I’ll probably fly out of Amsterdam to save money on an extra night back in London and flying out of Amsterdam has the added bonus of a range of stopover options! But I’ll talk more about this once I’ve booked flights.
Now I have to write a budget and save like crazy!!