top of page
IMG_1160 2.PNG

Contiki as a solo traveller

The very first time I went overseas to ‘travel’, I decided to go alone. All of my friends weren’t ready to do that, which is so fine, but I didn’t want to wait for a couple of years. Then the second that the reality of that hit I proceeded to freak out! I was young - only 19, had never left the country aside from with school & as far as I knew everyone does contiki with their friends!! I was really concerned that I wouldn’t make friends because everyone would already be travelling with people. So much stress… all for nothing.

I had this image in my head of what a contiki tour was going to be like. Half of it, was exactly what I had assumed. Half of it was better than I could have imagined. I did two tours back to back & both of them were super fun but very different.


The first one I did was called the ‘New York Uncovered’, it was really short, but we covered a lot. It has been 7 years since I did the tour, so the ones advertised on contiki have changed but some of the highlights were:

Central park

Statue of liberty (our guide could explain the history in under 3 minutes)

Greenwich Village

World trade centre

Empire state building

Rockefeller centre


One of the best things about Contiki was that they setup a secret Facebook page & once you had confirmed your tour, they added you so that you could start getting to know the people that you were going to be there with. The New York tour was slightly more … I guess … unwelcoming is a good word. A lot of the people were just there with their partners because it was the cheapest way to get into the museums & attractions haha and it was an older traveller. But I still met a couple people to explore such an amazing place with. *** Contiki has now changed that tour to be self-directed and they just give you a pass to get into the attractions for cheap, which is probably better haha. I did it directly before my next tour as a way to see the city but in a safer environment. It helped to ease my nerves, & I highly suggest doing a group tour on your first time overseas. It’s a very comfortable middle ground between travelling with friends & family & stepping out in to the big, seemingly scary world completely on your own.


I can’t even explain how much I will forever love the memories of the Grand Northern tour. It was 20 places in 24 days so its full steam ahead adventure. If you want to see the most of North America in the shortest time frame this is definitely a good way to do it. We went:

New York – Boston – Quebec – Montreal – Toronto – Cleveland – Chicago – Madison – Sioux Falls – Mount Rushmore – Cody – Yellowstone National Park – Grand Teton National Park – Jackson hole – Zion National Park – Las Vegas – Los Angeles.

I won’t go into the highlights of the trip because I will get carried away reminiscing haha, but below is the link for the contiki trip. It’s like 98% the same one as I did with just a few slight changes.

Contiki Grand Northern



Every hotel/ motel that you stay at along the way is double occupancy. If you were travelling with a friend, they put you up with that person. You can also pay for a single room but it’s more money. Plus, honestly it would take away from the experience of reliving the day at 3am when drunk with your roommate. Most of the time I was in a room with the same girl, but we got along well so it was fine.


I made some super great friends who I still talk to, every time they travelled through Sydney they would come visit even if five years had gone by. One thing that kind of took some getting used to was post – travel blues. I will post about that soon, but just know that the memories that you make with travel friends are real and yes, real life gets in the way, but that bond doesn’t go away so don’t get too disheartened.

Love your friendly redhead.



bottom of page