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Solo travelers who have used sites like Contiki or Travelzoo, how was the experience? Watch

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    Looking to meet people and start solo traveling. Travel websites such as Contiki and Travelzoo seem to have pretty good "package" deals, in the sense of having airfare, food expenses and tours all rolled up in one package, anywhere from 5 days to more than 30 days at a time.

    I was wondering if anybody can tell me about their experience with travel sites like these, whether positive or negative? Was it hard to meet people? Any advice for somebody like me looking to explore more of this planet solo?
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    Never used either service personally but I've travelled independently to parts of Europe, Japan, and Australia.

    I have heard a number of bad stories about guided tours like this, I believe Contiki was described as a service for people who want to get drunk on coaches. That may have just been one person having a bad experience but a lot of these websites charge extortionate "administration" fees for simple things like booking a hotel and applying for things like eVisitors and ESTAs (both of which you can do on the Australian/American immigration website in 10 minutes).

    If you were planning to go to Tibet, Iran, North Korea, etc. then use a travel agent. For places like Russia it's often easier to use a visa agent too. For any other occasion, I would suggest you do all the planning yourself. Use sites like Booking.com and SkyScanner for hotels and flights, and look at forums such as TripAdvisor for advice on places to go. If you're wanting to meet people on the way then staying at places like hostels is a perfectly fine way to do that as long as you're careful (it's not like the people you go with on these planned tours are CRB checked regardless). It's simply cheaper, more exciting, and somewhat more authentic if you do all the planning and booking yourself.
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    (Original post by Bonoahx)
    Never used either service personally but I've travelled independently to parts of Europe, Japan, and Australia.
    How easy did you find it to make friends by going totally solo? Anything you would recommend (aside from the staying in hostels). Is there anything I should look out for when booking a hostel to determine if it will be more social? I've stayed in hostels in the past where everyone is just on their laptops and phones and not talking to eachother.
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    (Original post by tippyto452)
    How easy did you find it to make friends by going totally solo? Anything you would recommend (aside from the staying in hostels). Is there anything I should look out for when booking a hostel to determine if it will be more social? I've stayed in hostels in the past where everyone is just on their laptops and phones and not talking to eachother.
    Sorry for the late reply.

    I'll be honest with you - I didn't really feel the need to make friends to go about places with. There's more of a feeling of adventure when you have to work things out for yourself, especially in countries like Japan where not many people speak English. I had quite a bit of money from my previous employment so I could afford private en-suite rooms. Obviously, if I went somewhere now I would stay in a hostel/guest house.

    If you do want to be more sociable than I was, it's best to look on websites like TripAdvisor for reviews of hostels. If a lot of reviewers are talking about how the hostel is friendly then it's probably a good sign. I believe some hostels do events and tours which would also be a good way to make friends.

    You could try checking town tourist boards for events? You are hardly going to make friends for life but you may be more comfortable if you do so.
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    Hiya,

    I am still currently travelling through Australia and NZ and have took time out of my Masters......I have done several tours, but I tend to sway towards more customised packages which you can get made up through travel agents over here, this way you can choose more to your preference and age range, and also with activities and costs. PM me or send me an email and I can explain more what I chose and where I have travelled solo and which places I did in a group through a package :-)

    Jemma


    (Original post by tippyto452)
    Looking to meet people and start solo traveling. Travel websites such as Contiki and Travelzoo seem to have pretty good "package" deals, in the sense of having airfare, food expenses and tours all rolled up

    I in one package, anywhere from 5 days to more than 30 days at a time.

    I was wondering if anybody can tell me about their experience with travel sites like these, whether positive or negative? Was it hard to meet people? Any advice for somebody like me looking to explore more of this planet solo?
 
 
 
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