There is one thing you can be sure of if you book a tour with Contiki.
Actually, make that two things.
Firstly, there will be at least a fair bit of partying.
Secondly, you will spend a lot of time on your coach.
Its tours are well known for packing in a lot in a short time, and as a result of that, you do spend a lot of time travelling from location to location.
So naturally you want that time to be spent in a relative amount of comfort.
So what are Contiki tour buses like? Do they have wifi? Do they have bathrooms?
We look at this and a whole lot more in today’s blog.
Do Contiki Buses Have Wifi and Bathrooms?
Contiki buses have limited free wifi that will run out very quickly, so watching videos etc on your device is not recommended. It also has a bathroom, however, when you start your tour you are told the bathroom should only be used in emergencies. This is because once the tank is full the toilet cannot be used until it is emptied, which isn’t always possible immediately.
Contiki has a fleet of around 75 VDL coaches in operation, the vast majority of which are under five years old.
It spends a fair bit of money on recruiting and training drivers, and both drivers and passengers are asked to give feedback on how their journey could have been improved after each trip.
And of course, its coaches are instantly recognizable, not least from the huge Contiki holidays logo on the side of each!
Are Contiki Buses Comfortable?
Contiki’s buses are the equal of any tour coach I have travelled on.
They are big and airy with plenty of natural light. As mentioned in the intro they are also all very new, and consequently feel, and are, very modern.
A big kudos to the drivers too, who not only navigate the huge coaches through some sometimes very narrow streets but also are evidently proud of their vehicles and keep them spotlessly clean both inside and out.
The best comparison I can draw to travelling on a Contiki tour bus is to say it is akin to being on a plane.
Your seats give you a decent amount of room and can be reclined if needed. You also have individual lights overhead and individually controlled air conditioning. Visible at the front of the bus are a TV screen and a digital clock.
The fleet of Contiki buses is continually being upgraded, so each seat will eventually have a USB charging point and plug socket (possibly by the time you read this blog!).
They offer almost everything you need on an elongated tour.
Do Contiki Buses Have Wifi?
Now I say almost everything because on the trip I was on there were a few grumbles about wifi.
The short answer is Contiki offers free wifi on all its coaches.
The longer answer is the wifi is not unlimited, and it can be a bit hit and miss.
Or as Contiki themselves say:
There is no figure there, but when I travelled with Contiki I got 100MB of free wifi per device every 24 hours.
Essentially it isn’t a lot, and you need to keep an eye on it as it soon runs out, either that or purchase additional data on the coach which is available.
To compound matters the wifi at Contiki accommodation can sometimes be of a similar quality to that on the coach, it can be a bit erratic.
But that is a story for another day.
So yes Contiki buses do have wifi but use it sparingly.
Do Contiki Buses Have Bathrooms?
Contiki buses do have bathrooms, located in the centre of the bus down a few steps.
But again this comes with a disclaimer.
It is only to be used for emergencies.
When the toilet’s tank is full then the driver gets notified and the toilet door is locked until the tank can be emptied.
There are only certain stopping points the tank can be emptied at as well, and they are few and far between.
So it is possible that the toilet could be out of order for 24 hours or more.
Thankfully EU rules state that your driver cannot drive for more than 4 hours 30 minutes without having a break of 45 minutes.
And, usually, the coach will stop at least every three hours so your driver can have his allotted break.
However, there are few worse feelings in the world than being desperate for the toilet and having to hold it in…
So when you are told at the start of your trip that the toilet is to only be used in emergencies, you really need to take note!
What Else Do I Need to Know About Contiki Buses?
We’ve established you will be spending a fair bit of time on your Contiki bus.
And we’ve established both wifi and toilet breaks will be limited.
For the first point I’d advise packing a good book, or a Kindle with a number of books pre-downloaded and having access to some music.
For the second point, even if you do get on the coach feeling hungover and with a throat as dry as Gandhi’s flip flops, don’t go overboard on the fluid you down to help you feel better, as it will soon work its way through you!
You will probably want an eye mask and some kind of pillow to catch up on some sleep on your coach journeys too.
And be polite to your coach driver, they are getting you from A to B and loading your luggage every day too.
Even just a quick good morning as you get on the coach and a thank you as you get off will be appreciated.
You better be prepared to get comfortable on your Contiki bus as it will become your second home during the course of your tour!
A basic list of things to take to help you do so includes pre-downloaded books and music, a good neck pillow, some ear plugs and an eye mask.
Your Contiki bus will also have limited free wifi and a bathroom that can all too quickly be deemed unusable once the tank gets filled up.
Listen to your tour manager when you get on the bus, treat it and the driver with respect and have a great time!