Do Contiki Prices Include Flights? (Solved)

Cartoon of Steve in trousers and jacket on pink background

For a while I worked at the STA Travel store in London Victoria.

It was slap bang opposite Victoria Station and just around the corner from Buckingham Palace.

We had a constant stream of people in looking to plan their dream trip.

There were a few tour companies that people wanted to find out about first, and one was Contiki.

One question that would nearly always get asked when I went through the options available with Contiki was, do Contiki prices include flights?

So I thought that might be a good thing to write a blog about and explore in more depth.

So let’s get started…

Do Contiki Prices Include Flights?

Contiki prices do not include flights to and from the start and end points of the tour. You have to arrange and pay for them yourself separately. The price does include any flights necessary once you are on the tour itself, and these will be clearly outlined on the tour itinerary page.

Who Are Contiki?

Before we delve into whether Contiki includes flights in its tours, I just wanted to have a quick look at the history of the company, as they have been around longer than most.

Contiki Tours was born in earnest in 1962, out of the ingenuity of a young New Zealander called John Anderson.

In 1960, 22-year-old Anderson had already travelled from New Zealand to visit his father in England.

Anderson settled in England and two years later, buoyed by the success of his mammoth trip he started planning a trip to explore Europe.

Anderson wanted to share the experience with others though so, on a whim, he put an advert on the notice board of a London hostel. 

“European Tour, Only two seats left,” it said…

Pretty soon 11 people had paid to join him on the trip.

The only problem was, there was no itinerary and no vehicle to complete the trip! 

Anderson might also have exaggerated his experience of travelling in Europe to the group. He hadn’t told them that it amounted to no more than an overnight visit to Paris.

Undeterred Anderson used the money he had received from his soon-to-be travel mates to buy a red combi van.

He named the van Tiki, Maori for good luck, and they started off on their way.

Everything was going surprisingly well until halfway through the trip, in Nice, France, Anderson realised he was running out of money.

He wouldn’t be able to complete the itinerary he had promised the group.

Then John Anderson came up with a foolproof plan.

He would slip away from the group for a couple of hours, take all of the money they had remaining, and gamble it on one spin at a roulette table in nearby Monaco.

He won, and the group was able to complete the tour without realising how close they came to being stranded in the South of France.

The trip was such a success that upon completion everyone begged him to run it again the next summer.

Contiki was born, and 60 years later it is still going strong, helping thousands of 18 to 35-year-olds to explore the globe.

Casino trips in Monaco are not part of any Contiki tour now though!

Are Flights Included in Contiki Tours?

Man asleep in tuk tuk in Vietnam
Above: Expect better service on a Contiki tour than this sleeping tuk tuk driver I encountered in Vietnam!

I apologise for the Contiki history lesson, but I thought it was quite an interesting story. 

As of 2023 John Anderson is still alive and his biography ‘Only Two Seats Left’, is well worth a read.

Ok I promise to answer the question now! The answer depends on what you mean.

Question 1: Do Contiki Prices Include Flights to and From the Start and End Points of the Tour?

So the first way of looking at this question is whether Contiki includes airfare to and from the beginning and end of the tour.

So let’s say you were looking at booking Contiki’s European Encounter tour, which is priced at around £2,000 ($2,400) depending upon which time of the year you book it.

It is a 16-day tour that starts and ends in London.

That price of around £2,000 DOES NOT include your flights to London at the start and end of the tour.

You have to purchase them yourself separately. You are responsible for getting yourself to the start of the tour and then getting yourself home at the end of the tour.

Once you are on the tour, then Contiki takes care of all travel arrangements.

This leads us nicely on to question two.

Question 2: Do Contiki Prices Include Flights When You Are on the Tour?

For scenario two let’s say you are considering booking The Big Original tour.

This is a mammoth 60-day trip that takes in Europe and the Middle East, and costs around £10,000 ($12,000) depending upon when you book it.

It starts in London and ends in Stockholm, so we have already established that you have to arrange your own airfare to and from the start and end of the trip.

But when you are on the trip Contiki takes care of all other travel, and that includes flights. As they explain on their website:

Screenshot of text from Contiki website

You can also see any planned flights outlined clearly on the map.

Screenshot of map

So flights within Contiki tours are included. In the case outlined above the cost of Big Original Tour includes two flights.

Contiki Can Help You Organise Flights

Whilst Contiki tour prices do not include airfare to the start and end points of the tour, the company can help you book these flights:

Screenshot of text about flights on Contiki website

Simply get in touch with its reservations team by calling 0808 281 1120, or by visiting the Contiki Contact Us page.

Thanks to the beauty of the internet you can find the best prices for flights very easily these days.

I use any one of the following:

Get your tour booked, get your flights booked.

Have a great time, it is as simple as that.

Final Thoughts

INFOGRAPHIC explaining Do Contiki Prices Include Flights

Contiki covers flights within your Contiki tour, but its prices do not include flights to and from the start and end parts of the tour.

You have to book those yourself, and it makes sense as people come from all over the world to go on Contiki tours.

Contiki can help you with booking flights, or you can take advantage of one of the numerous online tools or travel agents to find a great deal on your flights.

When you do book your flights, make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get from the airport to the tour start point and vice-versa at the end of the tour.

Leaving yourself short of time is an added stress you don’t want.

Have fun!

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