SmarTours vs Contiki - Tour Companies Compared
Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.
5 | Excellent
5 | Excellent
Overall — 5
Value — 4.9
Guide — 4.9
Activities — 4.9
Lodging — 4.9
Transportation — 4.9
Meals — 4.9
Overall — 5
Value — 4.7
Guide — 4.7
Activities — 4.7
Lodging — 4.7
Transportation — 4.7
Meals — 4.7
Beauiful Croatia0.0 July 2019
This was our first Bus Tour. While we did enjopy the spots we visited, we felt that there were too many towns and not enough time in each, necessitating more time on the bus. Nevertheless the value of the tour is undeniable. The Tour director Jon, was extremely professional and he was a huge positive on the trip. The topography of Croatia was spectacular, the Sea and mountain views were gorgeous. Lake Bled, the Postojna Caves, Opatija/Plitvice Lakes, Debrovnik, the Roman Ruins, Zagreb were wonderful. The hotels were all clean and rooms were comfortable. Unfortunately my partner Barbara fell and injured her face and broke her glasses on the way to Debrovnik. Jon was extremely concerned offered to find a doctor ()which Barbara declined) but Jon took the broken glasses to an occulist who temporarliy repaired the frames. Two of our fellow travelors who were Nurses took care of Barbara after the accident.Read more
Exceeded my Expectations!0.0 July 2019
For someone who usually plans every detail of my travels...going on a group tour was not something I relished. Plus, I knew that Smartours was considered a “budget” travel company, so my expectations weren’t that high. However, other than a few minor inconveniences, this trip exceeded my expectations. The magical African landscapes and its kind, welcoming people made this adventure one of the best vacations I’ve been on. Pros: Well-paced itinerary that gave us the opportunity for some free time to plan our own activities, smallish group (25) of lovely, considerate, fellow travelers (we were in the minority of “younger” folks and we are in our 50s), excellent included tours, mostly lovely hotels/lodges, amazing breakfasts/dinners, included porter services at all stops, Smartours CEO personally responded quickly to our inquiry regarding booking cost concern, and our delightful and attentive guide Jonathan. Cons: 6 hour scheduled layover, most uncomfortable 14+ hour flight ever via South African Airways, trip extension Vic Falls guide was very personable, but not very attentive, Smartours sends trip info only 2 weeks prior to departure (would love to have had this info sooner), several of the optional tours were mediocre. But honestly...if you’re a frequent traveler...these concerns are pretty minor. I will definitely be recommending the South Africa Tour to friends for value/quality and hope that ST keeps its word about limiting group sizes to under 25. I will definitely use them again in the future!Read more
Wonderful experience, well-deigned by SmarTours0.0 May 2019
The Treasures of Portugal trip focuses on the highlights of the cultural and artistic heritage of this fascinating country. The chosen destinations and sites rarely disappointed, and there was always something awe-inspiring at each stop. The tour provides a great balance between programmed and free time, allowing you to see what you want or find time to explore on your own. The fact that few dinners and no lunches were provided afford you the opportunity to discover the places and tastes that intrigue you as you discover the variety of offerings available in each location.Read more
The destinations chosen are smart and live up to the promise that these are the country's treasures. Our guide was brilliant - she knew well the backstory of the locations and the significance of the art and architecture. Each part of the tour was a lesson in history, presented with excitement and passion. Her adoration of the history and culture of her countrymen was palpable and infectious, and gave the touring experience much added value.
Well planned, organized, balanced, affordable, and utterly enjoyable. Very highly recommended.
Fantastic organisation, got to see the world with no stress and with awe0.0 August 2019
Sophie was amazing and did her best to give my group all the information she had and made sure everyone had options and ideas of what was happening throughout the whole trip. Making sure everyone felt included and safe. Would definitely recommend this trip for travellers who want a slow pace trip but still with all the contiki fun.Read more
Tour Contiki Company Reviews
EXCELLENT SERVICE0.0 August 2019
This trip is amazing if you want to get a taste for everything NZ has to offer! Perfect for adrenaline junkies. Even on days with poor weather our Tour Manager Bryce and Driver Louis made sure we still had amazing activities planned, our trip never skipped a beat thanks to these two!Read more
Tour Contiki Company Reviews
An awesome trip0.0 August 2019
Its an awesome trip with awe inspiring sights, amazing cities and crazy fun adventures all round. And The activities are well worth doing as they provide an experience you won’t ever forget.
Tour Contiki Company Reviews
|Tours||1 Trip||3,006 Trips|
|Average Trip Price Per Day||$ 328||$ 192|
|Operator Type||Mixed Land & Cruise||Mixed Land & Cruise|
|Size||Global Operator||Global Operator|
|Headquarters||New York City, New York, USA||Anaheim, California, United States|
|Solo Friendly||N/A||Good for singles, No single supplement|
Founded in 1996, smarTours promises its customers the “Best Travel Bargains” by offering mostly all-inclusive guided tours throughout much of the world.
What Makes SmarTours Stand Out?
- Airfare included
- Affordable trips
- Numerous ways to save
- Local guides
- Destinations around the world
SmarTours offers affordable tours along with great itineraries. Included in the price of all their tours is international airfare from the U.S., first-class hotels, sightseeing excursions, and English-speaking local guides.
SmarTours draws a large repeat business, taking travelers to such far-flung destinations as Thailand, Morocco, Japan, Peru, Patagonia, India, and Australia.
Who Will Enjoy Traveling with SmarTours?
- Budget travelers
- Social travelers
- History and culture lovers
Travelers who love traveling and care about experiencing the destination above all else - tourist sites, history, and culture - will love the feel of a SmarTours trip.
These tours are definitely for the budget minded - SmarTours offers numerous deals and specials throughout the year, and provides many other ways you can save money as well, including referring your friends and being a repeat SmarTours traveler.
Trips are comfortable and well guided, if not luxury or especially unique in tone. Airfare is included, which is a major selling point for SmarTours travelers.
SmarTours is perfect for the traveler who wants to get the most out of their travel experience, in terms of inclusions and time spent exploring the sites, both with a guide and with free time. If you are looking for a more cultivated, personalized experience, the SmarTours focus on keeping costs low doesn’t always allow for this. That said, this is budget travel that strives to appeal to a wider range.
SmarTours caters to all ages that are looking for good prices. They are largely popular amongst middle aged, 50+ travelers, and families.
SmarTours travels all over the world, including Africa, Asia, South America and Cuba, Western and Eastern Europe, and the Mediterranean. Diverse itineraries are available in each destination.
SmarTours Travel Style
- Large coaches
- River and small ship cruises
Except for its cruise offerings -- primarily river cruises as well as Greek Island and Galapagos cruises -- transportation is generally by bus. Group sizes can reach 40 and beyond, but may also be smaller depending on the popularity of the trip. SmarTours will design custom trips for groups with at least 25-30 travelers.
Accommodations are between value and premium, comfortable with a step above basic amenities. You won’t spend much time in your hotel, as SmarTours makes the focus about the travel experiences on the ground. They care about ensuring that you have as much time as possible to explore with the guide and on your own.
Why Choose a Tour With SmarTours?
SmarTours is a complete bargain package for budget minded travelers. If you are looking for an unbeatable value, don’t mind a large group and want tours focused on exotic destinations, then SmarTours is a perfect choice for you.
Since 1962, Contiki has been a leader in providing exceptional global experiences for 18-35 year olds.
What Makes Contiki Stand Out?
Contiki offers tours curated by travel experts and specifically designed for 18-35 year old travelers. They pride themselves on creating lifelong memories among international groups of like-minded travelers. They offer a comprehensive selection of trips, over 300 of them, all over the world including transport, accommodation, included activities and free time.
Their product range spans three different styles based on the pace of the trip: Discovery Plus, In-Depth Explorer, and Easy Pace. Make sure to read the details of each trip and choose the right one for your travel style.
Who Will Enjoy Traveling with Contiki?
Is Contiki only for 18-35?
Yes, Contiki is specifically for travelers between the ages of 18-35.
Sociable, spontaneous, and easy-going travelers who are between the ages of 18-35 will definitely love the Contiki travel experience. These are trips for those young people who travel for the sheer joy of meeting locals, experiencing the nightlife, relaxing in the sun, and pounding the pavement for the next unique local gem.
Having a good time, being active, and spending less time in museums is something to expect on a Contiki tour. If you’re the kind of young person who likes meeting a lot of new people, are excited to try new things, Contiki could be a good choice.
Contiki trips are very much about being young and having fun - so you might miss a particular cultural attraction in favor of a group decision to instead explore a local market or neighborhood not in the guidebooks. Contiki tends to attract partiers more than bookworms.
The guides and groups are generally warm and welcoming.
Contiki offers 300+ trips in over 50 countries. They are especially popular for young travelers looking to explore Europe and Asia. Other top regions include Latin America, Australia, and New Zealand.
Contiki Travel Style
Contiki trips keep budget very much in mind when designing their trips. Expect a mix of 2 to 3-star hotels, guesthouses, and hostels on most trips. Contiki uses a mix of private coaches and public transportation to get around.
The Contiki travel style is designed to allow for spontaneity - appreciate and get to know the culture through immersive activities, outdoors adventures, and local gems, off the tourist path.
Contiki trips can be found across a variety of travel themes and styles:
- Active: specially designed to get the adrenaline pumping
- Beach Vacations: get ready for a tropical getaway
- Christmas Tours: experience European Christmas Markets
- Detour Mini Adventures: immersive getaways with incredible local hosts.
- Hiking & Trekking: work up a sweat in some of the most beautiful locations in the world
- Island Hopping: glide from paradise isle to paradise isle
- New Year’s Eve Tours: Ring in the new year abroad
- Pride Trips: Go all out for Pride in some of Europe’s most out-and-proud cities
- Safari: There’s nothing on earth quite like an African wildlife safari
- Short Breaks: Trips under 7 days
- Ski Holidays & Snowboarding Trips: Our ski trips are a perfect mix of thrills and serenity.
- Small Group Tours: the perfect balance between social travel and small groups
- Solo Travel: 70% of our travelers join our trips solo, so you'll travel with like-minded young people who want to make friends, experience new things and create lifelong memories
Why Choose a Tour With Contiki?
Contiki is a great choice for younger travelers looking to socialize with others during their trip. All of their travelers are between the ages of 18-35, and creating memories and becoming a part of something together are the primary reasons for traveling with Contiki.
Groups are a mix of people from around the world including US, Canada, Australia, and the U.K. They have over 60 years of experience leading cultural tours in different parts of the world and have a wide range of options to choose from.