Compare Busabout vs. Contiki

Both Contiki and Busabout are great ways to travel, offering two different ways of traveling and different travel styles. Contiki offers a more traditional tour and way to explore a destination, by travelling with the same people from start to finish, and in general there are more inclusions with Contiki like accommodation and certain sites. Busabout is better suited to more independent travellers, with the opportunity to book their own accommodation, and the major difference being the transport, as Busabout offers the hop-on hop-off transport network.
 

Cost

Busabout is considerably cheaper than Contiki on a price per day basis, as there is generally less inclusions for the price paid. Depending on the tour, though in general with Busabout you will have access to their bus network, the tour guide and the option to book accommodation at Busabout approved hostels and accommodations throughout the trip (although normally accommodation isn’t included in the price). Contiki will include all transportation, all accommodation, trip leader/guide, all breakfasts and some dinners. There is usually more inclusions with Contiki also, such as guided tours, city walking tours, special excursions like wine tasting and entry to some famous sites.
 

Group size, age requirements and travel styles

Contiki is for travellers 18 to 35 years old, while Busabout market themselves for “backpackers over the age of 18”. 
 
As Busabout is more for independant travel, and due to the nature of their hop-on hop-off bus network and travel style, the group size can often vary throughout your trip from 30-45. With Contiki, you will generally have the same sized group for the entire trip - ranging from approx 30-50 people.
 
The primary difference between the travel styles of Busabout and Contiki is that Contiki has the “classic” style of tour, with the same group, throughout the entire trip, doing many of the activities together and sharing the experiences together. This means there is the chance to form a strong group with the people you are travelling with, as you will share many of the same experiences with them.
 
With Busabout, it is really about using their transport network to meet other independent travellers, and while there is some activities that can be arranged with others who are travelling the same route as you, the focus is far more on independent travel. Like Contiki, Busabout also generally use large coaches and so groups will also be 30-50 travellers.
 
Contiki has been running tours for over 30 years for the 18 to 35 year old market, expanding the tours they offer worldwide. Sometimes smaller and sometimes larger groups than stated above, though with a focus on the shared travel experiences you will share with your group. Depending on the tour you choose, the travel style can be fast paced and action packed, or a more relaxing atmosphere just focusing on one destination or region.
 

Physical Requirements

With both operators, generally there is no strenuous activities that must be completed, although some optional excursions, if you decide to do them, may involve swimming, bike riding or small hikes. This should be checked on a per itinerary basis, as there may be times throughout specialty tours (Contiki PADI diving tours for example) where a certain level of fitness will be required. This will be outlined in the itinerary of each tour.
 
As both operators are targeted at youth travellers, you will be required to carry your own luggage to and from accommodation, sometimes up stairs etc. Both Contiki and Busabout have their own private transport, which will drop you at or very close to your accommodation (if you are staying at the Busabout accommodation).
 

Accommodation

Contiki offer a range of accommodation, ranging from camping, hostels and hotels, through to yachts and resorts - depending on the individual tour. The tours can generally be grouped into their accommodation style; camping, hostel, and hotel, as well as other specialty accommodations such as resorts and yachts.
 
Contiki offer an added bonus in Europe of having their own, Contiki owned and run, local accommodations. In France in the Beaujolais wine region, near Lyon, Contiki owns an old French Chateau, Chateau de Cruix, which is now used for the accommodation of many Contiki tours. As well as France, in Tyrol in the Austrian Alps, there is also Gasthof Schöneck, a traditional Austrian gasthof (guest inn), owned and run by Contiki where travellers can stay when travelling through the region.
 
With Busabout, in general accommodation is not included in the price in Europe - although they make it easy to book accommodation with them, having their preferred hostels and hotels they use. In Africa, and for some of their specialty trips (Island Hopping, Festival etc) accommodation is included. It is best to check your individual tours itinerary to know if accommodation is included or not. Accommodation will often be in a shared room with someone (or people, if dorm accommodation) of the same gender, similar to Contiki. The benefit of the freedom with Busabout is that you can book whichever accommodation you like - although it is often easiest to book their preferred accommodation, as this is where the transport normally picks up and drops off from. The transportation will often leave from this accommodation, and you will get to spend time with others travelling the same route as you.
 

Transportation

Depending on where you are visiting, generally both Contiki and Busabout will have private transportation - often a large, fully air-conditioned coach with a toilet and sometimes even wifi. Particularly in Europe, these are recent model coaches that are clean and pleasant to travel in. By using this mode of transport, the coach can normally drop you off directly in front of your accommodation, greatly minimising the distance you will need to take your luggage yourself.
 

Destinations

 
Busabout operates throughout Europe, including Eastern Europe down to Turkey and the Greek Islands, as well as Asia (Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, Burma), and Africa in Morocco and Egypt.
 
 
Disclaimer: We here at TourRadar have taken a look the tours offered by both operators to find the benefits of each operator’s product selection. The above are generalizations and interested travellers should compare the operator’s individual trips as costs may vary per region and style. 
 
BusaboutMember since 02/08/2010See Busabout Tours
ContikiMember since 02/08/2010See Contiki Tours

Reviews

Overall average rating

Overall average rating

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars

Most popular reviews

Most popular reviews

3 hours ago
We had a great 9 days Thai West tour with busabout. Ryan was a great tour guide and I...Read more
4 hours ago
Loved the Vietnam Adventure so much! It's so good to explore outside of the main city...Read more
5 hours ago
The trip was short and sweet with some decent activities and accomodation. I was luck...Read more
9 hours ago
Alvaro was the greatest trip leader I have ever had He was so passionate, knowledgabl...Read more
8 hours ago
From the get go Nihar Vasa was a person that we could relate to, not just as a tour g...Read more
11 hours ago
The trip was an amazing experience. At the very start it can get very confusing and a...Read more
14 hours ago
40 days travelling in Europe with this amazing woman. The best experience I could eve...Read more
14 hours ago
I did the Contiki tour "Berlin to Budapest" and my tour guide was Kassie. She was gre...Read more

Guide average rating

Guide average rating

5.0 out of 5 stars
Rose Brown(193 reviews)
Lucie Hodges(162 reviews)
Naomi Hall(68 reviews)
Anela Ilic(59 reviews)
Ivan Švacov(57 reviews)
Tony Rakaupai(46 reviews)
Lauren Goodheart(35 reviews)
Emma Emerson(31 reviews)
Michael Coelho(30 reviews)
Carlos De Gouveia(28 reviews)
Seb Szymeczko(28 reviews)
Jacqui Schuetz(26 reviews)
John Beaumont(25 reviews)
Kelly Ferschl(23 reviews)
Ryan Robson(23 reviews)
Alvaro Calderon(20 reviews)
Emma Conaghan(19 reviews)
Emma Paton(17 reviews)
Ainsley Noon(16 reviews)
Benjamin Duff(16 reviews)
Lauren Kiddie(16 reviews)
Megan Mcdowell(16 reviews)
Shannon Beulke(11 reviews)
Adam Bazeley(9 reviews)
Lana Zantis(8 reviews)
Emma Cairns(8 reviews)
Amy Alcorn(7 reviews)
Milly Tamati(4 reviews)
Poppy Solomou(4 reviews)
Tim Cusson(4 reviews)
Melissa Patience(3 reviews)
Lucie Hodges(3 reviews)
Susie Byrd(3 reviews)
Clara Ko(3 reviews)
Angela Hunter(2 reviews)
Emily Meades(2 reviews)
Gerard Altura(2 reviews)
John Beaumont(2 reviews)
Morgane Schupp(2 reviews)
Pana Karasavvas(2 reviews)
Wes Baimbridge(2 reviews)
Busabout Will(2 reviews)
Clare Vm(2 reviews)
Adam Dobson(1 review)
Adam Farrell(1 review)
Alana Scott(1 review)
Amanda Thai(1 review)
Dorota Kochaniak(1 review)
Filip Liovic(1 review)
Holly Drinkwater(1 review)
Holly Pratt(1 review)
Jordi Balastegui(1 review)
Marysol Blaumann(1 review)
Mick Lomers(1 review)
Rowan McIntyre(1 review)
Sarah Agnew(1 review)
Stef Hopfner(1 review)
Tom Mcdonald(1 review)
5.0 out of 5 stars
Isobel Needham(258 reviews)
Greg Colgin(175 reviews)
Kassie Jones(141 reviews)
Trys Eddy(125 reviews)
Nicole Cecil(122 reviews)
Courtney Dailey(119 reviews)
Megs Chandler(110 reviews)
Trent Plaine(108 reviews)
Susie Ferkins(95 reviews)
Nihar Vasa(93 reviews)
Ebony Skye Anderson(66 reviews)
James Jenkins(64 reviews)
Rachel Calleja(61 reviews)
Sian Truasheim(59 reviews)
Grant Feddo(58 reviews)
Hailee Gypsy Atkins(54 reviews)
Lisa (52 reviews)
Tammy Coetzee(48 reviews)
Emma Chipperfield(47 reviews)
Ellie Teasdale(47 reviews)
Matt Grieves(41 reviews)
Matt(37 reviews)
Emmy Nilsson(34 reviews)
Anne-Elyse Gauthier(33 reviews)
Chloe Du Bois(32 reviews)
Lucy Powell(31 reviews)
Kyle Junkuhn(27 reviews)
Alanna Schulz(26 reviews)
Az Gallagher(24 reviews)
Tarryn Liddell(24 reviews)
Brianna Dransfield(23 reviews)
Larissa Cowlrick(21 reviews)
Areti Fronis(20 reviews)
Danielle Shevlin(11 reviews)
Courtney Hutchison(10 reviews)
Aaron rogers(7 reviews)
Judith Lee(5 reviews)
Stephen Galloni(4 reviews)
Patrick Davis(4 reviews)
Joe Patrick(3 reviews)
jhonatan fernandez(2 reviews)
Jason Magerkorth(2 reviews)
Maïté Morelli(2 reviews)
Mark Heap(1 review)

Transportation average rating

Transportation average rating

4.5 out of 5 stars
5.0 out of 5 stars

Accommodation average rating

Accommodation average rating

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars

Meals average rating

Meals average rating

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars

Value for money average rating

Value for money average rating

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars

About the operator

Number of Tours

Number of Tours

through 28 different countries
through 61 different countries

Travel Styles

Travel Styles

Nature & Adventure
Marine
Festival & Events
Independent
Cultural
Cultural
Festival & Events
Nature & Adventure
Marine
Activities
Independent

Average rating

Average rating

4.5/5 from 1487 reviews
4.5/5 from 2714 reviews

Ideal Age Group

Ideal Age Group

 age group
18-70
 age group
18-35

Travellers met via TourRadar App

Travellers met via TourRadar App

67
travellers met through Busabout tours
501
travellers met through Contiki tours

Average Price per day

Average Price per day

 average tour length
$14
 average tour length
$117

Average Food Fund

Average Food Fund

n/a
n/a

Average tour length

Average tour length

 average tour length
29
days
 average tour length
13
days

Average Response Rate

Average Response Rate

100%
100%

Average Response Time

Average Response Time

Instantly
Instantly

Videos

Tours

Most popular tours

Most popular tours

35 reviews
8 days from $744
32 reviews
14 days from $1067
26 reviews
9 days from $646
509 reviews
9 days from $469
14 reviews
12 days from $1773
29 reviews
180 days from $1469
252 reviews
13 days from $1941
61 reviews
24 days from $3272
100 reviews
18 days from $2131
83 reviews
20 days from $2278
105 reviews
14 days from $1694
85 reviews
10 days from $1263

Destinations

Europe

Europe

Asia

Australia/Oceania

Australia/Oceania

Africa

Africa

North America

North America

Latin America

Latin America

Most visited destinations

Most visited destinations

Split (17)
Munich (15)
Berlin (14)
Prague (13)
Madrid (12)
London (95)
Rome (82)
Venice (72)
Paris (71)

Travel styles

Nature & Adventure

Nature & Adventure

Cultural

Cultural

Marine

Marine

Festival & Events

Festival & Events

Independent

Independent

Activities

Activities

Most Common Types

Policies

Average Group Age

Average Group Age

The average age for Busabout tours is between 18 and 70. The age might vary for specific tours, so please check individual tours for details.
The average age for Contiki tours is between 18 and 35. The age might vary for specific tours, so please check individual tours for details.

Hold my seat

Hold my seat

TourRadar can request Busabout to hold seats for you for up to hours without any credit card details.
TourRadar can request Contiki to hold seats for you for up to hours without any credit card details.

Deposit

Deposit

TourRadar only requires a deposit of $100 to confirm a Busabout booking. The remaining balance is then payable 45 days prior to the departure date. For any tour departing before 20 January 2017 the full payment is necessary.
TourRadar only requires a deposit of $200 to confirm a Contiki booking. The remaining balance is then payable 45 days prior to the departure date. For any tour departing before 20 January 2017 the full payment is necessary.

Cancellation policy

Cancellation policy

No additional cancellation fees! You can cancel the tour up to 45 days prior to the departure date and you will not need to pay the full amount of the tour, but the deposit of $100 is non-refundable.
No additional cancellation fees! You can cancel the tour up to 45 days prior to the departure date and you will not need to pay the full amount of the tour, but the deposit of $200 is non-refundable.

Credit Cards

Credit Cards

The following cards are accepted for Busabout:Visa- Master Card- American Express
The following cards are accepted for Contiki:Visa- Master Card- American Express
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