Two women sitting at a lookout point overlooking karsts, palm trees, and ocean in Thailand

Contiki vs. Free & Easy Traveler: Which Operator is Right For You?

You’re young, you’re wild, you’re free. Of course you want to set off on an epic adventure, but you also want to experience different cultures… maybe even go camping or check out a European music festival.

Seeing the world is a must, but you don’t know which operator can make your travel dreams come true. Don’t worry — Contiki and Free & Easy Traveler have you covered! Consider the merits of both operators and pick the ultimate tour of your choice with the following in mind.

Group size, Age requirements and Travel styles

Both Free & Easy Traveler and Contiki cater just for the 18-35 market, meaning that you will be travelling with a group of similar-aged, like-minded travellers. 

When travelling with Free & Easy, you can expect group sizes that range from (including leaders) 16-24 people, although the average group size is 18-20. Free & Easy only have travellers on their tours who are aged 18-35, with the average age of travellers being 18-25, as the tours are set up specifically for this age range.

Free & Easy Traveler tours are targeted at independent travellers, by providing less strictly organised group activities, and aiming to give travellers as many options as they can when exploring a destination – be it jam-packed sightseeing, or just lazing by the beach.  

Contiki has been running tours for over 30 years for the 18 to 35-year-old market, expanding the tours they offer worldwide. Group sizes are typically from 30 to 50 travellers, sometimes smaller and sometimes larger groups, with a focus on the group travel experiences you will share with your fellow tour members.

As a solo traveller, there will always be many people to chat with and do things with on a Contiki tour. Depending on the tour you choose, the travel style can be fast-paced and action-packed, or more relaxed, just focusing on one destination or region. Contiki has shorter tours, as well as much longer journeys where you will see many destinations across many countries.

Physical Requirements

With both Contiki and Free & Easy, typically, there are 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 (hiking 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 your accommodation, sometimes up a set of stairs, or from the accommodation to nearby transport.


Contiki offers 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. 

Free & Easy tours really mix up the accommodation, similar to their transport, to offer an adventure. This can include resorts with pools, hotels, traditional bungalows, hostels and even beach camping. For the tour you are looking to take, it is a good idea to check out the accommodation for each day which is outlined in the itinerary.


On Free & Easy tours, you can expect to travel by plane, by boat, by bus, or by motorbike, depending on the tour and which leg of the tour it is.

Generally, a lot of the places the tours go to are a little bit more off the beaten path – there isn’t always a public bus, so sometimes it is a private bus, two little buses, or even a local ferry. To see the transport options for a particular tour, check out that individual itinerary. 

Depending on where you are travelling, Contiki will typically have their own 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.


Contiki offers tours to EuropeAsiaNorth AmericaAustraliaNew Zealand, and Latin America

Free & Easy Traveler offers tours to AsiaLatin America, and Europe.


Both Contiki and Free & Easy offer tours in many destinations throughout the world, so we have compared the price per day beneath on a per region basis.

Overall, Contiki has more tours in more destinations, while Free & Easy has a strong focus on Southeast Asia and Latin America. 


Contiki starting from USD $54 per day
Free & Easy Traveler starting from USD $74 per day


Contiki starting from USD $56 per day
Free & Easy Traveler starting from USD $57 per day

Australia / Oceania

Contiki starting from USD $102 per day
Free & Easy Traveler does not operate tours in this region

Latin America

Contiki starting from USD $173 per day
Free & Easy Traveler starting from USD $83 per day


Contiki starting from USD $126 per day
Free & Easy Traveler does not operate tours in this region

North America

Contiki  starting from USD $109 per day
Free & Easy Traveler does not operate tours in this region

Looking for more info? Find reviews for Contiki tours here and reviews for Free & Easy Traveler tours here.

Up Next:

Who in the World Travels the Most (and why)?

Who in the World Travels the Most (and why)?