Compare Contiki vs. Intrepid Travel
Group size, age requirements and travel styles
Both Contiki and Intrepid offer a variety of trips that adhere to different travel styles. Contiki caters to young adults, so most tours are action packed with sightseeing, local dinners and nightlife options. Both Contiki and Intrepid allow you to move at a nonstop pace or take it easier, depending on the experience you’re looking for.
Intrepid offers a larger variety of tours when you consider that they accept travellers of all ages.
Contiki offers tours to independent travellers aged 18 to 35. They have hard upper age limits on their tours and will not allow travellers older or younger than their age bracket to book a trip. Contiki divides their trips into different classifications that help indecisive travellers determine the right trip for them based on their interests.
Contiki’s Europe tours usually have 50 travellers in a group while their USA, Canada, New Zealand and Australia tours have an average group size of 30. Their Latin and South America tours offer the most intimate experiences when it comes to group size.
Intrepid also allows travellers under the age of 18 on their tours, so no worries about having to leave your 15 year old sister behind on your Euro-trip. Intrepid offers Family Adventure styles of travel that have a range of minimum ages depending on the destination and level of difficulty. While most trips are available to travellers 15 years old and up, all travellers under the age of 18 must have an adult accompany them. Intrepid does have a youth orientated sister company, Geckos, featuring tours that are available only to the 18 to 35 year old age bracket. Other than Geckos tours, there is no maximum age limit on most tours. The average Intrepid tour has 10 travellers but allows up to 16 on overland trips but most max out at 12 people. They have some trips that allow up to 24 travellers. Intrepid’s offers a premium travel tours under the Peregrine brand for travellers who aren’t restricted by a budget.
With Contiki, generally 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 offer adventure style tours, you will be required to carry your own luggage to and from accommodation, sometimes up stairs etc.
Intrepid has their Cycling and Walking & Trekking travel styles that offer tours that require you to be in good physical shape. You can expect to be working your muscles every day on one of these tours! While Intrepid’s Overland trips don’t focus as heavily on constant physical activity, they do recommend that you are reasonably fit in order to fully participate in this trip style. Some days you’ll be hiking and others you’ll need to be able to dig your truck out of the mud.
The standard and style of accommodation varies depending on the tour. Each operator might place you in a hotel, a hostel, a campsite or somewhere else entirely. Both operators do make an effort to use local accommodations (think locally run hostels and chalets) where possible.
The standard of accommodation will vary with both Contiki and Intrepid, depending on the type of trip you decide to take. For example, nearly all tours will include air-conditioning and heating but if you’re travelling to a rural destination with Intreprid and you find yourself at a homestay you should adjust your expectations for the facilities.
Both operators provide a variety of transportation options based on the trips. Contiki and Intrepid use a combination of private buses and public transit to get you around while on tour. In most cases with Contiki, you’ll be relying on chartered buses but both operators offer very similar transportation options.
Most of Intrepid’s Overland trips have vehicles that come with their own power supply so that you able to recharge your devices on board.
Contiki offer tours to the following locations: Europe, Asia, North America, Australia, New Zealand, and Latin America.
Intrepid offer tours to the following locations: North America, South America, Polar Regions, Central America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
Contiki is slightly more affordable for budget travellers with their average price per day sitting at $140USD. This cost is determined by the amount of scheduled activities per day in the itinerary, of which there are many.
Intrepid can be considered slightly more expensive as their average price per day costs $242. Why the slight difference in pricing? Intrepid’s accommodations tend to be on the more 'comfortable' side (think hotel over hostel) which can easily increase the cost of a tour.
There are many factors that affect the price when travelling with either company, things like accommodations and the number of included activities that can either increase or decrease the price of the overall trip - so it is best to check the individual itinerary of the tours that you are considering.
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.