An Insider Guide To Contiki Europe

12 October 2016
Read Time: 2.3 mins

 

Ever wondered what it’s like to lead a group of 18 to 35s through the historic cities and cultural centres of Europe? With four years wearing the Contiki tee, Trip Manager and sometimes Sydneysider Jake Stewart tells us about the highs and lows of life on the road and why Barcelona is his favourite European city.

 Coach to coach with Contiki. (Image: Contiki)

 

Where is home? Sydney.

How many countries have you travelled to? Around 60.

How many years have you been working as a Trip Manager (TM) with Contiki? Four years.

How often are you away from home as a Trip Manager? 10 months of the year.

How did you become a tour guide? I moved over to London and saw the opportunity online to travel across Europe as a job!

How did you end up working for Contiki? I loved Contiki – they are a household name back in Australia and it’s great to work for such an epic company.

 Checking out the best of the Balkans. (Image: Contiki)

 

What attracted you to the travel industry? It’s really got to be the fact we have an adventure every day!

What is the best part of being a Trip Manager? Every day is different with such mixed days and, of course, you really make peoples’ travel dreams happen! Also not having an office…..the road is your office.

And the worst part? Being away from family and friends.


More Contiki Europe experiences:

Winter in Europe + Contiki = Holiday Dreams. Highlights Of A European Winter With Contiki

See more of Europe on tour. Contiki Adds 8 New Trips In Europe


 Tour guides and tourists love the Greek Isles. (Image: Contiki)

 

If you had to choose, what Europe destinations would be in your top three? Prague, Greek Islands and Spain.

What’s your favourite tour to lead? The 12-day European Discovery through Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Italy, Vatican City, Switzerland and France – a great trip to get a good taste of Europe.

Standout moment on tour? I once took a group through Europe and there was this lovely girl from LA, who really wanted to visit the Colosseum. When we arrived, she was so consumed with emotion she stood there crying. It turned out the Colosseum meant so much to her autistic brother and she was so excited to go back and share her memories and photos with him. I was so glad to be part of that story.

What’s a typical day like on a tour? As a TM, we get up and about early to make sure that everything is ready to go for the passengers, ensure we have a good breakfast, and then it’s bags to coach about 8:30am. We do not drive for more than two hours at a time, so we all jump on the coach and play the day song to get everyone going and then people will chill out before our first stop, which will usually be an included activity. When we arrive at the next destination, it’s usually a walking tour to orient everyone around the city and, of course, share some knowledge! Then the passengers get free time, so I will go hang out in a local cafe and set up for the rest of the trips. We will then go back to the hotel for some chillout time, get ready for a meal out and then see where the night takes us!

 All killer, no filler (or filter required). (Image: Contiki)

 

Best Europe city for food? Lyon in France – wine matched with wonderful food.

Your favourite European city to stay in? Barcelona for a little bit of everything: food, beach, nightlife, and museums.

What’s the number-one question you get asked by your tour groups? “Are we your favourite group?”

Short and sweet:

I never get sick of…. travelling.

If it’s Tuesday, I must be… in Rome.

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Visit your local Flight Centre store or call 131 600 for more advice and the latest deals on Contiki tours.

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Cassandra Laffey

Consumed with unrequited wanderlust, I get my fix in 24/7 cities and hippie retreats. I'm still looking for the ultimate combo of secluded beach and major metropolis, and my happy place is a 5-star hotel room all to myself - sigh.