Press Release: Contiki, FOAM Magazine, and Diane’s Beachwear Partner to Offer a Greek Vacation Package Giveaway

Sweepstakes Runs Through April 2010

ANAHEIM, Calif., March 22, 2010 – Contiki Vacations, the leader in fun travel packages for 18-35 year olds has partnered with Diane’s Beachwear and leading fashion publication, FOAM Magazine, to offer a chance to win a fourteen-day trip to Greece.  The vacation package includes visits to Athens, Mykonos, Santorini and Ios, and a shopping spree at Diane’s to find that perfect bikini for sunbathing and island-hopping in style.

Sweepstake candidates can submit their entries at Contiki.com/contest/Foam, Foam.com, or DianesBeachwear.com.  The contest runs through April 2010 and the winner will be announced on Foam’s website May 5, 2010.  The winner will receive one Contiki Greek Island Hopping trip which includes hotel accommodations, meals, a dedicated crew to show the sights and a $200 gift certificate to Diane’s Beachwear. 

“Partnering with FOAM Magazine is a great way to open up this opportunity to a broader range of young women looking for the ultimate getaway.  Contiki trips are perfect for those who possess a sense of adventure, independence and wanderlust,” says Michelle Murray, Director of Marketing for Contiki. “We are thrilled to have Diane’s Beachwear on board; they are a ‘natural fit’ for a Greece beach trip giveaway.”

Contiki makes traveling the Greek islands easy by putting together a trip that combines the most desirable locations.  Starting in Athens, travelers experience the bustling city, historical sights and active nightlife before heading off for an island-hopping extravaganza. With three nights each on Mykonos, Santorini and Ios, there is plenty of time to shop, dine, party and relax.

About Contiki: Contiki has helped students and young professionals travel to the world’s most fantastic destinations for over 45 years.  The trips are hassle-free and include the perfect mix of sightseeing, culture and free time.  Choose from over 190 itineraries throughout Europe, Russia, Egypt, Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Canada & the USA.

About Diane’s Beachwear: Diane’s Beachwear began in spring of 1962.  The first store opened was Mickie’s Swim Shop located next to the Manhattan Beach Pier in Southern California.  It was a tiny 150 square foot store opened by Diane’s mother, Mickie Bandle.  Diane’s custom made bikinis were the talk of the town.  Diane Biggs took over the company and grew the number of locations to 18 throughout Southern California and an E-Commerce Website (www.DianesBeachwear.com.)  Diane’s tremendous success within the beachwear industry is due to the Company’s true passion for swimwear and dedication to its customer base.

About FOAM Magazine: FOAM magazine (Fashion Ocean Art Music) highlights the new wave of surf culture’s influence on fashion. The FOAM female has a sophisticated sense of style and is constantly at the forefront of fashion. FOAM, which is distributed nationally and internationally to newsstands and subscribers, is published by Madavor Media, which publishes other titles that are all #1 in their respective fields in various sports, music, and enthusiast markets.

Free Time with Contiki

Newsflash – there are only 24 hours in a day! As delightful as it would be for your vacation to last forever, we understand that it’s not always possible. Contiki includes accommodations, some meals, sightseeing, and transportation on our tours to save you some planning time (and $$). Going with Contiki lets you maximize your vacation time because we take the hassles out of dealing with the little details. That being said, we are not ones to babysit or hand-hold while on tour, and have built tons of free time into our trips so you can do whatever you want!

One Night Stops

Generally speaking, tours with one night stops will give you about 4 to 8 hours free time in a city. Again, this is a general rule. Tours visiting Innsbruck in Austria for example will probably spend about 2 or 3 hours in the city and it’s really all you need to get a good handle on the town. Venice, on the other hand, has more to see and do so we’ll let you loose for about 8 hours to meander the canals and winding streets. Some days you will go sightseeing in a city before you check into your hotel for the evening. You don’t want to miss out on any hours of daylight when you can be out on the town! Often it is practical to have a travel morning on the bus, go for an afternoon of sightseeing, then check into your accommodation and have the freedom to do what you want in the evening (aka, booze it up with the locals!).

Two Night Stops

Generally tours spending two nights in a city will arrive in the afternoon, check into the hotel and then either head out for an optional excursion, sightseeing or have a free evening. The next day is usually a day filled with a ton of free time in the city and possibly some included sightseeing, activities or optional excursions before heading back to the accommodation in the evening. Two night stops generally allow for a whole day in a city before heading off to the next destination after the second night.

Freedom

Freedom on a packaged tour?! What?! Yep. You can skip the bus and use alternative transportation if you so choose. Contiki uses mostly large buses to travel from destination to destination. If you decide you want to stay longer in a city or simply skip a portion of the itinerary and catch up with the tour again later, you have the freedom to do this. Of course it will be up to you to arrange and pay for additional travel arrangements, but you have the freedom to do what you want with Contiki. Feel like skipping the Vatican and spending the afternoon in a pub? Go for it! No judgments and no one asking you to do something you don’t want to do. You’re welcome to participate and take advantage of included sightseeing tours, activities, local demonstrations, but it’s entirely up to you! It is important to remember that these activities are included and are therefore factored into the cost of the trip.

Same goes for optional excursions (hence the name!). As well as included sightseeing and activities, most Contiki trips offer a whole host of optional excursion activities such as dinners, shows and adventure sports. These are offered to help you make the most of your time and to enhance your experience in the cities and places you visit – plus, most peeps say optional excursions are the icing on the cake of your Contiki experience.

It is important to understand that while Contiki Drivers and Tour Managers will do their best to ensure that you get the most out of every day, they are bound by driving laws, regulations and the responsibility to make decisions that benefit the group rather than each individual. Road closures, poor weather and traffic jams are a few of the factors that affect travel time on the bus between destinations. Unfortunately, it’s also not possible to move any of the cities closer together. Bummer! Travel time between the cities will vary, some days are short and some days are significantly longer depending on the factors mentioned above.

Contiki’s Chapman Challenge

Guest Post By: Nicole Valles

Contiki and Saturday Night Magazine have teamed up to offer Chapman University students an opportunity to show off their best European accent for a chance at a London & Paris vacation!

The Saturday Night team rep’d for Contiki on campus and collected over 60 videos! There’s still time to enter and most importantly, vote for your favorite. The winner will be chosen after March 5th, so get your webcam ready and show us what you’ve got. Your next video could be in front of Big Ben or the Eiffel Tower! For more info and to check out current entries, visit www.chapmanchallenge.com


Featured Destination: London

LONDON. 6 letters, unlimited opportunities for a good time. It’s one of the most famous cities in the world, and with good reason! Here’s the quick and dirty on things you need to do and see in London:

Arriving: When you get into London, check out the Contiki Basement – consider this your London launch pad. It’s the downstairs of the Royal National Hotel, and the meeting point for all Contiki trips starting in London. We have awesome staff on site who are full of travel resources to get you around town and find the best places to go. It’s a great spot to hang out in, meet people from your trip, and store your luggage – plus it’s been recently revamped with flatscreens, a pool table, and a snack bar!  

Seeing: The list of sites to spot in London could make this blog post terrifyingly long. For brevity’s sake, here are a few heavy hitters:

  • The Tower of London: The oldest part of the city, the tower is basically a medieval castle right in the center of London; filled with all kinds of cool historical stuff like suits of armor and the Crown Jewels of England

 

  • Big Ben (the world’s largest four-faced chiming clock) and the Houses of Parliament

 

  • Covent Garden - Surprise! It’s not a garden but filled with fantastic shops, restaurants, and pubs.

  • The London Eye: The best seat in the house – literally! It’s the world’s biggest observational wheel with glass pods that give you uninterrupted views of the entire city

  • Trafalgar Square: Fun square with fountains, shops, and street performers

 

  • The West End: contains many of the cities attractions, like galleries, shops and restaurants; and it is known for the theater district – many Contiki trips in London offer entrance to a famous West End musical

  • Buckingham Palace: See what the Royal Family calls home and the changing of the guards. Trust us, they really never move

 

  • Westminster Abbey: The traditional spot for the Coronations of British monarchs and burials of many kings & queens

  • British Museum: One of the best museums in the world. Home to an incredible Egyptian collection, the Rosetta Stone and Parthenon Marbles among tons of other super famous and fascinating stuff.

  • Cool Bridges: Tower Bridge, London Bridge, Millennium Bridge, Waterloo Bridge, Westminster Bridge, there are TONS!

Moving: The London Underground , or the Tube, is the main form of public transportation and one of the best ways to get around the city, especially from Heathrow airport. Just FYI – “mind the gap” basically means “watch out for the distance between the rails and the platform” so you don’t get electrocuted!

Munching: while the English are not traditionally known for their cuisine, the last decade has brought on dramatic improvement and London is now home to some of the finest restaurants in the world. Thanks, Gordon Ramsay! A few of the highlights include authentic fish & chips with mushy peas, toad in the hole, and Yorkshire pudding. Don’t pass up the opportunity to enjoy a nice cup of English tea – afternoon tea is no joke across the pond.

Sipping: Just to make sure you cover all of your cultural bases, you should know that going to the pub for a pint of beer is a tradition deeply ingrained in the culture. Seriously, it’s important. London has some of the best pubs and clubs in the world, from low-key spots to all-night ragers and there is always something for everyone with London nightlife.

Spending: For range, choice and price, it’s hard to go past London’s legendary Oxford Street. It’s 1.5 miles long, filled with all kinds of stores on each side – so yes, go ahead and call it a workout too. Bonus! Portobello Road in the Notting Hill area  is not to be missed on Saturdays for hardcore antiquing. Of course, the crème de la crème of shopping in London is Harrods -  with a literal translation of “the department store of department stores”. Pick up a world-famous Harrods bag, enjoy the simply delectable food court, check out the super classy merchandise or just enjoy the vibe in the store that has it all – including a dress code!

Now that you’re pumped up on London, check out our Contiki trips that take you there. Go Contiki and leave the boring planning stuff to us.

London Explorer 3 Day5 Day

London + Paris

London + Paris + Paris Extension

London + Paris + Rome

London + Paris + Amsterdam

Great Britain & Ireland

England & Scotland

Edinburgh Festival & Military Tattoo