Contiki’s Rock N’ Soul: Part Deux

The follow-up installment to Allyson’s Rock N’ Soul: Part One adventure!

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Chicago, St. Louis, and Louisville were just warm-up acts for the headlining cities of Nashville, Memphis, and New Orleans.

Departing Louisville, we made our way down the Bourbon Trail and stopped at the Jim Beam Distillery near Claremont, Kentucky. Tour the grounds, learn about the art of distilling several top label bourbons, and appreciate the meticulous aging process in the tasting room. Smell-o-vision is really needed to fully appreciate the photo below taken in one of the warehouses.

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Contiki’s Rock N’ Soul: Part One

Our very own Sales & Marketing Administrator, Allyson C. took an adventure on Contiki’s Rock n’ Soul itinerary!  Check out the first part of her grand adventure traveling through the heart of rock n’ soul in the United States.

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Employee Guest Post by:  Allyson C.

Many Americans are focused on exploring the wonders of the world on other continents and unintentionally overlook the fantastic travel destinations available within the United States. Traveling within the United States stretches your vacation dollar since you save money on airfare and exchange rates, and this summer I chose to take advantage! Wanting to stretch my travel buck coupled with my love affair with food and music led me to book Rock N’ Soul, an exclusive Summer 2011 Contiki. Starting in Chicago and winding its way through the Midwest to the Deep South, this 12-day itinerary is comprised of Chicago, St. Louis, Louisville, Nashville, Memphis, and New Orleans. With so many wonderful cities and their experiences to share, I’ve decided to make this a two-part blog.

“Chicago, Chicago that toddlin’ town”- Frank Sinatra

Known for architecture, world-class museums, deep dish pizza, Chicago dogs, and distinct forms of blues and modern jazz, Chicago is abuzz with summer energy.  My tour kicked off in true Chicago-style with deep dish pizza at Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria and a night at Buddy Guy’s Legends for live blues music. Be sure to try the “Lou”—thick, buttery, flaky crust topped with fresh spinach, mushrooms, sliced tomatoes, and covered in a three cheese blend. Yumm-o! The bands at Buddy’s that night performed both delta style (originating in the Mississippi delta) blues and Chicago blues, priming my ears for the next 11 days of live music.

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Where are they now?

We’re almost halfway through July, and many travelers are departing on their Contiki trips and coming back from their vacations with awesome stories and photos to share!  Our very own Allyson C. snapped this cool photo on her adventures during her Rock n’ Soul Contiki trip.  Can you guess where this photo was taken?

Stay tuned for Allyson’s travelogue with highlights of the Rock n’ Soul itinerary, one of many trips you can take advantage of right now as part of our North America brochure launch celebration! As usual, check out www.contiki.com to find out all the latest information on how to get you on your next vacation.

We’ve got lots of stories, from China to Europe and beyond to share in the next few weeks.  If you’re returning from your trip and you’d like to share your photos and story on Contiki’s blog, feel free to leave us a comment and let us know.  We’d love to feature your highlights here!

Vagabonding Gear 101

We’d like to welcome a new guest blogger to Contiki’s blog!  Justin Troupe will be going on the 48-day Ultimate European Contiki and he’s going to keep a travelogue of his adventures on his blog – along with tips and advice such as this post – as he makes his way through Europe.  Check out his post, as he prepares for his Contiki adventure, complete with video reviews of some items that he plans to use.

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A Wish List for Long Term Travelers

My name is Justin, I am a writer and photographer who is taking a Contiki trip starting on July 3rd for 47 days. I will be taking HDR photos and HD video and sharing them on the Contiki blog as well as my website The Endless Weekend.

After spending 4 months of research, I put together 10 of the neatest things I discovered for long term travel. If you want to save yourself a ton of research and money check out these companies first. If you find something better, please let me know in the comments.

This year, I am beginning my goal of photographing every country in the world. To get things started my wife and I will be visiting 30 countries this year. The first 6 weeks we are traveling with Contiki, the rest of the trip we are going solo. I did my first Contiki tour many years ago and have wanted to go on another one ever since.  Contiki tours are fast-paced; however I had a blast and think they are an insane value.

Contiki was started in 1961 by a guy from New Zealand who bought a bus and toured Europe for a summer with several random people he had just met. Fifty years later, they offer worldwide guided tours for 18 to 35 year olds. They not only provide transportation between countries but also accommodations and most of your food. We will be traveling with a group of around 25 people to over 17 countries on  The Ultimate European tour. The total price for 48 days of travel is about $6,000 per person. I know that traveling with a group is different from going solo, but if you like variety it doesn’t get any better than Contiki. The shorter tours start at about $1,000 for 2 weeks. They offer payment plans and will even let you book a tour on layaway with $200 and make payments. This company completely removes the excuse that travel is just too expensive. The accommodations are basic, but they are clean and comfortable. You also spend very little time in your room on one of these tours.

Ok so here we go:

1)   Eagle Creek suitcase: They come in many different sizes, but I decided on the  Tarmac 25 inch. These things are indestructible, lightweight and have highly reinforced corners. The wheels are huge, indestructible and will roll over anything from dirt to cobblestone. You can watch a video review (below) or by clicking here.

2) Pack it: They also have a unique packing system called PACK IT that keeps your stuff organized. It allows you to keep your clean and dirty cloths separated and fit a lot more in the same amount of space.You can watch the video (below) or by clicking here.

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