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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