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Contiki travellers talk holiday romance and share love stories ahead of Valentine’s Day

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, Contiki has called on its community of travellers to share their thoughts on romance and reminisce on the love stories and lifelong friendships they formed on the road.

Out of the respondents surveyed, a whopping 20 per cent of past travellers said they found love on their Contiki trip, while eight per cent said it wasn’t just a holiday romance, either, but a love that’s lasted long after the trip ended.

And, in a world of digital dating and apps, it’s refreshing to see that 90 per cent of youths believe romance isn’t dead, with 55 per cent of them responding as currently single and hopeful.

When it comes to who they want to travel with, Millennials and Gen Z again put their hands up for romance.

Contiki’s survey found that 43 per cent of respondents were willing to put the theory that travel can make or break a relationship to the test by picking their partner as their ideal travel companion. A further 28 per cent would pick their best friend, while 19 per cent would rather travel solo.

Image source: Contiki

As a friendly reminder that travel isn’t just about the places you visit, but also about the incredible people you meet along the way, Contiki posted on Instagram and Facebook asking travellers to share their #contikilovestory – and the responses were heart-warming.

There were more than 190 comments and heart emojis from around the world, shared by young lovers, BFFs and even long-term couples who met on Contiki and are now married with children. Here a just a few of them…

Lauren Matthews on Facebook:

In 2013, I went alone on an 18-day trip through Europe. I met a wonderful guy on my tour (who was also Australian) and we hit it off! After two years of long distance, I packed up my life in Melbourne and made the move to Newcastle, and here we are today, together for seven years and renovating house number two!

Sarah Kilgariff on Instagram:

I met my Australian husband on the London to Athens plus Greek-Island-hopping tour in 2009. We married in 2014 and one of my bridesmaids was from the tour as well. My hubby and I have three daughters and all because we chose Contiki. Wasn’t love at first sight, but over the tour, his charm got to me, and by Greece, we were a ‘not so sneaky Contiki couple’ (LOL). The rest is history!                                                                            

Lauren Bruce on Facebook:

Andy and I met at Stockholm airport the day before we started our 10-day tour of Scandinavia in 2008. It was love at first sight. When he got back to NZ, he quit his job and moved to be with me in Perth. We got married in 2012 and have two beautiful children. We are living happily ever after.

From Jessie List on Instagram:

Josh and I met on the walking night tour in London the day before our Great Britain and Ireland trip in January 2019. To me, he was the typical Aussie lad complaining about the cold and cracking all the jokes. To him, it was love at first sight over a beer in a pub. The day our trip started, there was a spare seat on the bus in front of me and when he hopped on, I just knew he would sit in front of me. I was correct. We chatted and joked and laughed and very much annoyed our future best friend Amy – also my Perth Contiki soul sister – that’s another love story for you all.

From the get-go, Josh and I knew we were meant to be and were inseparable. But of course, long distance was an issue – me from Perth and Josh from Queensland – but we knew that wouldn’t stop us. Our trip was magical, getting to see the beautiful sites of the UK, make memories with our new pals Amy, Luke and Bec. We didn’t want out time to end, so Josh and I booked a spontaneous trip to Paris on our Contiki bus in Dublin.

After flying back to London, I stayed back and Josh flew to return home. We did long distance for the year of 2019. Every four weeks, one of us would find the time to fly back and forth and we made it work. It was the greatest of adventures.

At the start of 2020, Josh made the big move to Perth, right before the pandemic hit. Now, in 2021, we have just bought and moved into our new house and can’t wait to see what the future holds. Contiki opened my eyes to the world and blessed me with the greatest of people. A big shoutout to Amy, who will be our MC at our wedding, and Bec to being Josh’s grooms-woman.

Rachel Peacock on Facebook:

Mark and I met on a 35-day European tour back in 2004. We were inseparable by the end of the trip, but he had to return to Australia, and I returned to the US. Ten months later, I moved to Sydney to pursue a master’s degree. We reconnected and ended up getting married in 2009 and now have two kids. Our Contiki beginning makes for a great story when we’re asked how we met!

Laurie Whittaker on Facebook:

My third Contiki was a 25-day tour back in 2001. I told the tallest guy on [the] trip to stick by my side, and he hasn’t left since. He is from Australia and moved to Canada to be with me. We’ve been happily married for 17 years and have two teenagers.


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