The Good Kind of Tour, Er… Race

24 02 2009

So I have to say that while the budget traveler in me cringes not a little at the thought of shelling out nearly $2,000 for an eight day trip, I’m definitely intrigued by the latest travel tour company, which is not really a tour at all, at least not in the canned organized tour group sense. Competitours is the lay person’s Amazing Race, complete with challenges and a grand prize. Travelers work in teams of two performing several challenges a day and videotaping themselves as they go, all the while competing against the other teams for a grand prize (another trip).

While ordinarily I am decidedly anti-tour when I can help it, this does sound like a great thing. There is the promise of visiting under the radar locations not ordinarily on the organized tour (though this brings up the quandary of risking what makes these places unique and great in the first place). The challenges aim to be educational immersion in ways that the typical organized tour traveler might not otherwise experience a place. There is that possibility for “unexpected encounters with local people and places,” the very thing that is lacking from most organized tours.

All in all, the tour has a lot of the aspects of travel I most value: the pushing of one’s own boundaries, unique perspective, and then of course there is the bonding aspect. And one mustn’t forget the opportunity for more travel.

Bottomline: if I had the money, would I do it? Uh, Duh!



2 responses

25 02 2009

Hi Suzanne-
Thanks for musing about Competitours.

You get a lot of bang for your 8 day trip buck- intl airfare from NYC, 7 nights lodging, Eurail Pass, game registration and chance to win 20 nights at Starwoosd hotels worldwide, plus airfare and spending money to boot.

And while the company is called Competitours, we shareyour your anti-tour notions, so there are no tour buses, tour guides chaperoning, cookie cutter itineraries or strict schedules.

Rather, teams are given a seruies of surprise challenges and the next secret destination with about 12 hours notice, and your team creates their own CUSTOMIZED itinerary. You decide the mix of mainstream vs. off the radar, in-town vs. excursion, etc. Challenges are based on creativity and resourcefulness, not speed or physical prowess like the TV show.

Hope Competitours is worth scrambling to recruit the trip fee!!



25 02 2009
Suzanne Russo

Thanks Steve. I absolutely agree that Competitours is an incredible new innovation in travel, and I love that it challenges traveler who might not otherwise have done so to experience the real culture of a place in unique way. You’re onto something! S

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