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Contiki Cough

Even pre-Covid, I noticed this "Contiki Cough" was always a hot and ongoing topic, with "bus tours" for obvious reasons, since it occurs all the time there. Since RS Tours capacity is only 28, instead of 50, and with more serious adults instead of young rowdy partygoers or clubbers or binge drinkers, I wonder if the Contiki Cough doesn't appear here, or is much less frequent, or how it compares?

I've never been on Contiki (never matched my personality), so I can't comment on their experience. RS Tours have been a blast for me 😊

Posted by
377 posts

I have been on a number of RS tours pre-COVID. Even with 28 people on a bus that you can spread out, people have spread colds. It happens.

Posted by
14288 posts

I've done 13 Rick Steves tours and 13 Road Scholar tour. If someone has a cold it's sometimes passed around but not always. I've never gotten sick on a tour.

I'd actually never heard the term Contiki Cough as I've never been interested in those tours and would not have been even if I'd been going to Europe when my age matched those tours. I googled it and it looks like it's characterized as a viral infection which could be a cold or another kind of Upper Respiratory Infection. One thing to consider is the pace. The kids are going hard, partying hard and not getting sleep or perhaps decent food to help their immune systems.

Rick's and Road Scholar tours definitely have a different pace and generally not the amount of partying these tours probably do.

Posted by
2491 posts

Contiki Cough sounds like one of those horrible sugary cocktails

Posted by
5140 posts

Aside from reducing your immune response to a degree, I doubt that heavy drinking is a big contributing factor. Fatigue due to a party hearty atmosphere with young tourists is probably equal to the early rising/tour all day fatigue experienced by older tourists on other tours. What they have in common are groups of people in close proximity for much of the day. A perfect scenario for the spread of any respiratory infection.

Not dissimilar to the "cruise crud" often found on cruise ships.

Posted by
3034 posts

If there's coughing around or you're concerned don an N-95 mask, right? A bad cold can ruin a trip.

The idea of getting up at 0700 or so preceded by partying into the wee hours the night before doesn't sound like much fun.

Posted by
2113 posts

I don’t understand why it’s ok to travel when you are ill. Just cover your cough and wash hands frequently at the least. As for Contiki Cough, alcohol definitely does affect one’s immune system. I’m guessing plenty drink on those tours, much more than normal.
So far, I’ve never gotten sick on RS tour. But, the Aussie’s brought a nasty respiratory virus onboard a cruise I took and it went through the entire ship. It was our summer and their winter.