I’ve found the Kiwi Experience a weird one, especially to begin with. In Asia I was really looking forward to it as I liked the idea of having everything organised for us for the month, however now I’m here I feel conflicted.
- It is cool that your itinerary has been pre-organised to a certain extent. It means we don’t have to plan everyday and can relax a little more.
- You end up doing activities that you would never have known about if you were travelling alone. I’ve already caved and gone on some amazing walks that we would never have done otherwise.
- You meet people! We have already met some lovely groups that are around our age group and while we love each others company, we spent the whole of Asia together with not much other company so it is great to get to know some other travellers!
- The hostels aren’t anywhere near as bad as I thought they would be. I was dreading having to stay in dorms with strangers but the hostels tend to be really clean and well-kept which makes the whole experience a whole lot more comfortable.
- It’s a little too structured and at times it can feel like we’re on a school trip. We don’t have much choice about how long we stop in places and this can mean we rush walks/sights that we would have really liked to stay longer at.
- The activities are very expensive and you realise quite quickly that the package you have bought includes less than you think it does. If you don’t pick and choose you can easily end up paying over $100 a day just on activities, before you’ve even thought about accommodation and food.
- Some of the people on board of the Kiwi Experience are very young and it shows. We are in the older group of traveller’s and there is a lot of naivety that we have to put up with. Potentially another bus tour company would have been preferable.
- Hostel life is stressful. We’ve gone from private rooms to shared dorms, bathrooms and kitchens. While on the whole it’s been fine, it is annoying having to creep around in the mornings with just a phone torch for light and the kitchens get so crowded that some nights we have waited over an hour for a hob space. There is also nothing better than going to clean your teeth in the morning to find the remnants of someone else’s ‘good’ night in the bin/sink/loo.
With everything there is going to be good points and bad points and as I’m settling into the trip I’m sure some of these will change. Right now I am still testing the waters.