SightDOING, not sightseeing, is how Competitours owner Steve Belkin describes Competitours, a “The Amazing Race style” European team travel competition that takes place annually in Europe. This year, 11 teams of two will zig-zag through multiple European countries on a mystery itinerary that will have them facing a variety of surprise challenges and competing for cash prizes totaling $6,600! This year’s Competitours dates are July 4-14, and spots on this amazing trip are still available.
Owner Steve custom-designs each annual Competitours trip, and has been since its inception in 2009, so each year the itinerary, with its mix of small towns and big cities, and variety of challenges — from scavenger hunts to rugged hikes to cooking contests — is different. Steve throws in twists and turns as often as he can; usually participants don’t find out their next destination or challenge until 12 hours prior. In fact, 2017 competitors don’t even know yet where they’re meeting to begin the trip July 4!
Important to note: Unlike the TV show The Amazing Race, no one is kicked off this trip! You’ll begin the adventure with everyone you started with, no matter how well you complete the challenges (for which you’ll earn points). For many past participants, some of whom I chatted with via email this past week, that’s one of the highlights of the trip: meeting like-minded, adventurous travelers from all over the world. Darrick Kyzlick of Colorado participated in 2016 with his dad, who was 68 at the time. Darrick said, “One of the best parts of our experience were the competitors themselves – getting a chance to do this with people from all walks of life. It really was a cross-section like you would see on The Amazing Race.”
Darrick said Steve’s challenges and destinations were top notch: “It was so much fun to do with my dad and have experiences that we can’t replicate ourselves. Watching my dad do the via ferrata [a climbing route up a mountain with fixed rungs and ropes] just weeks before he was going to have hip surgery was amazing!”
Laura Watilo Blake, a photojournalist from Cleveland, Ohio, who owns Far Flung Travels, participated in Competitours twice, each time as a solo traveler paired with a stranger. It worked for her: She racked up first- and second-place finishes! Teaming up with someone you don’t know is “advantageous” she says, “because you don’t bring a lot of personal baggage on the trip — you’re both focused on the competition and trying to do the best you can do.”
Laura is extremely well traveled, having been to 101 countries. She’s a fan of Competitours because, “it shook up my standard travel routine by leading me places that I might not have known about or tried on my own. I love the surprises. Steve finds some unusual destinations that aren’t on the tourist trail or, if they are, you’re not doing typical things.”
She added, “The trip is a total rush, but it’s also a rush… you’re constantly on the go. I don’t mind that, but if you find a place you like, there’s not a lot of time to get to know it. On the other hand, it will make you want to come back and see the place for yourself later at a much slower pace.”
Sound like fun to you? Again, spots are still available for this year’s dates, July 4-14, 2017. The cost is $3975 per person; click here to learn exactly what that fee covers. These FAQs should answer most of your questions, and owner Steve Belkin is an email away.
Be warned though; once you traverse European countries with Competitours, having loads of fun along the way, you’ll likely want to compete again… and again. Judie Rosenman of Los Angeles has participated in Competitours an incredible four times, every other year from 2009 to 2015! Her advice, if you do sign up, “Travel light and get ready for the experience of a lifetime. You are about to embark on the most incredible adventure!”
Competitours sponsored this post and provided the photos.