If you have ever watched the popular travel reality TV show ‘The Amazing Race’ and muttered to yourself “I could do that,” well, there is actually an intriguing travel company that offers a team travel competition, while steering clear of the exhausting tasks, weird food and drama queens that dominate the TV show.
www.Competitours.com transforms the ‘Amazing Race’ into your vacation, with no try-outs or eliminations. All you need to participate is a zest for the unknown and unexpected. Competitours features 12 pairs of teams zigzagging across a mystery itinerary of Western Europe for 10 days, accomplishing surprise challenges while in pursuit of up to $7200 in cash prizes. Destinations will include a mix of cosmopolitan capitals, walkable villages, coastal hamlets and a jaunt through the mountains.
The challenges are unknown and they are structured to nudge you (gently, of course) out of your comfort zone. The suspense is further heightened as destinations and challenge content revealed with just a scant 24-36 hours notice each day.
The challenges will bring out skill sets that until now, may have been unknown to you. But rest assured, Competitours challenges are about being creative, resourceful and impromptu, NOT about speed or fitness, so expect a level playing field with all ages well represented. More than 15% of teams are repeat customers, usually a good portent.
Teams will participate in a mix of group challenges and a menu of individual challenges that each team selects to best reflect their personal interests and preferences. But all challenges have key common themes: to foster some personal growth and discovery about you and your teammate; and to provide you a fun, quirky and most importantly hands-on perspective on local history, culture, food and handicrafts. Plus, every trip has a mountain-based challenge activity as well as mind-bending scavenger hunts and labyrinths.
The scoring is typically based on a mix of objective and subjective criteria. In most instances, more than 90% of the teams are in the running for the top 3 spots until the last day, for maximum suspense. There is rivalry during the day, but revelry at night, as many teams enjoy bonding over swapping war stories of that day and appreciating that they are travelling with kindred spirits who enjoy the thrill of the unknown.
Each day has built-in downtime for teams to take a breather from the to competition, to explore sights, shopping and dining on their own. Further, most days are structured so that the teams are responsible for their own local transport, which ensures teams rub shoulders with local folks. No tour buses, no waiting for stragglers, no rigid schedules that force you to stay longer or leave earlier than you want.
Company owner Steve Belkin travels to Europe annually to negotiate the special arrangements or exclusive access or to find the remote location to ensure that no other company can replicate a Competitours experience. Belkin invests his customers’ trip fee carefully, emphasizing memorable and compelling activities that are done while awake. As a result, sleeping is typically arranged at solid 3-Star hotels since the only time you will be there is literally to sleep and shower.
As an added bonus, Belkin is an expert at playing the airline mileage game, so he offers his skills to help teams redeem miles for free tickets and to help generate miles for teams that need them, to mitigate airfare costs.
If the questions ‘Where will I go?’, ‘What will I do?’, ‘How will I perform?’ give you the shivers, then this team travel competition may not be for you. But if these questions cause you shivers of delight, then Competitours might just be worth pencilling in for exploring the luxury of the unknown.