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.
Wow! It’s the first time I have heard of this 🙂 I really like the idea, especially being so different from all those deadline packed tours where you only get so much time to see attraction etc and where you only get to see the “obvious”. This is actually a chance to experience, to learn and to improve yourself and create great memories!
This will be fun! I love travelling a lot and a competition will surely add to the excitement.
Your shots are amazing! Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts.
Sounds like fun. I would like to try. I am glad it is a level playing field, so people of all ages and all walks of life can participate.
that looks like fun – wouldn’t that be nice if they offered a million dollars to the first placed finishing team!
Hahaha…that would certainly add more of an incentive Noel 🙂
So. That guy in the picture actually won Amazing Race. And TRUE STORY. I met him in a bar in Paris 5 years ago where he gave me his credit card and I bought our group drinks for the whole night. Good times.
:))) well, in this case, the prize went to the right man, Yvonne. LOL.
Definitely have wanted to do the Amazing Race. I’ve had several family members tell me I should do it, and my GF and I would be naturals at it — we’re both very un-shy, slightly-crazy, adventurers. This looks seriously rad. Thanks for sharing!
You’re welcome Joe! It sounds like you two have the skills to compete and possibly even win.
Can’t we make this amazing race involve bars? and beers? 😀
I always find it when I am thrust into the unknown it brings out strengths and qualities that I never really knew I had! that’s why travelling is such a developing and strengthening experience!
Safe travels Samuel!
If you ever drop my my new travel blog http://www.wilfys.com I’d appreciate your opinion
Hahaha…bars and beers wouldn’t be a bad idea at all 😉
I have tried it once and it was one of the most amazing adventures I’ve done. It’s a good way of letting out all stresses in life. I made new friends through it. Fun!
That’s cool to hear!
This is a great idea. You get the competition without all the TV drama. It would be awesome if it was eventually expanded to cover more ground outside of Western Europe, though I can only imagine the logistics!
I totally agree with you! Would love to see this type of event offered in select regions around the world 🙂
Woah! I’ve always wanted to try the amazing race but was not able to find someone who would go with me for several weeks on end. This is great. I can just ask my friends to try this with me.
Would be a great activity to do with a friend 🙂
This is possibly the coolest thing I’ve read on the Internet today.
Holy crap that sounds awesome!! Thanks for sharing!
You’re welcome Dan!
Great idea. I have a feeling that every time I’d pass by an outdoor food market, I’d give up and just get drunk on Apfel Schnapps or gooey waffles.
LOL, I’d probably do the same. I’d totally get distracted by food 😉
This looks really cool! I’m a secret competitive person, so this would be right up my street 😀 and to get outside of our comfort zone with some challenges on the way.. sounds like we should all sign up!
Adam, I think this would be a fun way for all of us to get out of our comfort zone a bit.
Sounds like quite an experience, would love to give it a go!
I’m in… sounds awesome. Sign me up! I guess you’ll have to wait for the grand finale before you can get in any blogging time…
I heard about the competition. It’s super cool. I think I should apply for this despite the minimal chances of getting called up.
Definitely worth it I’d say 🙂
I have done Competitours three times and I’m 73! I was 68 the first time. It’s not about how old you are or what shape you’re in, it’s how energetic and curious you are about the world. I’ve never had a more exciting experience in my whole life!!
That’s a great testimonial Fran! I agree with you that it is not age but instead mind that determines how well you travel 🙂
This is really cool. I have always wanted to do this and did apply for the Amazing Race in Australia but we were never called up. Thanks for sharing.
That’s too bad you weren’t contacted Jen. I think this could be a great alternative.
I have watched The Amazing Race since the start of the 2nd season, Samuel! It got me 100 times more intrigued about traveling around the world. I’m a wee bit older now though and might not quite be in good enough shape. Good post! 🙂
I’ve never traveled with a particular goal or challenge in mind but this might be a great way to add some excitement to your journey 🙂
Haha this is so awesome! New bucket list item?….maybe 🙂
Haha, definitely worth considering 🙂
This actually sounds really cool! Thanks for sharing. Just went to their website and read “The Amazing Race for regular people.” Haha, love it!
Happy travels 🙂
Thanks Lauren! It sure looks like a cool event!
I have though I would be great at the Amazing Race. I am a bit of a competitor, so this sounds right up my ally. I will have to consider it in the future if I am ever in Europe and do not want to plan a full trip!
I think it would be a lot of fun Angela! I’m also somebody who loves a good competition 🙂