On my first visit to the Competitours site, I thought, “Wow, what a brilliant concept!”. I could easily imagine how much fun it would be to participate in one of the tours. Competitours is a travel concept loosely based on the TV-series, the ‘Amazing Race™’, with one important distinction: rivalry by day, revelry by night. Fab idea!
How Competitours Works
You sign up as a pair and travel around four European countries in nine days, competing along the way with 16 other pairs to win $9,000 in prizes. The itinerary is a mystery that unfolds every day in the form of a “virtual mission packet” – some might feel uneasy about signing up for a mystery itinerary but Competitours seems pretty confident of its capability to deliver a great experience; customers pay for their trip only after they’ve returned home.
Each day, the contestants receive their mission packet that includes a list of 8-10 challenges to choose from. Each challenge carries a certain number of points and the contestants have to pick several challenges they’re comfortable with, using public transport to get around. The contestants have to prove that they’ve completed the challenges by submitting 30-60 second videos of their exploits to a panel of judges, who will then evaluate and score the videos. The pair with the most points wins the grand prize.
What I like about Competitours is its high FUN factor. The challenges are not physically demanding so anyone can participate. The emphasis on fun is quite evident from the examples of past challenges, such as creating a TV commercial promoting a 9th century Viking ship as a 21st century cruise vacation or starring as a monster in an impromptu Japanese monster movie (think Godzilla) at a miniature exhibit! Talk about quirky! In the evenings, there are ample opportunities to meet up with the other contestants for a group outing or an enjoyable dinner.
I also like the bonding possibilities of this tour. Contestants travel in pairs so you can sign up with a friend, a family member, your spouse or a colleague. The lighthearted nature of the challenges creates opportunities for the pairs to bond by working together without bickering. I can’t imagine anything worse than a travel partner obsessed with victory!
The challenges introduce the contestants to the many facets of Europe, from the famous highlights in the big cities to off-the-beaten-path spots in the countryside. They also encourage interaction with the locals – indeed, some of the challenges can only be successfully completed if the correct information from the locals is obtained.
All in all, Competitours sounds like a fun experience worthy of a thumbs up from velvet! I would, however, recommend those with little digital media or computer experience to practise filming and downloading videos before embarking on the tour. No videography experience is required (it’s the narrative that will earn you points) but it’ll certainly be handy to familiarise yourself with downloading your video recording onto a computer and uploading it to the judges’ site. In addition, when you arrive at your destination, check around for internet connection options. You’ll have to upload your video each evening so the quicker you complete this task, the more time you’ll have to enjoy your evening.
Note: this post is sponsored by Competitours.