Contiki Vacations Teams up With College Students to Showcase Why Young Americans Should Travel to New Zealand

Student journalists from the University of Southern California to travel on Contiki's 8-day "Sun and Steam"

Anaheim, California, UNITED STATES

Anaheim, Calif., March 18, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- For a young American, the formative college years are a time of exploration.  However, many college students buckle under the pressure of classwork, internships, part-time jobs and other obligations, neglecting the opportunity to step out of their comfort zone and travel the world while they are young (and still have the time.)

That is why Contiki Vacations (, the leading travel company for 18-35 year olds, has teamed up with students from the University of Southern California (USC) student newspaper, The Daily Trojan.  For the next 8 days, two USC students, including The Daily Trojan's photo editor Mariya Dondonyan, will travel on a whirlwind adventure through the North Island of New Zealand on Contiki's 8-day Sun and Steam trip, gathering content and photography for the newspaper (as well as their personal Instagram feeds), and ultimately showing how easy it is to travel to far-flung destinations while you're young.

"We strive to show young Americans that travel to destinations as far as Australia and New Zealand is attainable and affordable, even when you're in college," said Melissa da Silva, President of Contiki Vacations. "Teaming up with The Daily Trojan allows the Contiki story to be told from a college student's perspective - and we're excited about the stories and photos that will come from this experience."

USC student Mariya Dondonyan agrees that her peers need to get out and explore the world: 

"College is the time where you're in this active pursuit to figure out who you are and where you want to end up in life, and there's no better way to figure that out than traveling. Being a student should be a balancing act between focusing on schoolwork and exploring new places. New Zealand has some of the most diverse environments on earth, and I'm looking forward to experiencing the incredible, natural scenery the country has to offer."

The students' trip coincides with the launch of Contiki's latest Australia & New Zealand brochure for 2015-2016, available for download now at

About Contiki Vacations

Contiki is the world leader in travel experiences for 18-35s since 1962. Operating in more than 50 countries around the world, Contiki is all about introducing young people to those epic moments that create a lifetime of memories and make every second count. Our journeys unlock the local way of life in each and every destination we visit, with every day as the start of a new adventure. You only get one life and one shot to make it count - #NOREGRETS.

Contiki is proud to be an active founder and supporter of The Treadright Foundation.  Created as a joint initiative between The Travel Corporation's family of brands, the TreadRight Foundation is a not-for-profit working to ensure the environment and communities we visit remain vibrant for generations to come. To date, TreadRight has helped support more than 35 sustainable tourism projects worldwide. The foundation's guiding principle is to encourage sustainable tourism development through conservation, leadership and support for communities. TreadRight's past project partners include WWF, Conservation International and The National Trust in the UK. Current initiatives include sponsoring the National Geographic Society's inaugural "World Legacy Awards," helping to combat wildlife crime with WildAid, and empowering individuals with the Alliance for Artisan Enterprise. To learn more about our past and current work at TreadRight, please visit us at