map of europe

Long before I adopted the phrase “value luxury” I intuitively knew what it meant. It sums up my travel ethos completely – learning when to splurge and when to save – and over the years I’ve refined it a bit more by saying it’s luxury for real people, not people with private yachts and celebrity friends.


Travelers define luxury in different ways. For some, it’s a hotel room with a view and for others, it’s dinner at a Michelin-star restaurant. For some, it’s a trip to a hard to get to country and for others, it’s lying on a beach and reading a good book. For some, it’s a cruise and for others, it’s getting to one more country on an itinerary. What’s important to one traveler is not the same as what’s important to another. That’s why it’s often so hard to find a perfect traveling companion when you each value different things and both of you are absolutely right in your preferences.

And if you ever want to see lots of examples of why some people shouldn’t travel together, try tuning into The Amazing Race. I’ve often thought it would be fun to be on the Amazing Race (now in its 30th season), except for the way reality television shows edit things to create drama, stereotypical characters, and embarrassment. I can see it now – I’d be portrayed as the out-of-shape baby boomer who has no sense of adventure nor wants to try anything new.

STOP! Stop right there.

I may be a slightly out-of-shape baby boomer, but I like an adventure as much as the next person. I just want to have an adventure for real people, not to have it played out on television as a reality show celebrity.

That’s why Competitours caught my eye. It’s adventure, ala Amazing Race-style, only for real people. No drama queens, no back-stabbing competitors, no unholy alliances. Just a competitive adventure in Europe, out of the limelight, designed for real people adventurers. Like you. And like me. That’s value luxury!

Here’s how it works:

  • There are 10 pairs of teams competing. This means you still have to find a companionable partner, one who is up for a mystery adventure.
  • The competition takes place in Europe and lasts a week with challenges that gently push you out of your comfort zone. The challenges rely on creativity, resourcefulness, and spontaneity and not speed or fitness. It’s a level playing field for real people and you don’t need to be a bodybuilder or marathon man to have a great time. Past participants have ranged from 15 to 78 years of age.
  • There are seven days of challenges that will have you zigzagging through Europe’s nooks and crannies to mystery destinations. You’ll have minimum notice for many things. You earn points for each challenge, which can run from culinary to cultural, from soft adventure to handicrafts, from historical myths and legends to scavenger hunts and labyrinths.
  • No one is eliminated. Some days you may be the best at the challenge. Other days you may simply try not to be the worst. Everyone will be in for the entire time, earning points from accomplishing the challenges that accumulate to crown a winner.
  • The travel ethos for the event is “rivalry by day and revelry by night.” You won’t need to watch your back while you’re sleeping.
  • There’s a prize! The cash grand prize is $3,000. No, it’s not a million dollars, this isn’t television, after all. And the prize won’t even cover your expenses to participate. This is an adventure trip of a lifetime, so you should expect some out of pocket expense.

Doesn’t it sound like fun?!

There are two dates for Competitours:

The Winter 2018 trip is December 16th-23rd. You should plan to arrive in Salzburg, Austria, no later than December 15th. Price is $2,875 per person, based on sharing a room with your partner.

The Summer 2019 trip is July 14th-21st. You should plan to arrive in Geneva, Switzerland, no later than July 13th. Price is $2,975 per person, based on sharing a room with your partner.

Pricing for the events is transparent, there are no hidden costs to discover while on the road. You can see a full list of what is and isn’t included here. As with all travel adventures, you should expect some out of pocket costs for personal items.

Steve Belkin, the owner of the company, is an airline mileage expert and can leverage his knowledge to assist in maximizing flexibility and minimizing costs involved with flights to and from Europe.

Who wants to try an Amazing Race-style adventure, only for real people?

I’ve seriously got my eye on that July 2019 date. Anyone interested in joining me? Anyone interested in sponsoring a team (in whole or in part)? Seriously, if you can help with some financial support, cash or in kind, please get in touch.

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Competitours. I first heard about the company a few years ago and was impressed with what they were doing, making this type of adventure available for people who didn’t want to go on a reality television show. When they asked if I’d be willing to share this information with readers, I was interested. While they’ve provided me with information about the company, the content of this post remained under my editorial control. I think this is a value luxury experience and really want to do it.

Photo credit: DariuszSankowski / Pixabay