A Mystery Team Travel Competition

An Amazing Race
For Normal People!

Competitours Secret Routing...

Our trips are full of unpredictable zig-zagging across under-the-radar nooks and crannies around the world. Each trip will be focused on one region (Western Europe, Middle East/North Africa, Central America, etc…), and will leave you guessing every step of the way.

Each day’s itinerary will be revealed with less than 24-hours notice; consider this your blind date with the world!

...And Surprise

Up to 10 teams of two will discover new skills as they compete with and against each other in daily challenges. But don’t worry… it’s not about being the best. Nope! At Competitours, the winners are usually just the “least worst.”

Be prepared to get pushed (gently) outside your comfort zone, and think way outside the box. This trip ain’t about sightseeing, folks. Here, it’s all about hands-on sight-DOING!

Challenge Themes

We have executed over 100 challenges since our 2008 introduction. 

Our challenges generally fit into one of six main categories: Artisan, cultural, culinary, navigation, mountains and, of course, our favorite, the “grab bag.”

Because of our decade-plus of experience, our trips are akin to an improv show. Sure, you may have seen the actors before, but every show is different. Perhaps that’s why close to half of every trip is filled with repeat customers! Whether a few of the challenges are the same or not, no two trips are the same, and we always find new ways to excite and surprise you.

Rally Not A Race

Unlike the TV show, “The Amazing Race,” the travel between destinations is never a challenge. Once teams finish their daily activities, we try to have everyone together, stress free, to the next destination. No one ever gets left behind, and no teams are ever penalized for travel delays.

Challenge skills are typically about being creative, resourceful and spontaneous. NOT about speed or fitness or previous travel experience.
Past team members have ranged from 14 year old newbies to 77 year great grandparents.

Still not sure
What our challenges are all about?

Join a Trip

EU Standard Trip

July 16th - 26th

EU Family Version

Aug 8th - 18th

US Version

April 21st - 30th

With A Dynamic Scoring System

Each day has a totally unique and dynamic scoring system.

With added “mini” or “insta” challenges before, during and after our regular challenges, there are no shortage of opportunities to earn points. Plus, no teams are ever eliminated from the competition, which means that everyone has a chance until the very end. 

In fact, historically speaking, and thanks to our unique scoring approach, 85% of teams have been in the running going into the final day of our trips!

Mmmm... Frenemies Are Lurking Everywhere

On any given day, a challenge could require 2 or 3 competing teams to sink or swim together.

Or you might be dependent on other teams to vote for you during a ‘people’s choice’ awarding of points. In general, teams enjoy bonding from the shared experiences of mastering (or barely surviving!) Competitours challenges.

Maybe Win A Grand Prize... Or Maybe Win New Friends!

Top 3 teams each win a great prize, so stakes are more like a friendly game of a poker vibe than a fight to the death vibe of ‘The Amazing Race’.

The cash prize is spent very quickly, but the prize of meeting 9 other curious, motivated and upbeat teams has proven to last much longer.

Prizes and New Friends, and Bears, Oh My!

OK, fine, there are no bears (usually). But the top three teams do win great prizes! Sure, we’re not handing out $1,000,000 like our friends at “The Amazing Race”, but the prizes are nothing to scoff at. Let’s be real though… Our stakes are more like a friendly game of poker, rather than a fight-to-the-death vibe of a reality TV show.

And while it would be nice to take home a cash prize, the biggest win comes in the form of new friendships which are sure to last. After all, what could be better than spending this amazing, quality time with other curious, upbeat and like-minded individuals?

Competitours Sample Day (Never A Dull Day!)

There is no such thing as a ‘typical day’ with Competitours. And there is no ‘typical year’ either as every year we research and customize a totally new trip.
No official packing list other than a bathing suit. But our sage advice is to - pack light. And use a roller bag. Remember that you are your own bell hop at the hotel, support and train station. Our trip is not about fashion statements so dress down.
So, googling our past trips will not likely help you get inside of the mind of the Evil Genius/Trip Escort, Steve Belkin.

Transport And Location

We could be going 15 miles away on public transport or 150 miles away on a train or charter bus or 1 500 miles away on a plane.

We shy away from obvious touristic cities in general.  Instead, we hunt down iconic pedestrian friendly large towns and small cities, mountain hamlets, coastal enclaves and medieval flavored villages. 

Challenge Structure

Challenges could include all 10 teams at the same place at the same time, competing side by side…

Or due to capacity issues, only 5 teams may be at same place same time… Or maybe your team will be grouped together with one of two other teams… Or you might be going it alone with just your partner.

Lunch is typically a very short, light affair, squeezed into an intermission and each team is responsible for their own meal.

As an example, there will be points to earn for the primary cooking challenge (technique, taste, presentation).
There could be a separate related challenge to shoot a 30 second ‘commercial’ marketing your recipe.
So, there are always ‘second chances’ to score points if you get shut out of the primary activity.
Plus, there could be impromptu mini-challenges during the ground transport to or from challenge.

Post-Challenge Schedule

In general, the challenge will finish with plenty of time to rest, explore walking through town, enjoy your choice of dinner on your own or informally with other teams.

Usually, once a trip, you have to hightail it to the airport for an evening flight.  

Your Evil Genius trip escort  might reveal the next day’s challenge destination, activity and logistics… and then again, he may not!


Other than sleeping, showering and grabbing a quick continental breakfast, your lodging will have no other practical function for you.

So, our lodging choices avoid tricked-out, brand name hotels where you won’t have time to benefit from their spa, swimming pool, fitness room, ornate lobby, etc.

We recruit what we call ‘upscale functional’ lodging, that are super-duper clean, insanely comfortable, and astonishingly convenient.

Boutique Hotels located in original historical architecture, tend to have somewhat smaller rooms but very cool common areas.


There was a documentary film about competitours called ‘Tripped Up’ that was accepted into the Cleveland international film festival in 2018. Click the link to watch more about it.

Past Team Recommendations

We are not on trip advisor so if you want to get feedback from previous teams just contact us and we will set you up with a team to offer you independent evaluation. Click the link below to read more. 

Our History

Competitours was founded by the “OG Evil Genius,” Steve Belkin, who’s quick thinking, hard work, grit and dedication – not to mention a healthy dose of insanity and and an unhealthy dose of Type-C personality – made Competitours the company it is today. After over a decade of traipsing around Western Europe, and bamboozling dozens of (un)suspecting travelers, Steve finally hung up his Steely Dan hat and passed the baton to Ari Charlestein.  Ari, who previously worked with Steve (in what seems like a previous lifetime) in the points-and-miles world, as well as at Competitours, brings the same tenacity and mystique to each Competitours trip. With his professional improve training in hand, Ari is pushing Competitours’ reach beyond the EU to other regions of the world, and will also be offering private and corporate versions of the trip.

Company owner/ trip escort /evil genius, Steve Belkin personally researches and plans every trip. Steve has pioneered mastering the airline mileage game with a book published. And an award booking service.

Caribbean’s first and only scuba dive challenge game.

Produced nationally syndicated TV show ‘Kwik Witz’ the precursor to the comedy show ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway’. Recruited talent like Wayne Brady, Steve Carell, Nia Vardolas, Alex Borstein , Jack McBrayer among others before they were discovered


Produced TV and radio programming for Green Bay Packers head coach Mike Holmgren plus players Brett Favre, Reggie White, Kabeer Gbaja, Biamila and Milwaukee Bucks head coaches Mike Dunleavy and Chris Ford!