The perks of partying in Las Vegas with Contiki
You know the old saying - if you’re going to do something then do it right. Well in the same vain - if you’re going to do Las Vegas, you should do it with Contiki. A couple of months ago now, I had the pleasure of taking on the bright lights of Vegas with Contiki and have lived to rave about the tale. Here are just some of my highlights.
Travelling with the Western Highlights tour, our arrival in Las Vegas came after quite a long drive from the Grand Canyon. After a few quiet nights spent in quaint little cabins, everyone on the bus was pumped to let loose and party in Sin City. Driving in, Vegas pretty much comes out of nowhere. Past some average houses and factories and then boom – there’s a Sphinx and pyramid as part of the Luxor, a Statue of Liberty as part of New York New York and a crazy castle fit for a Disney movie that belongs to the Excalibur Hotel. While most travellers usually fly into Vegas, driving in with a bus full of excited people is an even better way to do it.
As we drove in and headed to our accommodation, Harrah’s Hotel and Casino, our tour guide Tyson ran through all the information we needed to know about Las Vegas. Like did you know it’s illegal to hail Taxis off the Vegas strip? You have to go to a casino’s taxi rank to get one. Also, you can walk into any casino whether you’re staying there or not. And carry a drink with you while doing so. Having been to Vegas millions and billions of times, Tyson had heaps and heaps of tips for us on where to go, what events were on and what things were worth spending money on – which is a great asset to have when all of your Las Vegas knowledge is based on The Hangover trilogy.
After a quick explore, shower and dress up, we were all back on the bus ready to hit the town of Vegas in style. First stop was of course the Welcome to Las Vegas sign – a must do for pretty much any traveller. With a professional photographer meeting us there, we posed to have our group picture taken which made for a great souvenir of the trip. After the sign it was time to line our stomachs with some hearty Italian at the kooky and quaint Buca di Beppo. As a meal included within the Contiki tour, we set about filling up with big bowls of pasta followed by delicious cheesecake and washed down with the restaurant’s specially made Contiki punch.
With a pep in our step and stomach full of carbs we then headed to the old-school, downtown Las Vegas. Following Tyson’s advice that it is much cheaper to drink in downtown than in the city’s clubs, we ordered our drinks in bulk (and novelty shapes) and enjoyed them while watching the light-show on Fremont Street.
Ok so once we’d got our giddy on in downtown, things get a little hazy. Just a word of advice, the drinks are strong in the US and extra strong in Las Vegas. They free-pour EVERYTHING and pretty much aim to get you drunk so you tip them more – mission accomplished Vegas! After finishing off our monster drinks we then boarded the bus to head to da club! With some sweet Contiki hook-ups and a small fee, we skipped the line and headed into one of Vegas’ most happening clubs – XS (as in excess not extra small). This club was everything we had dreamed of and more. It was huge. People were everywhere.
There was a pool outside (from what I can remember). But the best part of all – Lil John was the resident DJ. And yes he did play his songs, most notably Get Low and Yeah. Happy times!
Also, it has to be noted, the bathroom at XS is crazy! The attendants in there have everything, from mints to hairspray and even super glue! All it costs is a small tip and you can help yourself. This is when I wish not everything that happens in Vegas has to stay in Vegas.
Urrghhh the hangover. The best thing about Vegas is the buffet breakfasts but the worst thing about Vegas is that the buffet breakfasts finish around 10 am. Getting out of bed with a hangover before this time can be difficult, but in the end it’s always worth it. The buffet breakfast at Harrahs has everything you could possibly need to nurse away a hangover and its included as a Contiki meal which makes things even easier. Gathering to fill our tummies with all the hashbrowns, breakfast was also ample opportunity for our tour group to recount stories and piece the night together. Yet another Contiki advantage – why travel with a group of 4 mates when you can travel with a group of 4 mates and 45 other new found friends? The more friends you have, the more hilarious stories you’ll get to hear in the morning. #noregrets
The Limo Ride
After a day recovering and enjoying our own time, it was back to our Contiki group to enjoy a stretch limo ride down the strip. Yet another Contiki perk, the limo ride was the ultimate way to get ready for another night in Las Vegas complete with flowing champagne, flashing lights and pumping music. Now that’s how you do it right!