10 Feb 2016 - 21 Feb 2016
This was my second Contiki and I had traveled to the states multiple times, the only place I had been already was Vegas. I did not expect to have as much fun as I did on my last trip, I didn't think it would be possible to top it, but it did! This trip was a part of a few other contikis, so some left us when others joined.
I landed in LA the night before and met everyone at the hotel before getting dinner with a large group. I hadn't planed on staying out, didn't get back to 2am! So that's how I started the trip! I ended in San Francisco, after being awake for almost 22 hours, and flew home that afternoon.
Our bus driver was one of the senior drivers, Richard... he always had bottles of water on the bus and vitamin c packets if needed. Our tour manager, John was so much fun... always making sure everyone was good, posting on the Facebook page if there was a change or update on something. He also partied with us most nights!
I did almost all the optionals... the zoo, two nights out in Vegas (front of the line at the nightclubs), hot air balloon ride, 1 day of snowboarding, snowmobiling, the Cirque Du Soleil show, then a $10 surprise that ended up being a wedding in one of the chapels with a singing Elvis in Vegas!
My group of people were so much fun... we were already missing each other before we even left! Thanks again everyone for making this trip so much fun!
Review written Feb 2016event 0.3
11 Feb 2015 - 22 Feb 2015
I went on this tour February 2015 and loved it! Do all the optionals they are all worth it! Go even if your underage you will still have the most amazing time ever! I did! I will definitely be going back sometime :)
Review written Mar 2015event 0.3
15 Jan 2014 - 26 Jan 2014
Truly loved this tour, being my second Contiki, I thought I knew what I was in for - I didn't! Going in Winter was a great chioce, as the sun was still shining everyday, then in Tahoe it was picturesque as we snowmobiled thru Hope Valley.
Truly amazing time, do all the options!!
We partied most nights which was amazing, drunk out of red cups, had party buses/limos and danced our way thru the night at Vegas night club 52 stories high!
The accomodation was consistently fantastic - the most comfy bed was in Vegas, where we only had about 6hours sleep over 2 nights!! Almost seemed like a waste haha
Review written Mar 2014event 0.3
12 Dec 2012 - 23 Dec 2012
This tour was amazing. We arrived at the Grand Canyon just days after it began to snow, so it was an amazing and unexpected sight.
I had already been to a few of the places before, but it was completely different this time around - new people, tour manager and experiences.
Highly recommend doing the optionals on this tour. They're all worth it and once in a lifetime opportunities.
Review written Mar 2013event 0.3
07 Dec 2011 - 18 Dec 2011
This was the first trip I had ever gone on by myself and I felt safe most of the time. Luckily I got stuck with a really great group of people, everyone was friendly and interacted. If you are after a quick trip that manages to show you the diverse land that is the west coast of the USA then I would recommend this trip!
Review written Aug 2012event 0.3
07 Mar 2012 - 18 Mar 2012
This tour was amazing. The activities and optionals were really fun and there was alot of spare time for checking out the cities.Be prepared for long bus rides, but these are okay because everyone on the tour is so fun. The tour manager, eileen, was amazing, and helped out everyone with all thier questions, even though there were 40 people on the tour. Vegas and the Grand Canyon were highlights for me, as well as San Fransicsco ... and Lake Tahoe .... actually every single second of the tour was awesome! Do this tour!!!!
Review written Jul 2012event 0.3
18 Jan 2012 - 29 Jan 2012
Before we even started the tour, out tour manager Adri established herself as our hilarious guide through the best the US west coast has to offer. We quickly realised that she knew what she was talking about, and had done this tour enough times to know every funny aspect you could imagine.
We started off in LA but quickly headed off the San Diego, where the beachy lifestyle and laid back atmosphere was an instant hit with everyone on the tour. The nightlife and parties beckoned many on the tour, and for the under 21's, new ways to have fun needed to be found. Having grown accustomed to 18 being the drinking and gambling age, there were aspect that were not enjoyed by myself and a few other people. However, this sometimes worked to our advantage. On our second day, we had the choice of the zoo or Sea World, and from past visits to San Diego, I knew that the zoo was the place to go. The price, as well as the choice of things to do made it the clear winner in my head, and clearly many others as well, seeing as the majority of the group went there that day. The accommodation was fine, nothing fancy, but we were told that money had been diverted from our San Diego accommodation to improve Vegas' hotel.
From San Diego we headed straight to Phoenix, Arizona, and further still to the very well off neighbourhood of Scottsdale. Our accommodation here was next to a very big and very fancy mall, where a few of us made sure we had everything we needed for Vegas. Our dinner that night was not included but we all went and had a fantastic time, drinking, eating delicious ribs and 3-foot cotton candy.
The next day we were off to do the optional hot air ballooning ride, but after an hour-and-a-half wait in the van, we were told that the wind was too strong and that if we went, we would be dragged headfirst through plenty of cacti... not an optional we were willing to pay for! Disappointed, we headed back and ate a quick breakfast before we headed off to Sedona and ultimately the Grand Canyon. Sedona was beautiful, and the Jeep tours were excellently done by our very friendly tour guides. After they had finished, we got back on the bus and continued to the Grand Canyon! We were very luck as it had snowed pretty well the couple of days before we got there so the whole north rim was beautifully covered with a layer of snow.
The next day, we headed off to the helicopter tours which were breathtaking and a little scary for some. After this, Adri reminded us that the Super Bowl was on, which drew in almost our entire group the pizza pub at the lodge. Everyone enjoyed seeing a piece of an institutionalised American pastime. Adri was going for the Giants, which meant that most of the group were as well, however, we did have a few disappointed Patriots fans that were on the edge of their seats until the very end.
The tour continued to Vegas where we were put up in the very nice Harrah’s hotel and casino, one of the original brands on the new strip. Our city tour took place at night which allowed us to see the full glitz and beauty of Vegas. After our included dinner, the group went clubbing. The club they went to was having its anniversary and they had invited celebrities and had Skrillex DJ-ing. This news was monumental for a few of the tours members. The under 21's went sightseeing and were able to see parts of the strip that many of the other tour members wouldn’t get to.
Our second day in Vegas had us doing whatever we liked. A few of us went to the outlets and bought plenty of really cheap items from our favourite stores. Then we went on the rollercoaster at New York, New York which was great. We went out to dinner and saw the variety show that was an optional, it was very enjoyable. The best part of the night though was the stretch Hummers that took us around the strip, filled with cartons of champagne. This was the greatest way to view the city and the strip.
The next day we had plenty of hung-over people, and also had our longest drive to Tahoe. Whilst the ride was pretty uneventful some of the scenery as we got into Tahoe was spectacular.
Tahoe was by far one of the best stops, because it’s like every mountain, skiing village that you see in movies and magazines. It didn’t really snow while we were there but there was plenty to do as well. I didn’t go skiing on the first day, but was told it was very fun if not a little painful. On the second day, we went snowmobiling, which was fantastic. The day finished with a relaxing coffee at the Starbucks in the hotel lobby.
The next day was the trip to San Francisco, which is a pretty short journey, compared to the others. Having been born in San Francisco and living there for eight years, I was really looking forward to showing my new friends all the best parts that only the natives knew about. We went to a restaurant called Brandy Ho’s for lunch on the second day, which I wholly recommend to anyone. If you do go, have the deep-fried wontons. This was the final day for my tour, so a few goodbyes were said as most of the group went for their visit to Alcatraz.
All in all, this was one of the best experiences of my life as it not only showed me the areas of the west coast that I had missed out on, but it allowed me to meet new people as well.
I would like to thank Adri our Tour Manager for an unforgettable experience, Adrian our coach driver for a fantastic ride and funny stories at breakfast and dinner, and to all of the people on the tour, who made it fantastic :)
Review written Feb 2012event 0.3
28 Dec 2011 - 08 Jan 2012
This was easily the best holiday of my life,ive heard Contiki was awesome but it fully blew me away,met some awesome people some crazy charachters,and our Tour Guide Kristin Jenn was great,ive only been home 4 days and all i can think about is my next trip,if you havnt done Contiki i highly recommend it!
Review written Jan 2012event 0.3