Las Vegas

Published date: 1st January 2018

OK we’ve all seen The Hangover (though if you haven’t, we’d recommend you do so as research for your stag or hen night). Las Vegas has a reputation that few other cities can match for nightlife, for having a damn fine time, and a last bite of freedom party here is really attractive. It can be really good value too, but cheap it is not. But what a trip it can be!

Even more so than elsewhere we’d strongly recommend that in Vegas you use a company that has experience in organising such events, and that has the systems you need in case things don’t go perfectly to plan – which has been known to happen on stag and hen dos. They can sort out transport to and from the airport, and from your hotel to whatever events you go with – this is the city of the stretch limo, nobody walks, but there are other options like mini-buses.

Good value? Of course, this is the USA where the (very rough) rule of thumb is that what costs £1 in the UK costs $1 there, so about 30 per cent cheaper. In Vegas there is plenty of competition for your cash – more hotels and other accommodation options than you’ll have time to investigate; restaurants that make their money by pleasing diners above critics and in feeding the five thousand nightly are able to offer incredible prices. And there are so many cheapies and even freebies to entice you to stay in the hotels and to gamble in the legendary casinos – happy hours that last much more that 60 minutes, snacks at every end and turn, maybe complimentary cocktails, and shows of every description – the biggest American comedians, variety artists, singers and magicians make their way here, and not a few UK ones too.

When you are considering a party package for Vegas there are a few things you need to remember. First, check out the passport and visa formalities: you do not want to lose out on the trip because you forgot something vital. Second, does the package include flights? It’s pretty safe to bet that if the deal costs a few hundred quid, you are sorting your own. Third, can you get a group together with the readies to follow through?

One real plus about Vegas is that it’s kind of expected that you have a really good time, in fact that is the raison d’etre of this desert city. Eat drink and be merry, but there are limits beyond which both the police and some of the well-connected fellas who know fellas here don’t want you to stray.

In a city famed for its round-the-clock partying daytime events are not perhaps as important in Vegas as elsewhere. Pity to miss out on some of those that would stick in the memory forever though: like one of the several helicopter options – a flight through a canyon, or even a trip to the Grand Canyon; or another that whisks you between the skyscrapers and neon-lit signs of the city itself. And as you’re surrounded by desert sand, a dune buggy ride seems appropriate and a bit different. You are going to indulge in some of the pleasures of sin city, but why not take a guided tour before you jump in, it has a fascinating if brief history.

Another good idea for stags as well as hens could well be to make an hour or two for some detox or spa stuff, ideally towards the end of the break to give your body a fighting chance and set you up for the flight home – it’s around 10 hours between home and Vegas, not a pleasant flight if you are feeling like death warmed up, and (sorry to be a nag) if you turn up for the flight blitzed you risk being turned away, with major financial consequences. And a pro make-up artist could help you feel like a million dollars early in the trip, or stop you looking like a million dollars, all green and wrinkled, at the end.

Yes, there are the usual karting, quad-bikes, shooting, paintball and golf activities, and it is probably a good idea to schedule at least one such session into your trip, if only for a breather. But it’s the hedonism that may be your focus. Organisers can arrange great programmes with a meal followed by a club or three, some gambling – careful with the wedding money – and a show of whatever variety tickles your fancy – lap dance, strip club, dance club, something more exotic, big stars, rising stars, comedy, circus, rock and rat-pack, Vegas covers all the bases – all with transport to make life easy. Think it over, but do make the most of the trip of a lifetime, which this surely could be.

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