Losing my passport in Las Vegas

After an amazing 8 day Contiki around the west coast of America with my close friends Katt and Kate, we finished our tour in Las Vegas with 2 extra night’s up our sleeves.

The first night we kept pretty low-key, watching Holly Madison in Peepshow and chilling at Planet Hollywood’s new club for a few hours before resting up for a long day shopping and sightseeing.

Our last night however was a different story. It was Katt’s 23rd birthday, and we had planned a massive girl’s night out, starting with ginormous cocktails and an girls only show at Planet Hollywood.

Unfortunately, there’s not a lot about the night that I remember after this…

Photos show we then crossed the strip to The Bank nightclub at The Bellagio and somehow managed to score VIP tickets, meaning free drinks all night. (most likely where it all went wrong)

The next day we were set to fly back to LA, to spend our final days relaxing at the beach in Santa Monica. Little did I know this would be one of the most painful days of my life.

To be woken at 8am, after only 3 hours of sleep was bad enough. Then the taxi ride from the hotel to the airport resulted in, how can I say this… the taxi driver being treated to see the remains of a greasy burger I’d eaten the night before. Finally arriving at the airport it was only at the check-in desk when I noticed… I didn’t have my passport.

After completely emptying my bag in the airport foyer, I finally gave in to the fact that I must have lost it some time between 11pm and 5am the previous night. Still feeling like absolute shite, there was nothing more I could do but break down in tears in front of the man at the airport customs desk, and leave my trusty friend Kate to do all the talking.

After Kate’s diplomatic negotiating skills and accepting my NZ drivers license as I.D, the customs man let me through and I found somewhere comfy to wait for our (delayed) plane.

Luckily, and purely by coincidence, after arriving at our Santa Monica hotel and several frantic phone calls to a number of different people I learnt that the New Zealand Consulate was actually in Santa Monica. One of only 2 in the whole of America – winner, winner, chicken dinner. (if only I had this luck IN Vegas!)

I visited the consulate and US$300 later I had an emergency passport that got me back home, safe and sound.

I like to think of the whole experience as a ‘learning curve’ – one that I don’t need to go through again. Here’s what I learnt from losing my passport abroad.

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