Oktoberfest: The World’s Best Party

Guest Post by Christine Amorose

After graduating from one of Playboy’s top party schools, I thought I’d seen the best parties of my life. After a weekend at Oktoberfest, I realized that even the craziest kegger I’d ever experienced was nothing in comparison to what’s often billed as the world’s largest party. While nothing can prepare you for the fun that awaits you, here are my tips for taking on Oktoberfest 2011:

Get in the spirit of things: Absolutely buy a dirndl or lederhosen. There are stores all over Munich offering a full range of prices and styles. Not only will you fit in with the locals, you’ll have a Halloween costume for years to come! Note to the ladies: a dirndl does remarkable things for your figure. I’m a little bummed I can’t wear mine every day.

Be prepared: If you’re in a large group, it’s probably best to reserve a table in advance. If there are only a few of you, it’s usually possible to find spare spots at a table as long as you show up early and are willing to squeeze in with strangers (don’t worry, you’ll all be best friends after a few beers).

Don’t be indecisive: There are no cans or pint glasses here: your only option is one full liter of beer in a massively heavy glass. In a feat of remarkable strength, waitresses carry up to 10 beers at once to waiting tables. Feeling a little too tipsy? Opt for a Radler, a refreshing mixture of half beer and half lemonade.

Sing along: Even if you don’t have time to brush up on your German folk classics before you come, you’ll quickly catch on. Some of the songs sound like they might be the German national anthem, others are clearly traditional bar singalongs. Don’t hesitate to ask a German-speaker to help you out with the words: they love to share this fun part of their culture!

Prost!: In Germany, cheers-ing before every sip is common. Etiquette dictates that you always clink glasses with the people next to you, so a cheers will often make its way down a table of strangers. It makes it really easy to start a conversation with the group of cute Germans next to you. A few guidelines: make eye contact with the person whose glass you’re clinking, never cross arms and say Prost! Legend holds that breaking the rules can lead to seven years of bad sex.

Don’t forget to eat: Even though all that beer can be filling, you don’t want to miss out on the delicious German folk specialties that are surrounding you. Food can get pretty expensive inside the tents, although the quality is quite high. If you feel like splurging—or those beer goggles are affecting how much you see in your wallet—don’t miss the roast chicken. The enormous pretzels and amazing bratwurst, sold inside and outside the tents, are an affordable way to soak up some of that extra beer in your stomach.

Drunk people are funny: If you decide to take it easy one day, head to the fairgrounds anyway. You’ll die of laughter watching drunk men in lederhosen attempt to impress everyone with their motor skills on the Tobaggen, or seeing girls in dirndls attempt to make it through the funhouse rotating wheel without falling down. The rides are bit expensive, but plenty of fun.

Keep smiling: One of my favorite things about Oktoberfest was the open friendliness and positive atmosphere. Even though people were ridiculously drunk, I didn’t see one fight (although they do happen occasionally). People might fall, step on your foot or knock over your beer, but no one lets it stop them from having a good time. I think that’s what makes it the best party of all.

Christine Amorose graduated from California State University, Chico with a degree in journalism while having plenty of fun along the way. After spending six months in Nice, France soaking up the sun and parler-ing Francais, she’s currently deciding on her next adventure. Read more about her experiences in Europe at C’est Christine and at @camorose.

Forget the Business of Planning, Get Down to Traveling

Contiki Enables Travelers to Relax and Enjoy the Ride!

For today’s young professionals, vacation planning can be overwhelming - especially if travelers are attempting itineraries that cover a lot of territory in a limited amount of time. Coupled with the obligations of work or school, traveling can be a daunting (if not impossible) mission. Offering just under 200 packages all over the world, Contiki takes all the hassle and stress out of vacation planning.

“Contiki relieves stress for travelers by taking care of the heavy preparation and research that goes into planning a vacation. With Contiki, travelers are able to relax and enjoy their free time without worrying about transportation, lodging, language barriers, safety and other potential complicated matters,” noted Contiki President, Greg “Fish” Fischbein. “In addition, Contiki passengers have the benefit of traveling with other like-minded people from all around the world – it’s a cultural immersion inside and out.”

“Time is often an issue for working professionals and students. With limited vacation time and heavy work loads, it can be difficult to find the time to go on vacation let alone plan one,” added Michelle Murray, Director of Marketing and Key Accounts. “With Contiki, you select the itinerary and Contiki takes you to the cultural attractions, hot spots, hidden gems, and must see’s on the route. Our optional excursions allow for travelers to customize their trips with activities such as museum visits, white water rafting, Flamenco shows, wine tasting, and shopping.”

Additionally, globe trekkers looking to paint the town red can feel good about the green initiatives Contiki is undertaking to reduce the impact of tourism on the environment. From reducing overall company resource consumption and waste to applying recycling and energy reduction programs at all offices and operational facilities, Contiki is dedicated to the fight against climate change and reducing carbon emissions. In honor of their commitment Contiki has set up The World Conservation Foundation and is donating $1 million per year to fund sustainable tourism projects across the globe. For more information on Contiki’s green initiatives, please visit Contiki.com/ResponsibleTravel

Contiki: Creating Travel Addicts Since 1962

It’s been 48 years and the Contiki spirit is stronger than ever. We travel to over 40 countries on 5 continents. We meet more people. We have more fun. Check out why Contiki has been creating travel addicts since 1962.