If you’re heading to Las Vegas soon and have no real idea of what to expect beyond what you’ve read online or seen in the movies, you’re probably understandably a bit apprehensive. Fortunately, for all its glitz and hype, Las Vegas is a fairly safe city for visitors, and you can maximize your experience by sticking with a few simple guidelines.
Check out these eight tips that will help you make the most out your time in Sin City.
It can be easy to neglect drinking enough water while visiting Las Vegas, because there’s so much to see and do. But temperatures on the are routinely over 100° well into the nighttime, and the air is notoriously dry. If you want to enjoy your trip – especially if you’re planning on drinking – keep a bottle of water nearby at all times. I can’t stress this enough.
Ditch the Resort Fees
Resort fees are extra charges that hotels tack on for certain amenities such as Internet access, parking, newspapers, items from the minibar, and local telephone calls. And they suck. They’ll basically serve to jack up the price of your room, making a “pretty good deal” a “not so great deal.”
To avoid these fees, try staying off the Strip at a hotel like the Cannery or Eastside Cannery. They’re consistently rated some of the top hotel/casinos in town for locals, and you’ll save a bunch of money that can be used on some of the great local entertainment.
Avoid Taxis At All Costs
Just like you’d expect from a city with the type of tourist traffic Las Vegas sees year-round, taxis are outrageously expensive and can sometimes be difficult to find. Avoid the stress and hassle by taking the LV Monorail or “The Deuce,” a double-decker bus that runs up and down the Strip all night long. You’ll wind up with dollars in your pocket to spend on things that matter more than just getting around.
Pace Your Consumption of Adult Beverages
It’s often easy to overindulge while on vacation, and it’s particularly easy in Las Vegas because the casinos supply customers with free drinks in order to keep them interested in the games. It can also be tempting to spend the afternoon at the hotel pool sipping on fruity cocktails. Accidentally overdoing it during the day means that you’ll miss out on the fun that happens after the sun goes down, so put the brakes on when it comes to adult beverage consumption. Remember, all things in moderation.
Slip Out to the Valley of Fire
The bright lights, constant movement, and throngs of people can be overwhelming to many visitors. If you find yourself feeling overloaded and want to see some gorgeous scenery, give yourself a break and slip out to the Valley of Fire. It’s less than an hour from the Strip, but it’s a world apart. The towering landscape and amazing red rock formations are something you can’t see in most of the world, and it will save you serious money over taking a sightseeing flight to the Grand Canyon.
Do. Not. Stay. At. Circus. Circus.
You’ll be tempted. The dirt-cheap prices available from your pick of travel websites will draw you into thinking, “You know, I could really save a ton of money if I just stay there.” Don’t do it. Don’t ever, ever do it. The same goes for Excalibur and Luxor, which share nearly identical – though not quite as terrible – Yelp ratings with Circus Circus. Others to be wary of include the Flamingo and Stratosphere, both of which offer cheap prices and hit-or-miss rooms. You’ll thank me later.
Make It Count
If you’re looking to have an incredible Vegas experience, do it right and go all-out. The majority of visitors – particularly first-timers – try to piece together a budget vacation made up of Groupon deals and Priceline bookings. Do yourself a favor. Go see a Cirque du Soleil show. They’re incredible and totally worth the cost. Spend a night at Drai’s night club, with its insane outdoor views of the Strip. Go all-out and fly in your own stunt plane at Sky Combat Ace. There’s so much more to do in Vegas than spend your nights in a cut-rate hotel and walk from bar to bar sipping discount cocktails.
Stick With Your Travel Buddies
Believe it or not, the Strip is actually a pretty safe place to be at night (as long as you stay south of Sahara.) But it’s always a good idea to stay close to your group, since there are plenty of hustlers, prostitutes, and drunks everywhere you go. Again, I’m not saying you’re in imminent danger. But a lost 21-year old female obviously separated from her group could make an attractive target for an unsavory character. Just be smart, and use the buddy system.
Las Vegas is truly a town like any other. Be smart, stay safe, and use plenty of sunscreen, and you’re sure to have an unforgettable vacation.