Travel Tip Tuesday: Vegas Dos and Don’ts

Last week I had a really good idea for Travel Tip Tuesday but I should’ve written it down when it came to me because I cannot for the life of me remember what it was about.  So I decided to go with what I know.

Aaaah Vegas!

My husband and I have been to Las Vegas approximately 15 times in the last 12 or so years.  Our first trip was in 2001 for our 2nd wedding anniversary.  Having only been there once in 1994 with my mom when I was 16, I knew nothing about what to do, where to stay, how to book etc… I booked a package through Vegas.com with airfare on Sun Country airlines and a room at the legendary Stardust Hotel and Casino.

I think this is from 2002…boy does time fly!

Before booking the trip, I had to talk my husband into going.  He told me “Vegas is just for gambling and drinking — neither of which I do.”  I begged him to just give it a chance.  Upon walking out of the plane, it was love at first sight.  We had an excellent trip, learned how to play blackjack, ate some good food, did all the touristy things and vowed that we would be back.  And, we did go back….14 more times!

Another visit

And….another

Over the years we’ve learned a lot of things about Sin City.  What to do, what not to do etc… If you are going for the first time, it helps to know some of these things in advance so that you can be sure to get the most of your money while in town.

DO:

  • Check the Las Vegas convention schedule prior to your trip.   Huge groups flocking to the area will cause airfare and hotel prices to be higher than normal.
  • Try to go during the week, Sun-Th.  Hotel/Casinos offer their best rates on these days.  Weekend rates can be nearly triple and if it is over a holiday weekend…even higher.  Off peak times are good (don’t go during spring break, Labor Day weekend, Memorial Day weekend etc…).
  • Sign up for players cards at every hotel/casino even if you don’t play much there.  You will get future offers for discounts, show tickets, food etc..
  • Learn how to play.  If you are new to the world of casino gaming, look into lessons.  many of the casinos will offer free lessons during off-peak hours and allow you to practice with “play money” before taking a chance on the real thing!
  • Try the $20 trick at check in.  Many of the hotel front desk agents would be happy to upgrade you for a little extra cash in their pockets if it’s possible.  Stick a $20 bill between your ID and your credit card to where it is noticeable to the clerk.  Be nice and say “I’d really appreciate any upgrade you might be able to do for me…” If they can, they will.  If they can’t, they will look disappointed and turn you down.  No harm done.

    $20 trick at the Bellagio got us this view

  • Be aware of your surroundings.  Las Vegas is a busy, busy place at all hours of the day.  Keep your purse close to your body (I wear mine across) and gentlemen, don’t keep money in your back pockets.  Thieves are everywhere and you might not even notice until you are already a victim.

DON’T

  • Let your cabbie take the tunnel to the strip.  This is called “long hauling” and it is not allowed.  Tell your can driver to take you to your hotel “no tunnel”.  If they argue with you or do it anyway, then tell them you will be contacting the Las Vegas Taxi Cab Authority to report them.  They will shape up right away.
  • Think you can smoke everywhere.  A lot of places now are non-smoking even in Vegas.  Obey the signs and only smoke in designated areas.
  • Try to hail a cab in Vegas.  It is illegal, you are not in New York City. Cabs cannot stop in the streets to pick you up.  Find the nearest hotel and wait in the taxi line for one to pull up.
  • Think she is THAT into you…for the guys.  Women of the night are prevalent in Las Vegas.  They are like vultures waiting for their next meal.  If she seems too good to be true, she probably is.  And hold onto your wallet!
  • #1 don’t in Las Vegas: Don’t go to Vegas expecting to go home a winner!  Those ginormous, glittering monstrosities weren’t built on winners.  You are there to have fun.  If you win, then even better but if you expect to win you will be disappointed and ruin your experience.  We’ve been close to 16 times and are still waiting to win THE BIG ONE.

    They are fun but dangerous!

    I read a blog recently where someone absolutely loathed and hated their time in Sin City.  To each his own I guess.  My husband and I really enjoy going there.  We enjoy the lights, the sounds, the crowds…even the smells of Las Vegas. There is just something about it that keeps us coming back.  Yes, we even took our kids….once.

Say what you like about me taking them, but they had a blast! (2009)

If you have any specific questions about LV, don’t hesitate to contact me.  I’d be happy to help where I can!

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About dockfam

I’m Jennifer, married to David for nearly 15 wonderful years. We live in the hell-like barren desert of southern US, also known as Texas with our 2 teenagers. I work outside the home full time and I enjoy blogging, reading, cooking and playing guitar and piano. Our family loves to go on family vacations and we have a distinct love of all things Disney related. We would eat rice and beans for dinner for a whole year if it meant we could therefore take a long, fun filled, memory making vacation together. No, we’re not stupid that’s just how we roll. Please connect with me any which way, I'd be delighted to get to know you!

Posted on August 21, 2012, in Las Vegas and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 19 Comments.

  1. Such a good post and wonderful pics — LOVE IT!!!

    • Thank you. I have a ton of pics from our first few trips…then the amount starts to trail off each time…this last time was I think our 15th or 16th time to go and I may have taken 20 pics if that. Now I kind of like taking videos of playing the slot machines. I have a few up on YouTube

  2. I’ve never been to Las Vegas, but have always wanted to. If I ever get the chance to go, I’ll be certain to review this post first. Thanks for the great tips!

  3. Never been there but great advice to remember if I get the chance.

  4. perfect timing we’re about to plan our first trip to Vegas

    • You MUST visit my favorite message board http://www.vegasmessageboard.com . I don’t get any kick back for promoting them…promise. I’ve just been a member there since 2001 and we’re a really good group of people who know EVERYTHING about Vegas. I visit it almost daily and still learn something new all the time. See you there, my board name is “weluvvegas”

  5. Nothing wrong with taking your kids! You’re showing them a culture actually, how to handle cities like this and learn the do’s and don’t’s of vacationing! I had a friend that took her kids to Vegas all the time! They’re more the wiser because of it. I, myself, am not a city person. Since I’m the one that has to do everything when it comes to vacation, this would be just too overwhelming for me. I’m sure it’s great fun, but I think Atlantic City is all I can handle when it comes to places like this. I know a Vegas cabbie or “Hack” as they’re called and he’s got some real doozy stories. I told him he should write a book of his “fare” experiences! I’m sure you’ve got some stories yourself!

    • We do travel quite often and the kids love it but we have a bad habit of going to the same places over and over. My goal for the upcoming year or two is to take them to places they haven’t been before. If we can afford it, my husband would like to go to Ireland in 2013. Italy is pretty high up on our list too. Too much to do, so little time! (and money!)

  6. I’ve never been to Vegas, and I’d really like to go. That’s interesting about not hailing a cab. I had no idea,

    • Lots of people don’t. My husband and I have helped several a confused tourist from getting run over by kindly informing them of the rule. Funny, the first time I went to NYC and saw my mom (a native New Yorker) run out on the street and almost get hit by a bus trying to hail a cab I almost had a heart attack! I was like…uh, can we find a cab line somewhere???

  7. Good tips for those going…I think my grandson is planning to go so I will forward them on to him….Diane

  8. FD and I have been to Vegas twice… we love it! I won’t however, go again for our anniversary on New Year’s Eve. It was too wild and crazy for us. We even felt it was dangerous crazy. We took the bus from the strip to Fremont street. It was absolutely safe and a lot of fun. We visited with two older ladies (in their 60’s) who were originally from Chicago and came to Vegas as young women hoping to become showgirls. Both are STILL in housekeeping at local hotels and trying to get out of Las Vegas, but never seem to afford the move! I always find the best information rubbing elbows with the locals. Great post with great tips!

    • It’s awesome to meet people who have been there since the days of the Rat Pack. Once when my mother and I went, she caught the “eye” of Roy, an older bellman at the Mirage who told us stories of back in the day. He kept flirting with my mom and while his stories were fascinating, we almost had to kick him out of the room so we could get some privacy!

  9. I went eight times in two years and ADORED it. And once several years before that. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Vegas!

  10. When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox
    and now each time a comment is added I get several e-mails with the same comment.
    Is there any way you can remove people from that service?
    Thanks a lot!

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