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