8 Tips for Vegas Virgins
1. Dress for comfort! Always carry a light jacket, a bottle of water and sunscreen with you. Though temperatures can top 115 degrees in the summer and you’ll want to wear as little as possible, be warned… when you enter a casino, you will probably freeze. Casinos in Las Vegas tend to keep the thermostat at “freezing”! If you visit in the winter, know the weather also has a tendency to fool travelers. It will be a lot colder outdoors than you think. Bring comfortable shoes, and dress in a versatile manner.
2. Distances seem closer than they actually are. On my first trip to Las Vegas over 10 years ago, I wish someone had told us not to walk all the way from the Mirage to Circus Circus! Though it doesn’t seem far because all the buildings on the strip are close together, the strip is 4 miles long! Once you get a couple blocks in, you will wish you had found an alternative method of transport. We recommend using the walkways inside and outside of the casinos, as well as trams and the Las Vegas Monorail to get to where you wish to go.
3. Free drinks! Do not, I repeat, do NOT buy drinks in the casino. If you’re going to participate in any kind of gambling, wait until the cocktail waitress approaches you. This is the casino’s method of attempting to get you to gamble for longer periods of time. The wait will be worth the amount of money you save on drinks. If you decide to go to the clubs later on at night, start your drinking at the casino!
4. Familiarize yourself with your surroundings. As with any new place you are traveling to, it is important that after you check into your hotel to take a short walking tour of your immediate surroundings. Take a stroll around your hotel and its casino, noting to yourself where the vending machines, restaurants, restroom facilities and seating areas are located. Once you’ve rested and settled in a bit, tackle the Strip.
5. Get freebies and discounts on shows! Even if you don’t plan on doing much gambling, signing up for a casino player’s club is an excellent method of getting free and discounted tickets to shows and other Vegas amenities. You swipe it everywhere you go on that casino’s property. If you do plan on doing a significant amount of gambling, you’ll definitely want to get one of these cards! Accruing points may mean enough freebies to be able to return to Vegas!
6. Take advantage of the free gambling lessons. Are you feeling inexperienced and intimidated? Not sure if gambling is your cup of tea? Find out by taking advantage of the free gambling lessons hosted by numerous Las Vegas casinos. Large and small casinos offer free lessons in games such as poker, blackjack, baccarat, etc. You’ll get introduced to the rules and pick up important tips on dealer-speak, where to sit at a table and more.
7. Avoid peak dinner times. The times at which restaurants in Vegas are the most busy are between 6 and 8pm. If you have the ability to be flexible, it is best to try and have dinner between 5 and 5:30 and 8:30 to 9pm, especially if you plan on eating at a popular establishment such as a buffet. Lines at these types of Vegas establishments can get crazy during peak times and the many hours you spent queuing could have been better spent elsewhere.
8. If you decide to take a cab, you will wait. The number of times we’ve heard of visitors being late to dinner or a show with friends due to taxi wait times are numerous. A general rule is to allow no less than 30 minutes for a cab and if you’re leaving a popular event such as a convention that draws many attendees, you might want to change your estimate to 2 hours. Thinking about calling an Uber? Remember that “surge pricing” may be in effect depending on rider demand in the area.