Planning your first visit to Las Vegas? Exciting! Las Vegas is a fast paced, exciting and colourful place that can sweep you off your feet and leave you with a 4 day hangover… and on that note, here are my Las Vegas tips for first timers! It’s not all about gambling – check out these things to do in Vegas besides Gamble!
1. Don’t go for the cheapest hotel
There are some amazing hotels on the strip and there are some big name hotels that are surprisingly cheap. But, check the location of that great deal hotel first. Hotels on the strip are of course going to be the most convenient but check WHERE on the strip the hotel is; you want to aim for a hotel in the centre; personally I would aim for any of the hotels between the Mandarin Oriental and The Mirage hotel.
(Check out my favourite Las Vegas hotels)
2. Travel from the airport to your hotel
As you exit the airport, look for the taxi rank. They have massive signs up listing the price of the fare from the airport to your chosen hotel. This is by far the most convenient way of travelling directly to your hotel.
3. Your hotel’s entrance
This one may sound strange but when you arrive at your hotel from the airport, make a mental note of where the entrance is that your driver as dropped you off. Vegas hotels are huge and you don’t want to spend half your night looking for the taxi rank at your hotel on your way out to a club.
4. Las Vegas Hotels are huge
Related to the tip above, Las Vegas hotels are huge, so if you hotel room doesn’t have a map in it, ask the reception desk for one. Or even check their website and download an electronic version (or screen shot). It may sound silly but a map will come in handy when you are exploring your hotel!
5. Places aren’t as near to each other as you may think
You look at google maps and yeah, everything is right next to each other. But, because of the size of the hotels and the long blocks, you will still need to do quite a bit of walking. Keep this in mind when you a) pack your footwear (trainers over heels ladies) and b) plan your day. With the distance and heat, you won’t be able to see and do as much as you perhaps originally planned, so don’t over plan those itineraries!
6. It is cheaper than you think
We were super worried that Las Vegas would be expensive and thought their was no way we could do Vegas on a budget. You can get some great deals on hotels by checking out websites such as booking.com, use websites like vegas.com to get the best deals in the city, drink at the casino slots rather than the Casino bars and enjoy the best buffets of Las Vegas.
7. Essentials: Light jacket and water
Vegas is so incredibly humid so water is a must. But also, so is a light jacket. Even in the heat of the summer, you will still need a jacket. The hotels are a haven of cold air but it can get too chilly; hence the jacket.
This multi-attraction card is a great option for those staying for more than a weekend and wanting to see a variety of attractions. Some of the best attractions it has to offer, includes the Hoover Dam, Higher Roller Observation Wheel and The Stratosphere.
You can also use the Hop on Hop Off Buss Tour which comes free with the explorer pass or you may wish to just go with the bus if you are short on time in sin city.
9. Avoid peak dinner times
Peak dinner times in Las Vegas are between 6-8pm and restaurants can get crazy busy, as you would expect. If possible, head to your restaurant of choice between 5-5.30pm or 8.30 – 9pm.
10. Cheap tickets
11. Rent a car
Persinally, renting a car in Vegas is a must. If you are planning on spending some time in and around Vegas, you will probably want to see more than just the strip. The canyons are all a drive away as are many of the unique attractions surrounding the strip. Compare prices at rentalcars.com, enjoy the free parking available many restaurants and hotels and explore the area in your own comfort.
Enjoy a trip to Death Valley or Bruce and Grand Canyon – all can be visited as a day trip.
TIP: If you are planning to see the Canyons, leave early to beat the tour groups.
12. Don’t spend all your time on the strip
Related to the above point, don’t spend your whole time on the strip. Visit Fremont Street for a bit of old Vegas, head to Neon Junkyard to see the old signs and make sure you plan a trip to Zion National Park if time allows!
13. Cab waiting times
Heading to a show or dinner reservation? Allow plenty of time if you are taking a taxi; they have a habit of being late – like 30 minutes late!
14. Costumed characters
Similar those dressed up in Times Square, you will see people dresses up as your fave cartoon characters along the strip. Expect to pay them if you want a photo with them, they will insist – generally it is probably best to just avoid them unless you are dying for a pic.
15. Ask for an upgrade
Vegas hotels have more people asking for an upgrade than not – the reason? Because it works. If they have an upgraded room available, they will often give these out complimentary – they want you to have an awesome time and recommend their hotel to your friends, so always ask!