What happens in Vegas … well, you know the rest?
As a first-time visitor, I had the perception that Las Vegas’ reputation is a kitschy “Disneyland for adults”. Just thinking about a trip to Las Vegas used to get my heart pumping and endorphins flowing. “The City That Never Sleeps” or “Tinsel Town” or “Old Gambley”, highly regarded as one of the most popular, exciting, and iconic cities in the world, offering everything from around-the-clock gambling and jaw-dropping architecture to an epic club scene and gourmet restaurants. It’s almost impossible to be bored here. But, the first-time visitors may feel overwhelmed or surprised by the laws, offerings, and customs that differ greatly from most other U.S. cities.
Here are the 5 things I learnt from my last trip to Vegas:
You can’t hail a taxi on the street and don’t get long-hauled.
It’s a rookie mistake to try and hail a cab on the streets of Las Vegas. By law, taxis (and ride-sharing services) are only allowed to pick up and drop off passengers in designated areas (usually in front of a casino), meaning you’ll have to join an often incredibly long queue of riders to get anywhere in the city. It’s a good idea to pad your transportation time by 30 minutes to get anywhere in Las Vegas.
Also, if a cab driver asks if this is your first visit to Las Vegas, they’re likely not just making small talk. Long-hauling, taking passengers on a longer route than necessary to increase the fare, is not unusual in Vegas. The best way to avoid it is by mapping your destination before you get in the cab and by being precise about what route you want the driver to take.
Stick to a gambling budget
Gambling is one of the best aspects of a Las Vegas visit. However, it can get out of hand quickly. Make a budget of how much money you have to gamble (that is, how much money you’re prepared to lose) well before you hit the free drinks, pumping music, and siren sounds of the gaming floor. As an incentive to keep gamblers gambling, most casinos send out a small army of scantily-clad cocktail servers to take free drink orders. But, once you arrive at that threshold, it’s time to walk.
Not Asking for a Room Upgrade
Well, most hotels in Las Vegas are often willing to upgrade you to a suite if there is one available. All you have to do is ask the representative at the front desk if they have any complimentary upgrades. If you’re lucky, they will give one with no questions asked. But, be sure to tip generously if they are able to accommodate you.
Places are not as close as they appear
As read on the rear view mirror, objects are closer than they appear. The exact opposite holds true for the buildings on the Las Vegas Strip, the blocks are long and it requires a lot of walking if you want to get around. Don’t expect to get anywhere fast in Las Vegas. There are also a number of pedestrian-friendly footbridges at the main intersections, which makes it take a little longer to cross the street. From my experience, if you’re planning on staying in Las Vegas for more than 2 nights, I recommend renting a car because there is so much to see and do in Las Vegas beyond the Strip, it would be a shame to spend all your time in one spot.
Overpaying for show tickets
There is NO reason to pay full price for Las Vegas show tickets. You will almost always be able to find a discount. Look out for websites that offer discounts on all the popular Las Vegas shows, including Cirque du Soleil tickets. Also, it’s quite a good idea to book dinner + show packages, it does help you save money, even though you’re eventually going to burn it out in the casino.
“If you know how to live in Vegas you can have the best time.”
– Tony Curtis
There are a lot of things to do in Vegas, but you can’t get distracted by all the shiny lights that surround you. In Las Vegas, no neighborhood is safe from burglary, making travel insurance a must. So, if you do not have time meet an insurance agent, you better make sure to get travel insurance online . Also, even though there maybe times you hate the place for various reasons, it’ll grow on you and you’ll end up loving it.